In our fast-paced society, where multitasking and convenience are key, podcasts have become the “it” thing. You can take in information and expertise, as well as be entertained, all while on the go. Unlike reading or watching a video, you can listen to a podcast while running, driving, walking the dog or any number of opportunities, thanks to earbuds and your smartphone.
Consider this: Sixty million homes are podcast listeners, and an estimated 48 million people in the United States listen to podcasts weekly. Of those who are tuning in, they listen to an average of seven podcasts per week.
What’s the forecast for podcasts? There are no signs of this trend reversing or slowing down. In fact, I am sure many of you listen to podcasts on a personal or professional level. But, have you considered adding a podcast to your marketing strategy?
We all know and use traditional ways of sharing content — blogging, e-books, newsletters and so on. But I believe there is something more personable about a podcast — it’s conversational.
Here are three reasons why adding a podcast to your marketing can be beneficial:
1. Gain search engine optimization (SEO) and domain authority.
Beyond the actual podcast itself, how can you use these discussions to develop new content?
Our team created a blog that is solely for our podcast, separate from our regular blog. This gives us an ideal way to distribute the podcast to subscribers and allows us to share show notes of the conversations, complete with links to the guest’s bio, products or books that the guest mentions or has written, your blogs or other podcast episodes that relate to the newest episode and articles that you might have referenced.
Did someone say “backlinks”? This is where it’s at! Can I also say “keywords”? Who doesn’t want another way to share their content online? Next steps for our team is to look at creating social media and maybe even some videos for our podcast.
There are many options for where to deliver your podcast. We selected SoundCloud as the audio host for our “Quality Talk” podcast and listeners can also find it via iTunes. There are other popular hosting services out there, but for us, this platform seemed the most intuitive and user-friendly to get up and running with a minimal learning curve. Also, streaming on iTunes simply seemed like a no-brainer.
2. Showcase your organization as a thought leader.
You can walk the walk, but can you talk about it? What better way to show that you really are the expert in your industry than by having rich conversations with major leaders in the field.
This is actually a two-for-one deal. Associations and other industry leaders will likely love to get their name out there just as much as you do. We have had high-level guests from some of the top associations in our field. Not only does that show that we run with the big dogs, but think of the backlinks and online engagements it creates.
Another thing to think about is the relationships you make with your guests and listeners. People often buy from people they trust, and you are building trust through your expert-level discussions.
3. Generate a whole new audience as leads.
For any of us in communications, we know that everyone engages with information in different ways, and it’s our job to find the adequate balance of mediums to share that information. What we have found from our podcast is that we are growing a completely different audience than the ones we have for our blog or newsletter subscriptions. Don’t miss an opportunity to be heard by completely new ears — and new markets.
The show notes subscription option, by the way, is available only on our website. The show notes are not available on SoundCloud or iTunes. Listeners don’t always want access to those links and show note details, but when they do, you can direct them to your website for show notes and a plethora of other treasures.
Ready, Set … Go?
You may be asking yourself, “Where do we even start?” It truly isn’t as scary as it seems; you just have to start somewhere. Another great point: You can start with little-to-no investment.
We started with less than a couple hundred dollars for our podcast and built from there, getting off the ground with a simple mixer-recorder that connected to a smartphone. As we got our podcasting legs under us and grew our audience, we upgraded to better recording equipment.
Are you eager to hit “record”? The main thing to be prepared for — as with any marketing platform — is consistency. Be ready to keep the podcast continually going and embrace the opportunities to learn along the way as you make mistakes and refine your process. This is what James Clear calls, “the power of imperfect starts.”
There are endless resources you can find online to guide you through how to start a podcast and how to distribute to subscribers on your website. Keep in mind that this medium is still new enough that you’ll be creating your own how-to manual along the way with valuable nuggets of advice from those already podcasting.
As with any other content strategy, you need to determine what you want to talk about. In addition to guests who are movers and shakers in the health care industry, “Quality Talk” also features guests who have fascinating health care-related stories. And if the guest also has a large social media following, well, all the better. After all, we’re building our brand, too.
Now, get to talking.