Podcasting Is the Next Great Marketing Tool
By Veronica Esbona
Podcasting is a growing medium, and a great way for a company to tell its story. Edison Research shows that 11% more Americans listened to podcasts in 2016 when compared to the prior year. In addition, over 110 million Americans listened to a podcast at least once in 2016, and 67 million Americans listen to at least one podcast a month. The biggest contributor to this uptick has been phones and tablets, which make content more readily available and are the preferred device for consumption, with two-thirds of podcasts being accessed through those devices.
For companies looking to broaden their reach, answer questions, and give their customers more of an inside voice and wealth of information, podcasting is the next content vein to tap. That’s something tech monolith Google understood when it moved into this space last month with its release of Google Podcast. The new app has already racked up more than 500,000 active podcasts, and Google is amping up subscribers by adding podcasts into its search results. This means there’s even more reason to focus on SEO terms.
Companies must prepare their marketing efforts for this new reality. Here’s how to launch a podcast and have it stand out:
- Set goals: Write down what your podcast needs to achieve for your business and brand. Have a plan for what should be shared, how often, and who your target audience for your podcast will be.
- Have an editorial calendar: All great content starts with a well-executed plan and calendar. Your calendar should break down the topics that will be covered and production timeline for everything that’s needed to execute each podcast. This will create a budget and story plan, and hone in if you can truly keep up with a consistent podcast schedule.
- Build quality content: Your content should always do two things: inspire and answer questions. This isn’t the medium to be overly promotional. Do your research and determine what your audience wants to hear that would be engaging and interesting. You can certainly pepper the content on the value of your brand, but first and foremost, it should connect and resonate with your audience.
- Invest in the right tools: Your audience members will tune right out if the audio isn’t stellar. Have an appropriate room to record in, microphones, music and other audio for intro and outro, sound editing software like Audacity or Garageband, Soundcloud and iTunes for uploading, Skype for co-hosting and recording calls, a transcription service to transcribe the podcast (SEO friendly), and Blubrry to gather stats on what’s working.
- Be consistent: Audience members will be more likely to tune in if they know your podcast delivers right on schedule. You wouldn’t keep subscribing to a daily newspaper that didn’t deliver daily, would you? Find a schedule that works for you, even if it’s once a quarter. That way you haven’t bitten off more than you can chew and have time to learn and build quality content.
- Lead listeners to your podcasts: To build an audience, you need to promote your podcasts. Put it on your website, email signature, or your newsletter. Tell your customers in person about it. There are lots of avenues you’re already using to spread the word about your new podcast. Once you start having a conversation about your podcast, also keep your ears open for anything your customers are saying that might be a good topic for your next episode.