Tag Archive: podcast

  1. Leveraging Your Brand With Podcast Interviews

    In 2019, many of us take for granted the fact that we can watch any TV show, movie or YouTube video, or listen to any audiobook, song or podcast at any time of day, 24/7, 365. You might think that if we had been offered the opportunity for this kind of on-demand entertainment 15 years ago, we would have jumped at it, right? Well, we were offered that opportunity in 2005, when Apple first debuted podcasts two years before Netflix began streaming shows.

    Fast forward to 2010, five years after we first had the opportunity to walk around with podcasts on our ipods wherever we wantless than a quarter of Americans reported having ever even listened to one. While it may seem crazy that we did not latch onto podcasts right away, on-demand audio/visual entertainment was simply not a staple of our culture yet. But the last ten years have brought the rise of Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Spotify, and an army of other streaming services offering on-demand entertainment, creating a wave for podcasts to ride right into the mainstream of American life. As of earlier this year, there are more than 30 million podcasts episodes, and more than 50% of Americans report having listened to at least one in their lifetimes. 

    What do these statistics mean for the media landscape? Well, last year, news podcasts pulled in more ad revenue than any other podcast genre. People are listening to podcasts.

    With this in mind, should pitching clients or company leaders to podcasts be a part of your media relations strategy? 

    I’ll admit it, as a PR professional, podcasts can be a scary proposition. The first time I had a client express interest in one, I was skeptical. Long-form, unstructured, recorded conversations do not necessarily create a breeding ground for tight, concise messaging and talking points. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s infamous weed-smoking incident on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast is a stark reminder of what can go wrong when stepping behind the podcast mic. 

    However, despite their risks, podcasts offer tremendous publicity advantages, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the success many of my clients have found in them.

    For those who have found success as podcast guests, I’ve observed a common theme: successful podcast guests know their story and stick to it. 

    As with any media interview, you must know what you are going to say before you say it. Podcasts offer the ultimate opportunity to tell your story in a long-form setting, but conversely, offer ample time to put your proverbial foot in your mouth. Knowing your talking points and not straying too far from them will help protect you from saying something you’ll regret. 

    Once you know your messaging and are confident sticking to it, podcasts will open up a whole new world of targeted messaging.

    One of the biggest goals (and often one of the largest challenges) of any brand is getting their story/product/brand in front of the right demographic. Podcasts offer a unique opportunity to reach a niche group of people who you know are interested in what you have to say, by virtue of the fact they are listening to a specific podcast. For example, a client of mine was recently featured on a show titled “Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever.” Can you guess what industry the client is in and what demographic of people listen to that show? I’m guessing the answer is yes. Not only is a feature on an industry-specific podcast like this a sure-fire way to get your story in front of the right people, but it also builds credibility by proving you’re an expert in your field. For the most part, podcast hosts do their homework and won’t just bring anyone on their shows, so know that if they chose you to bring value to their listeners, it’s a validation of your expertise.

    Now that you have the ear of your target audience, you will have the ability to really tell your story. While traditional media outlets allow for concise soundbites and snippets of information, podcasts allow you to dive deep into your company’s history, culture and goals. While this may be scary, remember that in today’s fast-paced, increasingly digital world, consumers are longing for a human touch. Showing your company’s humanity through in-depth storytelling will go a long way in building trust with your current and future customers, and podcasts are the perfect medium to give them a taste of your story. 

    Because of the depth that they allow for, podcast interviews can be a treasure trove of content. Once your company or client has a few under their belt, use them to gather information for future media opportunities as well as fodder for social media and web content. If you are featured on a podcast, link to it on your company’s website! This cross pollination will help bring your company more publicity and will boost SEO for your website. 

    Another way to extend the life of your podcasts is to transcribe them and post the transcription to your website along with the link to the audio. A transcribed interview will not only double as great web content for your company, it will also help prospective customers find you via keyword searches of the content in your interview. 

    So what are the next steps if you are looking to leverage podcasts to tell your brand story? A simple place to start is to begin listening to podcasts if you don’t already. Ask a trusted colleague or mentor what podcasts they enjoy, and give them a try. Not every podcast will be appropriate for your brand, so you’ll need to do some sifting to find out where you best fit before diving in head first. 

    After you find the right fit, be confident in the story you have to tell and don’t forget to stay on brand. When your interview is over and your podcast is released, share it far and wide!

  2. The Power of Podcasting: Why Your Company Should be Paying Attention

     

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    It began in 2004. A software dev, Dave Winer, and former MTV VJ, Adam Curry, collaborated on a program that would be the first spark in what’s now a raging inferno of creativity and craft. Their program was called iPodder, and it led to the creation of the phenomenon we now know as podcasts.1

    Much as YouTube achieved for video content, podcasts have brought the barrier of entry to nearly nil. It’s not an exaggeration to say that anyone with a modern smartphone has the technology to record a podcast. Though radio carryovers like NPR are popular content producers, unlikely names like blogger and entrepreneur Rachel Hollis and comedian and UFC personality, Joe Rogan, can also be found among top-downloaded shows.

    The Growing Popularity of Podcasting

    As the popularity of podcasting skyrocketed over the years (true crime podcast Serial reached an estimated 40 million downloads by December of 2014)2, it has quickly become a phenomenon well worth the attention of brands. If you’re not currently exploring how the medium could benefit your company, you should be – chances are, your competitors are.

    According to Podcast Insights, there are currently more than 550,000 podcasts, collectively leading to more than 18.5 million episodes available for consumption, and recorded in more than 100 languages.3 But is there anyone listening? All signs definitively point to a resounding “Yes.” Looking to Podcast Insights again, 44% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, a number that has grown by four percent in just one year. Some 16 million Americans would go as far as to consider themselves “avid podcast fans.”3 If today’s data is any indicator, that number will only continue growing with time.

    But what is the reason for this popularity and steady growth? The high quality of content and the vast variety of shows for every niche under the sun certainly have something to do with it, but  I look to blogs when I think of the most substantial causes for this podcasting boom.

    Podcasting, as a creative and informative outlet, is far harder to replicate than blogs. Where a blog can be copied, reworded and passed off as an original thought, a podcast simply cannot. Even if some nefarious podcasting copycat was to literally lift the format and topics from another show, the effect could never be the same as that original work. That’s because a podcast is a performance. One you can edit after the fact, sure, but one that must be performed at the time of recording. In that sense, it’s performance art that is far harder to carbon copy than a blog post.

    IGN, one of the most popular sites for video game and entertainment news, recently discovered that editor, Filip Miucin, plagiarized a large portion of his work form bloggers, YouTubers and even a co-worker in one instance. This incident acts to underline both the ease of plagiarism in online written media and how it has caused many blogs and articles to run together, draining into a sea of regurgitated knowledge. If it can happen under the nose of professional journalists, you better believe your online written content is up for grabs.

    Beyond the issue of copy-and-paste culture proliferating blogs across the web, there is another major factor that has helped podcasts succeed where written digital content never could – ease of use. You cannot safely or efficiently read a blog while driving to work, walking the dog or folding laundry. (We’d dare you to try but can’t handle that kind of liability.) What may seem like a limitation on face value is actually quite the opposite. Audio may not have the production or eye-catching appeal of video, its ease of consumption more than makes up for that deficit. In many cases, podcasts can act as an alternative to music – one that can inform, entertain and market to an audience that is all ears for more.

     

    Putting Podcasts to Work

    Though I have waxed poetic on the many benefits of podcasting and how this medium has seen success in recent years, what does this all add up to for brands and marketers? Quite a lot, actually.

    Marketers would do well to consider podcasts in two highly beneficial ways:

    Do it Yourself

    The low barrier to entry and relatively low budget required to start and maintain a podcast means that you could be producing content in no time. Be warned, though – podcasting is firmly in the category of things harder to do than they seem. They take a mix of time, talent and practice, meaning a phoned-in show may do more harm than good.

     

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    I recommend you study the craft, listening to shows of brands you respect. See what works for others, but then also revisit your brand’s unique persona and identify the audience you are trying to reach.

    Is a podcast the right way to reach those people? Perhaps, but you must go into it with a strategy in mind (time is money, after all). Consistency is key, so if you decide to post every Monday at 11 am, it is crucial that you keep to your schedule or risk losing listeners. Additionally, keep in mind that a podcast should not be a 30-minute ad. You need to provide listeners with valuable opinions, expert advise or entertainment – it is only through engaging content that your audience will keep coming back for more.

    Advertise

    As a budding medium, companies have chomped at the bit to advertise to the millions subscribed to podcasts all over the world. According to an article on The Mission Podcasts 4 referencing a 2016 survey by IAB / Edison Research, podcast ads and sponsorships led to:

    • 45% visiting sponsor’s website
    • 42% considering a new product or service
    • 37% gathering more information about a company or product
    • 29% reading a book
    • 28% using a promotional code referenced in podcast

    According to venture investors at CRV, Justine and Olivia Moore, IAB reports that, “…60% of podcast ad revenue comes from host-read ads.”5 Though podcasts are not regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, “shout-outs,” ad breaks, or endorsements weaved into conversation are still bound by the rules of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To put it simply, you cannot expect a podcast to endorse your product or service without disclosing that this endorsement is ad-based. Even if you only provide the podcast with goods or samples instead of a cash payment, this exchange must be openly disclosed to the audience as to avoid any deceptive practices.

    With shows that often target highly specific slices of the population, podcasts offer marketers a fantastic opportunity to reach their demographics and quite literally get into the heads of their target audiences.

     

    Listen Up

    Though there are many effective ways to get your company involved in podcasting, starting your own podcast or advertising on an already successful show are two of the most practical avenues to explore first. With a captive fanbase that is only showing signs of continued growth for years to come, podcasting could become quite a lucrative arm of your marketing strategy.

    “People are really listening and want to consume all of the content that is there and available. There’s a level of dedication that comes from podcast listeners that you otherwise don’t find. And now the numbers prove it. Podcasts aren’t a bubble, they’re a boom–and that boom is getting louder.” 

    -Miranda Katz for Wired.com

    From its humble beginnings on iPodder to a true giant of online media that reaches millions around the world every day, podcasting is a powerful tool for marketers and brands to become better storytellers, reach more targeted audiences and, hopefully, gain new customers more efficiently than ever before. Now that’s something I think we can all “subscribe” to.

     

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