Xavier Gallery asked:
There is no question that the podcasting can be an influential tool for use in internet marketing. The accessibility and portable nature of podcasts make them a great way to reach to reach an otherwise unattainable audience. That being said, the majority of podcasts created as marketing platforms suffer from disorganization and a general lack of interesting content. The idea that you can submit any haphazard offering and expect sales results has led to a saturation of poorly produced podcasts on the web. In an effort to rid the world of this podcast spam, I am offering my “Five Essential Elements for Successful Podcast Marketing”. Remember that your podcast message represents your company or product. Similar to a sales call, you may only have one or two minutes to capture an audience. The following tips will increase your chances of engaging your audience and converting sales.
Element 1 – Have a Script. You wouldn’t give a speech without an outline, so why make your podcast audience suffer through your incessant babble. Nothing is more painful to the listener than dead airtime, and this is often the result of poor planning. It is not necessary to write out your entire monologue, but having an outline of your topic flow along with pertinent notes will help immensely.
Element 2 – Use an MP3 Format. While the availability of free podcast directories is invaluable, most of them offer only limited access for your listener. Often times this is in the form of a direct stream from the webpage. This may seem like an adequate form of distribution, but the reality is that most people would prefer to download a podcast to their portable listening device. I am always downloading interesting podcasts for later use in my car or at the gym. Unfortunately, those who opt not to use mp3 format will find their message land-locked to only a certain demographic of the potential market. This eliminates one of the key benefits of podcast marketing.
Element 3 – Incorporate a Guest. It never ceases to amaze me how many marketers expect an audience to listen to a one person diatribe. Not only is it monotonous to hear the same voice over and over, but very few people are interesting enough to fill the void of an entire show. I personally think that the one-on-one interview is the best format for marketing a product. Creatively constructing your questions to focus on how your product serves an inherent need has proven successful for many podcast marketers. Another popular strategy is the radio show format. This usually involves a co-host or call-in questions, and can be entertaining if the right personalities are in place.
Element 4 – Be Direct and Concise. Contrary to popular belief, a podcast doesn’t have to be 30 or 60 minutes long. The Podcast Police will not arrest you if produce a 17 minute program! Your audience expects to be entertained and/or informed throughout the show. Be respectful of this expectation and keep your content relevant and interesting. You may be able to get away with filler material on your website, but podcast listeners have the opportunity to tune you out. You will lose 90% of your audience if you don’t get to the point within the first 2 minutes.
Element 5 – Reward Your Listeners. Unless you are a superstar celebrity, you will likely have to provide some incentive to develop an audience. How you do this will ultimately determine how successfully your message will penetrate the market. Rewards can be monetary, such as “listen to our 15 minute podcast to find out how to save 20% on your order”. You can also leverage the power of information by advertising that you have a product that fills a specific need. Guest recognition can also generate traffic by announcing that your guest today is so-and-so (hopefully someone worthwhile). No matter how you bait your hook, you will need to offer a reason for the listener to choose your podcast over the 10,000 other offerings.
While this list of five elements may not apply to every circumstance, following any of them will certainly add value to your podcast. Remember that the competition is fierce for obtaining listeners. Producing quality work is the best way to separate yourself from the opposition.