How to Create Data Driven Conversations

About Author Graham Brown

Graham Brown is the founder of Pikkal & Co – performance communication agency responsible for producing Award Winning Podcasts for business brands. Clients including McKinsey, Julius Baer, IBM and the Singapore Government. Investors and Advisors from Netflix, Intel, Apple and iQiYi. He is a published Amazon author covering human communication technologies, marketing and branding. He has produced over 1,000 podcast episodes and webinar shows with notable shows including the Tony Fernandes Podcast. Graham is a graduate in Artificial Intelligence and is currently leading Pikkal & Co to use Machine Learning and Conversation Analytics to automate the heavy lifting of communication to elevate the human touch.

“I don’t know what to talk about in my podcast!”

I hear this a lot from our Podcast Clients before starting out.

Sometimes there is too much choice – 100 potential subject areas that they have something interesting to talk about. Sometimes there is too little, or a slight “impostor syndrome” that makes them feel they don’t have experiences or a title worthy of a podcast.

So, what do you talk about?

Many podcast hosts start out talking about what’s interesting, then end up getting swayed by the agendas of who’s available.

Availability Bias derails podcasts.

Let the Data do the Heavy Lifting for Your Podcast

What you need is a stronger overarching narrative. This is what we help clients with at our podcast agency when we conduct Content Mapping and Performance Reviews.

At Pikkal & Co, our Analytics Platform is built on the principle of “Automate to Elevate”:
– Automate the Work
– Elevate the Flow

Work is the heavy lifting of podcasting – from the operations to production to using data to identify key talking points and measure performance.

The more we can Automate the Work, the more the hosts can focus on “The Flow” – that sweet spot that makes their conversations more human.

Hosts need guidance and the best guidance isn’t opinion (they have that already) but data. For this, we use tools like BuzzSumo – a social listening tool that takes meta level keywords and tells you what people are engaging with right now.

Podcasts: Get our Guide for Corporates

podcast planning guide

Identifying Key Talking Points for Your Podcast

Let’s look at 2 examples of how to use BuzzSumo. Firstly, for AI and secondly for Venture Capital related storytelling.

My “Be More Human” podcast is about AI, Leadership and Storytelling. These are what is interesting to me, what we need to do is map that on to what’s interesting to the audience.

If you enter “AI” into BuzzSumo it will return articles which have evergreen popularity. The most popular is

“Deepfakes Are Going To Wreak Havoc On Society. We Are Not Prepared.”

It’s an article by Forbes contributor Rob Toews with 791,000 engagements on Facebook and 31,000 on Reddit (the latter being more valuable).

Here are 5 more key talking points lifted from articles with high engagement levels:

1) “Pro-Trump media outlet” 164,000 engagements on Facebook
2) “Vote Leave AI firm” 102,000
3) “Pentagon” 92,000
4) “South Korea Coronavirus” 82,000
5) “AI, Antibiotic” 72,000

Developing Meta Messages for Your Podcast

From this data you can map my meta messages with the key talking points of the public. Rather than just talk about AI, I need to talk more about these subjects. This is what people need leadership on.
In the Venture Capital search, here are some examples:

Deliveroo was the poster child for venture capitalism. It’s not looking so good now | James Ball

This post alone got 7,000 shares on Facebook and 1200 on Twitter

Here are some more:

Now, with a little detective work, you can start grouping similar narratives.

Use Data to Identify Key Concerns of Your Podcast Audience

In this dataset, there are 2 clear groups emerging that people are excited and interested to talk about:

1. The Effectiveness of the Venture Capital Model
– VC doesn’t build things
– Layoffs
– Lean Startup
– Risk
– Alternative VC

2. Diversity and Venture Capital
– VC pitch process and women
– Motherhood
– Female founders
– Funding
– Black founders

This process is what I call Performance Communication and I believe it’s an emerging science. It’s not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination, it’s about mapping your interests with that of the audience.

A simple Content Map is a 2 column table with your Meta Messages on the left hand side and audience Key Talking Points on the right.

key talking points for podcasts

Looking for Podcast Case Study Examples?

10 business podcast case studies

Podcasts: Get our Guide for Corporates

podcast planning guide

About Author Graham Brown

Graham Brown is the founder of Pikkal & Co – performance communication agency responsible for producing Award Winning Podcasts for business brands. Clients including McKinsey, Julius Baer, IBM and the Singapore Government. Investors and Advisors from Netflix, Intel, Apple and iQiYi. He is a published Amazon author covering human communication technologies, marketing and branding. He has produced over 1,000 podcast episodes and webinar shows with notable shows including the Tony Fernandes Podcast. Graham is a graduate in Artificial Intelligence and is currently leading Pikkal & Co to use Machine Learning and Conversation Analytics to automate the heavy lifting of communication to elevate the human touch.
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