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.
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.
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.
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!
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