Become a Podcaster Master: Q&A With Kerry O’Shea Gorgone
With more ways of communicating instantly and globally than ever before, everyone to have a voice. But how can you be heard by your target audience when they’re always on the go?
Podcasts are an ideal communication medium for brands hoping to build awareness and value. All your audience has to do is plug in a pair of headphones and listen to what you have to say.
Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, host of MarketingProfs’ Marketing Smarts podcast, recently sat down with us to answer a few questions on how to build a podcasting strategy and give us a glimpse at what she’ll cover at her Cision webinar.
Q: Why is podcasting valuable for brands’ marketing strategies?
A: More people are listening to podcasts than ever, and the podcast-listening audience is both affluent and socially savvy.
According to Edison Research, people who listen to podcasts have higher household incomes and are more active online. They’re also 17 percent more likely to follow a brand on social media.
This all adds up to podcasts being a valuable tool for brands!
Q: What makes podcasting unique in comparison to other forms of content (blog posts, videos, etc.)?
A: Audio content is incredibly intimate: you’re whispering into someone’s ear. They’re listening to you while they exercise or drive to work. Listeners feel a connection with you, and grow to trust you.
You can develop a “brand voice” for your writing, but think about how important someone’s speaking voice is: you instantly recognize a person’s voice when they call. When you read your email, you might read it in the voice of the sender.
We see a picture of someone and instinctively read any text on the photo in that person’s voice. (Remember that Morgan Freeman meme?)
Your voice makes an incredibly powerful impression: use it to create a deeper connection with your audience.
Q: What types of brands can benefit from a podcasting strategy?
A: Any brand willing to invest the time to record quality audio can benefit from podcasting. The medium works for any brand, because every brand has an audience of existing users, prospects and people in the target industry who might need you someday (even if they don’t realize it yet).
Some people don’t read long blog posts. Some won’t watch online videos. Add audio to your marketing mix and you can win the attention of the people who won’t consume other kinds of content. Podcasts also offer an option for people who do enjoy reading articles or watching videos, but can’t do so at the moment. Maybe they’re out walking or sitting on the bus.
Even if your company is B2B and sells to a network of distributors, you could create a podcast to help distributers sell more effectively to end users. Or you could produce a podcast geared specifically toward the end users: They’ll be more likely to request your brand from distributors if your audio content has helped them to solve a problem or overcome a challenge.
Q: New technology is constantly expanding, making podcasting more and more accessible. How does this affect the value of podcasting as a marketing tool?
A: The more mainstream podcasts become, the more valuable they are as a marketing tool because your reach grows. According to Edison Research, 90 million Americans (one-third of the population) report that they have listened to a podcast at some point. Forty-six million Americans reported having listened to a podcast within the past month.
Now that people can listen to podcasts on their smartphones and in their cars, the potential audience has grown well beyond the relatively small pool of early adopters and tech savvy people who could find and subscribe to podcasts using their laptop or iPod.
In short? Podcasts are gaining in popularity, and if your brand doesn’t podcast, you’ll miss an incredible opportunity to reach your audience.
Q: What are the best practices brands should follow when creating a podcast?
A: 1. Know your goals for the podcast. Is it a sponsorship vehicle or revenue generator? Is it strictly content marketing? Are you hoping to increase email sign-ups or site traffic?
Before you start podcasting, clarify what your goals are, and set up metrics to help you figure out whether it’s working for you.
Another key to creating a successful podcast is to know your audience. For whom are you producing this show? What do they care about? What problems do they have that you could help them solve? Are they seasoned professionals, or are they new to the industry?
Define your audience and plan the overall theme of your podcast. This will make it easier for you to make decisions about topics and guests (if you plan to have any).
2. Choose a format that works for you and your audience, and aligns with your goals for the show. If you want to establish your company’s expertise in your field, have an executive or an employee host the podcast and share their own insights.
You might also feature interviews with employees across the organization, showing the depth and breadth of your company’s knowledge and skill in the space.
You could interview outside experts, if the podcast is targeted toward people at the very top of the sales funnel: at that point, you’re just interested in providing helpful information and establishing trust. Featuring experts outside your own company can make your podcast a more trustworthy resource.
Remember, producing an interview show is as much work as producing a show on which you share only your own thoughts or insights. You need to research the guest and prepare a list of topics to talk about. If you choose an interview format, be aware that it’s not a short-cut—interviews require preparation!
3. Choose a length that’s sustainable for you and well suited to your audience. The average commute time in the U.S. is 25 minutes, which is worth considering, because many people listen to podcasts in the car.
4. Decide how often you want to podcast.
You might want to produce a new episode daily, but that’s an incredible amount of work. Producing a monthly podcast, on the other hand, might not keep you top of mind with your audience.
Think realistically about how often you can produce a quality podcast, then keep to your production schedule.
Consider whose responsibility the podcast will be, how much time they have to devote to planning and producing it and what their other duties are.
If you’ll be the one creating the podcast, consider your own workload: there’s no point in growing your business through podcasting if you burn yourself out!
Producing a podcast requires time and effort, and some planning can help you to make sure it pays off.
Finally, promote your podcast! Just like you share blog posts on social networks or send them to your email list, you need to let people know about each new episode of the podcast. No matter how good a podcast is, you won’t gain traction or build an audience without promotion.
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