Audio and video podcasting are both popular methods of reaching audiences since emerging as a subscription media in the mid 2000s. Today, podcasting continues to be an important medium for distributing information, entertainment, and virtually any other component you might expect to find in traditional platforms such as radio, television, and film.
It’s no surprise that large corporations investing in advertising against audio and video podcasts are seeing incredible (and highly trackable) returns. It’s taking time for marketing firms to embrace any new distribution platform, though the ones that do are coming back for seconds, and thirds. Why is this? Why should your company have a podcast of its own?
The answer can be found in the difference between an active and passive audience. If someone subscribes to a podcast, they have already demonstrated an active interest in your brand or content. This interest can be easily steered into action items such as visiting a specific website, taking advantage of a free trial, or even sharing your content on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Should Your Business Consider Starting its Own Podcast?
Advertising your brand on an existing podcast is one way to get people’s attention, but if you want to build your brand’s reputation within your industry, it never hurts to set yourself apart from the competition by doing something very few other members of your industry are doing.
Producing your own podcast, or sponsoring the production of a podcast targeted to your company’s niche gives you several key advantages. An in-house podcast demonstrates expertise in your market segment. Your own podcast provides direct access to educating potential customers. And you have a much better platform on which to directly convert listeners who are fans to paying customers and potential advocates.
Consider the names you trust in media. If Dr. Oz, for example, were to put his name on a product and sell it in stores using his own show as his primary advertising medium, his audience would likely have a much higher conversion rate than if he didn’t have his own show. Without his trusted brand, Dr. Oz would be completely dependent on finding other shows with a similar demographic to carry a 30-60 second ad. Having a connection beyond just selling your products or services establishes trust. Trust is the best tool for conversion out there, hands down.
How Do You Build Your Audience?
This is the tricky part of podcasting, but it’s equally as tricky for individuals wanting to entertain as it is for brands hoping to build a customer base. Ideally, your podcast should be informative, honest, and entertaining. This doesn’t just mean recording 10-30 minute interviews with your staff and asking them why people should buy your product. In fact, you should consider your podcast apart from your brand as much as possible.
Give your company as much air time as you would your favorite sponsor. Focus the majority of the podcast on information your target audience will find useful. Dedicating your entire show to the benefits of your products and services comes off as an infomercial – no one wants to subscribe and frequently listen to an infomercial.
Let’s say you run a software company that makes tax software for individuals and small businesses. Your podcast could be filled with useful information for your targeted audience that helps them with various financial situations. You aren’t required to limit yourself to just tax related topics. Financial planning, budgeting, and investments provide material related to taxes, which adds diversity and allows you to demonstrate expertise across a spectrum of financial topics. Start a podcast that regularly covers financial topics and positions them in a way that makes it easier to present your product as part of an overall financial plan for success. Mention it for a minute in the middle of your show, and make sure that you do so in a way that makes it easy for your audience to understand that you’re taking a break from the main topic to cover your sponsor.
Then, go back to the main topic and let your useful information and earned influence do the rest.
With some time and polish, your podcast can become an incredible part of your business strategy. It will help you to not only build a reputation in your industry, but to earn the trust of your potential customers for years to come.