Updated: Oct 31, 2018
Written by Kevin Must (Communication BA ’12)
Recently, I took over as Marketing Manager for an international software company with a large market share in Europe, plus an office in Cincinnati with clients and prospects across the U.S. With few marketing efforts in the past, I decided we needed to produce more content to position ourselves as industry experts in the U.S. market. Our competitors have spent a fortune in marketing in the U.S., putting them in the public eye and making them more well-known. Our first three episodes have garnered over 150 listens and we have already seen an increase in lead generation.
Podcasting was a key component of this plan. It is a great tool that is inexpensive and very beneficial to gain credibility for your company. By hosting other leading experts in our industry, we discuss trends happening in the industry of manufacturing including technological advancements, educational initiatives, and economic policies that affect manufacturers day to day operations. This gives our company a personality while being informative for decision makers in our industry. Here are some tips on how to use podcasting as a marketing tool from my own trials and tribulations.
1) Generate a list of potential topics, and reach out to relevant guests.
Once you decide on episode topics, research thought leaders in your field. Most people are willing to be a guest on the show because they find it interesting and a good opportunity for them to spread their knowledge. I’ve had great success sourcing partners through LinkedIn.
2) Research different hosting services.
If the podcast is for personal use, you should be able to get by with free services. If it’s for a business, investigate the different analytical tools/social integrations offered by each service so you can quantify your efforts. I recommend using Podbean because of their analytical and social integration tools.
3) Have an agenda for the show and share with your guest.
Allow your guest to prepare for the show so they are not thrown off by questions. Some questions pop up in conversation depending on where the show leads you. Don’t be afraid to ask these, just make sure not every question puts the guest on the spot.
4) Don’t make a script but rather bullet points.
This is crucial as the point of podcasts is to sound conversational. If you depend on your script too much your listener will be able to tell you are reading, making it less conversational which in turn could lose listeners.
5) Schedule shows months in advance.
This will help gather your thoughts and not seem pressured to get show content together. It also allows you more time to search for guests.
6) Record and edit a handful of episodes before you host the first one.
I didn’t take this route and I am kicking myself for it. This will give you a jumpstart for recording and allow you to tweak your format if you find it isn’t suitable for the topics you cover. For my podcast, I start with a brief introduction to the show, what we will discuss, and an introduction of our guest with background music. Then, I let the background music play a few seconds, add a short quote of the speaker from within the show, then another quick music break before going into the interview.
7) Set deadlines for recordings, giving yourself ample time to edit.
Give yourself enough time, especially starting out, to learn how to record and edit audio effectively and efficiently. If you don’t have access to professional audio editing tools (Adobe Audition, Ableton Studio, Fruity Loops, etc.) you may use free tools such as Audacity. Alternatively, some hosting services offer recording and editing functionalities, such as Podbean. This is a rudimentary tool but good for getting your podcasts off the ground for personal use. If you want to make this professional, try professional editing tools since poor quality may cause you to lose listeners and potential guests.
8) Set goals to achieve.
Benchmarks will show you how successful your podcast is. Start with goals that are obtainable, but not too easily obtainable, specific to downloads, feed hits, followers, etc. Revise your goals each quarter, based on your achievements.
9) If you’re going to use music, make sure you use royalty free songs.
This is very important. There are plenty of royalty free music sites out there to download instrumental background music for your show; I use freemusicarchive.org most often. When using these sites, be sure to follow any guidelines asked by the artist (some ask you to credit them in your show/show description). If you do not use royalty free music, you are subject to copyright infringement and nobody wants that! Also, be sure to select music that fits the topic/listener base.
10) If you are recording a call over the internet, hardwire your computer.
Wi-Fi may become unstable while recording a call causing the interview to cut out for a second or two. Although one or two seconds does not sound like much, that could be a pertinent sentence that discredits the rest of your interview. Test different recording methods with a colleague/friend to find the best method.
Currently, I use Zoom conference calling service that allows guests to call in remotely via cell or computer. As the host, I use a mic plugged in to my computer for higher quality. If the guest sounds like they are on a phone that is alright, however always make sure as the host you sound clear.
BONUS: Once you find the hosting site that suites you best, be sure to spread the RSS feed to all outlets. This is a simple, one-time process that will update each time you upload a new episode. The heavy hitters to focus on include iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart Radio, etc.
I hope you enjoyed the post. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck and happy podcasting!
Check out the Lantek LNK Podcast, linking manufacturing professionals with industry experts, on Podbean, Castbox, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and iHeart Radio. Once my fifth episode is published (February 23, 2018) we will be on Spotify.