Effectively Creating Podcasts
There is a legitimate argument that podcasts today share one key similarity with where SEO (search engine optimization) was more than ten years ago. Back then, SEO was about companies wanting prospects who went searching on Google—or Yahoo or Bing—for, let's say, analytics tools to always find references to themselves high in the list. Today, it's the same issue, except the concern is about prospects searching for that term on iTunes, GooglePlay or Spotify and finding themselves high on that list.
Podcasts are fast becoming one of the most popular forms of content creation, with users listening to them while commuting, working out or sitting in a waiting room. Audio podcasts are far more flexible, effective and cost-effective than video podcasts given the much more extensive post-production editing possible in audio. (For our suggestions of eleven things you can do to improve your podcasts, please click here
. For our further look at how you can improve your podcasts, please click here
For podcasts to be effective, they need to deliver new insights and perspective on topics that resonate with the audience. That gets prospects to listen to those podcasts initially. To get them to listen all the way through and to share the podcast with others in their communities (the Holy Grail of word-of-mouth distribution), we need to keep the conversation surprising, informative and highly credible.
That's why the most critical part of our podcasts is to deliver a moderator/interviewer who knows the subject matter intimately. That moderator is acting as a conduit for your prospects, asking the questions that your prospects would ask if they were there.
Soup To Nuts
The Content Firm handles every aspect of the podcasts, from topic identification to recruitment of interviewees to moderating and recording the podcast. In post-production, we clean up the guests' comments (removing uhs, umms, y'knows and awkward pauses) and move comments around to deliver the most direct and efficient answers. For example, let's say that an interviewee is asked about pricing issues at the start of the podcast. Then, five minutes later, during an answer about scalability, he thinks of another pricing concern and shares it. We would move that comment into the pricing section.
Then there's the often-neglected area of strategic distribution. Like all of our content, everything revolves around the audience, the listener, the prospect. That dictates the duration and tone of the podcast. We have decades of experiencing fine-tuning podcasts for different audiences.
Distribution, Commercial Strategy
As for distribution, should it be on the client's site? Marketed only on the client's social media? Does a media partner make sense? For attracting prospects who are unfamiliar with your company—and therefore unlikely to visit your site or your social media—external podcast sites can prove essential, sites such as Apple iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, etc.
Another consideration is whether to include a commercial within a podcast. For certain audiences and topics, we have found these to be extremely effective. First, it frees up the podcast discussion itself to be an entirely and highly-credible exploration of the issue, allowing the commercial to handle the hardsell. Secondly, done properly, commercials can use humor to make the hard-sell compelling and easily shareable.
The Content Firm's people have extensive radio experience, having worked at CBS, NPR, ABC, NBC, CNN, AP Radio and other radio networks. We know how to create effective content for the ear.
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Case Study: The 10-Minute Business Analytics Podcast
When analytics software company Numetric wanted to expand its thought leadership and reach more data scientists, it worked with The Content Firm to create The 10-Minute Business Analytics Podcast
. But instead of using it to only showcase its own
executives, it tasked us with finding the best analytics visionaries and interviewing them.
The show, which featured analytics executives from Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Neiman Marcus, Farmer's Insurance, Kaiser Permanente and many others, showcased Numetric as an analytics leader and then let the brand speak for itself. Other than a brief reference at the top and bottom of the show that it was "brought to you by Numetric," the only
reference to them was a commercial in the middle of the broadcast.
The Content Firm created Numetric's podcast commercials through an interview with the Numetric CEO.
"The Content Firm did an amazing job, working with us to create the series from scratch. They helped with distribution strategy, the format, the kinds of guests and everything else, recruiting as guests executives from Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Neiman Marcus among others," said Pete Abilla, VP of Marketing for Numetrics. "As moderator, Evan Schuman used his deep knowledge of a wide range of subjects to keep the conversations flowing and addressing the questions our audience would have asked. They even created a powerful commercial for us, with our CEO."
The journalistic approach to podcasts—with insightful industry-leading guests engaged in a true conversation about issues—proved more effective than any more traditional marketing approach here.