Why Podcasting should be part of Your Marketing Mix
The blog post is written by podcast expert Eric Ziengs, who’s the creator of the podcast statistics site podcaststats.dk and host of the Help Marketing Podcast- a Danish podcast about everything in Digital Marketing.
The rise of podcasting in Denmark
Podcasting is gaining popularity in Denmark. According to podcaststats.dk, the number of Danish podcasts has increased from 1,448 to more than 2,536 in just two years. The number of searches on the word “podcast” has even surpassed searches on the word “blog” using the Danish version of Google.
The biggest players on the Danish podcasting market are Radio24syv and DR, but an increasing number of private businesses and organizations are trying to penetrate the market as well. At the same time, podcast agencies and courses in podcastingare emerging. This makes sense, as podcasting makes for a remarkable marketing channel.
Podcasting as a marketing channel
Before you start planning your podcast, remember that a podcast doesn’t sell much on its own. A podcast can help create a close relationship with your listeners, and thereby help you generate leads and gain new clients and customers. With a podcast, you have the listeners’ attention for 30 minutes instead of 30 seconds, which is often the case for most business websites, blogs or e-mail campaigns.
At the same time, listeners get familiar with you and your voice. This helps create a strong relationship with the listener - even before you sit down for the first meeting. Obviously, you can use podcasting for branding purposes as well - for both B2B and B2C.
An important part of being successful using podcasts as a marketing channel is your ambassadors. These could be clients, fans or listeners, who love your brand (and your podcast) and may even feel ownership of your brand. People that would be happy to help you distribute your podcast in their network, or recommend your podcast to others, thereby help you generate low-cost leads and branding. It’s extremely important to pay attention and nurture these individuals – use their input on the podcast, give them their 15 minutes of fame or even create a community for them - I’ve found that Facebook groups are ideal for this purpose.
Should you start a podcast?
Now that we’ve established that podcasting can be used for the top and mid-level of your sales funnel and to generate ambassadors, the question arises: Should you start a podcast?
My love for the medium will always say YES! But you obviously need to look at what the goal of starting a podcast is:
Working with ambassadors and after sales
When you have determined why you want to podcast, you need to estimate the value your podcast will create, or at least decide how many resources you are willing to use - compared to the result you estimate it will give you. A very simple calculation for this is:
Value of hours spent + budget spent - value of the results = x. Then you compare your podcast’s x to your other channel’s x. If it can compete, give it a try. If not, rethink whether it's a good idea to start a podcast.
Let’s say you decide you want to start a podcast – here is how to get started.
How to get started
Start with the basics - and be realistic
A lot of people underestimate the time and work it takes to produce a podcast. They also forget that results don’t come straight away. It takes time to build a podcast and find your tone of voice. Before you start, use data to assess the potential of a podcast within your target audience – talk to potential listeners, create a short survey or check what your competitors are doing. When you’ve done that, specify the format of your podcast. Here are a few examples:
A podcast with regular hosts
Next, how often do you want to release new episodes and how long should the episodes be? Make sure that the subjects you talk about actually makes sense for the concept – don’t talk about cake one day and nuclear physics the next. Use SEO search terms to find subjects or look at what content performs well on your website.
Setting up your studio and the technical stuff
Setting up your studio, finding the right hosting for your files, creating a jingle – it doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s often one of the aspects that deter many aspiring podcasters. Here are some elements, you need to consider before you start to record your first episode:
Choose a microphone
How to record and edit
Hosting of your files
You can get far with few resources, but be sure to get the sound right the first time around – poor sound quality is one of the easiest ways to lose listeners according to Dansk Podcast Analyse. 1500 DKK for a microphone and hosting of mp3-files for the first year will get you far. Editing can be done for free with Audacity (it’s great to start with). Jingles are available for free without any licence if you know where to look.
Have a plan for distribution
As previously mentioned, an important part of the distribution of your podcast is your ambassadors. Give them love and acknowledge them - especially in the beginning where you won’t have thousands of listeners.
Besides your ambassadors, there are a number of channels and tricks you can make use of to reach your audience: optimizing your podcast’s iTunes page, make a website, use your guests’ network, identify and engage in podcast communities, etc. Think distribution as you would for any other product - you’re creating a platform, and it needs to be marketed continuously. I’ve put together a few tricks to get more listeners to your podcasts(in Danish).
Now the question is: Do you want to start your own podcast? I certainly hope you’d like to give it a try (more details on how to start your podcast on a low budget - available in Danish).
And if you’re not ready to create a podcast, here are 15 + podcasts about marketing you should listen to.