With content marketing rising globally, the web is flooded with various types of content. Marketers are finding it increasingly challenging to create branded content which genuinely stands out and captures the attention of their target audiences. With competition higher than ever, marketers must make the most of the new formats and ensure they’re reaching audiences with their marketing messages.
This is where audio marketing and podcasts come in. They’re gaining traction right now because they allow consumers to expand their vision of a brand, thanks to the very personal nature of podcasts and the immediacy of the human voice.
Podcasts have been with us for a while now. Still, it’s only been in the past five or so years that marketers have started to uncover their true potential for engaging audiences and forging a personal connection based on trust and consumer loyalty. These two make up a solid foundation for any brand’s growth – that’s why you should get interested in the art of podcasting yourself.
Here are some excellent reasons why podcasting should become part of your content marketing strategy and 8 actionable tips to help you bring your podcasts to life.
Podcasting basically complements all your marketing efforts. Even if quality sound recording tools have never been more accessible, many marketers feel that the medium isn’t something they can effectively use to spread their message precisely as they want to. Still, it’s worth experimenting with this format because podcasts have real potential in marketing for the following reasons:
…allow you to share your expertise: Podcasts are the perfect platform to share your industry expertise and, in the process, become known as an authority in your field. Customers want a company that knows its industry, so building that level of trust is essential. Producing a consistently informative podcast will gradually position your company as a thought leader in your market.
…create a strong connection: One of the most significant advantages of podcasts over the written word is that hearing a contributor’s voice gives the audience a more vital link to the content. Though many articles will have a byline or even a picture of their author, nothing compares to the instant connection of a familiar voice. A podcast amplifies your personality, and listeners feel like they get to know you. This kind of connection helps to build a loyal audience.
…are a quick and easy way to accumulate applicable content: Even a short podcast, 10-15 minutes long, will create a lot of fresh content that can be repurposed for your other promotional channels (Social media, blogs etc.). Ask someone to write a 3,000-word article, and you might not get it for weeks, sit them in front of a microphone, and you’ll have the same amount of content in half an hour.
…are techy – but not too techy: As a relatively modern phenomenon, just being involved with podcasting says your company is ahead of the curve. But podcasts are not just the reserve of 20-something technophiles. As Nick Tabbal of comScore points out, “While the conventional wisdom says that only young, tech-savvy consumers are downloading and listening to podcasts, there is also a sizable market among 35-to-54-year-olds, indicating that the audience is broader than previously thought.”
…allow you to easily convey enthusiasm and emotion: Podcasting enables you to inject enthusiasm or feeling that is hard to share in the written word. If you’re operating in an industry traditionally deemed boring (*cough…financial services… cough*), human touch can be the difference between your audience falling asleep and standing up and taking notice. Furthermore, many people struggle to adequately convey their message in writing. Still, podcasts free you up to get your point across more informally.
…can be consumed on the go: In this age of multitasking, one of the significant advantages of a podcast is that people can listen to them while doing other things. Podcasts have become a commuter favourite as they can be consumed on the go.
…are a great networking opportunity: Many business podcasts involve discussions with other industry players. Not only does this add to the vibrancy of your podcast, but it is also an excellent way to network with other industry heads. Even if you’re not ready to create your own podcast, participating in already-established podcasts in your field might be a good idea.
…are relatively easy/inexpensive to produce: Video is becoming an increasingly important tool for growing your online presence. But it’s not for everyone. It’s relatively expensive, and there are many variables to consider; the quality of the camera, the lighting, the background, the sound, etc. If any of these are shoddy, it will reflect poorly on your business (Many people are also camera-shy). Sort of a happy medium between the low-tech of written content and the high-tech of video, podcasts are easy to produce for any size business. You only need a microphone to record the podcast and a software program to edit and upload audio files.
…ensure you stand out from the crowd: Podcasting is still an underutilised medium, so producing one is a good way of distinguishing yourself from the competition. People like to consume media differently, so including other media options alongside blogs, Twitter et al., can help you hit different demographics.
How to create a great podcast for your brand?
Now that you know why it’s worth investing time and resources into creating a podcast, here are some practical tips to help you bring it to life.
Develop a strategy
Before you set out to produce your very first podcasts, you need to ask yourself some questions. Suppose you’d like to make a quality podcast that works. In that case, you should be fully aware of the goals of your podcast series and of each individual episode.
When designing your podcasts, know how each episode fits into your larger content marketing picture. You could use this format to recycle some of your best-performing content. You need to have it all figured out before recording your first line.
Pick an attention-grabbing name.
Your podcast series needs a cool name. It works like the headline of a blog post – it should be catchy, visible and meaningful, instantly communicating what your podcast is about. Don’t forget that the contents of your podcast aren’t searchable by search engines like Google unless you accompany it with a transcript, so make sure to use an informative name that perfectly captures your offer and come up with titles for each episode that do so as well. Provide short summaries of the content – that’s something users (and your website’s SEO) will appreciate.
Create engaging content
Recycling your existing content is a great idea – go through it and check what can be repurposed into this new format. You can make your podcast into a series of short interviews with your employees to show more of your brand personality and the team’s passion for the product.
Why not organise a roundtable or panel discussion with your audience and then offer it as a podcast? It will make your followers feel that their feedback is valued. You can share stories about how your product developed or your business began. There are so many things to put in a single podcast!
Make sure to repeat your key points.
Auditory learning is more challenging than learning new things in print. Makes sure to find intelligent ways to repeat key takeaways from your podcast. You can rephrase important information or have a guest restate it in their own way. Help your audience to get your point.
Dare to say something different
Don’t be predictable. If your audience is used to talking about serious business in a serious voice, break that tendency and offer something new. Don’t be afraid that by mixing conventions, you won’t be taken seriously – if anything, your followers will be even more interested in what you’ve got to say.
Ask customers what they want to hear.
Be open and use your social media accounts or create special surveys to find out what your audience would like to hear. You can ask about this whenever you’re talking to them too. Find out whether they listen to your podcasts and what they want about your content.
Distribute your podcast
Send your podcast to the most prominent and relevant audio and video platforms – iTunes and YouTube. Consider using TubeMogul – a great tool to help you automatically broadcast your podcast to the most popular video platforms. Make sure to use social media and bookmarking tools to promote your podcast. Include icons on your blog and website that take visitors to your podcast pages on YouTube and iTunes.
Content marketing takes time, and podcasting is no exception. Before your podcast gains popularity, expect to work hard. But don’t passively wait for your followers to start interacting with your podcast – encourage them to share and talk about your new format. Be regular about publishing your episodes. You’ll slowly build a strong community of listeners interested in what you’ve got to say and involved with your brand.
Create a podcast that fits your niche and see where it takes you. Speak as if you were speaking to a natural person, and you can be sure your audience will develop a solid and meaningful relationship with your brand – a critical goal for every marketer!
The Right Equipment
You should shoot for high quality from the beginning when you start a podcast. It’s all about the audio and the script when that’s all you have. It’s vital to ensure that your podcasts sound professional and transparent from your first episode.
- When it comes to producing a successful podcast, it’s all about the microphone. Although there are a variety of sizes and shapes on the market, quality is the most important. Ensure your microphone has an adjustable USB cord to record directly into your software program. If you use an analogue microphone, you must buy adapters and converters to transfer your recording.
- Mac and Windows computers are compatible with various audio software packages. Ensure your computer has sufficient storage for your recordings or an external drive or memory stick ready to transfer files.
- Various audio editings software like Audacity and Reaper can help you with your podcast’s sound production and editing.
Find Your Niche
Once you have all the equipment, you must settle on your niche. Decide what interests you, what you know most, and what you want to share with your audience. The subject that you cover is entirely up to you.
Suppose you want to focus on a broad category like lifestyle or parenting. In that case, narrowing your field to something more specific to you is essential. Focus your podcast on who you imagine is your ideal audience and make the podcast directed to them.
Make A Plan
Choose a topic for each of your podcasts to help you stay focused. Write down your script or notes on each subject you want to cover. You don’t need to be entirely scripted, but following a simple outline can help your program run more evenly.
Decide if you want to bring on any guests for your podcast and work out what subjects you would like to cover. You must do at least one rehearsal when you have guests join you.
You may be supercritical about how you sound on your recordings when you start out. It’s important to give yourself a break and just try to speak naturally. If you imagine talking to a friend on the phone, you may be more relaxed reading your script.
Before you start, always do an audio and mic test. Nothing is more frustrating than getting through part of your recording and realising your mic isn’t working.
Make things more accessible in the editing room by breaking up your recording into sections. The shorter times can be individually edited and then pieced together whichever way you prefer.
Edit Your Recording
Cut out anything that seems muddled or if you have gone on a tangent that has little meaning or relevance to the finished product. Cut out any sections that interfere with the flow of the subject.
This is where you can add graphics, music and other effects to your podcast. You can also clean up the sound using your software to engineer the best quality sound.
Podcasting is becoming a popular platform for anyone who wants to share information and connect with a community about their favourite subjects. With the right equipment, inspiration, and organisation, you can get on board and start your podcast like a pro.