Creating a Better User Experience by Revitalising Old Audio Content
Creating a Better User Experience by Revitalising Old Audio Content
A few weeks ago I published a two part tutorial detailing how to get started with series podcasting.
The tutorial was extremely well received and over in the Excellence Expected Facebook Group there was a buzz of activity from podcasters who were really excited about the options that series podcasting brings to the table for early stage entrepreneurs, especially those who put content at the top of their marketing priority list.
Within the tutorial I not only outlined the why behind my shift to series podcasting, I also outlined how I was going about reformatting my show.
As work begins to wrap on the next series of the Excellence Expected podcast, entitled ”The Straight Talking Guide to Launching Your First Product”, I began to revise some of the ideas that I’d originally had about the initial 150 episodes of the podcast and more importantly, I began wondering how I could add even more value to you as a listener.
The original plan
The original plan laid out my goals for the podcast content overall.
The Excellence Expected podcast is one of the central marketing channels for my personal brand and the goals were all set to support providing value to new listeners, existing listeners and also to be super accessible by entrepreneurs & founders new to the Excellence Expected brand overall.
In my opinion, that should be the goal of all content regardless of the medium.
And so, I’d created the following plan:
- Under the assumption that my regular listeners are subscribed to my “normal” podcast RSS feed in iTunes et al, I publish each season to that feed so that they get the new content quickly and easily with no extra work.
- When a new season is available, the previous season’s content is removed from my main feed mentioned above and a new feed (effectively a new podcast show) is created with that audio content.
- The new season’s content is published to the “normal” feed as usual with a new piece of podcast cover art.
- The previous season’s content that has been moved to a new show feed is then submitted to iTunes, Stitcher et al as a brand new show / feed along with the podcast cover art I used whilst that season’s content was populating my “normal” RSS feed.
In line with this plan, I’d created the following visual representation of it, too:
So, where did the original 150 interview episodes fit in?
That plan is still in place and I’m implementing it with the next season of the podcast.
But, I’ve learned my lesson: if you’re going to do something, create an experiment to prove whether the outcome is as it is expected to be.
Because of the fact that the next season, ”The Straight Talking Guide to Launching Your First Product” is the first true season with a set beginning and set end point, I still had a question mark about two things:
- How would I feel with several podcast channels available in iTunes? That’s a really weird “worry” to have, but the truth is that I wanted to test out whether or not my vision of presenting users with several options when searching for “Excellence Expected” worked out well in practice.
- How would I present the previous 150 episodes of the show? These were mostly interviews, with around 10 out of the 150 being solo episodes. This was an interesting problem to have and really wore away at my subconscious.
You see, in the original plan stated above, all of the 150 episodes were collected together into one volume of content.
You can tell I’m a comic book geek, can’t you.
That idea, I still felt, was very solid but there was something gnawing away at me that was telling me that this wasn’t the best way to present these episodes.
In my mind, this really came to a head as I began to iteratively upgrade the Excellence Expected website with my user avatar in mind.
Revisiting my goals
Whilst beginning to update the website here, I realised that I was really putting a focus on what my avatar wants from me and the brand.
And it’s really simple: early stage entrepreneurs and founders want straight talking answers and direction.
With that clarity in mind, I actually spent some time re-visiting my goals from the original series podcasting tutorial, which were:
Be present for existing listeners and make it as simple as possible for them to get hold of each new season easily.
Check. All current subscribers receive my new audio seasons immediately.
This goal is actually still achieved regardless of what I choose to do with the previous 150 episodes of the podcast.
Be as discoverable as possible within iTunes and the other podcast search engines to attract new listeners to the show.
Check. Anytime people search for my name or the show, they won’t simply receive one show, they will be presented with a range of content from me – all with a consistent visual feel.
Here’s where my experimentation begins to kick in. I was ASSUMING that this would work out well for listeners and for the Excellence Expected brand, too.
Somehow showcase that Excellence Expected is a seasonal show and that each season stands alone in terms of being evergreen content that can be consumed either in isolation or as part or a wider piece of study by the listener.
Check. In each of my iTunes categories I will have multiple shows, each with evergreen content that can be completely and singularly marketed forever. This will allow me to build a library of continually marketed content, rather than simply marketing the “current” content.
This goal was based on less of an assumption, but it did present a query for me: throwing all of the 150 previous episodes together into one volume didn’t actually achieve this initially. Once the next season launched, there would still only be two Excellence Expected branded podcasts in iTunes et al.
The last point there, point #3 also made me realise something: I was being lazy.
The experiment I created and why I believe it’s a much better version of the series podcasting plan that I had
Why was I being lazy?
I was just bundling all of the previous 150 episodes into one simple “catch all” volume of content.
And that sucks, for two reasons:
- I’m not delivering on the promise to provide straight talking, easily accessible content to early stage entrepreneurs and founders. That breaks my brand promise to you and that just ain’t happening.
- I’m actually undermining goals #2 and #3 as laid out in my OWN plan!
So, I decided to run a little experiment on this in order to deliver on my brand promise to you, to waylay some of my own worries, to test my assumptions and to ultimately provide a much better user experience for listeners of any Excellence Expected branded audio.
Here’s what I did:
- Developed and completed the cover art for the next season of the podcast, ”The Straight Talking Guide to Launching Your First Product, so that I could finalise the cover art style that I want to use moving forward. Hint: it’s eye catching for iTunes and the other podcast directories.
- Downloaded a list of all of the previous 150 interview episodes of the Excellence Expected podcast.
- Loosely categorised the 150 interviews into related sets.
- Refined these into four overall, highly focussed categories: Leadership, Marketing, Personal Development and Startups.
- Created on-brand cover art for each of these categories that is tightly visually related to the next season’s cover art, and showcases that each category is related to its siblings.
- Categorised the 150 episodes as: ”Vol. 1, Series 1; Vol. 1, Series 2; etc with the next season kicking off volume two when it launches, like so: ”Vol. 2, Series 1; and so on…”.
- Submitted the four new feeds to iTunes (which were approved in under four hours, wow!).
The result is a highly focussed volume of four content sets that gives listeners a much better experience by allowing them to choose an area of study specifically, knowing that the content within is tailored to their needs at that time.
But not only that, I’ve been able to test that I’m happy with how the show is presented to people searching for ”Excellence Expected brand terms in iTunes – there are now a range of specifically linked audio pieces available to the new listener.
The process above also really presents a strong opportunity for me to be able to market each set, each series of volume one independently or as a volume – that is a very powerful opportunity that I’m going to be experimenting with moving forward.
Keeping the momentum
I love experimenting with how to present content to you to give you the best possible experience and I’ll continue to document the whole process for you.
If you have any questions, hop over into the Excellence Expected Facebook Group and let’s chat!
Don’t forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel.