Building the Best Marketing Podcast
Blogs are great, but there are a couple of situations where they may not be the best thing for people to read—when they’re running on the treadmill at the gym, or navigating post-work traffic, for example. What can be more useful for those situations? Podcasts. Your business’s fans can get all the benefits of mining your expertise, without switching attention between what’s on the screen in front of them and what they’re doing.
In fact, podcasting is among the hottest rising trends in social media strategy today - while only 2% are currently using podcasts, 23% of marketers plan to incorporate podcasting in 2013. To help you get started, here are some tips from Mashable on building the best marketing podcast for your business.
1.) Play Around With Different Programs
One of the most intimidating parts of podcasting is picking what tools you’ll use to record yourself. Thankfully, you don’t have to shrink your savings to create a good podcast. FulltimeCasual and MacTalk host Peter Wells says that he records most of his programs on Skype, because it allows him to talk to a wider range of people who don’t live in his city. In fact, when he started recording his programs this way, his podcast actually became more popular. So quality, while important, is not the be-all end-all of a good podcast.
One great freeware program to try is Audacity. It’s one of the most popular programs for basic recording and editing, because it allows users to do an impressive amount of editing, given that it doesn’t cost anything. Of course, Garageband is also a great basic choice for Mac users.
2.) Make Your Content Shine
Just like you need to cut through the endless chatter of other bloggers when you post content to your own blog, you need to make your podcast stand out with great content. How do you do this? First, it always helps to be excited about the topic. When you’re excited about the subject matter, that will instantly make your podcast more interesting. If you talk about something you don’t care about? That lack of excitement will come across, and your listeners won’t want to stick around.
Unfortunately, enthusiasm isn’t always enough to cut it. There may be many other podcasts covering the same topic as you. In which case, you need to sit down and brainstorm for awhile. Can you think of a new or creative way to talk about the topic? Identify what you can give to listeners that they won’t find anywhere else, and work that into your podcast.
Furthermore, be sure that your podcast offers useful, tangible advice for your listeners. It should be a resource for them, not an excuse for you to prop your products and services. They’ll be more likely to buy from you if you show them how you can help them, not what your business will do for them.
3.) Give Yourself Time to Prepare
When you’re starting out, you’ll obviously want to take enough time to get familiar with the software you’re using. But also take into account the amount of time you’ll need to get in touch with interview subjects, research your questions for them (if need be), and schedule and set up a time to speak with them. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to do an interview every week. Plan for a healthy mix of interviews and your own content.
4.) Practice, Practice, Practice
All those NPR reporters have such a soothing cadence to their voices, don’t they? Most of us probably can’t say the same. To help you get comfortable in your role as a host and also just with speaking for your podcast in general, try recording yourself speaking on different topics, just for fun. As with anything that’s new and unfamiliar, the more you do it, the more comfortable it will become.
5.) Keep It Short And to the Point
Don’t try to make your podcast any longer than it needs to be. Be short, sweet, and to the point, because although you may be providing content through a different medium, your audience’s attention span is no better than it is when they read your content.
This isn’t to say that you should avoid long content altogether, however. Some podcasts can be up to two hours long; it really just depends on the nature of the topic and the format of the show. Interviews can (and probably should) be longer. But if you’re giving your audience 5 tips on how to save money on car maintenance? The podcast doesn’t have to be the length of an opera.
Anyone can blog, but creating a podcast might just be the thing that puts you over your competition. Another perk of podcasting? You can upload the file onto your blog, highlighting some of the most important points without giving away too much information. That podcast post can help you fill up your content calendar, so you won’t be as pressed to blog as much.