Like Facebook and Twitter, podcasts have proven to be very successful in helping companies communicate with clients and prospects.
What is a podcast (the people reading this who are over 50 may ask)? Simple – it’s like radio without the radio, but instead of AM and FM your broadcast is saved as an audio file and made available for free on the internet to anyone who would like to check it out. Podcasts can be listened to in the car, on the subway, at the office, at the gym or wherever it’s convenient for the listener.
According to Forbes, there are two million podcasts registered by Google. More than 30% of Americans listen to at least one podcast per month, and nearly half of those listeners have household incomes of more than $250,000.
That’s an audience worth trying to reach.
However, a podcast should not be a 30- or 60-minute commercial for your company. People check out business podcasts because they are looking to learn something about a particular subject. The goal should be to use your podcast in much the same way you may be using your blog – to position your company as an expert within its industry.
With a blog all you need is someone who knows what he or she is talking about, and has the ability to spell words and use punctuation correctly (and based on some of the blogs we’ve seen, even that is not essential). With a podcast there are audio considerations as well.
You don’t have to hire a sound engineer and compose original music for your intro. But you should invest in a professional quality microphone and headphones. There are free software tools available online that can help with recording and editing. As for the host or presenter, choose someone with a pleasant speaking voice who doesn’t say “um..” or “like…” several times in each sentence.
Don’t Do It Until You’re Ready
Once you start a podcast, commit to it. The most successful podcasts are those that release new episodes on a regular schedule, such as once a week or twice a month. That means carving out time to choose topics, conduct research, request interviews, tape the podcast, and then promote each one as it’s completed through email, social media, your website, and in podcast directories including iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud.
Podcasts build an audience through your promotional efforts, and by getting listeners to subscribe (sometimes in exchange for a discounted first purchase or other incentive). So make sure when you’re ready to begin that you have the time and resources to keep your podcast going week after week, month after month.
Before long you may find yourself looking forward to podcast day, especially when you have a topic you’re eager to explore or an interesting guest. In addition to their marketing and sales potential, they can actually be a lot of fun as well.
There are already thousands of business podcasts, but don’t let that intimidate you. They all had to start somewhere.
If your podcast is answering questions your customers have, it will find an audience. For instance, a company that sells pet food could create podcasts on:
- Vegan diets for dogs or cats – what are the benefits? What are the risks?
- Interviews with local veterinarians – what types of pet food do they recommend?
And it can boost your company’s search engine ranking as well. Consider how more people now use their cell phones and mobile devices to search for answers in the form of a question. If your company is delivering those authoritative answers to those questions, a podcast can be a beneficial component of your overall marketing strategy.
Can We Help?
Sure we can. 360 can help you create and launch your own podcast and place it on the top podcast directories.
Want to draw even more attention to your podcast? Shoot a video version and make that available on your website and social media as well.