What are the key essentials for promoting and marketing a podcast to grow listeners so you can improve monetisation? This article runs through some of the fundamentals and also asks some important questions so you can find out if a podcast is the right marketing tactic for your brand.
Brand suitability for podcast marketing
Here are some simple questions for you to review before deciding to start a podcast.
Microphone for podcast: Photo credit Neil Godding on Unsplash
Who is the target audience?
Are they are already listening to podcasts?
What does your brand want to get out of the podcast (leads, brand awareness, thought leadership etc)
Which channels to market do you already use?
What headcount / analytics are in each of the existing channels?
What will success look like?
These are all questions worthy of a full day workshop. Now, assuming you have robust answers to each of them, let’s dig into the tactics suitable for marketing a podcast.
Podcast marketing tactics
Cross-promote through all existing channels controlled by the brand
Select guests who have a large audience on the understanding they will cross-promote
Add listeners by adding podcast into existing marketing tactics e.g. record a live episode at a trade show / a conference stage
Get other podcasters to do a mutual episode with each broadcasting the same episode to their feeds
Record in video and audio so you can use YouTube as a distribution channel
Use clips and short video as content for social sharing
Run campaigns which include the podcast e.g. contests where you have to listen to find out how to enter
Use the podcast shownotes on your website and blog as SEO
In as much as finding your ideal customers is important when you run a business, so is attracting them to you. As your business becomes more established, you hope for customers to find you through word of mouth, online marketing or any other means. There are specific things that you can do to increase discoverability and attract buying customers. Although some may require you invest a significant amount of money, others will require simple changes in your messaging or giving customers incentives. Here are simple ways to attract your ideal customer if that’s your end goal.
Don’t Neglect Word of Mouth
Although every form of marketing has its own appeal, it can still be argued that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. With that being said, ensure that you focus on offering quality services to every customer that you engage with as this will increase the likelihood of them referring you. This can be done by improving the entire customer experience from start to finish. A couple of tips for doing that is working towards meeting customer needs and streamlining communication.
Improve Your Website
Your website is a powerful tool when it comes to attracting customers, so work on improving it periodically. When you have an effective website, you’re more likely to have engaged customers on your site that follow through with calls to action. Below are a few ways that you can upgrade your website and make it better.
Design: Your website should look appealing and represent your brand as well as what you stand for. Pay attention to your choice of typography, as well as the colors that you use. Hire a professional to design your website; it may be best to choose one that specializes in your industry. If you happen to run a law firm, then justlegalmarketing.com would be an ideal company to handle your design.
SEO: In addition to the design, SEO is another major aspect of your website to work on. This is where organic traffic will come from and one of the simplest ways to attract customers to you online. To improve SEO, be sure that all of the content that you create has targeted keywords and you optimize titles, URLs, and tags.
Content: The language, lexicon, and tone of your content will either draw prospects in or turn them away. Think about your messaging and whether it truly appeals to your audience. You can look at the language used by successful competitors and use that to gauge how effective yours is. Also, pay attention to the pages that get the most engagement, as it could indicate you’re doing something right.
Offer Attractive Services
At the end of the day, one of the easiest ways to attract customer is by offering competitive products or services. You can do so by truly understanding what your customers’ needs are and meeting those needs through your incentives. For some customers, premium service may be their need while for others, it could be low rates. Value for money is ultimately what will also give you the word of mouth and competitive advantage you need.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference, held here in Auckland. It was a fantastic two day event that showcased a number of talented speakers and presented some interesting ideas towards the future of podcasts.
Is there substantial value to be gained from adding a podcast to your marketing mix?
I would argue yes, absolutely. Let me explain why…
1 – It’s going to be huge!
Podcasting is currently experiencing massive amounts of growth around the world. There are over 1 billion subscriptions to over 250,000 podcasts right now. With technology constantly improving, it is becoming ever more popular among the digital savvy.
2 – But, it isn’t as common as blogging… yet.
Which is a good thing. As more people start podcasting, competition increases and therefore, so does the overall quality of podcasts. Can you afford to wait until your competitors are experts before you join the race? As an early adopter, you have free reign to influence this goldmine of a marketplace as you like! Being seen as original and a pioneer can do wonders for your brand’s credibility.
3 – It is incredibly easy to do!
Sure, you have to feel comfortable on a microphone and possibly a camera too, projecting yourself to what could be… millions of people! But you could record your podcast from your bed if you wanted, never having to see these people hanging on your every word, which should help alleviate some of those nerves!
Worried that you don’t have anything to talk about, or don’t know enough about a subject to be an ‘authority’ on it? Fear not! Some of the greatest podcasters out there started out not knowing what they were talking about, but they did it anyway because THEY wanted to learn. In the process, they helped educate their audience and became known as the authorities in their chosen topic!
4 – You need but a few resources to get started.
Actually, all you really need is; an idea, a passion for that idea, a webcam/microphone/laptop/smartphone, maybe a co-host or guest and you’re basically away! It couldn’t be simpler. With ever-improving technological advancements, it’s getting quicker and easier to publish your content online without the assistance of a film crew or recording studio.
This also makes it incredibly time-efficient to produce a decent show as well! If you know what you’ll be talking about and a rough idea how to use the equipment, you can put together a clean, engaging show in a few hours! Obviously, this is dependent on how much editing and fine tuning you may need. You can be sure though, with practice, that time will get shorter and shorter as you perfect your craft!
5 – People engage in it.
Who has time to read lengthy blog articles anymore? Well, still a lot of people. But the point is, a podcast, if done right, will entertain you in a way that words on a page cannot. We lose so much emotion and sentiment in text, but those elements are carefully preserved when you listen to two people passionately discussing a topic.
Podcasting also allows for direct contact with your community/audience. Who wouldn’t become a raving fan of your show if you were personally shouting out to them? The very nature of a podcast immediately makes the listener/viewer feel like a part of your conversation and therefore, more likely to engage with your brand.
Podcasts should also be fun!
Yes, it may be difficult to make something like tax accounting sound fun, but at least it gives you a stage and a spotlight to express your personality or your brand’s character. This alone may be enough to sway any potential customers from a competitor and into your corner.
6 – Podcasts feel genuine.
Podcasts are typically independent of any large branding agencies and thus are ‘uncorrupted’ by the guise of corporate advertising. That’s not to say they are all without their own agendas. However, people seem to respond better to marketing sales pitches when they are delivered through a conversation, instead of being forced upon us by advertising agencies. This creates a unique environment for you to promote and sell your product/services without feeling like an infomercial.
7 – Versatility.
Podcasts can be enjoyed in places where reading a blog cannot! Your commute to and from work, while you sweat out the kilometres on the treadmill at the gym, while you walk your dog, cook dinner, sit in the bath or simply drown out the distractions of your surroundings.
Are you ready to start podcasting yet?
As businesses look for new platforms to compete for and connect with their customers, podcasting is sure to experience a major growth spurt as marketers seek to capitalise in the near future. In an industry driven by building ‘community’ and offering tailored experiences for their customers, podcasting offers both one of the most engaging ways of connecting and creates the perfect platform to deliver incredibly high-value content.