There is A LOT of great news about podcasting.
- It’s still in it’s infancy
- It’s relatively easy to get started
- It’s unique content that might be completely new experience for your customers
- You can build an immense amount of trust by hosting a show
- You’ll quickly become an authority to your listeners
There’s also some bad news…
- Many people get into podcasting with no real plan….
- No plan for crafting the content that keeps listeners – listening. (trust me, people get bored quickly)
- No plan on when they’re going to “stop” podcasting.
- No idea how they’re going to create positive ROI from their podcast.
- No idea of how they’re even going to get listeners.
If you think by starting a podcast and putting it into iTunes you’re going to automatically acquire listeners. I’m sorry but that’s simply not true. It’s not a magic bullet to suddenly build an audience. Maybe it was years ago, but not anymore.
I’ve talked to a lot of great folks consistently putting out great content and struggling to get 200 people to listen to a show. And they’re creating great content every week.
Podcasting isn’t for every business….
BUT it can be extremely lucrative if you have the right expectations and mindset going into it.
REALITY = You’re not going to automatically going acquire an audience by starting a podcast.
You need to understand that it is completely UP TO YOU to get people listening to your podcast. You need to either have followers that you can leverage to help you grow your audience or be willing to start from scratch and work your way up from ground zero.
[Tweet “If you’re not willing to put in the work building an audience – podcasting isn’t for you”]
I’ve talked to far to many people who don’t have a plan for building an audience but are going to launch their podcast anyways. You have to have a plan that hits on multiple ideas… and acquisition channels.
Here are some basic suggestions to help you start brainstorming:
- Run a competition / giveaway to encourage your current audience to share. (don’t expect them to do it for nothing)
- Be diligent in asking guests (if you have guests) to share or email about the show they appeared in
- Be a guest on other podcasts and talk about the unique show you’re starting.
Your podcast has to be saying / doing something unique
Don’t just start something because you see it’s working for someone else. I’ve said this many many times but you have to be filling a gap and doing something different than everyone else.
Here are some ideas to get your started:
- Do a podcast season on a very specific topic.
- Have a unique format like an audio documentary.
- Geo target your podcast and leverage local media.
If you’re doing something different and filling a very specific topic or gap it’s going to be a lot easier to promote your show and talk with others who can potentially help you spread the word. You’ll be making friends not competitors by filling an unfilled gap.
This way you can also have very specific goals or takeaways for your audience.
Business = Email marketing software company
Typical idea = An interview show with people who do email marketing.
Better Idea = Do a season (12-18 episodes) only on Autoresponders and talk with people who are experts at autoresponders.
With this specific topic people who have an audience (guests, people who like your software, etc) will be far more likely to promote because it’s on one specific topic and not competing with them directly.
To engage and convert listeners into customers you can create specific content upgrades on autorsponders. “Guest #1’s 8 steps to a better auto responder” “Guest #4’s auto responder template”
The major benefits of a podcast for your business
If you have a business that products, services, software in place and you’re looking for a unique source for content marketing (inbound marketing) podcasting can be an amazing place for you to go.
Your audience becomes used to your voice…
This means if they contact you interested in your product or service they’ve already listened to you for potentially several hours. They feel like they know you, relate with you, and understand how your approach problems. The potential “trust” issue of buying something from a person / company isn’t as severe.
Instead of a potential awkward sales call it becomes a friendly chat between friends.
(Anything you can do to make those calls easier is ALWAYS a major plus.)
We’re talking about SHORTER SALES CYCLES
[Tweet “Podcasting can help you shorten the sales cycle for your business”]
Unique Content for Your Industry / Audience
Let’s be honest… There are still plenty of gaps to be filled in industries. Just the other day I was talking with someone in the bank compliance industry who was looking for unique ways to create content and help educate the market on one specific issue. And they wanted to do a season of a podcast to test out the idea.
Completely unique and something that hasn’t been done in the industry.
Also – If you’re a physical business and focus on a regional area. Having a podcast can really help you to stand out from your competition.
If you’re providing content about the area and talking about local experiences your customers aren’t going to find that info from anyone else you’re really adding value for your customers.
Find ways to stand out. It’s what it’s all about.
Your own advertising platform…
Instead of paying for ads on somebody else’s site – you create the ads. Promote a product or service directly in the intro of the podcast and on the website you can have links and call to actions to more of the same.
Also, if you’re working on creating an email list by offering updates or perhaps some type of email course here are some quick benefits you can implement pretty quickly.
#1 – Include a survey in your auto responder. Have questions like “what do you struggle with the most in your business?” “what guests would you be most interested to listen to?” “what are you most interested in learning about?” This gives you the simple list of people to have on and what to ask them about.
#2 – Send a weekly email with links to all the relevant content you’ve produced or you think would be helpful. Add as much value as possible to your list and they’ll stay happy and subscribed!
#3 – Create a Linked In group and Facebook group to connect users even further. Even if you don’t get a ton of sign ups it’s still another way you can get users into your sphere of influence. The more the better!
Podcasts require some level of consistency. weekly, biweekly, monthly you need to keep producing content. And when users subscribe to your podcast on iTunes they stay consistent.
Every time they open up the app your podcast is sitting there with a notification or two that you have new episodes.
There are very few mediums that make it this easy for users to consistently consume your content.
If you think that podcasts might be the right inbound marketing (content marketing) strategy for your business.
Head over here and learn more about the why and how.