For businesses, podcasts present a major opportunity to market themselves. They can do this in a number of ways: via sponsorship, advertising, making guest appearances or even producing a podcast themselves. For companies looking to evolve their content marketing strategy, podcasting should seriously be considered.
Written by Ashley Wilson
Ever since the Apple iPod hit the market, podcasts have seen a large growth in popularity. Originally almost solely exclusive to Apple’s iTunes, a large number of other hosts and devices are now used to produce and enjoy podcasts. They are popular the world over and millions listen to them each day.
Why Are Podcasts Popular?
Podcasts have gained in popularity as the years have gone on. They are popular because they offer content for a wide variety of interests, from fictional radio dramas to informative talk shows. People tune in to listen to them on their way to work, on flights and around the house.
They are also flexible and on demand. Unlike traditional radio, listeners can tune in at any time. Great podcasts can be discovered later in their run or even after they have been completed, so they can serve as a way to generate attention well into the future.
Like with most tasks, the hardest part can be getting started. There are plenty of factors you should consider when thinking about adding podcasting to your content marketing strategy.
The first should be regarding the subject matter of the podcast. Be sure any subject you choose for your podcast is something with which you are intimately familiar, passionate about and enjoy discussing.
As with all business ventures and potential marketing strategies, do some research first. Find out what kinds of podcasts are popular. Successful brands that have integrated podcasts into their content marketing include General Electric, McDonald’s, eBay, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson.
There are different styles of podcasts, so you will have to determine which one will work best for your purposes.
Listen to existing podcasts of all varieties, but especially ones that are similar to yours. Consider how the presenter speaks, the format the show is in, the length of each episode and other important details. Take these ideas and use them to formulate a podcast of your own.
Producing a serious and professional podcast requires having professional-grade equipment. This includes microphones, editing software and more. Invest in this equipment so your podcast will be of professional quality from the beginning.
Podcasts need to be hosted somewhere. There are plenty of services out there that have various advantages and disadvantages depending on your goals for the podcast.
The first consideration should be features. For example, does a certain host allow the insertion of advertising? Does it provide a website? Are there any episode length, size or count restrictions?
Cost also needs to be considered. Hosting platforms typically charge a monthly fee. This should be accounted for in your marketing budget.
Like all forms of content marketing, including blogging and social media, podcasts need to be updated regularly. Choose a host that makes updating your podcast easy and painless.
Promoting Your Podcast
For podcasts to have the greatest effect, they need to be promoted. Modern businesses do this by automating their marketing processes. E-mail marketing, in particular, is an effective way to promote your podcast as well as other aspects of your business.
Your podcast should have its own website or a dedicated corner on your corporate site. Supplementary material, such as books, physical media of your podcast and apparel of various kinds, can be sold for additional profit.
Podcasts have an advantage when it comes to promotion because they are often hosted on major platforms, such as Google and Apple. These platforms allow users to search for podcasts by genre, keyword and other specifics that make it more likely your podcast will be discovered. There are outside podcast-specific search engines too.
Keywords are especially important as they are with all types of content marketing. Be sure to use the same key words, phrases, graphics and descriptions across all platforms where the podcast is hosted. These make your brand more recognizable and facilitate the discovery of not only your podcast but also your business as a whole.
Alternatives To Producing A Podcast
If you have decided that producing your own podcast is not right for your business, you have alternative options for still using this innovative platform in your marketing strategy.
The first is to appear as a guest on established podcasts. This is similar to guest blogging. As a guest, you can give your perspective on an issue, talk about your brand and impart professional wisdom.
To appear as a guest, reach out to individuals and brands that run successful podcasts. Choose podcasts that regularly have guests and that are within your field or area of expertise.
Another good way to use podcasting for marketing is to be a corporate sponsor of one or multiple existing podcasts. To do this, simply financially support an existing podcast in order to have your company’s name mentioned as the sponsor. You can consider giving away a special deal, discount or coupon to listeners.
The Challenges And Concerns Of Podcasts
As with all marketing strategies, you will have to consider who your target audience is, what they want out of a podcast and how best to reach them, among other considerations.
Another major concern is keeping the podcast going. You will need to determine if you have the manpower, resources and drive to keep a podcast going indefinitely. Always be concerned with whether your podcast is sending the branding message you are trying to convey.
In short, podcasting can be an excellent way to build your brand and take your content marketing game to the next level. This is true no matter the approach you choose to take. With some research, proper planning and some great things to say, you can leverage podcasting in your content marketing strategy to grow your brand.
Ashley Wilson is a freelance writer interested in business, marketing, and tech topics. She has been known to reference Harry Potter quotes in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley on Twitter @ashleygwilson.
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