Last updated 17th of November 2017
Author Lisa Hartwell
How Podcasts Can Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy
We’ve already looked at many reasons why people love podcasts, such as being available when and where the listener wants to listen to them. But there are specific reasons why organisations and businesses should consider adding podcasts to their content marketing strategy:
Good podcasts provide quality information and entertainment, and listeners grow to know, like and trust the host(s) and the things they share.
Effective Alternative to Video
I would never suggest podcasting as a replacement to your video marketing strategy, but it can offer things that video can’t, such as being cheaper and quicker to produce. Also, some people become very wooden on camera, but can learn to forget they have a microphone in front of them when they're recording in a relaxed, familiar environment.
Engage with a SpecificAudience
Businesses and other organisations can find their niche and engage with their perfect audience. Podcasts don’t always have high listening figures, but which is better: 100 regular and engaged listeners who fit your customer demographic perfectly, or 1000 Twitter followers from all walks of life and different countries who rarely even notice your tweets, let alone engage with them?
Who wants to listen to a podcast advertising my business?
Nobody! You’re quite right. Nobody will download and listen to your podcast if it's a blatant advertising vehicle. Podcasts need to be better positioned than that.
What to consider when creating your own podcast
- A podcast is a long-term investment and not an excuse for direct and pushy sales. This is where many businesses give up. If they don’t see immediate return on investment they drop the podcast because it “isn’t working.” You need time to establish yourself in your niche and build trust and a rapport between host and listeners.
- Think creatively. A podcast that spends every episode praising your business is unlikely to attract listeners, unless you have an especially entertaining business and employees. You need to find a topic for your podcast that will entertain and inform, while remaining within the focus of your organisation's aims and philosophies. One of the most original ideas I heard for a podcast recently (and as it turns out, not so original as there is more than one podcast like this) was a “Birth Stories” podcast. In each episode, a different woman tells the story of giving birth and the highs, lows and struggles they went through. It struck me that this would be a perfect podcast for any healthcare or parenting/family business to create. Think about how you could adapt that idea for your own niche.
- Tell stories. While we’re on the topic, storytelling is one of the best ways to draw people into a podcast and keep them interested. Whether you produce a serious business podcast, interviewing experts in your field, or offer tips on household budgeting, telling stories evokes emotional responses and keeps listeners coming back.
- Choose your host carefully. This person will be representing your business but also needs to relate to your audience and build a relationship with them. Your organisation may be behind the podcast, but the host will be the person that listeners will remember and return for. Your CEO or Head of Marketing may not be the right person for the job. Find someone who has a natural manner in front of the microphone and who can either talk knowledgeably on the subject or draw that information out of others. Alternatively, you could find a professional to act as your host either as solo presenter, co-host (holding things together) or as interviewer, chatting with different experts from your business and beyond.
- Keep a light touch when integrating with your business. By all means, tell your customers and clients about the podcast, but brand it as an entity in its own right, so that potential listeners don’t see the name and think they're going to be sold to throughout. Give the podcast its own website (this will also help you gauge interest and efficacy with a separate set of visitor analytics), social media accounts and other branding. Offer some sort of free report or similar on the website to gather contacts, so you can remind people when an episode is released and send occasional special offers or ask for feedback.
- Listen to your audience. Part of engaging with your audience is listening to what they have to say and sharing ideas. This can help make your podcast more targeted, but imagine the wider possibilities. Knowing what your target demographic thinks and feels about different ideas and products can help you build a better, more innovative and responsive company.
A podcast can be a huge asset to your organisation or business’s content marketing strategy if you approach it as a long-term investment and take into account the reasons why people listen to podcasts. Avoid the hard sell and instead see it as an opportunity for establishing your brand while getting to the heart of your potential customer's needs and wants.