008 – Beta-test your Podcast on WhatsApp as you create branded Podcasts to increase your revenue, with Amar Vyas
Amar Vyas is the Co-Founder of Kamakshi Media, creator of Baalgatha- Podcast of Classic Childrens’ stories, and author of the Amol Dixit series of books. He creates branded Podcasts for his clients to increase their revenue.
If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Once you enter the bedroom the cell phone enters airplane mode. The goal is to have no cell phones inside the bedroom.
The word Kamakshi has several meanings depending on who you talk to. It can mean love, the Goddess of love or it can mean wealth. We wanted to share knowledge and create wealth in the form of knowledge. I’ve been listening to podcasts from about 2005. When I was applying to business schools, I used to listen to podcasts from Harvard Business School and London Business school, etc. They would talk about the application process, courses to take, career choices, etc.
I used to head Amazon fulfillment centre in India. It wasn’t exciting me anymore. I wanted to do something to let us feel we were doing something great (my wife and me), and that we both enjoy doing. We don’t come from a technology background. My wife has been insurance for many years. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot of skills…
When we started out I was using literally $100 recording set up. My biggest investment was a $70 microphone. I used a 10-year old laptop to record the first 100 episodes.
We wanted to find out what it takes to work out a frugal sort of set up.
Setting up a Podcast
A podcast is on demand audio. The number 1 question I get asked is, “What is a podcast; followed by how do you make money? That’s where branded podcast comes into the picture. It’s been a short learning curve.
It’s no different than launching a business. I like to answer the 6 questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how. Whether it should be 1 show or multiple shows. You should be very clear why you’re launching this show.
If you’re an author, are you using it to grow your audience or connect with your readers? Then comes the format; there are multiple formats for a podcast, should it be discussion base or interview based; should that be like be news and opinion based; industry trends and analysis or completely different from any of these that we talk about.
Next, should it be a single host or multiple hosts? After that comes the duration…5 minutes, 20 minutes. What about the frequency…daily, monthly. There are no right or wrong answers.
The number 1 question is your audience. Why should they be spending so much time listening to the content that you’re producing?
Then there is the technology part of it. How do I record? Do I use Skype? I have a blog post titled 7 different ways of recording podcasts online. Which method do I follow?
What are the most typical ways recording…
If it is an interview-based show, I like to make it a no-brainer for the guest…my top 3 choices are Skype, Zencastr and Clean Feed. A lot of people in India love to record their podcast using cellular phones. Clean Feed works very well on chrome browser. The advantage of using Skype is that it is easy for the majority of people. The advantage of using Zencastr is that you can record using your web browser so that you don’t have to install any software and most important it can do some of the basic audio processing on its own. the sweetest thing is that you can save your file to your dropbox account so you automatically have it backed up in the cloud.
You Beta-tested on Whatsapp…take us through the process…
The philosophy we operate on is to make the content a no-brainer for the listener.
The number 1 App for download in India is WhatsApp. I didn’t have to teach anything. I thought what if I send these contacts information about the podcast? People in India like to share content within their networks.
As we started implemented it, we recognized that WhatsApp in India is what mailing lists are everywhere else globally. It’s such a no-brainer. This is like a one-to-one- option, exactly the same way mailing lists work with MailChimp, Aweber, etc.
Why create a branded podcast?
If for example, Google sponsors The Entrepreneurial You series, Google gets the branding and gets to associate themselves with the world of entrepreneurs. As the podcast grows, they can start offering discounts for persons who want to set up their businesses. This is the advantage to a sponsor by setting up a branded show.
Determining audio or video
For the advertiser, video dominates in India. About 90% of the digital content consumed in India is in form of video. We’ve test marketed some of our shows; we created YouTube videos out of the children’s bedtimes stories. Compared to our regular audio feed, YouTube probably got the equivalent number of listeners without any promotions, it was all organic. It is important to understand your market very well. Had we focused only on India, to begin with, we should have gone with video. That’s where the most engagement is happening.
Be very clear why you want to do a podcast. Of the 6 questions, the why is most important. It’s a lot of hard work. When I just started out it used to take me 8 hours of my time for one episode of a podcast. That’s a lot of investment by the time your file is ready. Once you start getting the reviews, there is no greater feeling than seeing the 5-star or 4-star reviews on iTunes and somebody saying this is exactly what I was looking for or it solved a problem I was faced with.
- WhatsApp in India is what mailing lists are everywhere else globally.
- You must be able to answer the questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how.
- Be very clear why you want to do the podcast.