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How a library podcast can drive 30% more website traffic

Welcome to episode 003 of Library Figures. In each episode, we interview a new guest and hear about one of their favorite marketing strategies. In this episode, we’ll be speaking to Scott Jarzombek about his unique and successful library podcast, Albany Made. He’ll be sharing with us the benefits of including a podcast as part of your library marketing efforts as well as some of the successes and mistakes he’s encountered along the way.

Key Takeaways:

  • How much time is needed to setup up a new podcast;
  • What podcasting equipment you’ll need;
  • Strategies for determining a target audience;
  • Deciding on the length and format of your show;
  • What metrics you’ll want to track to increase success;
  • The impact Albany’s podcast is generating.

Interested in hearing an episode for yourself, you can listen to Albany Public Library’s podcast here.

“When we do a podcast, sometimes we see traffic increase to our website, specifically the Albany Made page, 30 to 180% over the year before.”

-SCOTT JARZOMBEK

Scott C. Jarzombek is executive director of Albany Public Library (APL) in Albany, NY. APL is an award-winning, seven-branch school district library that serves the 98,000 residents of the city of Albany and has an annual operating budget of $7 million. Jarzombek holds a master of library science degree from the University at Albany in Albany, NY. He has a long history of creating and cultivating key community partnerships during his almost five years at the helm of APL, and during his time leading North Castle Public Library in North Castle, NY, and Pawling Free Library in Pawling, NY. He currently serves on the Albany Promise Leadership Council and Leadership Tech Valley Steering Committee, both in Albany, NY.

We are beyond excited to introduce you to episode 003 of Library Figures with Scott Jarzombek.

Scott Jarzombek discuss marketing public libraries
Scott Jarzombek Albany Public Library

Read the Episode Below

[00:00:31] Tyler Byrd:
Hey, all. Welcome to Library Figures, episode three. So, for this episode, we’re going to be interviewing Scott Jarzombek. Scott is currently the executive director for Albany Public Library and has roughly 28 years of public library experience. Scott, I met last year beginning of the year when I was in Albany, New York. I was visiting Clifton Park Half-moon Public Library system and had reached out to him and just said, “Hey, can we get together and chat for a couple hours? I’d love to hear what you’re doing when it comes to marketing.” I got to tell you, that conversation I had with Scott was really inspirational. Some of the things that he was talking about and thinking about were things that I had never heard other libraries describe or even consider.

And so when I started thinking about why I wanted to do a library marketing podcast, Scott was one of those people that I really felt strongly about getting on the show so that he could share some of that insight that he’s been doing. Today, he’s going to be really just touching on one topic, but I’m hopeful we can get him back in the future to kind of go over some of the things that they’re doing, because I think he has a ton of value that he can share with everyone.

And I know that leaving today’s show, he’ll give you a couple ideas of what you can do in your public library system to drive more awareness, and, again, get more people into your branches and using, and checking out, and increasing circulation. All right, let’s jump in. Meet Scott.

So, I’m super excited to have you on the show today. Thanks for joining us. For those of our listeners who don’t know who you are or haven’t met you yet, why don’t you take a second to introduce yourself?

[00:02:03] Scott Jarzombek:
I’m Scott Jarzombek. I’m the executive director of the Albany Public Library in Albany, New York, which I always remind people is the capital of the state of New York. We are a library that has seven branches and serves a city of about 100,000. That population actually surges to about 150 to 175,000 during the work day. And we have about 65,000 cardholders, and we are the central reference library for Rensselaer and Albany County. Some information about me, I started as a children’s librarian, became a teen librarian with Albany Public Library for about nine years. Left for a little while to try out administration, which I really enjoyed. And came back to be the executive director about four and a half years ago.

[00:02:53] Tyler Byrd:
So, Scott, you and I met last…well, at the beginning of this year if I remember correctly. Time goes by so fast. I was over at Clifton Park doing an onsite visit for their library website project, and you agreed to kind of get together with me for a bit. Ever since that conversation, I’ve wanted to do this podcast because I think you’re one of those few librarians that I’ve met that is really thinking forward about the industry, and where it’s going, and how you can kind of use your library to kind of get in line with that trend and support patrons and their borrowing habits. So, I’m really excited about this. And I just wanted to put that out there and say thank you again for joining me on the show today. So, you have a strategy. We’ve talked about it a little bit. Why don’t you give us a run down of the strategy we’re going to be talking about today?

HAVE YOU MET PIOLA?

She's redefining how we think about library websites.

[00:03:40] Scott Jarzombek:
So, about two years ago, the library started doing a podcast, and this is… We’re really lucky. Including myself, a lot of our staff come from music industry background. It’s just the nature of the city that we live in. And so we had that ability to have somebody who was comfortable with hosting the show. We have some staff who work in our maker space who have some experience doing audio engineering. And also you have an executive director who loves podcasts and thinks this is a really great way to promote the library. And then a public information officer who is always kind of willing to try new things. And Stephanie Simon, our public information officer, is someone who likes to think about new ways of promoting the library to maybe people who don’t know about us.

[00:04:29] Tyler Byrd:
So, within that… I know a ton of other libraries that kind of thought about this and have mentioned it offhanded or in passing. How long have you been doing your podcast now?

[00:04:39] Scott Jarzombek:
It’s about two years now. And one thing that we’re doing different than some of the library podcasts that are out there is we’re not… It’s not about the field. It’s not about the industry. It’s something… It’s a show that is being used to promote culture and arts. And sometimes we dive into libraries. But it’s patron centric. It’s more about things that the patrons are going to be interested in hearing. Or people in Albany might be attracted to the show and then go, “Oh, wow, I didn’t realize the library was doing this or was thinking about this.” So, it’s more outward facing than industry inward facing.

[00:05:20] Tyler Byrd:
Yeah. Which I think is super important. There was a very recent podcast I did with Kim Crowder from Indianapolis. Same deal with events. They took this patron facing focus and just, “What do the patrons want?” And it really drives a lot of results, so I love hearing that. When you kind of look at that approach, and you say, “Hey, what is that our patrons want to hear? What are we going to talk about that our patrons will be interested in,” how did you figure that out?

[00:05:45] Scott Jarzombek:
Well, it’s looking at what programs are popular and also looking at what resources are popular. And I can’t think of something more popular that’s kind of Albany centric than our local history and our local history collection. So, a lot of our podcasts kind of have a connection to that space. Public libraries… We talk about we’re not a repository. We’re not here to store material. But the one section of our service where that changes is local history. And that’s where we really do become a repository because we have items that are available. They’re quirky. They’re different. They’re a little bit more underground so you’re not going to find them in other repositories for the city. And also they’re really accessible to the public. So, a lot of our really popular podcasts have been centered around and even used presentations just about local history.

[00:06:44] Tyler Byrd:   
Okay. So, give me kind of quick rundown. What’s the show format look like? Are you interviewing someone? Are you reading something from maybe a historical document or reviewing a historical document? What is it?

[00:06:55] Scott Jarzombek:
So, almost all of our podcasts have been us bringing someone in from the community to interview. And this is kind of… I have a little bit of a background in music and kind of the music business, and how you promote bands, and how you promote artists, or how you promote shows. And my view is that if you bring outside agencies and you bring people who aren’t within the organization, not only is the library going to promote it, but also that outside organization is going to promote it as well or that individual is going to promote it as well. So, the majority of the shows are interview focused. And then we have the occasional show where we know we’re going to have a really great presentation, and we know the presenter well enough that we know what will translate on a podcast. So, we did one about bobsledding in the city. And that worked out really, really well. We just took a live presentation and did an audio of it and then presented that as the podcast.

[00:07:57] Tyler Byrd:  
I’d actually like to see the bobsledding in the city. That’d be pretty cool.

[00:08:01] Scott Jarzombek:
Yeah.

[00:08:02] Tyler Byrd:
So, when you’re looking at that… Let me tell you what I think I just heard you say. You’re leveraging the audience from your interviewees to help you extend that message further into your community. And so it’s not just about to people who are organically listening to your podcast that comes from your library, but it’s also the people who are interested in the interviewee and their audience that you’re now getting in front of. Is that right?

[00:08:26] Scott Jarzombek:  
Yes, exactly. Because part of the reason we’re doing a podcast is to get to a new audience. 65,000 cardholders out of 100,000 is pretty good. But we want more. We want everyone in our city to have a library card. And the age that we see people drop off, the demographic, is often the demographic that also is very into formats like podcasts for the way they’re intaking their information and their entertainment. So, to me, if someone listens to our podcast but never steps in the door of the library, that’s fine. Because that means we’re creating a new service for them. But at the same time, our hope would be, “Oh, wow. This is really great. And they’re talking about resources at the library. I want to learn more about this. I want to read that book that they’re talking about. Or I want to go to a presentation that’s like that. So, maybe I’m going to start coming to a program or just generally start coming to the library.”

[00:09:23] Tyler Byrd:
Yeah, or, “Maybe I want to swing by and see if they actually have a bobsled there on site.”

[00:09:26] Scott Jarzombek:
Yeah. No bobsled on site. Sadly.

[00:09:29] Tyler Byrd:
Dang it. [Laughs]

[00:09:29] Scott Jarzombek: 
Sadly. So, now you got my wheels turning.

[00:09:31] Tyler Byrd:
[Laughs] It’d be kind of cool. That would be kind of cool. All right, so within that, run us through some of the results. What are you seeing right now? Two years in, what’s going on?

[00:09:42] Scott Jarzombek:
So, it varies depending on the podcast. We did one for our banned books week. And for banned books, we do a fantastic… Basically it’s a readout, and we partner with the New York Civil Liberties Union, the local chapter in Albany. And this is a program we’ve been doing for years, and we kind of… Programs, any program that you see that you’ve been doing for a long time, sometimes the attendance starts to wane a little bit. And then it’ll pop back up. But it’s always like, “This is a great program. We want to do it. But we want to get our numbers up.” So, we actually brought in Joanna Paladino, who is of the New York Civil Liberties Union local chapter.

And she came in. She talked about banned books and what her organization is doing. She promoted the readout. And she’s a fantastic… The other thing is when you have guests, you really want to screen the guests. You want to make sure these are people who are comfortable with public speaking. She was fantastic. I could listen to her talk about anything. But she kind of promoted it by talking about local artists and the musicians are involved, and the community members, and how much she liked APL as a partner.

And that really…that increased the attendance for that program. Increased it by 22% over the previous year. And I really think that had a lot to do with the podcast. There were a lot of new faces in the room that day, and I think those are people who are podcast listeners that maybe saw her Tweet that she was on the show or saw other people related to Civil Liberties Tweet about her program. And then it’s like, “Oh, well, she and a bunch of other people are speaking. This is going to be great.” Her group shared and liked it on social media posts, which then probably got us a few more likes.

And then it got some more traffic to our website. When we do a podcast, sometimes we see traffic increase to our website, specifically the Albany Made page, 30 to 180% over the year before. And when you look at you’re doing changes, you’re doing something new, when you see an increase of 183% of hits to that page, you’re going to say to yourself, “Well, it’s got to be the podcast that’s driving this traffic.” If it was a 20% increase, you could say, “Oh, maybe they were just interested in the program.” But seeing that big of a jump is really… You know that you’ve promoted this thing, and it’s driving traffic to your website

[00:12:08] Tyler Byrd:
Yeah, absolutely. Anyone who is listening to these by now knows that I will geek out on metrics all day. And the fact that you are really looking into this, I think, is exciting. A 22% increase, that’s huge across the board.

[00:12:24] Scott Jarzombek:
Huge.

[00:12:26] Tyler Byrd:
And then driving that much traffic to your page and your site, especially I think with that audience that you’re looking at and demographic trends is also really important. That’s building your brand awareness. And hopefully you can do it in a way that you’re showcasing other services. Are you seeing this kind of tied through to other events that you’re doing or other promotions you’re doing, too?

[00:12:45] Scott Jarzombek:
Without a doubt. Whenever we have an event promoted through the podcast, we really see an increase in interest on social media. And then that probably drives more page views on social media. And that’s bringing a few more people in the door. But what it also does is it makes people aware of what the library is doing. And it gives you the ability… We do our annual community report, and we do it in a video format. And then we go, and we present to about 26 different neighborhood associations and community organizations. This year, we did a podcast version.

And while it wasn’t…it’s not our most successful podcast, it’s not something that got a huge amount of downloads, at the same time, it was 20, 30, 40 people in the community that weren’t able to make those meetings, that aren’t able to come to board meetings but now have heard our message maybe for the first or second time. And it’s helped them with… What we hear from the public is, “How do we promote the library to our friends and neighbors?” And it’s having a podcast format and say, “Hey, you know what? Take 15 minutes out to listen to this podcast. And it’ll give you some ideas about how you can promote the library when we’re asking for a tax increase.” And it’s been helpful. Our budget votes have…by percentages have gone up every year. And even this year when we were kind of the… The state has a budget tax cap that we can go over, but it’s not ever popular.

And even this year, I think we saw about 76% yes votes for our budget. And I think that has to do with the fact that we’re using multimedia the way we are, and we’re getting that message out to our ardent supporters. And they’re hearing that message. And then they can turn around and repeat that message to their friends and neighbors. So, it’s even worth doing… If you’re not getting hundreds of downloads, it’s even worth doing if you’re only getting a handful. Because again, it’s reinforcing your message to people who are going to be repeating that to their friends and neighbors.

[00:14:48] Tyler Byrd:
Hey, all. I wanted to take a quick second and tell you about a project I’m really excited to launch this month. It’s called Piola. Piola is a digital library branch, and it’s replacing library websites. No long is a library website just a marketing and communications portal. It really is a digital library branch where patrons are coming to find the best experience possible and really learn everything that your library has to offer, and access all of that fantastic content and a user experience just like what they’d get from a traditional branch.

We’ve taken thousands of hours of research, including heat mapping, user surveys, video recordings, patron focus groups, A, B testing and conversion rate optimization, content audits, and a whole lot more in order to figure out what patrons really want and expect from their public library website. We’ve rolled all of that into the best most affordable website product possible. You can launch it in less than 30 days, and you’re not going to find anything else like it on the market today. If you’re interested because you’re struggling with your library website today, and you might want something a little bit different, I encourage you, head on over to meetpiola.com and check it out. We look forward to seeing you there. Thanks.

[00:16:04] Tyler Byrd:
When you’re looking at this content, and you’re out there, and you’re recording these podcasts, you can put them out as audio files and let people download them on iTunes. But you also have the opportunity to use them in all kinds of other ways. So, you kind of mentioned using them for social media posts. Are you also having them translated and used as blogs, or articles, or…?

[00:16:24] Scott Jarzombek:
We haven’t done that yet, but it is something we have discussed. Because our view is kind of you can’t just focus on one thing. You can’t just focus on social media. You can’t just focus on content creation. You can’t just focus on video. Everybody takes in information differently. I prefer to read things over watching video. I know I am kind of an outlier on that. But it seems like people in the library community, library supporters, they like to read. So, we haven’t really explored that, but that actually might be something we’re going to talk about in the future. But we do a lot of blogging, and we often… I do a blog for our local regional newspaper. And a lot of times, I point from that blog…I point people back to the website or the podcast just to do that cross promotion and kind of get people interested.

[00:17:20] Tyler Byrd:
We’ve seen a lot of success with that on other blogs and podcasts. If you just have it transcribed, and you put the audio file on your blog, people are going to run by it. But now it’s going to show up in all the Google search rankings for those key words that you’re talking about or for that topic that you’re discussing. And so it’s that evergreen topic. In your case, if you’re talking about history work, people for generations are going to want to be coming back and researching that. And it’s going to create that brand awareness for you.

[00:17:46] Scott Jarzombek:
And one thing that we’re doing is we’re actually doing, again, this focus on local history. At our Arbor Hill branch, they’re kind of doing a local history for the neighborhood going out into the field and using Zoom recorders and doing interviews. And I have a funny feeling that that’s going to end up…parts of those interviews are going to end up as part of our podcast. And then we say, “Well, if you want to listen to this full interview, you may have to show up at the local history room.” But we’re creating content, and some of it, we’re just kind of B rolling it and storing it for later use but also having it so that someone can come in the local history room and listen to the full interview.

[00:18:25] Tyler Byrd:
I also often think of libraries as kind of this repository of information. And whether that’s in digital or print, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re storing physical things but that you have information that’s available to your community. And that, I think, is really neat. Because I think that starts playing into what we see when it comes to maybe future trends and how current trends turn into future trends about us creating our own content, too…

[00:18:49] Scott Jarzombek:
Yes.

[00:18:49] Tyler Byrd:
…and making available community content. It’ll be interesting to see how that turns out for you. So, Scott, tell me this. Give me a rundown. What are you using to record your podcast? What kind of equipment? If another library decides, “Hey, we’re going to do it. We’re going to give it a shot,” what do they need to get?

[00:19:04] Scott Jarzombek: 
So, we have a pretty good set up. But I say that, and I think people think you need an audio recording studio. And you don’t. We do it with a laptop. I think we use a Mac laptop, but you can use just a regular Dell Latitude. We have a pretty high end recording software, but Audacity works really well. I’m not the tech guy, but I have enough of a tech background to understand that you can go out, you can buy two decent mics, do some research, look through Amazon review. Pick up a couple mics, a small mixing board with an interface that goes right into a regular computer, and you can use some very basic software out there. It is not hard, and I am almost 100% sure there is a librarian on staff at every public library that’s out there that can do the basics of recording and know the basics of getting the equipment.

[00:20:01] Tyler Byrd:  
What kind of mic do you have? Do you know?

[00:20:04] Scott Jarzombek:
That I don’t know off the top of my head. I wish I had know what equipment we use. I’m pretty sure it’s a Shore mic. We have… Because we do a lot of music programs, we have some pretty high end equipment for performance and recording. But we didn’t go out there and buy new equipment to do this. We did it with the equipment that we already had in house.

[00:20:27] Tyler Byrd:
Okay, nice. I know for those that were interested, I’m using just a Blue Yeti mic. I think it cost me 100 bucks.

[00:20:34] Scott Jarzombek:
Yeah.

[00:20:34] Tyler Byrd:
And these are really popular for podcasting. And then Scott and I are dialed into Skype right now. And I’m using Adobe Edition to record. But did you say what recording software you’re using?

[00:20:45] Scott Jarzombek:
So, I don’t know… I think we’re using either Garage Bands… One of the more nuanced recording software. But I know a lot of people who do podcasts, and they use Audacity and some free programs that are out there. And they do pretty solid podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis.

[00:21:03] Tyler Byrd:
All right. And I know even Skype now in their latest release has a record button. So, if you want to do a video recorded podcast with the audio, you could just hit record right from Skype, and it’s going to record both sides of it. It’s going to show both pictures. And you can use it for YouTube as well as kind of pull that audio file off and upload it for just audio, which is neat. So, if you were going to do this again, starting fresh, what would you do differently?

[00:21:31] Scott Jarzombek:
So, what we’re talking about now, we’re actually losing our host. The person who… Sarah Clark, who is the host of the program and kind of the producer, she is going to become a director at another library. So, we’re happy for her. But it’s giving us some time to kind of go, “Okay, how do we pass this torch on to the next person?” So, make sure that if you have a large staff…make sure you do some cross training, which we have done but not enough of. So, do some cross training. Another thing to do is plan out your shows ahead of time, which is what we’re doing now.

Look at your calendar events, look at your major programs and say, “Okay, we’re doing this. We should plan to do a program around this. And these are the people we should ask to interview.” And you should do that a month… You should have a year-long calendar of what…that ties into your library calendar or a six-month calendar and start thinking about not who you’re going to interview next week but actually who you’re going to interview in a few months. Because that gives you some chance to do some background research, make sure that person can make it.

And it makes it so that you’re dialed into…if you’re the host, you’re dialed into hosting. If you’re the person doing the recording, you’re dialed into the recording for that day. And you’re not running around last minute. The library right now, we don’t have a dedicated recording space. So, some of the things that we ran into because we have such a portable setup, which is great, but it was also we got to find a room where there’s no noise. And these are all the things that we’ve learned to do that I wish we had been doing since day one.

[00:23:09] Tyler Byrd:
Those are great tips. So, within that, would you also start off interviewing, or would you do it with your own content?

[00:23:16] Scott Jarzombek:
I would say start out with interviewing. And while you’re doing interviews… Your first few episodes, do interviews. Pick a program, a good… If someone is coming in and doing a presentation that you think will translate well to audio that isn’t visual heavy and the speaker is okay with it, record a live presentation, see how you do with it, and see if you can tie that into your podcast. So, the first few months, I really suggest people don’t do their first podcast with just three talking heads in the room talking about the podcast.

Find an interviewer, pick a subject right away, interview that person right away. That will… A lot of podcasts will live or die by that first episode. And basically you will be put lower down in the queue if your first episode is just an introduction to the episode. I think you should come out both guns blazing. You’re competing with probably thousands of podcasts that are out there. You need to get your listener hooked. And make sure that your first podcast is quality. Because if it’s not, that will also bump you down further in the queue of listeners.

[00:24:29] Tyler Byrd:
Okay, so I just deleted my first podcast, the intro to Library Figures and won’t be doing that one.

[00:24:35] Scott Jarzombek:
Yep, sorry. Sorry. Do a good 15-minute intro at the beginning of your first episode but still have some solid content to follow up after that.

[00:24:45] Tyler Byrd:
That makes sense. That’s good advice. Okay, so that’s perfect. And then any advice on length, how long they should be?

[00:24:51] Scott Jarzombek:
I was introduced to podcasts listening to podcasts like Joe Rogan, which are like three hours. Or Hardcore History, which is a fantastic podcast. It doesn’t come out enough. And again, a three-hour podcast. But I have learned to start enjoying the 20 to 30-minute podcasts. So, I would say the majority of your interview podcasts would be 20 to 30 minutes. And that’s including beds, and intros, and outros, and some plugs for your programs and services. But don’t make it any longer than 30 minutes. And dedicate about 20 minutes to that interview, the main core of what you’re presenting. And then kind of do that intro in the beginning and do that outro at the end where you put… And it’s really important. Plug other things that are going on at the library. Almost basically do a commercial for the library.

[00:25:44] Tyler Byrd:
Okay, I like it. Any specific metrics you would tell people that they would be looking at to figure out how to improve or what their results are, if it’s working for them?

[00:25:53] Scott Jarzombek:
Well, see what your downloads are, see what your subscriptions are, and don’t just use iTunes. That’s a major mistake that I see people use. Don’t forget the Android users. Because the majority of podcasts are listened to on phones, on smartphones. So, make sure that you’re out there… I use Pocket Cast as kind of my… That’s my go to for listening to podcasts, but there’s Stitcher. There’s a bunch out there. There’s even Spotify that’s out there. When you do that… When you only focus on one distribution channel, you’re missing out on a lot of other people.

And library users tend to be…get a lot of Android users at the library. And especially savvy library users. So, make sure you’ve got that market covered. Also make sure that you have a listenable link on your website. Because some of your listeners aren’t going to be podcast listeners. They’re going to be library supporters or won’t be as tech savvy when it comes to downloading podcasts. So, if someone can just go to your website and click on that link, and it automatically plays, you’re going to get a lot of listeners. And look at your downloads not just in iTunes but in all of the ways you’re disseminating that information and combine that.

And also look at if you’re promoting a specific program, is this drawing more people to the program. Do surveys. We don’t do surveys at programs. We talk about it all the time. That’s something that we want to do in the future. And do those surveys and find out, “Hey, how did you find out about that program?” And that helps you concentrate, “Hey, if you got…” Out of the 40 people, if 10 of them came to the program because they heard it on the podcast, then you know you need to spend time on the podcast. You’ll probably see 20 to 30% probably came through social media. So, keep using that social media channel as well.

[00:27:41] Tyler Byrd:
So, okay, one more question for you here, Scott. Tell me this, how much time, if I’m starting a new podcast, do you think I should give it? Let’s say length of time as far as number of months or number of episodes before I decide whether it’s working for us or not.

[00:27:57] Scott Jarzombek:
I always say give something about six months. And it’s really dependent on how well you’re promoting it. If you don’t have staff buy in… And staff buy in for these types of things are really, really important. If you don’t have staff buy in, then you don’t have front line people promoting your podcast. So, make sure you’re doing it on social media. Making sure you’re doing it on your website. But also make sure that if you have a maker space, the person who’s running your maker space, make sure that they’re promoting it to your regular maker space users. Make sure your reference librarians are promoting it.

Make sure you’re talking about it to your friends group and your foundation, and they’re promoting it. If you’re doing all those things, give it about six months, see where it’s at. I would say you’re going to dedicate about three hours to an episode. You’re going to need to do scheduling, which is probably going to take about an hour. You’re going to need to do prep work both before and after the recording, so that’s going to be another hour. And then probably doing the podcast itself, even if you’re only doing 20 to 30 minutes, you’re probably going to be spending an hour making sure all the kinks are worked out to make the recording the best possible recording you can get.

[00:29:06] Tyler Byrd:
Yeah. So, six months, what kind of frequency? We’re not talking about one podcast in six months.

[00:29:06] Scott Jarzombek:
No, no. I would do a podcast a month to two podcasts a month. What I think always works is do a podcast a month. And then those extra podcasts that are talking about the budget or promoting a special… Something that you want users to know about, that thing that I talked about where it’s not going to be your most popular podcast, but it’s good to do it this way. Then maybe do two podcasts a month where it’s you have your content driven podcasts and then your promotional podcast. But do about six episodes over a five to six-month period. And then really dive down deep and look at your metrics and see is that three to six hours a month that you’re doing this…is it worth the time to make this podcast.

[00:29:53] Tyler Byrd:
Yeah. Okay, so that’s all great. And really, really good advice. One of the things that we’ve seen is that user behavior is people are binging now. And so when they go onto Netflix, they want to watch everything at once. They’ll sit through for the entire day or weekend and get the entire season in a single day. We’ve seen that translate to podcasts where if you launch a new podcast, and you launch it with five or six episodes at the start, they will listen to all of your episodes and then start coming back for more. And then iTunes…

[00:30:25] Tyler Byrd:
…will give you a better rating. Have you seen something similar?

[00:30:28] Scott Jarzombek:
I haven’t thought about that, but that’s definitely something that I’m going to look into more. That makes a lot of sense. Whenever I subscribe to a new podcast, I usually dive into five episodes in a row because I’m really excited about the content. So, that makes a lot of sense. And I think if a library can do that, if they have the bandwidth, if they have the staffing to do that, you might want to add three in to kind of get people interested in the podcast. Especially if you’re doing 20 to 30-minute podcasts. Because again, that answers the people who get introduced to podcasts for that Hardcore History long format.

[00:31:05] Tyler Byrd:
Very true. All right, so speaking of a 20 to 30-minute podcast, this is… We’re coming to the end of our show here. So, Scott, tell me this, is there one other person out there that you kind of look at, whether they’re in the industry or they’re outside, that’s doing something cool with marketing that you think libraries could use that I should talk to?

[00:31:25] Scott Jarzombek:
Right now, I’m thinking… Because I follow a lot of libraries. So, I really like the Guilderland Library, which is kind of a suburb of Albany. It’s one of our libraries that we’re partners with. They’ve done a real good job of recognizing what their audience is. They do some quirky and fun stuff that we might not do. But really it really kind of plays to their audience and the types of users that they have. And those are the libraries that always impress me. The Poughkeepsie Library down in Duchess County, same thing. They really figure out who’s enjoying their marketing, who’s engaging in their marketing.

And I think that’s what every library does. You can’t use the Albany Public Library template and do it in a smaller town or even a larger city because of that. You got to look at your audience. You got to know your audience. What are they going to enjoy? What are they going to engage with? Is it more photos? Is it stronger, more serious content? And I’m thinking of those two libraries. They do a pretty good job. It seems like they’re very locked into their audience. My experience is more administrative and more higher elevation. And all I can say to my fellow library directors that are out there or assistant directors is also when it comes to podcasts, look in the municipality, city, town that you’re serving. Are there other hyper local podcasts? And if there are, reach out to them and get on their shows.

[00:32:55] Tyler Byrd:
That’s awesome.

[00:32:56] Scott Jarzombek:
Because that’s how you’re going to get the word out. You can get news coverage. It’s going to be played for ten minutes. You’ll get a 20-second soundbite. And a ton of people will see that. But it comes and goes. But these podcasts are out there. You make a relationship with these local podcasters, you get on their shows. You get to share the library’s story, whatever topic they’re covering. It’s really important. And again, that gives you a way to promote your podcast. So, library administrators, don’t be shy. Get out there, get interviewed on these shows. It seems like it’s a small audience. But scale it down. If you’re in a town of 10,000 people, and there’s a local podcast that gets 500 listeners, that’s a pretty… That’s 500 ears that you may not be bending that you get to do your library elevator speech to.

[00:33:50] Tyler Byrd:
Yep, so true. So true. And they’re podcast listeners.

[00:33:52] Scott Jarzombek:
Exactly. Exactly.

[00:33:56] Tyler Byrd:
So, you know that they’re going to be more likely to listen to your content. Scott, if we have some listeners out there, and they wanted to kind of talk to you more about this, or learn a little bit more, or reach out to you, how can they get in touch?

[00:34:04] Scott Jarzombek:
It’s very easy. If you go to our website, you can get my contact. You can reach me at director@albanypubliclibrary.org. I have a page on Facebook because I’m not a Facebook user, but I know I needed a presence. And that’s another advice I have for directors. Have an official Twitter account. I have a Twitter account. I have an official social media presence. And that’s where most people find me, and that’s where I get people who come and communicate with me. So, just look for Scott C. Jarzombek on Facebook or Twitter. Contact me through there. Or my favorite means of communication is old school. It’s email. So, just email director@albanypubliclibrary.org. I love talking about this. If you want some advice on how you can convince your administration or board to do this, I’m the person. If you want more technical stuff, I can put you in contact with Ryan, who runs our maker space, or Stephanie, who is our public information officer. And they can talk to you about the more technical aspects.

[00:35:10] Tyler Byrd:
Awesome. Thank you so much. This is going to be great. To everyone listening, I’m going to go ahead, and I will put all that contact information in the show notes. Scott, if it’s all right with you, I’ll get a link from you separately of your podcast, and I will put that in, as well as an example. And maybe if we can get some examples of some social media posts where you’ve shared and used those to promote it, we can do that as well. Actually while we still got you here, what’s the name of your podcast?

[00:35:38] Scott Jarzombek:
It’s called Albany Made. So, we kind of view it as apart of our maker space, and our maker space does a lot of audio recording. So, it’s a part of the Albany Made Maker Space, but it’s called Albany Made.

[00:35:51] Tyler Byrd:
Okay. Perfect. To everyone out there who’s thinking about this, definitely go download that. Listen to it. Get some inspiration. And don’t wait. Get started. Give it a shot. Get going. There’s no better time than now. Podcasts are huge, and this is going to make a big difference, I think, for everyone. Scott, thank you so much for taking the time today. I know how crazy busy you are, and I just really appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:36:16] Scott Jarzombek:
Thank you, Tyler.

[00:36:20] Tyler Byrd:
All right, before we head out, just a couple more quick things. If you know somebody that you think would be a great guest on this podcast, and you’d like to hear us interview them, I’d love the opportunity. Send me their name and their contact information at hello@meetpiola.com. That’s hello@meetpiola.com. And I’ll do the hard work of reaching out and getting them scheduled so that all of our listeners will have the opportunity to learn more from them about the great marketing strategies that they might be using. We’re constantly looking for new guests and great guests on the show, and I would really appreciate the opportunity to meet with your connections and get them up here to learn more.

Second, if you’re enjoying the podcast episodes and so far you like what you hear on Library Figures and the content, head over to iTunes. You can subscribe to the podcast to get future episodes. And while you’re there, if you could give us a five-start rating, that’d go a long way in letting us know that you like the content, and you like the show, and we should continue doing it. Alright, until next time, all. I look forward to being on the air again and the next great interview we’ll have up. Take care. We’ll see you next time.

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