Using Podcasts in Social Media Marketing
To understand how we can use podcasts in social media marketing lets first take a quick look at what podcasting is and who it all works. There is really is no great mystery here. As cool as it sounds, podcasts are simply internet feeds of digital media files, typically in audio format, which automatically download to a web user’s computer or iPod. The media files are distributed over the internet via syndication feeds and allow web users the option of subscribing to automatic downloads of new content as soon as it becomes available.
Podcasts update in a manner similar to an RSS feed, and RSS feeds can actually be used to distribute podcast content. Unlike RSS feeds, however, podcasts enable web users to hear (and sometimes see) the content they have subscribed to. This allows for more creativity in marketing strategies and ensures that your message is being clearly communicated to your audience.
Podcasts were invented to provide users with a means of making and distributing their own radio-style programs. The technology quickly caught on, and increasing numbers of web users and businesses began using podcasts to share information, keep friends and colleagues updated, and increase brand awareness. Organizations of all sizes soon realized the benefits of distributing marketing materials via podcasts and began to utilize the more intimate connection that podcasts enabled them to form with their potential customers.
Due to their digital format, podcasts have the ability to reach potential customers in all areas of the world, dramatically increasing the reach of your marketing strategy. Podcasts truly are a perfect marketing tool and provide organizations with an inexpensive means of expanding their potential customer base and allowing them to reach a massive number of people simultaneously.
Podcasts As Part of Your Social Marketing Strategy
Podcasts offer organizations many benefits, whether they are used alone, or in conjunction with other social media marketing strategies. In addition to dramatically increasing recognition of your brand, the podcasting of marketing content is often considerably more effective than marketing strategies that rely solely on text and more traditional forms of communication and advertising.
Customers are more likely to remain engaged when listening to the promotional material than when reading it. Many people find podcasts more enjoyable and convenient than traditional forms of communication, and podcasting your organization’s information via automatic downloads requires your audience to do nothing. You can essentially speak directly to a very large number of people, communicate your message clearly, and feel confident that your audience is both listening to and understanding what you have to say.
The portability of MP3 players and iPods enables you to make contact with your target audience no matter where they are. Your audience will have access to your content when it is convenient for them, without being forced to remember where on the Internet your information is located. It is common for web users to bookmark a website or article with the intention of returning to it at a later time. Unfortunately, most bookmarks are forgotten, which means your text will never be read and your message will never be delivered. Podcasts are a solution to this problem.
Another key advantage podcasts offer is that they are inexpensive and easy to create. This low-cost method of social media marketing allows you to widen your customer base and boost your sales and traffic without any significant financial expenditure. Because they are so affordable to create and use, you can easily offer them to your target audience for free. If you do not charge for your podcasts, you will earn loyal followers and encourage the spread and recognition of your brand. Users will keep coming back for more.
Creating and Using Podcasts
Creating podcasts for your organization is simple and inexpensive. All you need is a recording device, a microphone, a quiet place to make your recording, and a compelling or informative message to share with your audience.
Podcasts should be informational and engaging, and not sound obviously commercial. Your message should be clear and concise and should get straight to the point. If your program is too long, you risk losing the interest of your audience. Overly complicated messages will cause your potential customers to tune you out, and a hard sales approach will result in nothing more than a reputation as a spammer.
Creating a podcast is simple, and they can be used to share many different types of information with your audience. Podcasts can be used to update your customers on new products and services offered by your organization, to relay important company information, or to provide information to your listeners about any subject matter that is relevant to your organization. The primary goal is audience engagement and brand visibility.
You can use podcasts to discuss the features and benefits of your brand, which may directly increase your sales. You can also choose to indirectly boost your traffic and sales by simply offering your audience interesting, and useful information. Regardless of the type, any message you share with your target audience will increase your brand exposure and recognition.
Once you have decided on the type of message you wish to share with your listeners, you will need to determine the best method of delivering that message. Typically, listeners respond better to podcasts that are delivered in a relaxed and informal style. You must remember that your audience will not be able to see you, and therefore the use of body language and visual aids will accomplish nothing. Speak clearly, and with the specific needs of your target audience in mind.
After you have recorded your message in audio format, you will need to upload your podcast to a website or blog. Your podcast should be easy to find and download by web users and should be compatible with as many devices as possible, including MP3 players, Windows Media Player, and VoIP. You must also keep in mind that podcasts require a considerable amount of bandwidth.
For optimal results, a podcast should be used in conjunction with a blog. Without a blog, your podcast will go unnoticed. Your goal is to reach as many people as possible, and combining the marketing reach of a blog with the convenience of a podcast can be an extremely effective marketing strategy for your organization.
Podcasts are useful and effective as part of a social media marketing strategy and can be used to reach a large number of potential customers and dramatically increase brand exposure and recognition.
The interest in your organization that engaging podcast content can provide will expand your customer base, increase your sales, and boost traffic to your company’s website. Customers that become fans of your podcasts will also become fans of your brand.