038 Everything You Need to Know About Polarising Podcasts

So what does polarising podcasts mean? Polarising content is when you are talking about something that is deliberately provocative in some way, knowing it is going to get a reaction in order to grab attention. Now part of the strategy with this is that it deliberately creates controversy. You have to know that there could be some fallout as a consequence and be strong enough in your opinions to deal with any potential backlash.

Why do people choose to do polarising content?

  • Drive engagement. Social media has become a huge part to the success of a podcast so often polarising content will spark listener engagement. The more comments received on social media the more visible that post will be.
  • Create a buzz around show content. This could be both a positive or a negative buzz. Either way, people are talking about the show.

What you need to think about before you decide to put some polarising content out there

  • Is the content you are putting out there going to earn you the respect of your listeners? Your show is not actually all about you and your opinions.
  • By sharing this controversial topic, are you continuing to drive sales for your business? If you are using your podcast to encourage people into your business circle, you want to ensure your content is in keeping with that.
  • How do you personally want to come across in your content? Your podcast has to fall in line with your personal brand, your own integrity and your own values before you go ahead and do it.
  • Consider the legal situation. More and more insurance companies are, in some instances, asking to sign off on some show content that you’re going to be delivering. If you’re going to be intentionally putting something out there that is polarising, it may end up breaking your own insurance.

My personal opinion

I believe it’s okay to share your opinions. In fact, in podcasting, we have more freedom of speech than pretty much any other form of broadcasting in the world right now. I’m personally not a huge fan of polarising content. I don’t believe you have to go out there and be really controversial in order to make a difference. Yes, it could suddenly get your posts spiking and, in terms of podcasts, it can get people talking about you your show. It might well drive your show numbers, increase downloads and potentially even get into the charts. Yet, do you really want to be remembered for being that person who said a particular thing that was actually uncomfortable for the listener?

If you still feel like you want to create polarising content, make sure you’re intentional, and that you have time to deal with the potential backlash. This might mean that you want to be more available for emails or DM’s. Are you ready, willing and have the capacity in your business to cope with that?

So is creating polarising content worth it? To gain respect and to have impact, you don’t need to say things on a podcast that could get you in trouble and could massively devastate your business. However, if you want to do it, be aware that it is a tactic, so use it carefully and mindfully.

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