When people or companies decide to create a podcast, they are drawn to it for many reasons. Some do it for the notoriety, some to create an image of thought leadership, and still more embark on it to create content that can be used in dozens of ways. After nine years of creating about 900-plus podcasts for ourselves and many clients, with weekly and bi-weekly programming, and an estimated 243,000 listener downloads, it is our experience that podcasts provide creators with authentic inexpensive content at a very low cost – pennies per listener in fact while creating awareness and thought leadership.
Take Away #1: Podcasts can cost as little as pennies per listener
The interesting thing about podcasts is that while they can reach people in a work environment, research and tracking statistics report that listeners actually access the podcast while at home, traveling (planes, trains, and automobiles), walking the dog, exercising, hiking, cruising the web, and whenever/wherever a device and ear buds can be used. It is considered entertainment.
Take Away #2: Podcasts reach listeners beyond the work environment
Podcasts are often compared to “earned media,” as with press releases and articles. Press in this case can be newspapers, newsletters, blogs, etc. While similar in content, most of the earned media has the single job of delivering a message and having that message seen or quoted by others. The hope is that buyers will see the “earned media” and learn from it.
Most forms of earned media have few multiple uses as nurture content. Podcasts, on the other hand, are more prolific odd ducks in the promotional realm; there are 19-20 ways to use the content to get a return. At the Funnel Radio Channel, we think of podcasts as a form of talk radio, with guests who express their opinions on industry subjects. Certainly, podcasts can be rants, single person shows, and even training programs for listeners. Let’s approach the many uses of podcast “output” – – how it can be used and measured.
Podcast Storage/Distribution Sites: Every podcast needs a store-and-play site for listener access. The site you use to store and publish your podcast (free to $20/month) will, regardless of site choice, have measurement statistics on: Podcast Site Statistics:
- Downloads, which is the same as listeners: People who open the program and listen to the content. There are no stats we know of showing abandon rates.
- Distribution by geography, which is a count by country.
- Trending: The download count for any time frame you choose.
- Platforms: IOS, Windows 10, MASCOSX, Linux, Windows 8, Windows 7, Android, etc.
- Clients: Applecore Media, Chrome, Overcast, IE, etc.
Blog: A blog entry can use the podcast player, artwork and program description, and optionally include the program transcript. See Dan McDade’s program here. You can measure the daily and weekly surge when program players and articles appear on the blog.
Transcripts have many uses: An average 25-minute podcast has between 3,500 and 5,000 words. Depending on the purpose of the podcast, either teaching or interviewing guests, transcripts can be used in many of the following ways:
- Testimonials: Use show guests’ kind words as testimonials in audio or printed copy. Every company struggles to get meaningful testimonials, but when spoken on a podcast the customers’ words about your company are better than any written testimonial they might give you. Customer interviews are the biggest sales aid a salesperson can have.
- Books: Use transcript content for published book material. Publishers and readers love quotes and use guest opinions. Some authors today create a book outline and schedule guest interviews on podcasts to provide authenticity from dozens of well-known people, authors and companies. See Revenue Marketing Radio with Debbie Qaqish, author of Rise of the Revenue Marketer. This book material provides the author with opinions and testimonials from industry leaders. An average 25-minute podcast has 3,600 words. An average business book has 65,000 words.
- eBooks: Use transcript content in an eBook. As with published hardcopy books (traditional softcover or hard cover), podcast interview or teaching content can easily be used in an eBook.
- White Papers: Use transcript content and program links in white papers. Quoting from customers is a huge credibility builder.
- Case Studies: Use transcript content and program links in case studies. This is where interviewing satisfied customers really pays off in lengthy testimonials. Quotes from outsiders make your case study pop and stand out.
- Instructional Material: Gather podcasts with like subjects and use links and transcript material as an instructional/course offer. For instance, programs on marketing automation, CRM, AI, pipeline building, etc.
- Nurture: Use program links and transcript content in lead nurturing programs.
- Extract Audio “Short Quotes” from your guests: Quotable content can be used as standalone “programs” or quotes in many forms. This is a short extract: Hear Jill Konrath in 1 minute and 15 seconds Reveal a Defining Moment in Sales, taken from her interview on the 5 Most Important Things Jill Konrath Learned in Business and Life.
Take Away #3: Podcasts create content that can be used in many ways
When customers are solicited for a podcast interview, the host most likely asks about the problem the customer had and how it was solved. The customer, during this interview will eventually get around to giving the host an unsolicited testimonial for having solved the problem. It’s a wonderful thing.
Take Away #4: Podcasts create the best testimonials from customers
Podcasts have multiple outlets for distribution, unlike other forms of social media (webinars come to mind) which are often one and done and seldom carried on other sites.
- Database eMail Blast: Use podcasts as part of your email promotional strategy. Email podcast descriptions and links to your programming to gain hundreds, if not thousands, of listeners. Each email campaign to your database will establish you as a personality and thought leader. Send the show title, description and program link for listeners. It is not unusual, depending on the size of your database, to have 250 to 5,000 program listeners from your email blast.
- Guest Sites: The key to podcasts is to get listeners. Asking your GUESTS to put the podcast player on their site will increase listenership. Encourage guests to put the artwork, links and player code on their site(s). This is especially valuable for authors and consultants. See Dan McDade of PointClear and his ViewPoint Blog, and his use of an interview on SLMA Radio about Who Owns the Pipeline. Guests have a personal reason for distributing your content when they are the guest.
- Multiple Sites via Syndication: Of course, you are offering your program on your main site, but you can also use the syndication code, available from your podcast storage site, on other sites you may own, such as: product-specific sites, book sites, speaking sites, LinkedIn corporate listing, etc. Your vendors, and sometimes customers, can put the syndication code on their sites (they need content also). See Matt Heinz’ Sales Pipeline Radiosyndicated on the Sales Leakage Consulting website.
- Press Release: Special guest ‘appearances’ deserve a press release, don’t you think?
- Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn business articles, newsletters, YouTube, Instagram, etc., can carry announcements and quotes from the podcasts as well as links to the event.
- YouTube: Yes, you can create a YouTube event for a radio/podcast program. Hear and see Justin Gray of LeadMD: Why Only 13% of Marketing Automation Programs are Successful, on SLMA Radio. This is offered as a podcast(530 listeners) and a YouTube Video (30). Listen to John Golden and Nikolaus Kimla of Pipeliner CRM on the subject: What KPIs do Sales Managers Need to Track?podcast (323 listeners), and YouTube (603 views).
- Registering your podcast with free distribution sites: Of course, iTunes is the must-have for the distribution of your program, but don’t ignore other sites such as Stitcher, Blubrry, B2B Podcast Directory, etc.
As you can see, there are many reasons to produce a podcast and many ways to measure its success. However, one of the great advantages of podcasting is that you can build followers and subscribers that are notified of your upcoming and complete podcasts.
Take Away #7: Podcasts builds follower and subscriber lists by the thousands
While Thought Leadership is the most popular reason for creating a podcast, in the end being able to measure listenership and use of content is what keeps podcasters on the air. Traditionally creating thought leadership was a long process of sponsored research, writing books, giving speeches and traveling thousands of miles. Podcasting can create a position of thought-leadership in months instead of years. A podcast can cost as low as $350 (from a podcast production agency) to create a 5,000-word testimonial that can be used in a dozen-plus ways.
Take Away #8: Podcasts Quickly Create Thought-Leadership
Frequency of Podcasting is an interesting topic. Considering a single podcast creates so much opportunity for content, some companies and hosts believe once a month is perfect. Others want to do it more often, bi-weekly is common. Weekly podcasts often have multiple hosts which spreads the thought-leadership message from several executives at a company.
Talk Away #9: Frequency of podcasting is dictated by your ability to use the content. If you have a marketing engine to use it in multiple ways, once a month is fine. If you are a big company with many products, bi-weekly or weekly is probably right for you.
As you can see, podcasts can be enormously valuable in creating inexpensive content that creates thought-leadership that reaches deeply into listeners minds. It is not time consuming or expensive to produce and there are firms that can make it easy for you.