Podcasts continue to be a hot digital vehicle to reach at-work and away from work listeners. As webinars have waned in usefulness, radio podcasts have surged as the digital media with long tails to build thought leadership, a personal brand and a network that knows of you and your company. It is a friendly, entertaining, non-threatening, fountain of information.
Podcasts break through social media and lead generation clutter by connecting with the audience in an authentic manner. Some say social media and podcasting are the new resume.
But before you jump in-front of a microphone and spend 2-4 hours of recording and editing, give some thought about what it takes to be a successful podcaster.
For those new to podcasting, you probably may not realize it, but B2B podcasts from you and your company create multi-use content, testimonials, thought leadership, and relationships with industry leaders. Plus, podcasts create a personal brand for the host. Podcasts introduce you and your products to thousands of potential customers and those that refer customers, but there are five things you must have in mind to be a success. At the Funnel Media Group, publisher of the Funnel Radio Channel, after producing dozens of podcast programs with hundreds of thousands of listeners, we have found the following to be needed before you start your podcast.
- You must be consistent: To gain followers (listeners and subscribers) you must produce a show that they can follow with regularlity. Once a month programming is very good, twice a month for moderately sized companies provides more visibility and a following. Weekly programs published from large companies and marketing departments are better when they can use the enormous amount of content which comes from each podcast.
- Decide why you are doing a podcast. Decide what your goals are before you start. Podcasting is about building and conversing with an audience. And as Jason Calicanis once said, “Audience equals power.” Do you want to introduce yourself to movers and shakers in your industry by interviewing them? Do you want to build a personal brand? A podcast can create great testimonials for you and your company. Do you want to build a network of people that follow you? How about creating content for your marketing efforts such as ebooks, nurture content, case studies, blog entries? Some podcasters have hundreds of listeners and they are happy, some thousands per episode.
- Your show needs professionalism: Sound, host and announcer quality are important. Music introductions, transcripts, separate announcers and commercials add interest and entertainment value. A professionally produced podcast from an agency that specializes in podcast production can produce a podcast for the host and company including the storage site, studio, announcer, music, artwork, embeddable code, etc., for as little as $500 per episode. You do not have to have an announcer voice, but you do have to be interesting, don’t take yourself too seriously, and remember if you have a guest, it is about the guest.
- Content must be interesting: It is entertainment after all, don’t lose sight of this. Listeners want to learn in an entertaining way, it is expected. Entertainment has more to do with the guest and a tightly edited program than humor and sound effects. Each program’s title and its content must be stimulating and worth the time invested by the listener. Programs with “How-To” or similar titles are the most popular and long lasting. Using an industry personality’s name may help, but you have to use a giant name such as Marc Benioff in the title to benefit from it.
- The ideal show length: An ideal program length should be determined by how much time a listener will give you. An hour is too long (most producers will agree) because the listener has probably reached their destination, come in from walking the dog or run their training circuit. 22-30 minutes is ideal for the listener who listens on a mobile device away from work. Longer than that and your guests may also run out of things to talk about; keep it short and less boring.
Bonus Tips for Podcasters
- Hope is not a strategy. Use the content, don’t just record and post it and hope someone finds you. Your company can use the content many ways. Podcasts produce a plethora of content option such as testimonial quotes, blogs, nurture messages, ebooks, hard cover books, guest websites, white papers or case studies.
- It takes time to build a following and network, but once build, you’re golden: Whether it is your company name or your name, it takes more than a few episodes to build a following. At 6-12 episodes, people recognize the company and that you are hosting a regular podcast. With each succeeding show you gain listeners, followers and a reputation. Considering how little time you put into a podcast (22-30 minutes a show) it’s a good investment. How to Measure Podcast Contributions to Revenue.
- Guests are easy to get: Guests want the exposure as much as you do. 90-95% of the people you ask to be guests will agree. With over 500 executive interviews I can count on one hand the people that have turned us down, usually because of timing. Guest love to be heard, they feel honored that you ask. After all, it is all about them.
Follow these tips and you too can join the podcast personalities that reach thousands of listeners with thought provoking guests. Today’s mobile listeners want business entertainment and training without the clutter of so many social media outlets.
If you want to pitch an idea for a podcast on the Funnel Radio Channel, contact me Susan Finch, [email protected], and let’s talk.