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Ahead of our upcoming Forward Marketing Summit Sydney 2020 on 26-27 February, we’ve caught-up with Shayne Brian, Director of Voice - Podcast Training, Production and Distribution at Elevate Radio & Podcasts, to discuss all things Podcasts and why they need to be in your marketing strategy.
Like what you hear and want to hear more from Shayne? He's one of the many speakers at our upcoming Sydney summit on 26-27 February – see how you can be part of it here.
In what ways have podcasts given visibility to businesses? How have they benefited them?
I know it is kind of odd thinking about a non-visible medium offering such high visibility. The reality is every business is looking for visibility. That’s what the whole marketing process and branding exercise is for, but we get so caught up in the whole process of advertising, chasing leads, product marketing, that we tend to forget that what people really want is a story. They want to feel connected to the storyteller and that connection is reinforced emotionally. It is the reason why banks rarely advertise money and why insurance companies seldom advertise insurance. Instead they tell stories of real people (even if they are fictionalised), because they know the story will connect and reinforce their brand. Podcasts are the same. They offer an opportunity for businesses to tell stories or speak with others who will reinforce their business brand on an emotional level… offering a form of emotional investment.

A perfect example is John Lee Dumas who interviews entrepreneurs about how they have succeeded and made an impact. It isn’t a podcast about their products or their latest offerings. Instead it is an insight into the life of this extraordinary person who has created a business, how they got to that point, the trials they had on the way and the triumph they had when they achieved their goal. After the interview, listeners want to seek out the guest because they want to continue the connection. They have built up a level of trust.

That is what podcasting is all about. It is branding but it is also trust building. Setting yourself up as an authority. Someone people know they can get the right information from and who will look after them.

I have seen programs fill up on the back of a podcast, simply because the listener trusts the podcaster. So the visibility factor is definitely an exercise in trust through storytelling.

What are some of the main challenges faced when implementing podcasting into your marketing and brand strategy?
There are three big challenges that you are faced with, when creating and implementing a successful podcast.

The first challenge people face is “podcast burn-out". You have to look at podcasts as the long game. Don’t go into the podcast thinking that you have the time to record, edit, produce and distribute a weekly show. You will go well for the first few weeks and then you start to realise that there is a lot of work involved. So you change it to fortnightly, then monthly. Pretty soon you just can’t be bothered because it is too hard. That is why Elevate produces shows, because we do what we do (produce and edit) and let the podcaster do what they do (speak).

The second big one is anonymity. Podcasting is the same as any other form of marketing, you have to give it exposure. Start cross promoting it on social media, cross promote with other podcasters, send it out to your email database, try to get Apple to assist by getting the show into New and Noteworthy or even add it on as an email signature. Why not try some social media advertising to promote the podcast just like you would an ordinary post. Or even become a guest on someone else’s podcast to help promote your own. There are countless ways to promote your podcast. The fact is if you don’t put some energy behind the show, don’t expect it to grow. It isn’t a "field of dreams”.

The last challenge people face is the podcast structure. Does it represent your brand? Have you properly introduced it? Do you have a great sounding introduction? Are your interviewing or speaking skills up to scratch? Do you have the right content? Are you telling people where they can find you and your products (during and at the end of the show)? Do you have an eye-catching tile? These are the things we don’t think about but should because it is really marketing 101. You have to make your brand look great and sound great otherwise people will tune into to one of the other 800,000 podcasts. You rarely get a second chance.
What advice would you give to marketers and strategists looking to innovate their marketing and brand strategy through podcasts?
Find a company like Elevate Podcasts to help you plan your podcast out; help you edit it; help you distribute it; and give you training where needed. Unless you have the right gear and expertise, the podcast may not be at the standard that is expected by listeners now, one that will assist you in really securing the listener as a client long after the show is finished.

The other thing is to really think about the funnel you are leading people to. There are several funnels you can implement: paid programs, email lists, ebooks, free videos. It all comes down to what you want to do with the listener. I know businesses that use podcasts and interviews to get consistent sales. It is all in your approach.

Podcasts are your opportunity to reinforce your branding and with careful planning it can become a very valuable tool.

What are the main challenges to your role this year?

I don’t really see challenges just massive opportunities. Podcasting is a huge growth industry right now. In fact the reports from Forrester Research has predicted that podcasting will be a $1 Billion Market by the end of 2020. This obviously refers to advertising but also refers to return on investment. This means that if you aren't incorporating podcasting into your marketing plan then that is a massive chunk of income and potential business that you are losing! The danger however which flows on from the last question is that there is a rise in DIY podcast apps that claim you can just record and upload. It is that simple!
My response is: yes, it is simple, but the odds of having a growing audience is slim unless you are great at doing the show without requiring post-production work. Podcast listeners are spoiled for choice with brilliant shows. If they hear a show that is poorly produced, chances are they will switch it off.
You have to look at the podcast in the same way you would a promo video or a webpage. Poor quality represents lack of respect in your brand and this will in turn result in a poor listenership. On the upside, it shows that businesses are starting to take the need for podcasting really seriously.
What do you think our delegates can take away from your participation in the upcoming Forward Marketing Summit in Sydney?
I am super excited to be leading the afternoon sessions on brand marketing. The strongest and most successful companies have branding that is imprinted in the consumer’s minds. The level of speakers and the companies they represent have all been wildly successful and this is largely due to their branding. Luxury Escapes is a prime example of how to utilise multiple tools to reinforce your brand. They didn’t compromise on their message and their brand is now considered one of the premium brands in travel.
There are so many areas that make up a successful brand so it will be great to hear what brand marketing was successful for our speakers (and I am sure what wasn’t successful as well).
During my introduction I want to really demonstrate to everyone the need to incorporate the latest technology in their marketing and not get stuck into only following the traditional marketing activities like Facebook ads or Instagram followers. These are obviously important, but it is time to start thinking outside the square and getting creative.
So yes, I hope they take away some truth about how brand marketing should include all the tools and podcasting has so much potential to offer someone who is looking to add a new facet to their branding.
Want to hear more from Shayne? He's one of the many speakers at our upcoming Sydney summit on 26-27 February – see how you can be part of it here.

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