When you think of social media marketing, you probably think of the standard Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, or Linkedin options. Probably one of the most overlooked mediums is the podcast. This is unfortunate, as it is still a very real marketing avenue. There are about 250,000 podcasts in existence today. iTunes, one of the largest delivery services for podcasts, has reported more than 1 billion podcast subscribers. That is a very large, and possibly underserved, audience.
Podcasting Deepens Relationships with Your Clients
Podcasting brings a very human element to a business website or social media account. Prospects can hear your voice, and that immediately humanizes your business and makes a potential client feel that if they were to reach out to ask a question or make a comment, that a real person would be there to respond. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, podcasting allows you to make a real one-on-one connection with your “followers”.
Podcasting Brings More People to Your Site
Pat Flynn, of The Smart Passive Income blog, started his blog in 2008, but didn’t start podcasting until 2010. Once he started, however, he began seeing an influx in website traffic. He started surveying his web visitors to determine where the increase came from, and discovered that 19% of his web traffic (which was the largest percentage) came from his podcast. As of 2013, he consistently receives between 20,000 and 30,000 listeners for every podcast episode (with some particularly popular ones reaching over 100,000).
Podcasting Can Provide You with Speaking Opportunities
If you have a personable speaking style, and can speak well and informatively, people may ask you to speak on topics at conventions, meetings, or other business events. This not only increases your exposure, but allows for great networking opportunities.
7 Tips to Increase Podcasting Success:
- Determine who the podcast is targeting and tighten your niche to make it specific. This way you can better target your listeners’ pain points. Speak in their language and find out about what their issues are. Ask them if you don’t know. They will tell you.
- Establish a central theme – if each episode is random and off-topic, you will alienate listeners. Be consistent.
- Do your research. Go to iTunes and see what podcasts are already available for your niche. Is there room for what your podcast would bring? If not, you may need to tweak your podcasting plan or move it in a different direction. You may find that perhaps there was a very similar podcast that has stopped updating. Or that has only a minimal amount of listeners. Listen to the other podcasts to see how they can be improved upon.
- Have the proper recording and editing equipment. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, but you do want a step or two up from a generic computer microphone. You will also want to have editing software. GarageBand (for Apple) or Audacity (for PC) are two great options that are also free.
- Interact with your listeners. Programs like SpeakPipe will allow listeners to leave voice messages directly on your site, asking a question about your podcast or providing a comment.
- Invite guests to give interviews on your podcast, or be a guest for others. This is a great way to network with other similar or complementary businesses in your area. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.
- Have a good intro and outro. This is content that plays at the beginning of the podcast, to introduce it, and at the end to announce its close. Typically intros and outros are about 60 seconds. If you would like to incorporate music, sites like Pond5 (not free) or Freeplay Music (free) will allow you to search for and purchase royalty-free music.
It is important to note that in order to upload your podcast to delivery sites, like iTunes, you will need an account with a podcasting hosting service (see Libsyn for an example). Hosting service rates are usually pretty affordable, but make sure to look around to be certain that you are getting the best deal. Any business looking to expand their social media presence and establish a more personal relationship with its prospects should definitely consider creating a podcast. If you have any questions about setting up a podcast of your own, please contact us!