How do you make a show that millennials will love? Tracy Hazzard talks with Alexandra Hazzard, the Chief Operations Officer of Podetize, and Cody Hanify, who works at the Sales Department with Tom. They discuss how millennials value honesty and community most of all. If you could be vulnerable in your podcast by sharing your personal experiences, they would love to binge-listen to you. It’s also important that your niche is relevant to the topic they’re looking for. So make sure to get your SEO right. Paste your transcript on your blog. Put important links you mentioned. When your show is found on Google, it’s easier for them to find you. If you want to learn more about attracting millennials, tune in!
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How To Make A Show That Millennials Will Love And Binge-Listen? With Alexandra Hazzard And Cody Hanify
I’m turning the call that we normally have on our coaching call and this episode to two of my Millennials staff members because why not ask Millennials what they think makes a good show rather than me telling you that. I’m way too old to be a Millennials. I want to introduce Alexandra Hazzard. She is my daughter and our COO. She runs all the operations and systems at Podetize. She is absolutely amazing at what she can accomplish but she’s a podcast listener, and that is why I have asked her to talk with you now.
I also have Cody Hanify, and he has his own podcast. He is getting off the ground now. He has been listening to a lot of podcasts for a while, trying to make sure that they do the best job possible in the way that they are approaching their podcast. I invited Alexandra and Cody to come on and talk to you about the Millennials’ view of what makes a great podcast.
We are going to talk about creating a show that appeals to Millennials. A good place to start is by defining Millennials. A lot of people think about them as ‘90s babies but the most significant identifier of Millennials is that we grew up with the internet. We have no concept of life before the internet but we do remember life before cell phones and things like that because we still grew up as those things are coming about. That is a good way to define Millennials, whereas Gen Z does not know life without cell phones, apps, social media, and things. With Millennials, social media was birthed in that generation.
Me and you are in a unique little faction of Millennials because we are right on the cusp of the last generation of Millennials. We were both born in ‘95. We are right on that cusp of Millennials versus Gen Z. I feel like we have a good understanding of both Millennials and Gen Z traits. I think that, at least for me personally, I adopt both sides. As you said, we grew up when the internet was coming into fashion. When it was coming to be as useful as everyone utilizes it now, it is becoming more real that at least me and you, Alex, we had completely understood that on that side.
Usually, when Millennials are defined, I put them into a group that makes it easier for me. It is between the early 1980s and early 1990s. That is where Millennials ages tend to wage. We are tech-savvy. That is how we are. We are the ultimate connection between technology and real life. It is a cool position we’ve got ourselves in. Not only are Millennials technologically savvy and connected but they are transparent. We have been at a generation that has wanted to open the doors to transparency, less shows showman type, being something you are not is not in our forte anymore.
For a frame of reference for everyone who has not been introduced to him before, Cody works in our Sales Department with Tom. He helps acquire new shows for our company. He also works on a podcast called We Watch It, which is all about movies and their cultural context of them, and what makes content good, attractive, and sticky. They talk about that stuff a lot. That is why we brought him on now. He brought up an excellent point here, transitioning into transparency.
When we are talking about shows that appeal to Millennials, we are talking about what is going to attract Millennials and what do they gravitate towards? What Cody and I have figured out is it is more honesty, transparency, vulnerability, and building a community are some of the big things that Millennials look for in their content.
They look for a place where you are going to share the gritty details that you might not have elsewhere. They want to feel they are getting the rawest information they possibly can because, in all honesty, the internet showed us that prior to the internet, people were trying to trick us quite a bit, and we could not do our research and stuff.
Everyone I know who is a Millennials love to research and find out what is the new thing, “What is that? I didn’t know that.” I learned that dairy is the most expensive milk as far as how it is produced. It is the most expensive cost on the environment out of all kinds of milk you could have as compared to soy, almond, and all these other things. That stuff never would have known if it was not for the internet being born. We love when you want to give us those details that are not out there yet.
We are in alignment with this relationship that we have with the internet and our peers. It is straightforward. There is no “BS.” There is no hiding. It is tough nowadays because you have a platform to present yourself in a way that you wish people could view you and stuff. A lot of that has attached itself to the Gen Z relationship with the internet, which makes sense. It is a crazy, weird time to be born in.
That is where you look at the differences between what Gen Z and Millennials are consuming, which is why we are focusing on transparency, honesty, and vulnerability. When you look at Gen Z, they have attached to almost this for honesty by mistake. They can sometimes stumble into that. You get a lot more people who are putting on a persona, whereas Millennials are more attracted to someone who comes as they are, is themselves, and isn’t putting on a persona. That does not mean they might not still be put together in an idol in the eye of that reader but that is how they like to feel you are presenting it yourself in an honest, authentic way, whatever that means for you.
A big staple that is tied to Millennials while we are on this topic is that we value straightforward management and recognition. There is always a reward attached to that. For some reason, this trope has come out that we have been handed trophies all of our lives. We understand participation but not winning.
I would argue that I was raised a little bit differently but I could say that the recognition part is important because some generations before us keep going. There is no pat on the back, development, growth, and change. That is something that we value, straightforward management, recognition, and not only that, what is cool about us is that we are in a position for working with the most diverse-oriented situations and collaboration. The cool thing that I love about our generation is that we desire diverse work and collaboration. We can do our research on our own, as you suggested earlier.
Our favorite is when our influencers or podcasters, whoever you are listening to.
Everyone else is doing it. It is a community, and we all like collaboration. We do not always have to have the same ideals. That is why I think that that diverse part is the most attractive to me. We love everything. That is how I am. The little daisies in our hair are dancing everywhere. That is an internet meme version of what I guess is “people view Millennials.” I take that with pride a little bit.
For me, it is this wanting to be authentic. Millennials have gotten a bad rap for being the person who is on the internet, balling their eyes out or the person on the internet yelling at someone else. That can happen. That is the negative side of the coin for sure. As Millennials, when you are showing up authentically, we are going to sit and listen for a time and see if it is worthwhile to stay.
You, as podcasters, can capitalize on that time once we have arrived. The idea is, once we get there, how are you making sure that content is going to keep us there? If you are a talker, target audience, and we might not be, which is you might learn that now, as we talk about what Millennials are attracted to, what they are buying as we get into the statistics. You might find that they are not your niche, and that is also informative.
That speaks to that authenticity, honestly. It has no relevance to my life or to learning something greater. It is interesting to know about these stories that these people went through that are unfathomable. The other ones I listened to are a lot of parenting foster care podcasts. Other people are sharing about mental health podcasts, things that are relevant to me in my life, and topics. Cody, what about you?
For me personally, like you introduced earlier that I have a podcast, and we talk about movies and such. That is a big life of mine that I celebrate all the time. I’m at the movies twice a week. Different times now, I’m not there anymore. What I like to listen to is a lot of entertainment podcasts or interviews with creatives that I admire or look up to and people that work hard at being authentic.
There is a podcaster. His name is Dax Shepard. You might know him. He is a celebrity. He used to work on Punk’d. That is how he got his stardom. He has a podcast it is called Armchair Expert. He coins himself as an armchair expert, someone who isn’t necessarily the biggest expert on a specific topic but wants to learn more.
When he brings guests on, they are here to promote a movie or a TV show but he gets to know them through them, not necessarily to help promote everything because what we are here to do is have an authentic conversation and see the growth. That is something I’m personally attracted to. I like all the behind-the-scenes stuff. When they get to talk about behind the scenes some of the favorite projects that they have worked on or such, that is great.
He has also opened my eyes up to multiple different things because not only does he bring on celebrities but he brings on influencers that he has in the real world. They will talk something politically or a little bit of a trope out there. He likes to come in, understand and become an expert instead of an armchair expert. That is a great show.Vulnerability and building a community are some of the big things millennials look for in their content. Click To Tweet
The trend, in all honesty, that I’m finding in the podcasts that Millennials seem to keep consuming is this trend of whatever the topic is, and it is relevant to the topic that the person is looking for. For example, when I’m researching how to put a build bookshelf in my home, I’m going to first go to Google, and Google knows that I like podcasts and YouTube.
It’s going to serve me up podcasts of people who have done it, talking about what they have done, and it is going to serve me up YouTube videos also. That is a frame of reference for why it is important to understand where each niche you are targeting consumes, what type they consume, and what they are looking for.
A lot of times, we are looking for, “Is it relevant to that topic that question we have?” Normally, we are typing and writing into Google. That is how Millennials research. We go, “You want to know that? Type it.” I can’t even tell you how many times in the office where Tom or Tracy will be like, “Alexandra, I do not know how to do this. How do you do it?” I’m like, “I do not know either. Can you google it?” That is what we do. We will start with Google and see what happens there. Where do we go? From there, you start researching further and getting into your deeper, more credible sources.
The same thing goes with podcasting. Find the right podcast. Normally, that podcast might not be the perfect podcast but a guest on that podcast might be, and they might have a podcast since you see how the trend continues and how it is all connected. This is why we make it important that we are linking the shows you are mentioning in your blog posts. We are linking them in the important links section, too.
That way, you are getting all those backlinks to those places. We are all building that connection tree and that community together. Why would you want to attract Millennials? Why bother? What’s the point? Some of you might be like, “Why do I even care if Millennials like me? I do not think they are my target. Millennials buy everything.” As we were researching this, Cody found a YPulse survey. Do you want to go through the statistics you found, Cody?
The best way you can attract Millennials is we found that there is a couple of statistics that prove what is going on with younger consumers. Connection rapport is built, and we trust in advertisements. I know it is weird. A lot of people, you would think, skip through advertisements but if you can make advertisements work for a specific niche in a specific group, you will learn that you can monetize off of some of these specific age groups.When millennials start building rapport and trust with an influencer, they start becoming a weekly listener. Click To Tweet
A stats from February of 2021, a YPulse survey says that 62% of young consumers that is 13 to 39 years old in age listened to podcasts. That is more than half of the young consumers listening to podcasts right there. Utilizing and understanding that data right there alone might want you to open up your niche or your listener track, possibly because there are more numbers that we’ve got to go through but of that, 26% are reporting that they listened to podcasts every week.
That is a great statistic knowing that they are going weekly to their favorite shows to their favorite content. It is not a TV show. It is a simple audio. Forty-four percent listened to podcasts ads. Of the 26% and the 62%, were taking 44% of them listen to podcast ads. They are listening to them. There is a reason why they are listening to them.
Here’s the thing. 1 out of 10 is usually buying services off ads. I am guilty for buying services from a podcast ad myself. It happens all the time. They are attractive, and there are discount codes all the time. It is a great place for me to learn about new products. Fifty percent of young people who listen to podcasts told us that they would rather listen to a podcast than watch a TV commercial. They would rather listen to ads than watch ads because it is getting in the way of their visual entertainment.
When you are listening to it, you can have a good way to hook them and listen to that ad. We have noticed a couple of other things too. Gen Z is as likely to be listening to podcasts as Millennials. They took a couple of polls here. When they listen to podcasts, do they listen to ads? That is the biggest question for you monetizing your podcast.
Forty-four percent said, “Yes, I listened to the ads.” Forty-four percent said, “No, I skipped the ads.” Eleven percent say, “I pay for ad-free podcasts.” Little to none is going the route of where they are subscribing to podcasts and getting rid of advertisements. No one is going that extra step to pay for that because it is part of what they are going to listen to. They want to hear that engagement. It is unique. How do you feel about that, Alex? Isn’t that interesting?
It speaks to the fact that Millennials when they start to build that rapport and trust with an influencer, they start becoming a weekly listener. They expect that if you are serving them ad, it is relevant and it is going to be something discounted that is going to help their life, and they should probably listen up. If MrBallen does an ad, I’m going to listen to his ad every time all the way through. I’m going to take the time to listen to what he says. If he is the one giving the ad, meaning he is the one speaking it, I’m way more likely to listen. If it is some random other external advertisements, he is inserting from Nike.Make your podcast valuable, honest, and applicable. Click To Tweet
There are trust and vulnerability that he has been able to showcase to you, and you trust this hit product. You trust this advertisement because it is coming from him. When we look at the statistics at what podcast ads style do young consumers prefer, that is what you were getting into. An improvised one by the podcast host, 60% of people are more likely to engage with that podcast advertisement if it is improvised by the podcast host. You are looking down at the bottom numbers too, and now a scripted one that is only 23%. That is insane.
An ad from a brand that does not have a podcast hosting it, barely anyone is engaging with that at all because why do you think that? In my opinion, I have built trust with this podcast host, and they are being able to deliver me a product that would serve me well. I’m more likely going to take their word than a fabricated commercial may do appeal to a mass audience rather than me specifically.
For me, when I start to see an influencer or a podcast host start to use advertisements that are not scripted by them or are not read by them, I start to be like, “What is going on here? Why are we starting to serve up stuff that is not as valuable to me as the listener?” I may stop listening as often because the whole point is, “What value are you bringing to my life that I should spend an hour listening to you talk to me without getting anything in return?”
Normally, that value is knowledge or understanding of some greater topic, which is super valuable but if you are going to serve me up an ad, I want that ad to be valuable because we have been advertised to ourselves since birth. Everything has been tracked our whole lives. It will be even more for the generations to come but we have experienced ads all our lives.
When we hear a classic ad, we turn it off immediately. We do not listen. We might not even hear the message. Our ears are tuning out at that point. There are even times, nowadays, I see a TV ad, and I do not even realize an ad is playing because I’m tuning it out already. I’m like, “I did not realize I was in and out.”
Keep that in mind here. That is what these statistics are reinforcing Cody’s and my life experience and what we have experienced in our peers and community here. We have noticed that these YPulse survey has completely reinforced what we were seeing in the trends. This was pulling between 16 and 34 years old. We are capturing a little Gen Z-ers there. You can see how the young consumer would respond.Your audience wants to watch you grow and they want you to help them grow. Click To Tweet
The last one we have here is, “Have they ever purchased or tried something from an ad they have heard?” Over 35% of those who have listened to the ads are buying. That is a higher conversion rate than any other ad model we have seen. That is the same conversion rate Tom, Tracy, and I have found with 3D Start Point and 3D Printing Podcast. When we have done all our testing of the ad conversions there with that podcast, that podcast got our greatest following. We ended up rolling out ads for HP.
We have tested conversions on other ads in the past. They all came out to 35% to 37%, depending on the campaign. That is compatible. That is an amazing conversion rate. We have not been testing Facebook ads and things for ads, not within a podcast. Those are never as high as that for a conversion rate. They are usually in the 2% to 3% if you are lucky and have a good campaign hunting. You will be lucky if you get 1% if it’s not a great campaign.
A lot of us can learn a lot from these statistics, and what you will also find is that we are more likely to buy something from you as the host. That is the one statistic we are not finding in this survey. One thing I can say is that I am more likely to buy an ad from an influence if it is them saying, “I know you guys needed this thing, so I made it. Here you go. Now you have it.” I will pay $5 to $10 for whatever that solution is. That is minor.
For example, I have been struggling with how to deep clean my home because that is the first home I have lived in, where I have been there long enough to deeply clean it, and I have never had to do that before. Fortunate for me, I have never had a chance, and now I’m like, “what do you do to deep clean? Do you have to shampoo carpets? Do you have to wash the walls? How do you wash the walls without ruining the paint?” That is something I have never had to learn before.
These are things that an influencer I follow teaches their followers, and she puts up PDFs for you that help you figure it out. A perfect example of where I would be willing to spend a small amount of money but when you multiply that by 35% of your listeners, that is huge for you to get a little bit back. You can reinvest in the podcast or reinvest in a new avenue in your business that the podcast is supporting or whatever it may be.
That is good data to notice and understand. You can utilize it for your listener engagement.
One thing we were talking about a lot was how to build that connection that attracts Millennials and gets them to buy. It is about building that rapport and community, vulnerability and honesty, as we said in the beginning. You want to be there to edutain, meaning your education first, entertainment second as the focus but you still have to focus on both because you’ve got to keep them coming back for more.
To not just attract but retain those Millennials listeners, as Cody was saying, you want to grow and evolve as a host and show that growth, live with us, showing that vulnerability and change over time. If we see you growing, we are going to be willing to do what is being asked of us because even if you are asking them to buy something or do something, it is usually to grow their life in some way, shape or form.
If you are showing and sharing that growth, they are going to be way more likely to buy in. To sum it up, that is the cap on Millennials podcasting. What attracts them? Honesty, vulnerability, edutainment, and continuing to evolve as we continue to grow as a podcast. You are growing with your community, showing that, and sharing your journey.
As we were saying, I know that there was a lot of time spent on like, “How do I take advantage of Millennials? How do I monetize them?” Understanding the ads and that data and applying it. If that is your listener’s niche and that is what you want to be utilizing, understand that data. It is not something that is a tactic thing that we are trying to set up for you. It is so you can understand what are Millennials? What are we interested in? How can we help them grow their community, attachments, and engagement with me? More than anything, what we have touched on now was transparency and vulnerability.
We will close out for the day. I hope you guys have a wonderful rest of your week. If you have any questions on this topic, feel free to send them over to Help@Podetize.com, and we will get some stuff added to the FAQ on it. All of these client coaching calls will eventually be added to the resources on Podetize and FAQ on Podetize. As you know, we are revamping our organization system, so it is more searchable for all of you, clients. Once I have that done, I will officially post it for you all but you can find those in our main menu on our website as they stand now if you are looking for them. Thank you so much, everyone.
- MrBallen – YouTube
- Armchair Expert
- 3D Start Point
- 3D Printing Podcast
- FAQ on Podetize
About Alexandra Hazzard
As Chief Operations Officer, Alexandra, is extremely productive every day with her systems mind and inherent resourcefulness. She liaises with clients, as well as sets-up and maintains our internal systems to make sure things run smoothly in our operations across the board.She enjoys seeing (and listening to) all the different podcasts we have in our roster, taking each unique discussion as a learning opportunity. Alexandra takes pleasure in creating efficient systems for our internal team and in making things easier for our clients to help their respective brands grow.
Alexandra became an assistant pastry chef at a bakery before working full-time at Brandcasters.
About Cody Hanify
Cody Hanify works internally with the sales department for Podetize. He is a podcaster, stage actor, and short film producer based in Orange County, California. You can soon check out his new podcast he’s launching called We Watch It, where he and his co-hosts take their unique perspectives on films, tv, and other content.