While implementing both written and visual content is crucial for any blog, those elements aren’t always enough to make it a truly effective marketing tool. In order to expand your company’s reach, you’ll also need to speak to the demographic that wants to consume your content while on the go.
Podcasts present a powerful means of satisfying this audience. By adding podcasts to your blog that feature inspiring speakers and industry trailblazers, you can enhance user engagement and add a more personalized touch to your content. Publishing podcasts is also a great way to convey to your visitors that you are up-to-date with industry trends.
Why Podcasts Are Powerful Marketing Tools
Podcasts are serialized audio (and occasionally video) files that can be downloaded on both computers and mobile devices. The popularity of podcasts has grown steadily throughout the years, with the average consumer listening to just over four hours worth of podcast content per week. With its capacity to reach a broad demographic, it’s easy to see why nine out of ten US marketers consider podcasts to be a significant opportunity.
Although virtually all businesses can benefit from podcasts, they are particularly well suited to the B2B sector. For example, if you want to establish your business’ authority and promote the use of your services, you might consider focusing your podcasts around interviews with industry leaders. By inviting a variety of insightful guest speakers to participate, you can also associate your brand with experts.The Marketing Smarts podcast is a perfect example of this strategy in action.
Another major benefit of podcasts is that they help you harness the power of passive consumption. This is the kind of consumption that doesn’t require direct and undivided focus (as opposed to reading, for example). By complementing your blog with podcasts that can be listened to while driving to work, exercising at the gym, or doing any number of other activities, you can drastically expand your reach.
Finally, podcasts can also yield significant advertisement revenue for your business. Research shows that listeners are less likely to skip ads on podcasts than they are for other mediums, so cultivating a successful podcast is a method of boosting profits.
These are just a few of the ways that podcasts can benefit your digital marketing strategy. Now, let’s discuss how you can create and add them to your blog.
Use Podcasts to Enhance Your Blog’s Appeal
You’ll be pleased to know that recording and inserting podcasts into your blog isn’t nearly as costly or time-intensive as you might assume. The following steps will take most of the guesswork out of the process.
Step 1: Decide on a focus. To get started, you’ll want to commit a decent amount of brainstorming time with your marketing or creative team to coming up with a clear focus for your podcast. This will help you consistently generate topic ideas for future installments, and give you clearer idea of the kinds of guests you’d like to feature.
A smart way to select a focus for your podcast series is by gathering information on your current client base. This can involve conducting surveys, looking through blog readership data from Google Analytics, and examining the feedback from your business’ social media profiles.
It’s also worthwhile to conduct research into what kinds of podcasts your competition is doing (if any). This will help you better gauge the ways you can deliver real value to your audience, and find topics that haven’t yet been sufficiently covered.
Once you’ve come up with a focus (one that aligns with both your blog and your overall marketing strategy), you can start outlining and scripting your episodes. This process will naturally vary, according to your industry and specific objectives. Once you have your first script written and a schedule worked out, you’ll be ready for production.
Step 2: Record and edit. There are a number of tools you can use to record your podcast. We recommend Audacity, a free, open-source, and multi-platform audio recording suite. You’ll also want to invest in some high-quality microphones, in order to maximize quality.
Audacity is extremely user friendly, featuring an intuitive interface for both recording and editing audio. The audio track display makes it easy to identify and correct sections of audio with distortions, as well as to remove background noise. What’s more, this tool is also extremely well documented.
The way you conduct your podcast will vary according to the format of the episode. If your approach involves a single speaker, or a small group conversation, it’s important to ensure that you address key points in a casual, friendly, and engaging way (that doesn’t come off sounding like an advertisement). It’s also best to keep your podcast under an hour long.
If your podcast’s format is an interview, it’s a good idea to have a pre-recording meeting with your guest, to give them an idea for what the interview will involve. You’ll also want to have questions ready that both allow the speaker to highlight their outstanding expertise and establish the topic’s relevance to your own business.
Once you’ve recorded your podcast, you can edit it in a tool like Audacity. This is a fairly simple process, which involves going through the audio track, cutting and joining clips, and adding effects. Then, you’ll be able to export the audio file so it can be uploaded to your blog.
Step 3: Add the Podcast to Your Blog. There are a variety of tools and techniques that will enable you to integrate a podcast with your blog. Most content management systems will offer a simple “upload file” option you can use to add the podcast file to your website. However, you can also find tools specific to particular open-source CMS platforms, which will provide enhanced integration features.
One example is the PowerPress by Blubrry plugin for WordPress. In addition to letting you effortlessly insert podcasts into your blog, PowerPress makes it easy to export your podcasts to iTunes and Google Play. Drupal Podcast offers similar functionality for the Drupal CMS, and enables you to both add podcasts to your blog and let users download them directly from your site.
Regardless of your CMS, there are some steps you can follow to effectively integrate your blog with your podcast. One smart strategy is to label your blog articles and podcasts so they are clearly presented in your RSS feed. This means your blog subscribers can be instantly updated whenever new podcast episodes come out.
If you’d like to place particular emphasis on your podcast, you might also consider creating a dedicated website for it (which can then be linked back to your blog). Tools such as Buzzsprout can help you facilitate the recording of your podcast, gather metrics related to it, migrate it to external players, and even build a complete podcast site.
Although they do require additional time and commitment, podcasts can serve as a powerful (and affordable) means of improving your digital marketing strategy. Once you’ve formulated an episode schedule and pinpointed some key selling points to address, the actual production process isn’t difficult. Best of all, a successful podcast provides an opportunity for extra advertisement revenue.
Do you have questions about how to use podcasts to enhance your blog’s appeal? Let us know in the comments section below!