So your business is trying everything it can to expand its brand. You’ve hopped onto the social network train and are tweeting/posting to promote your products or services throughout the day. You’re even buying advertising on various platforms. And yet you feel like you’re still missing out on something. What could that something be?
Said something could be a podcast.
That’s right. Podcasts are one of the most underrated tools for brand expansion on the market. According to Edison Research, the monthly online audio audience from various sources tuned in over sixteen hours a week on average. Podcasts also reached 26% of the in-car usage market.
According to MusicOomph, podcast statistics break down like so:
- Over 700,000 active podcasts
- 29 million episodes
- 100 languages
- 51% of the US population have listened to a podcast
- 32% of the US population listen to podcasts at least every month
- 22% of the US population listens to podcasts weekly
- 6% of the US population list themselves as avid podcast fans
That’s a big audience — one your business shouldn’t miss out on. At this point you’re probably asking yourself, “but how can I use a podcast to expand my business’ brand?” The follow-up question is, “Aren’t podcasts for fiction and crime?” Although some of the most popular podcasts on the planet center around true crime, there are plenty of businesses that have leveraged podcasts.
I want to offer up some suggestions on how you can leverage a podcast to help expand your brand. This advice can work if you’re one of many software development companies, if you sell a specific product if you’re a consultant, or just about any kind of business.
Make It Quality
The first thing you have to understand, well before your podcast takes a shot at success, is that it must be of the highest quality. What does that mean? It means recording with prosumer-grade equipment, to say the least. Although you don’t need a full-blown audio mixing board, you do need quality microphones.
One of the best podcast mics available is the Blue Yeti. The Yeti sets the gold standard for those just starting to get into podcasting. It’s affordable and the quality of sound it produces is incredible.
Next, you need to have a room to record in that has a fairly low noise floor. The noise floor is the measure of the signal created from all of the sources in a room. In other words, the ambient noise of a room. You need to record in a place that has the lowest possible noise floor you can get. You don’t want extraneous noise in your podcast, otherwise, it’ll detract from the actual content.
Speaking of which…
This is where it gets tricky. Say, for instance, your business is in the field of software development outsourcing. If you’re involved in this arena, you know there are an almost infinite number of topics to discuss.
You might be asking yourself, “But how does that specifically expand the brand of my business?”
This is important. Your podcast can’ stand as a weekly 30 or 60-minute advertisement for your business. Why? That simply won’t fly in today’s multimedia-centric world. Consumers fast forward through commercials. If your podcast comes across as a commercial or infomercial, it’s over.
Instead, you want to create interesting content to draw people to your podcast. Of course, you can make mention of your business during each episode, but your brand isn’t the driving force of the content.
For example, say your software outsource business offers development for mobile device apps. You could have a podcast episode focused on a specific hurdle of developing with a certain IDE. Or you could do an episode on mobile app development best practices. Some episodes could focus on Android, while others focus on iOS.
The point is to create content that would not only interest your audience but show them your company knows what it’s talking about and has its finger on the pulse of your industry.
It’s about generating buzz, not sales.
The good news is, that buzz can generate sales by extension. Why? Because you’re developing an audience. Keep in mind, though, that you need to reference your company during the podcast – albeit in subtle ways. For example, if you’re talking about IDEs, you could have one of your internal developers offer up a unique tip they frequently use with their IDE of choice.
By doing this, you not only remind the audience of your company, but you also show that your company knows what it’s doing.
This one is crucial. You could create an outstanding podcast, with great content, and still have trouble building your audience. However, if you bring in a new guest host for each episode, you can benefit from the guest’s audience as well.
Say, for example, your company focuses on Java development. Shoot for the moon and try to land the creator of Java, James Gosling, for an episode. Doing that not only ensures you’ll have your own audience listening, but anyone who follows Gosling.
Guest hosts can be a huge draw for your podcast and you should go out of your way to seek out guests that can bring in significant numbers. Not only that, they help keep your podcast fresh.
Which leads us to…
You have to think “long game” with your podcast and make sure you can come up with enough topics such that you don’t repeat yourself. This is a trap you must avoid. When developing topic ideas, don’t be afraid to go either too wide or too narrow. You go wide with a topic and you draw in larger audiences. You go narrow and you draw in niche but loyal audiences. You want variety here.
Just don’t always be too wide or too narrow with your topic focus.
And if you find a topic that holds a particular popularity, figure out a way to spread it out. Say, for example, you do land that podcast with James Gosling co-hosting and it does quite well. You could then search out other big names in the Java world for follow-up podcasts on a similar subject. The good thing about this tactic is that you’ll be getting a different perspective with each guest while avoiding repetition on a similar subject.
Make it Social and Streaming
Once you have your podcast up and running, and with a few episodes under your belt, it’s then essential that you share that podcast out on every social network you can. On top of that, consider it a must to get your podcast listed in iTunes, Spotify, and every streaming service you can find.
Without spreading the word of your podcast, you’re limiting your reach. By expanding its reach, you expand your brand.
Think of your podcast as an extension of your company and it will serve you well. With just a little extra time and effort, you could see that podcasts help you and your brand expand beyond anything the standard PR and marketing efforts might offer.
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