10 Steps To Using Podcast As A Marketing Strategy & Why (Plus FAQs)
You’re bound to have listened to one or two, your favourites and look forward to getting your latest instalment during a daily commute.
I’m talking, of course, about podcasts. Those fascinating, insightful examples of on-demand radio that thousands of us download every day and find ourselves drawn into a world of current affairs commentary, comedy and sports.
You need to be able to listen to what your customers are listening to & not be hasty in releasing your product. You could spend about a year gathering the necessary information about your customers.
And what makes podcasts all the more interesting to people who run their own business is the possibility that podcasts might just be a successful crossover between the worlds of entertainment and corporate marketing.
So, why and how would you consider this? Are the business benefits really so tangible? The answer, it seems, is yes.
Podcast websites provide a wide range of content ranging from sports to inspiration to cooking. If you’re intrigued (you should be!) and want to learn more about podcasting, why and how it can become a marketing tool for your business, then you’re in the right place.
In this article, I’ll explain what podcasting is, where you can find great podcasts and how you can listen to them. I’ll give you reasons why you should employ podcasting as a marketing strategy (that’s if you still need convincing!) and tips to maximize podcasting for your marketing purposes.
So, let’s take a look at the how’s and why’s of this marketing ploy to guarantee you don’t miss a trick when it comes to podcast marketing.
What is podcasting?
Podcasting is a service that distributes media files over the internet for playback on a mobile device. These media files are often in MP3 Format and can be downloaded from a podcast site on the web.
The term ‘podcasting’ is actually a combination of the two words – iPod and broadcasting. The ‘pod’ is gotten from iPod, a digital audio device created by Apple while casting is from ‘broadcasting’ a term used in radio and television.
A podcast then is a series of audio files on a particular theme or topic produced on a regular basis and designed for playback on a computer or any portable digital audio player.
Podcasts can be accessed online through a computer, smartphone or tablet. Podcasts are typically free (though not all) and as mentioned earlier offer a wide range of content.
How to employ podcasting as a marketing strategy
Here are tips that’ll help you make the most of podcasting as a marketing strategy
1. Define your objectives
Podcasting for your business is a marketing strategy and as with any other, should be aligned with the specific goals of your company. Start by identifying exactly what it is that you want to achieve with podcasting.
Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, revenue generation, improving your company’s reputation, better customer engagement, increased site traffic etc. Start and tailor your podcasts towards those objectives.
2. Don’t just focus on promotions, create valuable content
You can’t sell anything without value. This may seem obvious, but most marketing podcasters make the mistake of being too promotional and the podcasts end up being basically commercials with little or no value added to the listeners.
The best strategy for producing podcasts that sell your business is to focus on creating and sharing value through quality content and a network of strong relationships. Stumped as to what to talk about? Consider the following:
- What processes go into making your product?
- What are the skills needed to deliver your service?
- Do your customers have interests that revolve around your product?
Then talk about them. For example, if you own a fashion retail store, you could talk about the newest trends, fashion and dressing rules, styles for holiday seasons etc. The key is to provide engaging and valuable content that also showcases your business.
3. Produce with your audience in mind
When creating a marketing strategy, it is important that you take note of your target audience – what type of people do you want to bring that product to. Understanding your customers is as important as the podcast itself. First, you identify them and then you understand them.
Your podcasts certainly can’t appeal to everyone and it will be futile to think it will. Have a target audience in mind; your target audience will be podcast listeners who derive the most value from your podcasts.
Learn as much as you can about them and tailor your content to their peculiarities, needs and responses. This will ensure that your podcasts, promotions – and ultimately your business – finds and connects with them.
4. Segment your audience
Naturally, as a marketing expert, you know and value the work that goes into creating marketing segmentation. You recognize the hours spent analysing your customer base and creating those avatars that represent who buys your goods and services.
But, just imagine if you could take this market research even further and create great swathes of content that your specific customers can actively sign up to receive. This could have even greater success as a call-to-action than even your mail out or newsletter.
5. Keep it simple
Start at a sustainable pace. Start with content that can be expanded so that your podcast series can last a long time. If you feel you’re too occupied to create content yourself, why not outsource to a media company. But then, the more involved you are in your podcasts, the more unique and representative of your business they’ll be.
Podcasting doesn’t have to be daunting. It requires a minimal amount of time, energy and resources but the returns are fantastic and can mean growth for your business. If you’ve not thought of podcasting as a marketing strategy before, there’s every reason for you to. This medium of marketing is under-used, super effective and fast-growing. Make your business a pacesetter and start podcasting today.
If you’d rather not go into full-blown podcasting, consider podcast ads or sponsoring a podcast with similar content and target audience.
Better still, create awareness of your own podcast series by using paid podcast ads in podcasts similar to yours.
7. Up your game
Let me give you an illustration. Two companies that sell the same product have their target customers as children within ages 4-9, but over time it was discovered that company A made larger sales than company B.
This wasn’t as a result of the difference in qualities or anything.
In fact, one could admit that company B’s product has a higher quality than that of company A. However, the analysis showed that children in this age bracket are naturally drawn towards company A’s product.
Why? the answer is simple. Company A catches the attention of its customers by branding their products in a way that is emotionally appealing via rhymes and rhythms. So, before you choose podcast marketing, it is important to know what difference you can make.
It doesn’t hurt to run samples on various individuals to get the data you need. You can’t make your podcast full of slangs and colloquialisms if your target audience is within the age of 40 & 60.
8. Give attention to details
From a marketer’s point of view, you also have an opportunity to capture audience data on a grand scale. You can capture email addresses and sign up details. With this, you’ll know how people access your podcast and if it has a knock-on effect on your website.
You’ll know when people listen and you’ll know if they listen in part or take on board the whole lot in one go. This gives you a much better indication of how long each show should be.
9. Use The Best
If you’re going to go for it, do so with the best content. Go for the most professional equipment and with the best production values you can afford. Find experts to carry out interviews, tell stories and explore quirky facts.
Make sure you hit the ground running with a first show that stops listeners in their tracks. Listeners will share this far and wide. Consider how you’ll be listed on outlets such as Apple podcasts. You can come up with a killer plan to advertise and share your efforts.
10. Prompt your listeners to subscribe and share
Don’t leave your listeners wondering what to do after listening to your podcast. End with a strong call to action for them to subscribe to your podcasts and share with others via social media, email etc.
Reasons you should use podcasts as a marketing strategy
1. Podcasts are readily accessible
Thanks to the internet and other wonders of technology! It is now possible to connect with millions of people all around the world in an instant. If you’re a business owner, that’s good news as the internet provides amazing platforms for you to reach out to people and grow a successful business.
One of such platforms is podcasting. Just as blogging avails anyone with a computer and an internet connection the opportunity to become a reporter or create content for the world to see, podcasting does the same – but mainly through audio means.
Although Podcasting was at first the in-thing for techies, it has now become widely spread in the general public.
2. Podcasts are effective
The effectiveness of podcasting as a media platform accounts for its popularity. These days, podcasts are everywhere. Individuals (even famous ones such as musicians and comedians) are creating podcasts.
Businesses have launched podcasting campaigns and it is safe to say that podcast series has gained the same popularity as TV shows as more and more people are watching and listening to them.
3. Podcasts are easy and affordable to create
Creating podcasts doesn’t involve an arduous procedure or pricy equipment. It requires little investment. You’ll need just a microphone and headphones of good quality.
The editing software you’ll use for editing purposes is free (or relatively low priced) and is easy to use. You’ll also need an internet connection to upload the podcast to your website or you can send to your customers via email.
4. Podcasts can drive more traffic to your business
Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. A recent survey shows that tens of millions of people listen to podcasts at least once every month. Using podcasts is a great way to increase brand awareness and generally generate more traffic – both to your business’s website and to your business itself.
You get to reach out to a wide range of audience and familiarize them with your business and brand. If you create great content, listeners will subscribe, regularly listen and eventually translate to loyal customers.
5. Podcasts are a great alternative to video & written content
Although video content is a great marketing tool. It has its cons as making good videos isn’t exactly easy and if you make one that isn’t up to par, it can hurt your business’s reputation.
Likewise, written content on the internet these days may not be a surefire way to capture your target audience depending on your kind of business. Why not try another solution? Podcasts!
Engaging audio content is refreshing and provides a fantastic way to connect with listeners without the monotony of video or written content. In addition, listeners can enjoy your podcasts conveniently on the way to work or other destinations.
Unlike written contents and videos, podcasts don’t necessarily need absolute concentration for your listeners to get the message being passed across. This makes it a great medium to communicate with mobile listeners. The audio format means that listeners can listen while performing tasks such as working out, running errands, commuting and so on.
6. Podcasts improve brand visibility
By hosting your podcasts on multiple hosting platforms, you increase your brand visibility online many times over. This is because your business name is in more places online.
Having an audio product or content you can showcase online is a fantastic way to improve and augment your marketing strategy.
7. Podcasts help in customer engagement
If you’ve listened to a podcast, did you notice a sense of familiarity you had with the host? It seemed as if he or she was talking only to you – as a friend. This is why podcasts are such a big hit; they sound conversational.
Podcasts give the listener a feeling that they know the speaker even though it is entirely one-sided. This feeling helps in building better relationships with the audience.
People only listen to podcasts when they believe they have shared interests with the brand or the speaker. So, this sense of familiarity goes a long way in influencing listeners’ buying decisions. Eventually, once they’re loyal listeners to your podcasts, they’ll become loyal customers too.
8. Podcasts reflect authority
Furthermore, when people listen to a podcaster speak with authority on a particular subject, they are more likely to believe that the podcaster is a guru in his or her chosen field.
This can, in turn, lead them to become deeply interested not only in who the podcaster is as a person but also in their professional lives. Herein lies the plus; prospective customers who’ve listened to your Podcasts are more likely to buy from you.
They’ll feel that they know you and naturally assume that you know what you’re doing. You develop a strong brand voice through podcasting. Podcasts give you the opportunity to talk, show your expertise in your field and also boost your company’s reputation as a pacesetter in your industry.
9. Podcasts are great for business content marketing strategy
If your business is lacking a long-term content marketing strategy, creating podcasts will invariably give you one. You’ll be forced to develop and deliver engaging content that relates to your business when you include podcasts as a marketing tool.
This is the essence of long-term content marketing, you create and transmit information that interests your audience and in turn, they’ll become paying customers. The content you create on podcasts can translate to other mediums such as blogging and videos.
10. You can reuse your podcast
Podcasts give you the opportunity to recreate content that can be repurposed for other mediums. Prepared, used and unused podcast content can be leveraged into video, images, text and commercials.
The versatility and sheer power of podcasts for informatory purposes make it a powerful marketing tool. Though this medium is in its early stages, enough podcast ads and business podcasts have shown its huge success rate. That’s all the more reason to make podcasts a major part of your marketing strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for podcast newbies
How do you organize podcasts?
Podcasts can be in series, seasons and episodes. A podcast episode is an individual podcast audio recording. The way the episodes are organized are referred to as a podcast season i.e episodes make up a season and seasons are organized into series.
A podcast series can be based on a particular theme or topic and the seasons based on subtopics within that podcast.
How are podcasts like?
Generally, podcasts are spoken words on a particular theme, topic or multiple related topics. There are podcasts for just about anything you look for – language learning, entertainment, education, philosophy, advice etc.
Podcast vary in length and frequency. A Podcast’s frequency can range from once in a few months to daily. It can also last from a few minutes to more hours. There are no set rules; the length and frequency depend on the podcaster (the person who makes the podcast). You can create podcasts with a computer and internet access. You can also produce one professionally in a studio with sophisticated sound equipment.
These types need edits and contain background music, advertisement. The podcast can be handled by a solo or multiple hosts while some are not edited at all. A Podcast’s content format can range from interviews, debates, lectures, music with occasional commentary etc.
Are all podcasts audio files?
Most podcasts are audios, though podcasts can be both audio and visual files. Podcasters nowadays have started creating visual podcasts. You can refer video podcasts as vodcasts or vlogs.
Where can I find them?
You can find and listen to podcasts on specific sites or podcast channels. If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, the most hassle-free way of getting podcasts is through a dedicated podcast app.
Quite a few are available and if you’re not sure where to start, I can recommend Castbox and Pocket cast which are both available for IOS, Windows and Android phones. If you’re going to be using a computer, the best way to access podcasts is through Apple’s iTunes software which has thousands of podcast episode listings and enables you to download podcasts and transfer them to an iPhone or Android device.
Podcasts, just like videos and images, need to be hosted somewhere on the net before they are distributed. Podcasts have networks; some networks cull theirs from iTunes listings while others require podcasters to register and set up their profiles on the network. The most prominent podcast hosting platform is iTunes which has over 1 billion subscribers worldwide. Other big ones include Podbean and Podcast republic with millions of subscribers worldwide.
Products of technology have become the essential tools that business owners need to stay afloat in the competitive world of business. Podcasts are one of the newest tools marketers embrace.
If you are enthusiastic about using podcasting as a marketing tool, then that’s because you are. The question is – why do small to medium-scale businesses use these channels so infrequently?
This wealth of information allows you to create meaningful advertising and direct marketing campaigns that often result in impactful, action-driven returns. The infrequency is quite simply because of the sheer volume of entertainment podcasts out there already in existence.
Getting your audience to listen to your niche, such as an entrepreneur podcast, will not just happen overnight. Instead, you will need to build up a loyal following which might take time to be built into your marketing strategy.
Are you a lover of podcasts? You should use it in your business too. 😉
If you’ve employed podcasting as a marketing tool, I’d love to hear from you! What tips would you give businesses who are just starting? What would you do differently from the tips I’ve given above? Leave your comments below.