Four years ago, you may well have been laughed at for trying to start a successful podcast. They were a fad that had passed their prime, and it was time to move on to bigger and better things. But then podcasts were resurrected and, like JNCO jeans, they were cool again.
In the last year or two, many brands and thought leaders have jumped on the podcast bandwagon. We actually started one here at SEJ called Marketing Nerds, which we publish once a week. SEJ team members sit down with industry leaders—including Jay Baer, Marty Weintraub, and Duane Forrester—to discuss the digital marketing industry.
These podcasts can be easily downloaded and you can listen to them while you workout, during your commute, or while you do chores around the house. The portable nature of podcasts is part of what makes them so popular.
But, in addition to being another platform to reach your audience, podcasts are also a highly effective method of creating more content. Think of it as one step to build your content empire.
Here are a few ways to use podcasts to grow your content empire:
Publish a Recap or Related Post
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of videos or podcasts. (Except Serial. I can’t freaking wait for the new season.) I am a fast reader, so that is my preferred method of consuming content. Some of your audience may have forgotten their headphones, be at work, or just not in a position to listen, which is why providing a written recap is useful.
A good way to entice readers to still listen is to post a partial transcript. That way they get a taste but still have a reason to listen to your podcast. You can also create more of a native advertising piece by creating a complementary piece of content on the same topic.
Use Podcasts to Build Your Network
Who is on your networking dream list? Seth Godin? Heidi Cohen? Whoever it is, they are likely pretty busy. Asking them to write a post for your blog or meet for a cup of coffee seems like a bit of an overreach. You are asking them to spend hours of their time (and probably money on assistants and editors) for you. This is not likely to happen for most people.
But, what if you asked them to join you for just 15 minutes on Skype to record a podcast? That requires a much lower time commitment, but the benefits for you and your audience are pretty similar. You get your dream guest, and they don’t have to do as much work. Sounds like you would have a much better chance of success.
Or, maybe it’s not your dream connection, but someone you connect with at a conference. You have a great connection, so you say, “Hey, we should work together sometime!” And they are all “Yeah, we totally should!” But, then you never hear from them again.
Try making definite plans instead.
Say “I’d love to talk about this topic more. How about I email you about recording a podcast next Tuesday!”, which will be more successful than “We should totally do something. You know, sometime. ”
Offer More Timely Coverage
Blog posts take time to publish. You have to write, edit, add photos, and you might even have a few layers of red tape, depending on your company. Podcasts, especially if they are a conversation between two or more people, can take less than 30 minutes to record. Then you just have to edit and format it and you are good to go. No struggling to figure out which ‘their’ to use, no writer’s block, and usually not a lot of levels of editing.
The speed of podcast production can make it much easier to get out your thoughts on the new Google update or Facebook buyout.
Ask most marketers where they get stuck in the writing process and at least half will likely say they get stuck before they even make it to the page. Okay, that is a total guestimation, but coming up with ideas is tough. Coming up with great ideas consistently often seems impossible.
Podcasting can be a great way to shake up good ideas. While you are talking to your guest, new ideas are flowing. The brain gears are moving. Use this time to jot down new ideas and look for areas you might like to delve deeper into.
There is no magic step to creating a content empire. You have to put in the work to create a variety of high-quality content over time. Podcasts can be an integral part of that process, and might be more successful than you think. Take the time to consider all the ways you can leverage podcasting content using the tips above.
What to Learn More About Growing a Successful Podcast?
Check out our recap of SEJ Executive Editor Kelsey Jones’ SEJ ThinkTank webinar titled “Harnessing the Networks of Your Podcast Guest and Audiences” to learn more about how you can maximize the reach of your podcast.
Or, you can watch the whole presentation below:
Kelsey’s presentation is about how you can build your podcast audience by leveraging resources you already have— including brand advocates, podcast guests, and existing content.