Short-Form Podcasting: Expert Interviews, Technical Tips, and Search Optimization | Benjamin Shapiro

Today’s Guest Benjamin Shapiro

Top three takeaways

1. Short and Sweet: Apparently, short-form podcasts are all the rage now. Who knew? According to Ben Shapiro of Martech Podcast, people can only handle about 15 minutes of content before their brains explode.

2. Hook, Line, and Subscribe: Want to boost your podcast following? Well, here's a genius idea: give people a reason to press that subscribe button. Ben suggests teasing upcoming topics in your episodes to entice listeners to come back for more. It's like a never-ending cycle of podcast addiction.

3. Size Doesn't Matter (Or Does It?): Okay, so apparently, podcast length is a bit of a controversial topic. Some podcasters, like Andrew Huberman, can yap away for three hours and still have a massive following. But for others, like Ben and his 15 minute episodes, shorter is sweeter. It all depends on the topic, really. So, if you're into deep dives, go for the long-form. If you're more of a bite-sized content consumer, stick to the shorties.

Links & Resources from today’s show

Welcome to Pod Junction, where Business Meets podcasting, whether you're on a morning jog, driving to work, whipping up a meal or just taking a moment for yourself. Our weekly bite sized episodes promise fresh insights from successful podcasters who have cracked the code of using podcasts to grow their business. So whether you're a podcasting newbie or seasoned podcaster, grab your notebooks and get ready. Well, welcome to Pod Junction. My name is Matt Edmonson beside me, as always is the talented, the extraordinary, the debonair I've been on. How are we doing? I've gotta save it cos I'm, I'm the challenge is what, what's my intro gonna be next time? Uh But yeah, welcome to the show.

Welcome to Pod Junction. Great that you're here. Great that you could join us. Uh And as always, we are gonna talk about how to use podcasting uh to grow your business. That's what we're getting into. Tips and tricks. Today, today's guest is, that's your cue.

By the way, we're gonna have uh Ben Shapiro or a clip from Ben Shapiro's um podcast episode with Matt. And um yeah, he is, he hosts the Mar Tech podcast, which is another great show. Actually, Ben's a great, great guy. He's, um, I've been on his podcast again. It's funny, uh, the, the podcasting world as you go through, it starts to become quite small, uh, in a lot of ways because you get to know a lot of the podcasters, um, either because they're on your show or you go on this and usually quite often you do the podcast swap, you come on my show and I'll go. And so Ben is one of those guys, which is great and it's great to get to meet him, uh and uh hang out with him and record this interview that we've done with him.

So, yeah, we're going to play a segment from that. We're going to jump straight into it almost. But, um, yeah, welcome to episode three.

I was thinking actually on the way up to the studio because the studio is on, it's not on the ground floor. We have to go up a flight of stairs to, to come to the studio. Uh on the way up that when we recorded these interviews with the guests that we have, um, it's fair to say we didn't have the Pod junction podcast in mind. No, we did not. We had something entirely different. And I thought, um because we have a podcast agency or in media, we were like, listen, we, I, we could just go interview people about podcasting and use it on the orum media site.

Right, get some great content. Um And we got some incredible uh content, some great interviews, Beth put together a really great PDF which I'm sure if we haven't done yet. At some point, we will put on the pod junction website that cos it's already there. You can just download it from these conversations. But what happened was when we did this and we thought this stuff is so good um that we just didn't want to throw it on the orient media site. And so out of that, we were like, we could do, we could do a podcast where we talk to podcasters about how to use podcasts to grow your business. So that's where this whole podcast is coming.

We're on episode three now. We are, we are very early doors and I get that. Um But that's where the whole thing came from, wasn't it? And so we did these interviews. Uh and we were like, man, this is such great stuff here. So, yeah, when we did these interviews, we didn't know pod Junction was gonna be a thing, but it wasn't, we, we didn't even have a name, we didn't even know we were gonna do a separate podcast. So, um it's just really fascinating, isn't it how this has all sort of come about? Um So, yeah, that said, let's hear from the Inc I'm just looking for the button on my thing here. Uh Let's hear from the incredible bench period. Then set and I'll be back to have a conversation about what he is going on about. Oh, yes. So, here we go. So, it's interesting. You, you've chosen to not do a s, a weekly hour long podcast, but a sort of daily 15 minute podcast, which I suppose is the same amount of content, but you've broken it up differently. Is that right? Yeah. Um, that's correct. And the rationale for that is first, we looked at the data when we were, I started launching hour long weekly podcasts and people listened to 25% of them and the feedback I was getting are these interviews are great.

The content is really good. But I was looking at the data and saying, well, people are telling me they like it, but then they're not sticking around for the whole thing. And so what happens if I cut the interview in half, maybe it's just that the interviews are too long and they don't have a time to spend an hour listening to a marketing podcast. And what I saw was that the consumption rate went from 25 to 50%. And then we cut the interviews in half to get to 15 and we were, you know, at 90 plus percent average consumption rate. So it allows us to get the entire arc of a story into the consumer's ears.

The other thing that allows us to do, um it allows us to put a hook for why somebody should subscribe. Hey, you know, we're going to talk about why you should create short podcasts today. And if you want to hear more about how to distribute your podcast, join us again tomorrow. And so that gives somebody a reason to press subscribe. And so we started to see our following numbers went up as we shorten the episodes. And the last thing it does is with more content. You get more cracks at the app store, right?

You get more titles, you get more topics. So you get that long tail and more sort of organic search growth. Um You know, Apple is no different than Google or Amazon. The search algorithm is one of the primary drivers of people finding your podcast. And so I get to write three titles in an hour as opposed to just doing one episode and hoping that the, the one title I get is relevant to people that are searching.

Well, that, I mean, I, I totally get that. It makes a lot of sense. I guess my, my thinking here, Ben and tell me what your experience is is I hear that. And then I just think man, that's gonna take a lot more work. Yeah. So that's really where the infrastructure I focused on building and every look, everybody's got a different methodology.

Some people turn the mics on and start talking and they've got great podcasts. Ours are edited and produced in a minimally viable fashion, right? The content is edited and I, you know, I record it, I give it to an editor. They put music in the front, they put the ad insertion points in and then music at the back and they go through and they make sure that the audio is clean. So, you know, coughs, burps and sneezes are all edited out. But also in the recording process allows me to have a back channel conversation with the guest. Hey, is there a story that you want to tell that I'm not asking questions about, is there anything else that's relevant? And all those sort of like you tell me what's important about this topic, um makes a better experience for the guest in my opinion and allows um for me to not be the subject matter expert but to get the, the important content out. Um So, uh you know, I, I feel like it provides a little bit more polish in the episodes because we're able to make it an informal recording process. Um and then do some editing after the fact that we can rearrange content as well.

So, um I don't know, the the short format content is something that has worked for me. And I know people that get tens of thousands of downloads for an hour long podcast. Uh You know, we focus on a specific type of content and we're trying to help educate people and build daily habits and we have these topics that are so big and rich and deep and complex that I feel like, you know, 15 minutes of focusing on what's happening in Martech or how to be a better technology driven marketer or how to be a better seo, you know, that's all people can really take is that 15 minutes and if they start building it in 15 minutes a day, over time, they're gonna be better at their jobs and better understand what's happening in their industry. If you're intrigued and want to dive deeper into this conversation, check out pod junction cohort where you can listen to the complete interview and much more simply visit the pod junction dot com for more information about how to join. Welcome back. Oh, yes. Uh Do check out the pod junction dot com to find out more about the cohort uh and watch the full interview with Ben who is an absolute legend. And the, the thing that I loved about the interview with Ben and the conversation uh as you saw in that clip was this concept of short form podcasting, short form uh time frames. Because if you are familiar with any of the podcasts, I do, they're always about 45 minutes to an hour. Um So the Ecommerce podcast push the interviews tend to be about 45 minutes and they're very deep, there's a lot of conversation going on. Um And they do work well for us. Uh It's not that they don't work. Um And it's not that long form podcasts don't work.

I mean, you take somebody like Andrew Huberman, his podcasts are like three hours long, you know, and he's like, got one of the best podcasts or most popular podcast in the world. So he's not particularly worried about time. Um But there is obviously a place for the short form content podcast. And this is a really, this was fascinating to me from what Ben was saying, you know, and what he was talking about and what he discovered because his podcasts were like mine, they were like this hour long thing which he cut down and it would be fair to say S A that we have actually been having conversations about doing this with certainly with the Ecommerce podcast, right? So, thanks Ben. So, yeah. So, um, short form, what do you think? Um I think if I was, if I was so I'm not talking as a podcast producer or host or anything, I'm talking as a listener, I think if I was consuming that it would depend so much on what the topic is.

So, I get what he's saying that because the, the topics that they cover are so big and so heavy that the bite size suits their listeners. I understand that. But I think, yeah, for me, it would have to depend on what the topic is because sometimes you do just want to deep dive into a topic. Yeah. You do, which I guess is why Andrew Huberman Podcast do super well. You know, and you want to go a little bit deeper. Um And I think what I liked about what Ben was saying was actually they experimented with different times and they found what worked well with their audience and that's probably the key in all of this, isn't it? Really? Um You can have an idea, you can start with an idea. And if you've got a podcast, audio up and running, um you can look at the data and like Ben did and say, well, actually, people are disengaging at this sort of mile marker. Um And if that's the case, then experiment with doing shows around that kind of length to see whether you get um increased listenership.

Now, you will notice I did, I did write in my notes. Actually, this is quite interesting as he was talking, I'm thinking there may have been some influence over the Pod Junction podcast here hashtag to say, and the reason I'm saying that is because um we took these interviews, like the one we did with Ben, the one we did previously with Dan Yellow and all the ones that we've got coming up and to reemphasize, you can listen to the en the entire interview, the interview in its entirety uh If you are part of the pod junction cohort. So um the pod junction dot com is a place to find out more about that sales pitch over. Um, but the, the interviews that we did were like, they weren't because I had so many questions, right? Um And so we were like, well, we could just put those as an individual episode and then we were like, well, what would happen if we cut them up? And this idea of one point for one episode. So today we're gonna talk about short form podcasting.

We might go on a few rabbit trails here and there. But that's the sole topic that we talk about, isn't it? And last time, episode two, all about doing, um, some interview tips with Daniella and episode one, why would you start a podcast? And it was this one topic? And so the thing that intrigued me that came out of this was, um, what Ben said was you could take an interview and you can create three or four headlines. So if you think about how we've done that already with Danielle, like why start a podcast?

That's a piece of content that people can find. Um, top tips on. I don't know what the podcasts are going to be called yet because we've not got that far in our planning at the time of recording. Um, but, you know, top tips on how to interview guests, uh, with Daniella Warner. And I think, um, that's a really interesting concept. And II, I do like that idea.

I do think it takes a bit more time to implement and we can talk about how we do this show maybe to speed time processing up. But I thought that was, that was a good consequence of doing the short form content with the same guest. Yeah. Yeah, just what I mean. So what else do you want to say? Um I found it quite interesting how he was talking about keeping his podcasts, very polished, so, very clean and, you know, cutting out all the ums and Nas and the coughs and the burps and editing it to that degree.

I thought that was quite fascinating because that's something we don't, we don't do. Yeah, to be fair to Ben. I don't think he, it super polishes it, I think it's sort of minimal editing. So maybe if there's a sneeze or a cough, they'll take that out. Um Whereas we tend to leave that in unless it's really offensive as well as really offending coughs and then, you know, we, we will take it out. But um we tend not to, you can get software now that will just do that at a push a button, just take all of that sort of stuff out. Uh We intentionally don't do that. Uh So why do we intentionally not do that? Um I think for us it keeps it more natural, it keeps the conversation just flow.

The flow is better. So the output then is better too, I think, um what do you think? Is there anything more to add? Well, I think it also keeps our prediction time down. That is true, which is an important thing. It genuinely is, you know, um because that was, I think one of the questions I had for Ben in that clip was, does that take an awful lot more time? And then he started to talk a little bit how you can use processes to help you decrease the time. So the way that we record the pod Junction podcast has been designed to minimize, in effect the amount of production work that we have to do post recording. So we record the whole podcast in its entirety. So sa and I will sit here so the intro that you hear with the music and then sa you know, is prerecords, the software we use called ECM. Then comes on to us.

We do the welcome. I, you've seen this um Here, I think I can not let me do it on this camera. There we go. So you can see my little uh stream deck if you're watching on youtube. Um That's got some scene switches on it. So I can do all this. Uh I can flip between setup's camera between my camera and then the joint camera. So I can do all of that with a sort of a flick of a button really. Um And it just means that everything is here.

It's, you know, it's, it's done. We do the welcome. We listen to the clip. Um All the animations are done, either they're already recorded as separate videos or they're done uh live as we record and then we play the outro music. Um at the end of this, we'll play some music and yeah, thanks for joining us. Uh SAR, bye for now. Um And so the whole thing's recorded in one take, we're using the road caster, which again, I think if I do that, no, get the right camera angle.

That's the one this thing here. Uh the broadcaster. Um We use that to record the or so there's a lot of stuff that happens that we've figured out, haven't we over the years that we kind of go if we do this now, figure out the tech, it means there's a lot less production. I don't have to send the, the we record all three camera feeds. I can send those to Tanya who's great at this kind of stuff and she can do the editing post, but we don't, we're just like this, just throw it up and get it, get it out. So we do try and make the whole process easier for ourselves. Um Especially because it is a short form type video, uh podcast video, short form type video. So we, we aim for like between 2030 minutes. Um And so because we want to get them out, we wanna make that process super easy, which is, I think is what Ben was talking about, he has a process which I think is ma which makes it straightforward for him to get a 15 minute podcast out every day. And so I think the way that Ben does this, the way that we do it is you get a guest, you interview them, you cut that interview up, that gives you your five episodes for him, your five minute 15 minute episodes, which gives me enough content for a week is just that the production team have to be a bit more on point to deliver that. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Fair point. Yeah. So the only other thing then that I um I said the only other thing because there's quite a few on my little list. But um some of the things that Ben said that I thought would be worth uh bringing in, haven't interviewed a fair few folk on the short form video, uh short form podcast is that you, I like how they, he actually records the interview in the snippets. So what we've done is we've recorded the interview in its entirety and then we cut out that bit.

We now, now we understand pod junction in the format. If we were doing those same interviews, say with um Ben or with Daniella or, or the other guys, we would have recorded those podcasts in a, so those interviews in a different way, right? Um And this, I like because if I'm recording an interview for Econ podcast. I would just record the whole thing from beginning to end in one tape, what Ben's methodology suggests and what we're doing on this particular show and the reason why I like it and it may be uh just putting it out there. We don't, we've not decided we're testing, it may be that we move the Ecommerce podcast to this type of performance is you get to record something with your guest and then there's a few minutes of feedback, that sort of offline conversation with the guest to go. How was that? Like Ben said, is there a back story here that I should be asking about and all that, which you can't do in a full length interview.

So, um the theory being that it gives you better interviews, which is going to be quite fascinating and I'll be able to report back on that once we start recording the interviews for pod junction in a different way. Um But yeah, I thought that was quite an interesting way of recording the interviews with the guests and that sort of an unusual benefit you got from doing the short form uh podcast format. So top marks to be there for that. And yeah, uh would I listen to a 15 minute podcast every day?

No, because I don't listen to podcasts every day. I listen to podcasts. Most days there are some days where I don't travel to the office, for example. Um And I tend to listen to podcasts when I'm traveling in the car or on my bike. And full disclosure, I have those headphones that allow, you know, they sit here what they call the aftershocks things so I can still hear traffic. So I'm not being a total numpty when I'm on my bike. Um But yeah, I, I tend to consume podcasts when I'm moving. Um And if I'm not moving as much that day, like, I'm working from home, I tend not to consume as many podcasts. So I don't know if a daily one would work for me, but again, it's figuring out what's right for you and your listener, right? Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Is there anything else you want to throw in here?

Um, I'll just throw in that something he said about interviewing, which reminded me of what Daniella said in the last episode that you're not, that he's not an expert in the subject matter. Yeah. He's just guiding the conversation. That was quite good. So, yes, it is.

It's good because you don't have to be an expert in what the person you're interviewing is the expert. That's why they're on the show, right? So, you don't need to be the expert. You just need to be able to ask reasonably good questions. Um, which is a fair point, I think. And I think they're very well made. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Cool. So, is there anything else? No, I'm good. You're happy. I'm happy. Everybody. Ladies and gentlemen, please note this moment.

I'm glad we're recording it. We have, we have that right. That's, that's very true. Very true. So, yeah, short form video content, regardless of if you're just starting out whether you're doing podcasting already. Um It's always good to think about the optimal time for your audience.

The key being your audience, what's gonna resonate and work for them and understanding that you might not know it today. Um But you can look at data, you can experiment, you can try different things and see what happens to your numbers, see what happens to your engagement as you play around with different formats. Um But yeah, hopefully that's helpful. Any questions do let us know um or get in touch with Ben. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you at the Mar Tech podcast. Um We will of course link to Ben in the show notes and his podcast.

Everything will be in there, you can crack on and say, how's it to your heart's content. Um But that's it from me. That's it from sa uh we will be back in the next pod. That's another thing. Actually, he said in his podcast, uh he said he tells people what's coming up in the next podcast to encourage people to subscribe. And as we were watching that clip, we said, we should probably start doing that.

So, in the next uh podcast, you see, we learn as much as anybody in the next podcast we have got Ben again talking about talking about just trying to set up in the deep end, set up, put the clips together. I did the interviews a while ago, put the clips together. So yeah, um we're going to find out that episode. I'm gonna tell you exactly what's coming up in the one after. That's all you heard it here.

First, ladies and gentlemen. Uh so yes, this is as pivoting and learning as we go along. So, uh on that very reason alone, you should definitely subscribe to the show. Alright, thank you so much for joining us.

We'll see you next time. Bye for now. Bye. And that brings us to the end of today's episode at Pod Junction where Business Meets podcasting. If you enjoyed the insights from today and wish to hear the full conversation with today's special guest, don't forget to visit the pod junction dot com where you'll find more information about how you can join today, whether you listen while on the go or in a quiet moment. Thank you for letting us be a part of your day. Remember every episode is a chance to gain insights and to transform your business with podcasting. So keep tuning in, keep learning and until next time happy podcasting.