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5 ways to harness the power of podcasting

5 ways to harness the power of podcasting

As we move towards an on-demand economy, more and more internet users are tuning into podcasts as a preferred medium for industry relevant discussion. Whether it be business, news and current affairs, or even healthy eating, there seems to be a podcast to cover most topics.

This is a great opportunity for brands to jump aboard the podcasting train. Listen to this podcast I’ve created, or read on to find out how to harness the power of podcasting.

Let’s look at some statistics. In 2014, out of a sample of 2,096 Americans, more than 25% reported having listened to a podcast in the last 24 hours. These same users reported listening to an average of more than 5 hours of audio content every day. These figures are only growing in size.

What about in Australia?

Let’s look at the national broadcaster as an example. In 2008, Crikey asked the ABC to share their podcast numbers, which for the year totalled 21 million downloads. It gets interesting when we compare it to their 2014 downloads which was around 74.4 million downloads. These figures only prove that podcasting is growing in popularity, not only in U.S. but globally, and Australians are loving it.

It is important that podcasts be seen as a branding tool

Using podcasts to educate and build a positive reputation will significantly boost a brand’s customer engagement and potential conversions to customers. In an age where we are all fighting for our customer’s attention, podcasts provide the ability for a brand to speak directly to the customer for an extended period of time.

5 ways brands can harness the power of podcasting:

1. Create a podcast that educates the broader community

Brands can use a podcast to provide education for a problem that their product essentially solves.

For example, let’s look at Conversioncast, the podcast produced by Leadpages who own a product that allows users to create high converting landing pages quickly. By setting up the show, Leadpages is educating listeners on how to improve their conversions and in doing so, marketing their product as the go-to conversion tool.

How you can apply this

What problem does your product solve? Create a weekly podcast that addresses some of the most commonly asked questions in your community. In addition to producing this show, produce a blog post with links to all the resources and items mentioned during this show. Not only is this a valuable resource for your customers but will help with SEO strategies.

2. Use your existing platforms to market a podcast to encourage sharing

By publishing your podcast and sharing with your existing social audiences, brands have the ability to reach and educate their audience in a new and exciting way. In addition, brands can use a variety of different mediums to promote their show including video.

How you can apply this

You’ve probably spent many hours and dollars building a thriving community. Utilise these platforms by creating powerful call-to-actions at the end of your podcast to encourage audience engagement and sharing. For example, at the end of each show, set a challenge for your audience to undertake and encourage them to share the results with you on your existing social channels.

3. Harness existing industry relationships and seek interview opportunities

Don’t reinvent the wheel. A podcast is the perfect opportunity to call on those industry connections and use experts to provide relevant content to your customers.

How you can apply this

You’ve worked hard to network and build meaningful relationships in your niche. Take a look on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter — are any of those contacts marketing a new product or service? If so, give them a call and ask them to appear on your show. People who are promoting a product are more likely to appear on a show as it provides a free opportunity to promote their new product. It also pays to look around at brands who are using podcasts in your niche. Again, reach out to them but see if you can appear on their show. This will increase your reach and possibly attract new customers.

4. Use dedicated podcast networks

Networks such as Audioboom, Soundcloud, and Spreaker provide the perfect platform for you to reach a wider audience and for users to share content. In addition, they provide the ability to embed the show into blog posts, which is great for converting web traffic into listens.

Before choosing your platform, take a look at your budget. Have you allowed for the cost associated with podcast hosting? The answer to this question will determine which podcast hosting service you choose to use.

How you can apply this

These networks have social sharing at the core of their services. Audioboom specifically has 100% embeddable tracks for social media networks making it incredibly easy for your community to listen to your show. Use these networks to your advantage and in conjunction with tip number 2 and your reach will drastically increase.

5. Offer a special to users who enter your email list as a result of listening to the show

We’ve all heard that the money is in the list so using a podcast to grow your email list is the next logical step.

Brands can offer a special download or discount code for those who sign up to your email list. In addition, with the rise of SMS marketing and with more people consuming podcasts on mobile devices, brands can encourage those people to SMS for a special.

How you can apply this

Use an email autoresponder to automate the delivery of your special offer. If you don’t have a special offer to deliver, you could put together show specific downloads. One individual who has seen great success with this process is Nick Loper from Side Hustle Nation. Nick offers a special downloadable resource that builds on the content delivered in his show. You can see an example here.

These 5 ways are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to harnessing the power of podcasting. Not to mention I’ve only spoken about audio podcasts here and not touched on the power of video podcasts. That’s another article in itself.

Is your brand considering using a podcast to drive engagement and conversions?

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