Spotlight on Podcasting as a Viable Marketing Channel for Business
One of the chief advantages of a podcast, aside from the relatively inexpensive entry threshold, is that there’s plenty of whitespace in podcasting to become an authoritative voice in your business’s industry. That’s because, to date, most businesses have failed to invest in podcasting as part of their social media toolkit, leaving the playing field wide open for a company like yours.
Currently, more than 67 million Americans listen to a podcast on a regular basis. That’s a huge number! And with podcasts gaining more cache and popularity than ever, now is the best time to jump into the ring.
Recently, groups like Spotify have purchased several podcast start-ups, including content creator Gimlet Media and the Anchor distribution service, claiming narrative-audio as an important mix of the services they plan to offer. Another large streaming-music provider, Pandora, has also made a significant podcasting play, introducing Pandora Stories, a personalized way for creators to verbally annotate the musical setlists they curate for fans and friends.
These are strong indicators that audio storytelling is the next social media wave, so here are a few pointers to make sure your podcast is relevant and earbud worthy:
Content Remains King
Just as with your Facebook timelines and Instagram feeds, the key to success in podcasting remains providing audiences with relevant, rich and unique content that will ensure their continued interest in your channel. Begin by developing an editorial calendar that details your content several months in advance.
Re-visit this list regularly, and determine what timely, newsworthy and useful information you bring to your listeners as you go into production. Stay on top of the latest news as it relates to your topic themes and be sure to bring your audience the latest insights.
Be Short but Be Dependable
Your podcast doesn’t have to be an hour or half-hour long. Unless there is a topic that requires in-depth exploration, feel free to keep your runtime in the ten to fifteen-minute zone. Just be sure you are consistent with delivery. If you’ve committed to a weekly distribution, be sure you religiously adhere to that schedule. Your audience is much more likely to forgive format brevity over an inconsistent distribution model.
Interview Guests from within Your Field
Inviting guests to join you on your podcast represents a terrific twofer strategy. Your audience will enjoy hearing from another influencer in the field, and your guest (it could be a client or vendor) will feel honored that they were chosen to participate. And, both your brands will benefit from exposure to new audience segments. Be sure your guest promotes their podcast appearance across their social media channels.
Of course, you should host your podcast on your company’s web site, but be sure to take advantage of podcast aggregators like Apple iTunes, TuneIn, Podbean, and SoundCloud.
Pay particular attention to the keywords you use when describing or tagging your podcast so that fans of your product line or services will be able to discover you and your content.
Measure Podcast Performance
Downloads alone are not the best measurement for podcast success. And, while you can easily find services that provide you with age and location demographics, you’ll ultimately want to make sure your podcast is influencing customer behaviors and sales.
The best way to do this, similar to how you may have done it on other social media channels, is to deploy a promotion or offer that uses a code or specific website portal to tie that action directly to your podcast.
While sales are great, they may be slow to come at first. Have faith that your podcast is an investment in your company’s standing in the public’s eye. Corner your sector’s market with compelling content, delivered with authority, and watch the size of your audience and the frequency of your sales grow.