Even in 2017, there are still plenty of businesses that haven't fully embraced social and content strategies that could help their bottom line. Many of the misconceptions include questions about how they benefit organizations and fear of time/resources needed to produce content. If you have concerns about launching a podcast for your business, let me provide some relief by wrecking some mental barriers.
BARRIER: Nobody is going to listen to our business podcast.
WRECKING BALL: Nobody is going to hear it you if you don't make one.
I remember when Amy Porterfield launched her podcast. Here's a woman who makes a living on the internet, and believe me - she has people who listen. Nonetheless, she felt inspired to launch her own show to the help her business and her brand. This was a new endeavor for her, so she shared her experience (obviously on Facebook) with her followers. One of the first things I remember her noticing was how it helped her reach NEW audiences. That's what podcasts can do - help you connect with people you might otherwise never reach.
Why do you think car companies are incorporating podcast listening into dashboards? Why do you think more online music hubs are trying to figure out ways to incorporate podcasts into their offerings? It is because people have smartphones and devices, and they love being able to play audio/video content right when they want it. If your business creates an engaging podcast, it has every opportunity to gain a valuable listener base.
One of the best things podcasting can do is personalize your brand and position it as a thought leader. Merge those two things together, and you can make a huge impression on a potential customer.
If your show features voices from within the organization, and they sound friendly, knowledgeable, credible, personable and/or ethical...a customer's comfort level with contacting or buying from you is going to go way up. Insightful interviews and conversations can also enhance your position as a trusted thought leader in your space.
BARRIER: We're not used to this type of sales/marketing strategy, and we just don't understand how a podcast will generate business.
WRECKING BALL: If other companies have made it work, why can't you? Do some research, and find out how it's worked for others. Develop a plan that fits your mission.
As far back as 2012, Entrepreneur launched their podcast. As with many businesses, they ask customers how they found them. Suddenly, seven out of ten said they discovered them through their podcast. Not to mention, they saw their web traffic grow by 46 percent in just two months - and this is a company that already has a pretty big audience. Yet again, podcasting brought them new people.
Here's a personal example. When I was got my first social media management job in 2012, I started listening to Social Media Examiner's podcast. It was great to hear so many amazing social media experts share their insights in one place. I was inspired to find their website and subscribe to their e-newsletter. Then, when they announced they were having a big social media conference, I told my company that I HAD to attend.
I was inspired to do this not because I was bombarded by sales pitches. Instead, it was because I valued the content, and therefore valued them as a resource. Your business could do the exact same thing. If people love what they can get from you for free (like content), they'll be very interested in the quality of something they can purchase from you.
BARRIER: It's very expensive and way too time consuming.
WRECKING BALL: No, it isn't. (So, take that!)
Okay, maybe it can be a little time consuming, but it doesn't have to be. It also doesn't have to be expensive.
You can purchase an inexpensive quality microphone like this or this to plug into your computer. You can get a free program like Audacity to record and edit the show. That's enough to get you started. There is nothing wrong with producing a podcast that's 20 minutes or less. You could even conduct a good interview in that amount of time.
I actually had someone tell me that you could not go in-depth in 30 minutes. Clearly this same person had never listened to Mike Rowe's podcast. He features interviews in podcast episodes that average about 10 minutes per show.
Look, I'm not suggesting that it's never challenging to develop a podcast for a certain industry. I've talked to ad agencies, healthcare companies, real estate companies and training organizations about podcast concepts. What I am saying is not to deny yourself the opportunity to get yourself in front of a new audience because you think it might not be possible.
Yes, the podcast realm can be a crowded space. However, let me ask you this:
How many podcast shows are there in YOUR industry?
If the number is pretty low...that's not an indicator of level of interest. It's a path to opportunity. Plus, several podcasts do not put an emphasis on format, editing, audio quality and creativity. Do that, and you'll already be a step up from several other programs.
If I can help you develop a podcast for you business, feel free to email me anytime.