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Podcasts for event promotion

PodCon conference logo 2019

Podcasting is going mainstream – it’s the newest part of content marketing and frankly it’s about time!

Many people have been producing independent shows in voice format for years – I started one for my sport in 2013 – but only in the past year have brands started to get on board.

So why podcast in 2019?

There are three reasons – firstly, the pioneers are no longer alone – the mass appeal of storytelling podcasts like “Serial from This American Life” and “Under the Skin with Russell Brand”, Freakonomics and anything to do with Harry Potter has meant mass downloading of podcast listening apps onto devices.

Secondly, niche content marketers got in on the act early (like me) and so if you are a sports fan or a maker or follow politics there are now many different podcasts to choose from – all easily accessible.

And lastly we are short of time.  Yes, even more than before.  The on-demand nature of podcasts means you can listen in the car or while exercising or walking the dog.  It’s easy to play, pause and then pick it up again later.  And for the super-busy person, there’s the 1.5x and 2x speed playback settings!

Events lend themselves to podcasting

When planning the build-up to an event or having regular recurring events, there are already ample ways of communicating with your target audience.

But introducing the prospective attendees to the key themes of the event, the voices of your speakers and ramping up excitement about the day is really easy to do in a podcast format.

The Change Management Institute got its event speakers to answer 3 questions on a video call ahead of the event giving them unique content and a great preview of their international keynote themes to send round to members ahead of time.

And PodCon2 whose logo is on this article went one better – they allowed remote access at a cheaper ticket price by publishing all their event content afterwards in and audio feed as a stand-alone limited time podcast series.

Double down on success

Plus, if you choose to record video you can easily rip the MP3 audio file from the video and you have two birds with one stone.  We then use the video for Instagram and YouTube advertising promotions.

But should YOUR event or brand podcast?

The answer is up to you but we’ve got a quick checklist of 5 questions to answer before making your deacon to move into podcasting for content marketing.

Adoption curves for MarTech

This past week has seen a “Sweeper Wave” of coinciding reading and researches which tell me one new thing – podcasting for business content marketing is now going mainstream.

First let me explain the sweeper waves – I was on holiday on the Coromandel Coast and a sea swell off the west coast caused occasionally huge waves to come right up the beach nearly to the high tide mark – even when the tide was half out.  These had large volumes of water inside them and so had great forward momentum and a strong undertow when they receded.  While I watched, people paddling knee deep got caught off guard and swept off their feet and the wave also soaked their clothes higher up the beach – one lady broke her hip being tumbled by the wave and the air ambulance was called out.

podcast studio, auckland podcast, podcast for business, NZ podcasts

I reflected on the sweeper waves and see them as a metaphor for change in marketing and business.

Hemingway’s insight into change (or bankruptcy) is that it happens slowly and then all at once.  They key is knowing whether what you are seeing is at the early-adopter or just-going-mainstream stage.  I have followed the rise of electric vehicles assiduously since watching Tony Seba’s illustration of Fifth Avenue, New York.  These two photos are taken 13 years apart.  What happened in between?  Change.  Disruption.

[Side note, Tony is an investor in New Zealand startups]

Like a sweeper wave, some people get caught unawares.  My attempt to avoid this is to watch out for “recurring themes” in tech, marketing, and business.  The rest of this article is about my recent finds.  Some connect, others are remarkable for different reasons.  

I’ve been podcasting since 2013 and during the latter part of 2018 I saw major brands using the medium for their content marketing – McKinsey, The Economist Intelligence Unit and CapGemini.  This tells me that content marketing is expanding into the audio medium.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this.  Few brands have enough to say that doesn’t involve their competitors (which they are probably unwilling to discuss in public forum) compared to independent commentators who can speak more freely.  And this fact alone will deter many brands from podcasting.  There are other opportunities for content marketing using audio which are less ’traditional’ than a weekly radio show which brands can usefully use.

My podcast interview with Bob Weir author of “Why Businesses Fail” was published by Access Granted NZ.  His book is a must-read for founders, investors and board members for the insights into the human psyche and how it contributes to business. Business failures are usually preceded by identifiable problems.  Analysing problems at the macro level was an observation which led to me writing Problem Solving for Marketing. The insight connecting these is that correctly identifying the type of problem first, aides finding the right solution.  Is your business situation a “mess”; a “problem”; or a “puzzle”?

If you use email marketing and CRM in your business, here is a very nicely written summary of how one startup uses funnels, lead nurturing, and incorporating Net Promotor Score too.  I don’t know the team but they are a young venture and so starting from scratch has advantages.  A word of warning; anecdotally, Active Campaign is said to be less user-friendly than other comparable software.  [If you want to compare software user views, always check out Trust Radius run by Vinay Baghat – it’s independent and user-led.] 

And although this case study looks amazing, very few brands that I meet use automation, business process flows or sales funnels to this extent.  How does this reflect on the adoption curve for CRM, which I was working on with Peppers and Rogers back in 1997?  Maybe some firms will never use marketing automation or sales lead scoring.

Writing a presentation for the Penrose Business Association brought me to confront my lack of skill using traditional presentation software.  I have found two alternatives Beautiful and Stun, one American and the other Kiwi.  

Finally – the joke’s on you for the Mars Rover whose batteries may have died after 15 years – Brendan Boughan’s Cartoons by Jim captures it perfectly. and flashes back to 1997 when we first got Mars fever and the creatives at HP had a similar vibe going.  One of my favourite laugh-out-loud adverts of the time.