Running a campaign isn’t what it used to be. In fact, nothing is what it used to be.
In the past century, technology has progressed so rapidly, it’s hard to catch up. Most recently, it’s been the internet, which has continued to change and shift.
Along with the rising star of social media, podcasts have ironically become the next big thing, despite serving a similar function to the radio of yesteryear.
The major difference is that all the content is on-demand. For political campaigns, ignoring the popularity of the podcast would be a major misstep.
Here’s why a podcast is important and how it can get you more followers.
Why Have Podcasts Become So Popular?
Before getting into the “how” of a podcast, let’s explore the “why.”
Podcasts are one of the most prevalent forms of modern communication and entertainment.
As with most content on the internet, podcasts are able to garner small, niche audiences and survive. It’s the complete opposite of traditional media, such as television and radio, which need to attract the broadest possible audience.
Due to the freedom this brings, the medium doesn’t need to adhere to time slots. Podcasts are known to last from an hour to even three hours, depending on the show.
In an age where it seems like attention spans are shrinking, the popularity of long-form podcasts seems to suggest otherwise. What’s more, people like neuro scientists, psychologists,philosophers, and historians are able to build large audiences, because they have time to talk and expand on ideas.
These kinds of intellectuals would never be given a platform on a major network, because they’re not “entertaining” enough.
Why Would A Podcast Be Good For Your Campaign?
For the same reasons that these public intellectuals have turned to podcasts in order to get out their ideas and expand their audience, your campaign can use a podcast to gain new followers.
Unlike other forms of media that your candidate might participate in, such as television, you are the director of your own podcast. There’s no one telling you what to do and there are no time constraints.
Because of this, you can take your sweet time to explain positions and topics in the news that may relate. In a TV interview, a candidate may have to revert to talking points, just to get everything out in time.
On a podcast, the candidate can explore the nuances of their position.
This format also allows the candidate to relax a little and drop the façade of the politician, if for no other reason than that it’s hard to hold that persona for three hours. At some point, the real person has to show up.
By getting to know the real person, voters will feel a connection that can’t be obtained through speeches or interviews.There’s something intimate about listening to a podcast, where, at times, it seems to be a one-on-one conversation.
This is no small part due to the fact that you’re usually listening to a podcast on a pair of headphones. If this sounds like too much of a leap, the same is often said of television in comparison with film. People are more connected with TV shows, because they invite the shows into their home.
It might sound insignificant, but there’s something to the way that people ingest media and it shouldn’t be ignored.
How Do You Use Your Podcast To Gain Followers?
Now that you have a campaign podcast, what the heck do you do with it?
As anyone in entertainment will tell you,it’s easy to come up with a show. It’s hard to get people to care enough to watch.
Not only does a campaign podcast have to get people to listen, but it has a secondary objective of getting them to follow the campaign and vote. This makes things a bit more complicated, but still doable.
Here are some tips and tricks for getting followers with your campaign podcast:
1. Be Honest
One of the major things that a voter can sniff out immediately is a phony politician. He or she has the same watered-down mannerism and the same vague talking points, custom-tailored to appeal only to their supporters.
With a podcast, you can shift this perception for your candidate. Give him or her a good two-hour chunk of time to really explain his or herself and his or her positions to the audience. If possible, it’s best if this is uncut, as well.
That might be scary for some campaign managers, but it will only accentuate the authenticity you’re trying to promote. The very fact that your candidate is doing podcast would already help on the authenticity front, as podcasts are where the regular people are.
2. Promote On Social Media
Even though your podcast is a form of marketing in and of itself, it still needs to be marketed. That may sound convoluted, but that’s the game we’re playing.
As with a podcast of any sort, you need to get the word out that you’re doing it. If people aren’t listening, you want it to be because they don’t want to listen, not because they don’t know you exist.
Social media is the surest way to spread the word of your podcast. You should even isolate certain clips of note and post those to social media, as well. If these clips are especially interesting, then they will bait people in enmasse.
As social media is so restrained,particularly Twitter, posting clips from your podcast can serve as your candidate’s primary method of commenting on hot topics. In case you live under a rock, you probably know that people are getting hammered left and right for what they write on social media.
A big reason for this is the constrained space. If there was more time to say what you really wanted to say, you might be able to provide the nuance your opinion needs. Your podcast can be this for you.
3. Have A Video Component
In addition to their audio version, many podcasts now feature a video component. While this isn’t necessary, it will only expand your audience wider.
Once you start recording a podcast, you’ll have a product, so the more ways you can put that product in front of people’s eyes and ears, the better. Putting up a video on YouTube will give you an entirely new audience.
You can also appeal to older voters this way, as podcasts aren’t quite as accessible as something like YouTube is. It’seven more accessible these days, as YouTube comes built-in with many modern televisions.
Not every candidate can handle doing video for several hours, but those who can will reap the benefits. All of that authenticity that’s being established in the audio version is multiped tenfoldin the video version.
There’s something about seeing a human face that allows people to connect much easier. This, combined with the relaxed, unconstrained atmosphere of a podcast can totally the public’s perception of your candidate, and for the better.
4. Come Up With Interesting Programs
One of the most obvious considerations you should have is your programming.
Your candidate can’t be on all the time, so when he or she has nothing to say, you need to figure out what else to put on.
One recommendation would be to interview supporters of your candidate. Allow your audience to get to know them and why they’re voting for who they’re voting for. The listener at home might even see themselves in this person and vote the same way.
Podcasts should also line up with current events as close as possible. If something happens in the country or city,voters are going to be interested in your candidate’s reaction.
Campaign Podcasts Are The Way Of The Future
There were books, then there was radio and television, and now the internet has created a whole slew of new entertainment mediums.
Among the most popular is the podcast, which is being used for everything from epic history lessons to deep dives of ‘70s television shows.
It’s up to you and your campaign to carve out an audience of your own.
With a podcast, you’re able to reach voters in a way that hasn’t been seen since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats.
But getting a podcast is only half the battle. You must then know how to utilize it.
While there are many aspects of a great podcast that require your attention, honesty, promotion and a video component will take you a long way.
It might even take you straight to office.