Podcasts are not new, and they aren’t quite as hip and fresh as they once were. But “hip” doesn’t always make for a good marketing channel, nor does mundane make for a bad one.
If you’re looking for a new kind of content to incorporate into your content marketing strategy, you should consider a podcast. Many marketers embrace the usual suspects of content marketing – blogging, social media, email marketing – and when they want to broaden their horizons they might move on to YouTube videos, eBooks, and infographics. But podcasts tend to be overlooked. Perhaps they seem like old news, or maybe they feel boring.
Podcasts may be one of the last channels people think of when it comes to content marketing. However, they have a lot of value. Maybe you’re one of those marketers who’s tried every other kind of content, from eBooks to webinars. Or maybe you’ve stuck to safe, mainstream forms of content, like social media and blogging. Either way, podcasting can be a smart next step.
Check out our own Measurement Doctor podcast!
One of the best reasons to consider starting a podcast is the opportunity to increase brand awareness. Like other forms of content marketing, podcasts aren’t advertisements. Instead, they provide valuable information and entertainment to consumers.
This has a couple of important effects. For one, it demonstrates your expertise and authority. By speaking about your business, your passion, and your background, you get to show that you are so much more than just a peddler of goods or services. At the same time, you get to share your personality with your audience. People get a chance to really connect with you and your brand. And they’re more likely to buy from someone they trust and like.
A second effect is that having a podcast causes your audience to associate your business with that medium. And that’s the essence of brand awareness. Even if a particular consumer isn’t looking to make a purchase, he or she might be looking for the information you have to offer. If you’re successful in delivering that information in an engaging and personable way, that consumer will begin to associate you and your podcast with your industry.
But Isn’t Podcasting on the Decline?
Actually, it’s not. between 2015 and 2016, podcast listening grew 23 percent. And monthly podcast listenership has increased 75 percent since 2013. If you didn’t notice that growth, you’re not alone. Podcasts don’t seem to be getting bigger. If anything, we hear less about them now than we did a few years ago. But they have grown – it’s a quiet growth, but growth nonetheless.
The main driver of this growth is increasing mobility. People are ever more liberated from their computers, but not from their desire for information and connection. Just a few years ago, most podcasts were heard from home computers. But as of 2016, 64 percent are listened to on a smartphone or tablet.
64% of Podcasts are listened to on a smartphone or tablet
We are no longer homebound when it comes to reading, listening, and watching. The more we are uncoupled from our wired devices, the more we move about. And the more we move about, the more we use our mobile devices. People with long commutes and other stretches in their days still want opportunities for learning and entertainment. Podcasts provide those opportunities.
Now Make Your Podcast Shine
If you’re still with me and starting to think that a podcast just might be a good way to garner some brand awareness, it’s time to think about the best way to construct your podcast. After all, they’re not all created equal.
Having a podcast is as much about writing as any other type of content is. Unless you are a brilliant improviser, you need a decent script, or at least an outline, behind your podcast.
You also need a plan that goes beyond a single episode. If you’re looking at each podcast as an individual entity, you’re creating more work for yourself. The best podcasts are created with the whole series in mind. That means you need to think from the outset about how all will be structured.
Perhaps you want a chatty opening, followed by a point-by-point informative middle, followed by a closing that reminds listeners of your brand and your continued commitment to providing quality content.
Once you have a set structure, creating each individual podcast becomes a much simpler feat. Without structure, you don’t know what to do and your audience doesn’t know what to expect.
You should also think about whether you want to be the person on air. Voice talent is just like every other type of talent – not everyone has it. And there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t have a compelling on-air personality.
You can’t be expected to be a performer just because you have an amazing knowledge of your own industry. So, evaluate yourself and your limitations honestly. You might find that you are best suited to writing the script or outline, rather than saying the words.
If you do realize that you aren’t the voice for the job, invest in a professional to “perform” your podcast. It might seem like a frivolous expenditure, but it’s not. A professional speaker can give voice to your words, just like an actor can bring out the best in a brand through an advertisement. Of course, a podcast isn’t an ad, and it shouldn’t be treated like one. But you still want to bring out your best qualities, and sometimes it takes a specialist to do that.
Make your podcast a priority. It’s always difficult to tell which parts of your content strategy should be prioritized. While you should be methodical about structuring your resources and time, you should not undertake a marketing task that isn’t wholehearted. Good marketing requires commitment. Great marketing requires full commitment.