There is a new trend in digital marketing connected to podcasting, and it requires some attention.
Why does it require some attention?
Because it can be an effective way to reach a bigger audience.
Think about it. Your audience likes your website, enjoys your products, and maybe tells their friends about the last adventure they had wearing or using your stuff.
But once they’ve made a purchase, your business becomes an after-thought until they needed again.
IF they need you again.
So how do you keep them coming back to you?
One idea is to reach them with a podcast.
Not sure what a podcast is?
Do you listen to music on your phone or mp3 player?
How about audiobooks?
If the answer is Yes, then you have already listened to a podcast without even knowing it.
A podcast is a form of digital media that is a shorter form version of an audiobook, and recorded using the same compression (usually mp3) as most music.
But the simplicity of the podcast is the capability for the listener to “subscribe” to it.
This is content that will automatically downloaded by your audience every time you publish a podcast.
However, no one hits subscribe on accident.
Your podcast content has to be engaging, interesting, and good enough to attract an audience.
How do you do that?
By creating a podcasting strategy for your company!
Not sure where to start?
Here are three quick strategies to consider when thinking about using podcasts to promote your brand to a new audience:
Strategy #1 – Have something to say
When you start to consider the viability of creating a podcast for your company, you need to understand what a podcast is, and what it is not.
You should know that a podcast is a unique form of entertainment.
It is more intimate than video or interactive media, because it is normally consumed via headphones.
This means that the broadcaster is being invited into the listener’s ears for what feels like a one-on-one conversation.
Podcasts also provides the listener much more control over the presentation of the episode.
This means that commercials, or what sounds like a commercial, can be easily skipped over.
If you podcast gets too commercial-like, and your listeners can just easily unsubscribe and never return.
That’s why your show should be about something your audience cares about, not a 15-minute commercial about how awesome your product is.
So do you know what that is?
Do you know what your audience cares about? What they are interested in?
Hopefully you know what they use your product for.
If you don’t, you better go find out quick!
Most of you do know what customers use your products for.
Now you need to figure out what you can say about that use your customer might find compelling.
The podcast format allows you a chance to start a conversation with your customers.
Do you know what to say?
If you’re selling mountain bikes, maybe your audience is interested in knowing how your mountain bikes hold up to abuse.
If you’re selling hunting rifles, maybe your audience wants to know how to trick it out?
By having something to say about the use of your product, or the activities your product participates in, could be the secret to capturing an audience.
Your customer’s are talking about your products.
Use your podcast to talk back to them.
Strategy #2 – Content first, sales second
You need to find a way to put your product into interesting and unique situations, and then tell your audience.
If you sell trail shoes, what races do your shoes run in?
Does your shoe outlast other shoes in 100-mile endurance runs?
That would be a cool idea of any trail running shoe company to consider.
Do people use your shoe to run over incredible terrain, or maybe do incredible things?
Tell them about that incredible journeys your products go on and survive, not just how cool your product is.
The concept of Content First is age old.
Think of Soap Operas.
The reason they call it a Soap Opera is because they were dramas put on by soap companies to — you guess it — sell soap!
The drama pulled you in, then the soap just sold itself.
Your outdoor products podcast needs to have the same understanding of content.
Build a serial show based on something your customers would be interested in, and do all your selling passively.
New some examples?
How about a show that could be how a host is going to run the top 50-mile trail races across America, with the podcast named after the product.
That way the product name is mentioned every time the title is used, every time it is said during each intro and outro of the show, and every time the show is mentioned in other media.
Another show could be about how to go hunting and fishing in all 50 States across America.
Each episode the host uses the company’s product, along side other products, to catch, clean, cook, and/or preserve game while outdoors.
Get the idea?
The show is not about the product, but features the product in an abstract way.
Customers can smell a commercial from 100-yards away.
So make each podcast about interesting content that will entertain or even educate your audience.
Make them fans of your podcast with good content first.
It will give them a reason to come back to you (and your website that features your products) again and again.
Strategy #3 – Play the long game
Podcasting is not a one-and-done sort of digital media format.
To build an audience that will become fans of your products takes time.
Lots of time.
Podcasts that only have a few dozen episodes seldom last.
Known as podfading, these shows disappear shortly after they’re audience fails to materialize.
Why do they audiences fail to materialize?
Because of a lack of consistency and enthusiasm over that time.
A podcast with no set schedule for release makes it hard for an audience to grow.
Same goes for the amount of amount of available content.
Your audience might know how committed your are to your own show if you only release a podcast once ever few months.
However, if you release a podcast episode every week for a year, your audience will know exactly how committed you are.
The goal is subscribers, and the more episodes you have released on a consistent basis, the better chance you have on growing your fan base.
Don’t see low numbers as a bad sign.
Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint.
A whole new world of customers
In the world of digital marketing, podcasting is an asymmetrical form of media that is the love child of radio and mp3 music files.
It may have started with the Apple iPod, but it had now exploded into a format that can be consumed on every mobile device there is.
Let’s face it.
Some of your customers will never come to your website.
Some may never see your commercials, or like your Facebook page either.
However, if you have something to say to your customers, and release that conversation to the world via a podcast on a regular basis, you may catch customers you never thought you could.
If it’s created with a focus on compelling content, not advertising, your podcast has the potential to create an entirely new audience.
An audience of fans for your content, as well as your products.