3 March 2017
Why it matters by Amanda Kleinberg
My Favourite Murder is a successful comedy/true-crime hybrid podcast. It has been rated #1 in the iTunes Comedy podcast charts and #20 in overall podcasts. It has been running for almost a year and grew a highly-engaged fan base (“Murderinos”) largely through word-of-mouth tactics. True crime is a crowded category in podcasts, but My Favorite Murder hosts Karen and Georgia bring their own shock, outrage and witty, deadpan comedy spin to their storytelling.
Whether or not you’re a true crime fan, there are several lessons you can learn from the show:
1. Be who you are
My Favorite Murder is not highly produced, doesn’t involve expert interviews and the hosts openly admit to sourcing materials from Wikipedia. They curse, show when the stories scare them, don’t edit mistakes and spend time chatting about current events before they dig into the theme of their podcasts. By being true to their personalities and not trying to be like other true crime podcasts, the hosts have found a differentiating niche.
2. Lean into emotion
Part of what makes My Favorite Murder so compelling is the emotion with which the hosts tell stories and talk about murder. Their fear, anxiety and shock comes into play and their feelings are contagious.
3. Extend stories and content across social platforms
To extend the conversation past the podcast, My Favorite Murder has a closed group on Facebook with over 100k people who post their “favorites” and discuss newsworthy cases. This keeps the fan base engaged in between new episodes of the show.
4. Know your memes
Repeated phrases like “stay sexy, don’t get murdered” and “stay out of the woods” have latched on among Murderinos. The hosts of the show have used this to their advantage by encouraging fan art around such phrases, and have created a coded language for fans to self-identify and congregate.
5. Engage your fans based on shared passions
The hosts, and many fans of true crime in general become interested in murder stories because of their “hometown murders”: cases that occurred near them and were therefore particularly resonant. The hosts of the show encourage listener submission of “hometown murders” and dedicate minisodes of the show to sharing listener stories.
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