Podcasts: Overlooked Marketing Tools That Could Help You Build an Audience

November 4, 2016 Doug Milnor

Podcasts-Digital-Marketing.jpgHave you considered adding podcasts to your digital marketing toolbox? If not, you are missing out on a great opportunity. In a world where there is so much content to consume, podcasts are a convenient way for your audience to consume content on the go.

Why Podcasts Are Popular

How popular are podcasts? As reported by Cision, 32 million people listen to podcasts monthly and there are over 115,000 podcasts in existence.

This makes perfect sense, considering their accessibility. Think about it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute time between home and work for Americans is 25 minutes. For many commuters, those 25 minutes are a golden opportunity to catch up on interesting podcasts in their particular niche. Podcasts, then, appeal to a captive audience. The on-demand format of podcasts enables marketers to tell their story anywhere at any time.

Time and again, it has been emphasized that the best digital marketing strategies involve telling a story that connects on a deeply human level with your audience. Podcasts allow you to tell that story in its most familiar form, through the spoken word. Podcast listeners pick up the emotion behind your spoken words, facilitating a more powerful human connection. Done right, a podcast entertains, informs, and engages your audience via great storytelling.

What Producing Podcasts Involves

Producing a podcast involves much more than simply sitting down with a microphone and talking freestyle. Just as is the case with every piece of content you produce, your podcast needs to be well-planned, tightly focused on the right messaging for the right audience.

You may be able to talk for hours about your particular niche, but that does not mean that your audience will be invested in listening for that long. To keep your listeners, you have to ensure that your content is consistent and compelling.

Here are some basic steps you can take to make your podcasts effective:
  • Identify your objectives for creating the podcast. Remember, if you do not know what you are aiming for, you will not achieve it.
  • Plan your content by drafting a script. While you do not want to sound like you are just reading from a script when you actually record your podcast, a loose script will help you stay on track, both content-wise and time-wise.
  • Timing is everything. Consider what the length of your podcast should be, based on what you know about your target audience. CMI notes that 16 minutes is an average time for podcast length, but you may find that a lengthier piece that is loaded with engaging information works better in your particular niche. Research indicates, however, that pushing past the 60-minute mark is not generally advisable.
  • Determine the frequency of your podcast. Will it be daily, weekly, or monthly? Consider the time it takes to produce the content and the likelihood that your audience will tune in with the frequency you choose.
  • Use good audio equipment. A USB microphone, decent recording software, headphones, a mixer, and a pop filter are all essential to a great-sounding podcast.
  • Consider your distribution strategy. Integrate your podcasts with your social media strategy, your blog posts, and your email campaigns for maximum exposure.

Marketing tools

How Podcasts Fit Into Digital Marketing Strategy

Podcasts, of course, do not exist in a vacuum. Through RSS feed syndication, you can alert your subscribers when a new podcast is available. With social sharing functionality, podcasts can take on a life of their own, as more and more of your target audience finds and shares your audio content.

Your podcasts do not have to be just standalone pieces of marketing content. You can also incorporate podcasts into blog posts with accompanying text, giving your readers access to a new way to engage with your content. Podcasts provide an easy way for you to re-purpose content you may already have.

Podcasts also provide a boost for SEO. When you distribute podcasts through RSS feeds, email campaigns, and your blog, it is possible for others to embed the podcast link on their sites, sharing your content with an even wider audience.

Podcasts are versatile marketing tools that can be woven into your digital marketing strategy to great effect. To explore how to integrate podcasts into your campaigns, contact us today. As digital marketing strategists, we stand ready to help you get the fullest use from all your digital marketing tools.

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