Why You Need Podcasts in Your Marketing Mix

podcastThe American Marketing Association recently wrote an article about the opportunities for podcasting. Some of their more riveting stats? “Each month, 4,000 podcasts are added to iTunes. Forty-two million Americans listen to an average of five episodes a week.” The article cited an underwriting frenzy by advertisers to gain access to this “affluent” community. It got me thinking: If consumer podcasts are experiencing exploding subscriptions and advertisers are following, what can we as B2B marketers do to gain opportunities with our prospects and customers using podcasts?

I found a blog by Pardot in which they lay out a pretty simple formula for creating B2B podcasts. They covered obvious steps such as creating groups of topics, deciding on length (industry brief vs. a virtual classroom sharing thought leadership) and creating podcasts to be available in exactly the way most listeners are accessing them.

Let’s say you’ve nailed down a strategy according to the Pardot blog. What’s next?

From evidence not very scientifically gathered (what my clients and their clients are saying) many companies are hesitant to throw their hat in the ring when it comes to podcasts. They fear they can’t keep a constant cadence. Or they’ll be too expensive and/or too resource-intensive. A great article by Buffer gathers these objectives in one place. I think they’re pretty common:

“My voice sounds weird.”

“The technical skills needed to record, upload, and store audio files are so far out of my wheelhouse.”

“The cost of quality equipment exceeds my small budget.”

“I want to pee my pants when I think of speaking in public.”

The rest of the article, entitled, Podcasting for Beginners, is well worth your time, because they talk a lot about getting the right equipment while at the same time, just buying the “minimal viable podcasting” gear. A good bit of advice.

As far as my advice, here are a few things I learned while pulling podcasts together for clients:

  1. Just do it—Once your content marketing strategy is ready, you probably have a reasonable slot for a short but valuable podcast. Try starting out on the coattails of a popular webinar or white paper you’ve already run to either limited or great success. Even if the webinar or paper was only limited in its reach, you still have enough content to piggyback on for at least a few podcasts without starting from scratch.
  2. Get your SEO in order—No one will listen to your podcast unless they can find it. Spend time (and yes, money) on SEO research in iTunes, YouTube and on Google. The payoff will be worth it.
  3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew—Make sure your frequency is sustainable, just as you would with blogs or regularly scheduled email newsletters. There’s nothing worse than four weekly blogs then—crickets. It makes you look flighty at best or like a poor scheduler at worst. Podcasts are worth it because people (your prospects) are getting more and more comfortable with them—1 in 5 people report listening at least occasionally. If they’re listening to consumer content (entertainment, how-tos, etc.) in their off-hours, then they are becoming even more likely to listen to work-related content during commutes, exercise and whenever this multitasking nation has a spare few minutes.
Patty Tomsky

Patty Tomsky

Patty Tomsky is a Communications Consultant for Fortune 500 software, Pharma and employee communications clients for government and multinational corporations. She has 25 years of experience in building rapport among the audiences she serves and is expert at creating B2B and B2E buzz using only proven best practices for the industries she serves.
Patty Tomsky

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