If you’ve kept up with our blog recently, then you’re familiar with how visuals and video content can give your marketing messages a healthy boost in viewability and impact. However, there’s still one major form of digital media that warrants a similar discussion of its own – branded podcasts. While this type of media might not seem well-suited for the inbox, the facts and figures surrounding the audience response to this kind of content tell an entirely different story. With this in mind, let’s delve into why podcasts matter to the world of email marketing, as well as what your brand can do to make the most of these offerings going forward.
Why Bother with Podcasts?
Before discussing how to set up a podcast of your own, we need to explain why it’s worth bothering with this audio-centric format in the first place. As the team over at Edison Research explains, the modern culture surrounding podcasting is probably bigger than you think.
In terms of “share of ear” – a metric used to represent the amount of time spent listening to audio sources – the researchers at Edison note that podcasts are second only to AM/FM radio. Personally-owned music, Internet streaming music, SiriusXM, and other assorted sources all fall well behind the 25.9 percent share generated by podcasting.
Additionally, the experts at the Pew Research Center report that since 2013, this rising demand for podcasts has maintained a steep upward trajectory. In other words, the research conducted by both of these esteemed organizations proves one major point: Podcasts are highly valuable and stand as a potent way to differentiate your brand from others in the inbox.
Getting off on the Right Foot
So now that you understand the true power held within podcasts, what’s the best way to start manufacturing this content as you prepare for your next big email marketing push? According to Jeff Coon of the HubSpot Blog, it all starts with getting your recording equipment.
If you’re working on a smaller budget – and you plan on keeping things simple in terms of podcast content – then your tablet or smartphone is an okay place to start. Naturally, brands that want to branch out into interviews with industry thought leaders and other more formal content will want to invest in professional audio equipment, like microphones and audio filters, to ensure a high level of quality and production value.
Once you’ve hammered out the details regarding your recording setup, Mashable’s Brian Casel points out that it’s time to figure out your podcast content. Just like any other offering that ends up in your marketing messages, an embedded podcast should hit on some point of need or provide tangible value to the person on the other side of the screen. What fits this framework can shift based on your products and services, as well as your target audience, but it should still serve as the focal point of your content agenda.
During the planning phases of this process, don’t be afraid to sketch out a script or outline to help guide you through each recording sessions. Vocals pauses – think “uh,” “um,” and “you know” – can turn off an audience in a hurry, so it’s beyond important to have your delivery and presentation in top shape before you hit the record button. Adding in the fact that cleaning up a sloppy podcast requires a significantly larger amount of work than tidying up standard email copy furthers this concept to an even greater degree.
Casel also explains that it’s hard to go wrong with branding your podcast. Whether this means coming up with a memorable name, a unique logo, or a clever catchphrase that leads into the beginning of each episode, building consistency and a stable experience creates a welcoming and enjoyable experience for your audience.
Taking Your Branded Podcast to the Next Level
While some brands might call it a job well done after hitting send on a message with an embedded podcast, the truth of the matter is that there’s still plenty you can do to extract even more value out of this quality piece of content. For starters, it’s always a good idea to upload this kind of content to iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast hosting services. This way, potentially interested listeners who aren’t currently on your email contact list can also discover and consume these offerings.
The same holds true for social media. The few seconds it takes to share or post a link to your most recent podcast goes a long way toward creating an even bigger and more vibrant audience for your podcast content. With this and the rest of what you’ve learned here in hand, all that’s left now is to decide when you’re ready to add podcasts to your arsenal of great email content.