Marketers who are looking to make a greater connection to customers may want to consider diversifying the types of content they provide current and potential brand followers. Two of the current growing trends in marketing content is video and podcasts.
More and more customers are looking for businesses to create materials that are both informative and entertaining. People are looking to connect to a brand in news ways that have never seen before. As a result it is up to the business to deliver the right blend of materials that are both on point and meet the needs of the customer. Whether entertainment or information is the purpose of the video or podcast will have to be up to the marketing manager and the brand's point of view.
Podcasts are growing in popularity
According to a State of the Media report, while radio's use has remained nearly static over the last decade, podcasts are growing slowly in popularity. In 2001 podcasts were barely on the market and were a blip on the screen. By 2009, 22 percent of Americans age 12 or older listen to this platform, by 2011 that number had risen to 25 percent.
Well conceived podcasts are an effective and portable way for a person to connect to a brand. According to Learning Times, the media is also an intimate way for a person to discover new things about an industry or topic he or she finds interesting. Individual personalities in television, movies, music and comedy have found great success in using podcasts to promote their brand and cultivate a following. Marketing professionals with modern resumes may be able to use this tool to building ongoing relationships with clients and current or potential customers.
Here are three tips for using podcasts successfully:
1) Brand a podcast. A business needs to have an understanding of how the podcast medium is used by people. An audience is tuning in to the podcast to learn about a topic and to be entertained. Often, visitors are in technical fields and have a great understanding of the latest trends in technology, media and other various sectors. As a result, these people are looking to both be entertained and informed and really need a podcast to try and accomplish both tasks. A business will need to understand this and work to use the medium effectively. It's crucial to brand a podcast for marketing purposes, otherwise, the number of listeners connecting to the organization through this medium will suffer. Just like a product or service, a catchy name, logo and keyword will be important for marketing purposes. Mashable recommends including selective keywords in the podcast description because people will be discovering the channel through Google or iTunes searches.
2) Create a content strategy. Just like a blog or other reoccurring content medium that a business plans to use to connect with an audience, podcasts will require a schedule of designated content delivery and topic coverage. Map out the various topics and perhaps a theme to cover during a period of time so that there is direction for the marketing strategy. Not having a plan can decrease the effectiveness of the platform and make it much less capable of driving customers to the brand. There are a number of scheduling tools that can help a marketing team create a schedule for an expansive look at the strategy. Excel, Google Calendar and some applications can be used so that every member of a marketing team will understand where the group is in the podcast creation schedule.
3) Select a format. Podcasts come in two formats traditionally – voice (radio) or video. The decision between the two formats will largely depend on the needs of the marketing plan or the budget. Consider if a brand really needs a visual element to effectively communicate to an audience. Often a video component can actually hurt the number of listeners actively engaging in a podcast because many of those who really regularly participate in this medium are listening in the car, on public transportation or while working.