The word “podcast” can refer to any kind of regular digital content, from videos to .pdf files. But in common usage, it tends to refer specifically to audio content—something you can listen to on your iPod. Audio podcasts are a popular and very versatile medium. And like any popular and versatile medium, they can be used for marketing. Here are some tips for using podcasts to promote your brand.
- Target mobile users. Podcasts are the epitome of mobile content. Not only were they, as previously mentioned, designed to be heard on iPods, but audio also lends itself to multitasking more than other forms of content. Blog posts, videos, memes and infographics all require you to use your eyes. You can view them on the go, but they still need your complete attention to be appreciated fully. But podcasts need only your ears. So people listen to them mobilely: in the car, mowing the lawn, going for a morning jog and in plenty of other circumstances that don’t lend themselves to blogs or videos. Your audience is people on the go. Keep that in mind when creating and promoting your content.
- Maintain variety. Podcasts are rather precarious. If done right, they can be very effective, but if done wrong, they can be incredibly boring. For one thing a podcast is typically longer than a video or a blog post. While you could just have one person talking into the microphone the entire time, half an hour of that is bound to get tedious no matter what is said. So first of all, have a variety of guests on—people in your field whom your audience will find interesting—and engage them in conversation. Secondly, have different segments throughout a given episode, to keep things varied. An introduction, a question-and-answer period, a section to address an issue of concern your audience may have, and maybe a game or something else fun and off-the-wall to liven things up. Be creative.
- Bring in new voices. Celebrity guests and prominent people in your field are important. They come with built-in appeal and, hopefully, a built-in audience to help gain circulation for your podcast. But there are more people you can interview besides just the celebrities. Find unsung heroes in your field, people who have an interesting story to tell, that not a lot of people have heard yet. People who aren’t going to be on every other podcast in your industry. It will help set you apart.
- Listen to your audience. The best way to provide your audience with what they want to hear is simply to ask them. What are they interested in? What would they like future shows to be like? Is there any particular guest they’d like to have on? You can also take questions from them through e-mail, hashtag or other means, to address yourself or to ask of your guests. Keep them involved in the process.
- List it on iTunes. Once you’ve produced your podcast, you need to promote it. Obviously, post it to your social media channels and everywhere else you can think of. But iTunes opens up a whole new avenue of circulation. By listing your podcast, free of charge, in the iTunes store, it makes it available to millions of iTunes users, who can find it in a keyword search or by browsing categories of similarly listed podcasts.