The minimalist approach to podcasting: make it easy for your listeners!

I don’t watch a heck of a lot of television these days, especially the free-to-air stuff. Like a lot more Australians, I’m more into on-demand series from Netflix, Stan or Apple TV. 

We have two remote controls in our house. It’s amazing how incredibly different they are. The LG smart TV remote control on the right has 46 buttons, and the Apple TV remote control on the left has 7 buttons.

How much more intuitive and easier-to-use is Apple’s control versus LG’s? Whenever you need a book of instructions to operate anything these days, already it’s too complicated.

Even the “look” of Apple’s controller seems to have 3 buttons.  

So can we extrapolate the simple design of a remote control with that of a podcast, and make it easier for our listeners?

One of the big barriers to listening to podcasts is the difficulty in accessing them. The uninitiated have to jump through what seems several hoops before they even start listening to a recommended podcast.

So, in your amplification strategy, make it easy for your audience to listen to a podcast. Don’t provide a list of different apps and platforms from where they can listen. 

Provide a direct way for your audience to access the content by embedding the player on your website. That’s the first thing.

The second thing is to provide two podcast app buttons. As most smartphone owners carry either an iPhone or an Android phone, ensure you have a link to the Apple Podcasts app or Google Podcasts app. Nothing else. As podnews author, James Cridland insists, “A big long list of apps adds confusion to most people.”

When you’re putting an episode together, make it easy for your listeners to understand. Cut the redundancies. Has your guest waffled too much? Has she repeated herself? Did her example help provide context to the topic, or did it make things more confusing?

Are your questions too long? You don’t always need a qualifying statement before launching into the question. A simple question is often more than enough.

Do you really need all the sound effects? Remember sound design should be there to support the audio — if it’s done well, the listener may hardly notice it. 

At the end of the episode, provide a simple call to action, if any. Don’t spray a whole heap of phone numbers and email addresses. I guarantee nobody is clutching a pen and paper as they listen.

Think intuitively, think minimally. Your audience will thank you for it.