Podcasting isn’t new, but it’s certainly important to understand how podcasting can benefit your business. It’s been an active form of audio content for more than a decade. However, it’s generally one that many businesses overlook. The word “podcast” is a blend of the two words, blog and iPod.
It’s often presented as a series, and listeners tend to subscribe to podcasts that they’re interested in. They can then receive the podcast delivered directly to their iPod, smartphone, or other device. This type of content can be a compelling one for many businesses.
How Podcasting Can Benefit Your Business
As an alternative content format, podcasting brings with it unique challenges, but also unique opportunities and benefits. The benefits include (but aren’t limited to):
- Increased authority – Podcasts are often hosted by an expert. They can be interviews with other industry leaders. Podcasts are also often hosted by the CFO or other recognizable name. When your prospects are able to tune in weekly and hear the CFO speak, that gives your organization and your information immediate authority.
- Larger reach – Podcasts are another marketing channel that can help increase your reach. For example, if you list your podcast with iTunes (a quick and easy process), then you can now reach iPhone users when you’re listed in the podcast catalog.
- New/fresh content – Audio content is another way to keep your content fresh and up to date. The content you share in a podcast will generally be timely, and therefore may add some depth to your content mix. For example, you might talk about recent changes in the industry or a controversy that’s brewing.
- Different audience – People that listen to podcasts may not be the same people who read blog posts or subscribe to email newsletters. It enables you to talk with new prospects.
- Intimate – Listening to someone speak to you is much more intimate than reading a blog post. It helps you build relationships with your prospects and can be a good lead generator.
Like pretty much every other content format, it can also drive traffic, boost search engine optimization, and generate leads. It can be another tool in your marketing toolbox to help your organization achieve your goals.
The Role Podcasting Can Play In Your Content Marketing
Creating content for a podcast is a bit different than other content formats. Instead of structuring a white paper, a case study, or a blog post, you write a script. However, you can repurpose much of your existing content to create your script. For example, a how to video can be repurposed into a podcast script. It’s an excellent medium for expanding on or repurposing your existing content.
Lead generation – Good podcasts build a following. You might start with a dozen or so listeners and grow your audience to several thousand. Each new follower is a potential new lead. They’ll hear your information, maybe a few times, and they’ll visit your blog or website for more information. Generally speaking, podcasts don’t sell. However, they do build a relationship and key into several buying triggers including likeability, reciprocity, authority, and credibility.
Branding – The ability to speak directly to your audience gives you the power to be creative, informative, and entertaining in a different way. You’re able to share your company personality and the personality of the speaker. Your brand can be reinforced and communicated in a powerful way.
While creating a podcast isn’t difficult, the technology available today has made it even easier. The approach to content for a podcast is a little different than traditional written content and that might even make it easier content to produce.
Creating Your Podcast
The first step to creating a podcast is to identify the goal(s) that you want to achieve. The goals should ideally integrate with your overall marketing goals. The second step is to identify your podcasting audience. You want to make sure that you’re creating unique content that appeals to them and provides value. It’s not about regurgitating your existing content, but rather providing new information and value.
Define a theme, create a format, and determine your frequency. This is where your marketing team can begin to think outside the box. Podcasts can be whatever they need to be. There are no real length rules. It’s instead important to remember your listener. Are they listening to you during their morning commute? Are they hoping to learn or to be entertained?
The format can be anything. You can have your design team talk about new and interesting trends in the marketplace, or your public relations manager talk about industry rumors, trends, and controversies. You can interview experts, share opinions, or answer customer questions.
Alongside the format comes the decision of frequency. How often do you want to podcast? Frequency ranges from weekly to monthly. Keep in mind like other content formats, the quality of the content is always the first priority. However, frequent and consistent content helps keep your company at the front of your prospect’s mind.
Creating the podcast comes next, and again it’s relatively simple to get a professional sounding podcast with today’s audio technology. You can use mobile apps, specialty podcasting software or even free apps and tools like Skype and Audacity can be used to record and edit interviews.
Integrate, promote, and measure. Your podcasting strategy and plan isn’t complete until you’ve aligned it with your other content and ultimately to your sales funnel.
Like every other type of content you produce, a podcast needs to be promoted and results measured. You can build a following on your podcast, grow your audience, and build a more profitable business with this kind of content, if you understand how to use a podcast to deliver a valuable content experience for your audience.