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4 reasons to jump on the podcast bandwagon – comment by Ian McCawley, MD Acuity PR

Starting a podcast is an incredible marketing tool and can help tremendously in generating new leads for your business.Apple reports over a billion subscriptions to podcasts via iTunes, and there are an estimated 31 million Americans who listen to podcasts regularly. 

Extra comment from Ian McCawley, MD Acuity PR

“When podcasts first appeared they dribbled rather than burst onto the scene.

It was as if no one was sure of their value and whether they would ever catch on. Fast forward a few years and everyone’s at it.

There are podcasts featuring repeats of entire shows, people’s personal opinions oreducational broadcasts across a range of professional subjects (in this case marketing). As the blogger rightly points out, it’s no use creating ad hoc podcasts and hoping for the best.

In PR terms, a well-organised series of podcasts, not hobby podcasting, is key to driving engagement from what can be a valuable content channel if you choose the right subjects and record regularly.”

Ian McCawley, @IanMcCawley MD Acuity PR

People are consuming podcasts at an incredible rate. To enhance your marketing efforts, consider these reasons to jump on the podcast bandwagon:

  • Branding. An effective podcast series can reach tech-savvy consumers and position your brand as innovative. Make sure your content is relevant and timely for your target audience.
  • Lead generation and nurturing. Podcasts are a smart way to keep prospects engaged with your brand while you earn their trust by demonstrating your expertise.
  • External communications. No matter whom you need to stay in touch with—investors, board members, journalists, industry pundits or customers—a podcast is a simple and interesting way to make regular contact.
  • Website content improvements. Having multimedia content on your website will add to your brand’s credibility. Also, Google and the other search engines will rank your site higher if you have a greater variety of content.
Here are some tips on attracting and keeping an audience. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll have to be patient; this is a marketing tactic that you must stick with if you want to see results. 

RELATED: Learn best practices to create powerful integrated marketing campaigns.

Don’t start a podcast if you aren’t going to give it a good year to take seed and grow. Here are a few ways to ensure results:
  • Keep it concise. Most people have an attention span of 15 to 30 minutes—at the most—for any given topic. Don’t be afraid to be brief; even a five- to 10-minute podcast can be effective. Remember, one podcast should cover one key message.
  • Use MP3 for your file format. Most rich media players can play an MP3 formatted file. You can offer other options, too; just make sure to upload an MP3 version.
  • Let your audience subscribe. Without subscription offers, you shouldn’t count on too many repeat customers. Give listeners an option to receive a notification each time you produce new content.
  • Teach, don’t sell. If your podcast is a sales pitch, no one will stick with you. Instead, offer your prospects meaningful insight. Once they value your expertise, they’ll gladly endure a product or service spiel.
Putting together a podcast series takes time and energy, but it often yields incredible results. You can use the same podcast to relate to various audiences and repurpose your content for blog posts, sales material and other marketing tools.
Drew McLellan is an author and national speaker and has owned McLellan Marketing Group since 1995. A version of this article first appeared on his blog.

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