While the majority of podcasts make little difference from a marketing perspective (particularly in crowded markets), this is a technique that has the potential to become a highly effective tool of engagement.
Like most things, the key lies with execution, as the right approach can help you to successfully leverage one of the fastest growing marketing channels available. As recently as 2014, Apple announced that they had an astonishing 1 billion podcast subscribers, with the total audience size rising by an estimated 22% per annum at present.
In this article, we will consider the necessary steps to launching a successful podcasting series for your SME:
Create a Clear Theme and a cohesive Series
This is arguably the most important consideration when creating your content, as you cannot possibly hope to succeed without first having a clearly defined and relevant content idea. Similarly you should also strive to create series of podcasts rather than stand-alone content, as this serves as a more tangible proposition that can build loyalty and engagement among listeners.
In terms of the former, you should start by establishing a theme that has both industry and topical relevance. This not only ensures that you can talk authoritatively on your chosen topic, but it also makes it more likely that you will engage your audience effectively.
It also makes far more sense that you create a series of podcasts rather than one-off publications, as this helps you to structure your content and generate loyalty among your audience. This also allows you to build a steady stream of content over time, affording you opportunities to target new customer segments over time.
Carefully Consider Your Choice of Format
It is fair to say that not all podcasts are created equal, as there are various formats that you can use to engage listeners. It is therefore crucial that you select the format that suits your content and audience, otherwise you run the risk of increasing your marketing spend without achieving a viable ROI.
For businesses that operate in a professional sector, interviews serve as an excellent way of engaging listeners. This is an natural format that offering genuine insights into a specific market or industry, while the content can also be entertaining so long as the expert in question speaks clearly and without the use of jargon.
In general terms, it is also wise to create podcast content that is conversational in its nature. This ensures that you have a far more energetic and engaging podcast, and one that is capable of informing, entertaining and introducing humour in equal measure.
Grow Your Audience in a Strategic and Scalable Manner
The format you choose will ultimately determine how effectively you can grow your audience, but this needs to be part of a wider strategy that is designed to achieve your marketing objectives.
When creating a series of podcast interviews, for example, you should look to target individual guests and influencers that have already cultivated an engaged audience. This affords you instant access to a segment of potential customers, which can be extremely beneficial when adopting a targeted approach.
With this in mind, you should not be afraid to target less-renowned influencers, so long as they can provide you access to a relevant and potentially lucrative audience. You can also look to scale your efforts over time, as you look to build your own brand and achieve familiarity.
Patience is definitely a virtue when developing this type of strategy, as this also enables you to trail different content types as you reach out to new target markets.