Our morning commutes, our grocery shopping trips, our workouts: There are plenty of moments in our day that we wish were a bit more stimulating. Still, these hours are important, simply because they are often the only moments that are solely ours — which also means we want to get the most out of them.
And while you often can’t watch the news, read the paper or talk to an expert on your favorite subject while you go through these daily motions, many have found the next best thing in the podcast revolution. Informative, entertaining and accessible, podcasts offer something for everyone in downloadable, talk radio-like bits of media, and the genre is evolving every day, covering any topic ranging from movies to math to marketing, and in formats that include Q&As, news downloads, musicals and live shows.
A survey by content and research firm Bredin revealed that one-third of business owners listen to podcasts, proving that the genre is reaching audience members where they are and giving them content they want — and it’s not nearly as hard as it might sound.
The breadth of information and freedom of creation available in the genre, however, can be intimidating for marketers taking the first steps toward their own content. This is an often-missed and extremely valuable opportunity. Many bigger companies have already jumped on the podcast trend. Take a note from them and reap the benefits in all three of these categories:
As with all other marketing platforms, the focus is on your audience — in this case, your listeners.
Broaden your reach. When you publish your podcast on one of the main platforms, your audience instantly becomes broader. You’ll suddenly have a new platform, a place to be seen both by those looking for your content and those who may stumble upon it on the home page of a podcast app.
Increase accessibility. People listen to podcasts during some of the most personal parts of their days: in quiet moments before work, while folding laundry, while cooking dinner. When they do these kinds of tasks while listening to your content, they instantly feel more like they know you, which helps you build trust, loyalty and brand recognition faster than with most platforms. Most importantly, audience members have chosen to listen to you, meaning they are more likely to be receptive to your message.
A podcast can work well with your sales strategy, adding an effective step to your sales funnel.
A one-on-one sales pitch. A face-to-face interaction is the most powerful method of connecting with potential clients, but it’s impossible to get this kind of access to everyone. Thanks to the more casual and accessible format of a podcast, you have a chance to make your pitch in the same way you would one-on-one, but to a wider and already interested audience.
Showcase your expertise. Your listeners are searching for information on your specialty, and they can get it directly from you in a podcast. This is a unique opportunity to position yourself not only as an expert in your field, but to do so in a personable way, through your own voice — literally. Think of it as one of the easiest ways to appeal to both the head and the heart.
Cross-platform promotion. Any new platform presents an opportunity for exposure on others. Use web banners to advertise your latest podcast episode on your homepage, or even embed a playable link so visitors can listen right from there. Use the transcript from the episode as a blog post, or choose some of the most interesting quotes to share on Twitter or Facebook. Even taking a photo of your recording setup and posting to Instagram has been proven to interest audiences.
Brand and Culture
Any opportunity to more clearly define who you are and communicate to your potential clients is one you shouldn’t pass up.
Personalize your brand. Letting your audience hear from you directly is one of the quickest and easiest ways to infuse your personality, or the personality you are creating for your company, into your brand.
Create a tone. The same way you strive for consistency in the visual elements of your marketing, such as in the logo or your marketing materials, you should strive to create a consistent tone in your episodes. This may be light and conversational, or more academic and explanatory. Consider the power music has in setting the tone as well, and select your introductory and transition music carefully.
Team building. Setting up and orchestrating a podcast requires a team to work in synchronicity. The preparation process of scheduling interviews and writing a script, the actual fun of recording, and the final stages and editing process all require input from your whole team. This presents an opportunity for finding and tapping into individual strengths, creative collaboration and interesting conversations.