People have said Dave Thackeray, The Podcast Guy, sounds like Ewan McGregor, but Dave is happy being known simply as the Podcast Guy who is a broadcaster, journalist and marketer passionate about all things audio. I recently interviewed Dave, who helps marketers construct powerful radio programs and Internet radio stations to create unprecedented levels of trust, engagement and loyalty among their customers. Dave provides valuable advice about how to use podcasts to engage your customers and how to get started with podcasting.
Q: Why should content marketers use podcasts as part of their marketing strategy?
A: The Internet is flooded with content, and competition for an audience is fiercer than ever. As content creators, we have to set ourselves apart in the way we deliver our message.
Audio marketing and podcasting are gaining traction because they allow customers to go beyond the static web page and see the person behind the business. Podcasting is engaging, creates a sense of trust and builds customer loyalty. When you combine these three benefits, you have a strong foundation for growth.
Q: What are some of the results content marketers can achieve through podcasts?
A: Podcasting is the “little black dress” of business success. It complements all your marketing. However, fear of technology has prevented many marketers from telling their stories. It’s important to experiment and share your message because podcasting can help you in the following areas:
- Increasing your marketing ROI – Everyone wants to get their message across, but you can’t always rely on traditional advertising. Buyers don’t want to be blasted with ads. Podcasts allow you to subtly convey your marketing message by wrapping it in value-packed content that will appeal to your target audience. When you educate your customers, you position yourself as an authority in your niche and will gain their trust.
- Bringing your brand to life – Combining podcasting with social media is a great way to strengthen your business proposition and spread your message. Audio or video podcasts allow customers to engage with you in a way they can’t through a static web page, brochure or annual report. The more you engage your customers the more likely they will become your evangelists.
Q: How can the average person feel confident in putting their voice on air?
A: The first thing you can do to get comfortable with podcasting is use a service such as Audioboo to record and share your thoughts with your social networks. You can start by talking about your hobbies and non-work-related passions before you use it for business.
Listen to yourself and take notes on how you sound. Just remember that your audience will be inspired by your knowledge and won’t hold you to the same standards as a professional actor. What you hear will usually be a million times worse than what your audience hears.
Q: What steps should someone take to produce a good podcast?
A: The first thing you must do is define your objectives. For example, do you want your podcasts to attract new customers, enhance your brand positioning or achieve another objective?
Since your listeners will determine the success of your podcast, you also must understand what they want to gain from each episode. Talk to your sales or support teams to find out what your customers are saying. You can even talk to your customers directly to get their feedback. The more you align your podcasts with your customers’ needs, the greater your chance of success.
Once you have outlines of your show, decide who you want to work with to make it happen. Do you want to go on air alone, with a colleague or with another leader in your industry? Recruiting a co-host can take some of the pressure off you and promote lively banter.
The final key to a successful podcast is to keep it short. Many podcasters overestimate the amount of time their audience will listen. However, studies have shown that buyers prefer podcasts that are no longer than 16 minutes. Use this time to squeeze in as much value as possible.
Q: How can you easily create content for your podcasts?
A: Some of the most popular podcasts were created in under an hour, so you don’t need to spend days developing each episode. Here are five quick and easy ways you can create content for your audio and video marketing:
- Go through your existing content and see what can be repurposed. Most marketers don’t realize the wealth of content that exists within their organizations.
- Make your podcast a roundtable or panel discussion. These open dialogues display a sense of community that your audience will feel when they listen to the recording.
- Take a camera around your office and conduct 60-second interviews with your employees – talk to everyone from the receptionist to the vice presidents. This shows viewers your organization’s personality and your team’s passion for the organization.
- Share stories about how your business began or how your products came about.
- Interview your customers for on-air case studies.
Q: How can you get your podcast in front of your audience?
A: There are three things you must do to get your podcast to the widest possible audience:
- Start by sending your podcast to all the major audio and video platforms, such as iTunes and YouTube. You can use a service called TubeMogul to automatically broadcast your podcast to the most popular video platforms.
- Because your website is the hub for all your communications, you should include icons on your site or blog that take people to your iTunes and YouTube podcast pages.
- Use social media and bookmarking tools to spread your content across the web.
What about you? Have you used podcasts in your marketing strategy or are you thinking about it? Please share your thoughts below.