Podcasting seems to be the new marketing “miracle” these days. New shows arise daily like mushrooms after the rain and newbies who join the game are often mislead into thinking they have found “the holy grail of marketing”.
Yes, podcasting is very popular.
But is podcasting really the holy grail of marketing, or is it just another marketing vehicle you need to master AKA know exactly how to deploy in order to generate business?
This is the seventh part of the Small Business Owners series, which I have started recently.
In the previous months, I covered the topics of Social Media, Facebook Advertising, Twitter, Email Marketing, Amazon Kindle and Live Events.
Today, I’d like to talk to you about the amazing power of Podcasting for your business. It has nothing to do with joining the current hype. It’s definitely not about adding one more instrument to your marketing toolkit and overloaded business schedule.
Why Should You Add Podcasting to Your Content Marketing Arsenal
Let’s answer the WHY question first and then we’ll discuss the HOW to.
Having your own show, whether audio or video, is one of the best things that you can do in terms of front-end marketing.
What do I mean by that?
One word: ATTENTION.
Podcasting drives significant attention and therefore awareness for you, your business and the products and services you’re selling. Having your own show on Apple Music (formerly iTunes), Stitcher, Google Play Store and thousands of other podcast directories gives you massive exposure.
Here are a few more benefits of podcasting:
- You have 100% control over the content.
- You have 100% control of your RSS feed (self-hosted on your website).
- You have real-time access to stats, reports and analyses (with hosts such as Blubrry [Affiliate Partner] or Libsyn, for example).
- You can embed your show as often as you want on as many pages as you want (own website and social media channels).
- Your show is picked up by Facebook Instant Articles once you’re a Facebook Publisher.
- You can invite experts on your show.
- You can record and upload new episodes as often as you want.
- You can monetize your show and thus add another marketing stream to your back-end sales machine.
What about the money, time and energy you need to invest into podcasting?
Well, here are some of the things you need to be aware of prior to hopping onto the podcasting wagon:
Time vampire: Preparing for the show and interviews, putting the content together, editing, following up with guests etc. takes a whole lot of time. If you’re just starting out, this could easily mean one working day. I’m just sharing from my experience and giving you some perspectives here.
Learning curve: Unless you’ve been a radio or TV moderator, or you’ve conducted hundreds of events, you will need to learn the craft of podcasting. Finding out the type of content your audience loves best is tricky. Bringing on guests to your show that provide value and trigger interest can be challenging at times. Like with anything else, mastering the art of podcasting requires constant learning.
Money: It comes a time when you’ll need to upgrade from your laptop microphone to a professional mic with a pop-up filter. If you’re doing video podcasts, the investment will be higher as you’ll need studio lights, portable microphones, speakers and other equipment.
This brings me to the following question:
Audio or video podcast?
You’ll need to figure out what is best for you and your business.
Needless to say, that audio podcasting is “easier”. You’re a lot more flexible and you don’t need to dress up every time you do a recording. If, on the other hand, you’re big into video marketing and you do video recordings for other channels such as Facebook or YouTube, then uploading the same content to the Apple Store won’t be much of a challenge for you.
Therefore, pick the format that suits you best. There is no right or wrong here. You can be successful with both formats. It all comes down to the content you put out and the value you provide for your audience.
How to Incorporate Podcasting into Your Small Business
As a small business owner you have a ton on your plate.
You need to get more customers through the door to increase revenue and profits. You need to make sure your team is top notch and products are delivered on schedule. You have to check your numbers to know exactly where your next investments need to go. And on top of everything else, you have to look after your marketing and sales machinery to ensure it functions properly.
All this leads to the obvious question:
How on earth should you integrate podcasting into your business?
First off, as a savvy small business owner, I assume you have a proven marketing system in place that generates consistent results on a regular basis. Everything else would be mainstream hope and guess marketing, and I don’t even want to get there.
Second, if you have a well-oiled marketing machinery in place where offline and online assets are integrated seamlessly, adding another one to the toolkit won’t be a big deal. And believe me, you do want this fantastic marketing vehicle called podcasting in your asset library (see benefits listed above).
Let’s be practical now.
Here are three proven ways you can integrate podcasting into your marketing system:
Podcasting Strategy #1:
Write an article and convert it into an audio/ video version. Publish both on your website. Those who love to read, will have the written content. Those who love to watch videos, will see your video and those who love to listen to podcasts on their way to the gym for example, can stream your audio show.
Podcasting Strategy #2:
You’re an avid video producer who loves to put out content on YouTube and Facebook? Great. Extract the audio file from those videos, edit them a bit by adding some intro / outro music and publish them as an audio podcast.
Now you have a podcast show for busy people stuck in traffic who are not supposed to watch your videos while driving. A fantastic way to get the word out about your business, reach more people and thus enlarge your audience.
Podcasting Strategy #3:
Make a list of experts (could be from your industry or not) and invite them on your show. You can do the very same thing with authors who have recently published their books. If you approach these people professionally, I don’t see a reason why the majority wouldn’t take you up on this offer. Everybody loves to share his or her story. You’re giving them the necessary exposure, your audience gets a different viewpoint on specific topics and you end up with an interactive show.
That’s a triple win-win-win. Your guest is happy. Your audience is thrilled about the new insights and it puts you and your show on the map.
Now, what do these three podcasting strategies have in common?
They’re not fancy.
They aren’t highly sophisticated.
But they work.
So, it’s up to you to pick the strategy that fits you best, add a new one or mix and match to get the best results.
Going Beyond Podcasting
Podcasting has been an important marketing asset to me since early 2011 when I published my very first episode on the StrengthInBusiness show.
I’ve learned a lot in the past few years and I continue to learn on an ongoing basis. Recording the first episodes was more than awkward. I had no idea how to juggle my notes, add music and edit the audio accordingly. The software was new and producing a show took hours upon hours.
Remember, it’s a process. It’s a journey. And mastery takes time.
The very same principles that apply to other business areas are valid for podcasting too. But as things change and you grow, adopting new strategies and techniques becomes easier. This is how our species thrive.
What I love most about podcasting is the friendships and relationships I was able to build due to this marketing medium. Guests who have been on my show have become close friends. Others have joined me on stage.
This is the beauty of podcasting: it’s nichy, the community is small and podcasters are super approachable. I strongly encourage you to become part of the podcasting community.
How will you integrate Podcasting into your marketing calendar?