Businesses are finding new ways to share their messages. As traditional periodicals and print publications dial down their productions, the real beat is often on the company blog. Rather than waiting for a press release to be picked up, businesses launching new products and services can publish straight to their site and let the Twitterverse share the news that way.
This new form of communication has made it easier than ever for brands to directly engage with their prospects, clients, customers and promoters. The company blog still has its limitations though. The audience has to read it. In the age of information overload, vying for share of attention is often an uphill battle. Many savvy businesses are recognizing that there are ways to engage with their audience even when it is inconvenient to sit down and read. Enter Podcasting.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is simply multimedia content published online. In most cases, listeners can find a feed of episodes through a podcast aggregator like iTunes or Stitcher.
Why make a Podcast?
*In this article I will be exclusively referring to the audio only podcast (as opposed to video).
Simply put, when members of your audience are not able to make time to read, they can often consume rich audio content. According to the U.S. Census, the average one-way daily commute for workers across the country is 25.5 minutes in 2013. Think of the untapped attention share there for your audience. What this means, is that you have the opportunity to grab 25 minutes of your audience's undivided attention while driving.
But driving isn't the only time available. Podcaster's grab up to an hour of my time every day during my regular walks, jogs and runs. I am constantly consuming relevant industry content during these excursions.
What should my Podcast be about?
Your podcast should have a well defined intended audience. We advise our clients to create buyer personas, or a detailed construct of the ideal customer.
For my business, some of our detailed buyer personas include the CEO, the CMO, the VP of Sales and the PR Pro. These aren't just lists of job titles either. We give them a name, and create a story about their pain points, challenges, hopes and daily routines that helps us create content designed specifically to speak to them.
When plotting out the goal for your business podcast, you should be thinking about who your intended audience is, and find ways to make the content relevant to them. Topics of discussion may be related to your products or services from time to time, but it is important to keep the audience persona in mind. Ask yourself, "How can I share stories that they will enjoy that might not be directly related to our services?"
Referring to the persona, you can begin to address the pain points. For the sake of this conversation, let's take our persona for the V.P. of Sales. This is a sales professional concerned with being able to shorten the sales cycle, give better guidance to his team, provide quality incentives, proper motivations for his reps, and finally to grow top line revenue. Creating an episode on running an effective roleplay workshop to enhance sales rep communication skills would be very relevant to this persona.
How do I come up with all this content?
This is really the best part. You do not always have to write everything from scratch, or even go it alone. This is where I introduce the concept of "borrowed expertise" We could find a sales coach with particular expertise in running roleplays and ask them some best practices in a recorded interview.
This technique allows you to get real expert opinions on the subject, provide helpful information to your audience, and shows that you aren't threatened by your competition or outside consultants. You then get the added bonus of reaching the guest expert's audience as well. It really is a win-win for everyone involved, including your audience.
OK, how do I produce this thing?
Chances are that you have everything you need to get started already right where you sit. Most modern laptops and computers have microphones built right into the machines. Fire up a sound recorder and start talking away. If you get a chance to do an interview, you can even pull up the voice recorder on your smartphone and get some pretty incredible sound quality straight away.
Apple has put together probably the most thorough and well documented podcasting feed setup guide on the Internet here, but it can be a bit technical and daunting for business professionals like us. If you would like to get into this and get real actionable advice on how to get started, sign up our free eCourse, How to Launch a Business Podcast in 7 Steps below.
This course is sent to you in a series of seven emails, so you can digest the material and have time to complete the setup for your own podcast.
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