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 download 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 provide 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 are they 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 customers 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 idea around the soap opera was to create compelling content that could be used to attract their target audience: women who stayed at home and used soap to clean and do laundry.
The drama pulled them into a never-ending story, while each act was divided by soap advertisements.
Every weekday, their target audience would tune in to “see what was going to happen next” never realizing that they were being conditioned to buy their favorite soap opera’s brand of soap.
When these women went to the market, that brand of soap just sold itself.
Your 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 about lawn care and landscaping, with the products name in the title of the podcast.
That way the product name is mentioned every time the title is used, every time it is said during each intro, during each outro, and every time the show is mentioned in other media.
Another show could be about how to fish in each of 50 States.
Each episode the host uses the company’s product, alongside other products, to catch, clean, cook, and/or preserve game while outdoors.
The show is not directly about that product, but once the host becomes an authoritative voice, the audience will start to wonder what gear they use or recommend.
When the product is mentioned passively, then that question is very easy to answer.
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.
I’m sure if you start to look around at all the media coming into your ears, you’ll start to pick out the passive advertising taking place in just about everything you read, watch, or listen to.
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.
Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.
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 these audiences fail to materialize?
Usually, it is 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 available content.
Your audience might know how committed you are to your own show if you only release a podcast once every 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 of growing your fan base.
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 content and digital music delivery.
It may have started with the Apple iPod, but it has 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 providing compelling content instead of advertising products, your podcast has the potential to create an entirely new type of listener called a fan.
Fans are earned when you put your efforts into content and lost when you focus too much on pushing products.
Don’t miss your chance to create new fans.
Because once you have fans, selling them your products is easy.
They might even buy it without you having to ask.
And now you know.