Podcasts are an effective tool that can be a valuable addition to any organisations communication strategy. They are the perfect way to update information simply and quickly especially when combined with an informative landing page which have links to additional information. Here are 5 tips for increasing podcast audience.
They are flexible enough to be used externally for marketing and customer service, as well as internally for staff training and updates.
A podcast can be either video or audio so making them the online equivalent of TV and radio. This gives an organisation a powerful and flexible way to communicate by serialising content over a period of time or producing them in a diary format with updates from different departments or functions.
What makes them so effective?
Podcasts are effective because at the heart is the human element. Unlike ‘static’ media such as websites, printed books and papers, or organisational emails and notice boards – podcasts contain peoples voices or images. That dynamic means an audio or video podcast can engage the audience more effectively than ‘static’ media.
Recent research has shown the number of people listening to podcasts monthly has risen to 75 million and that does not include those listening to ’employee only’ podcasts or podcasts behind a ‘firewall’, password protected or requiring pre-registration.
So, what are 5 practical tips for increasing your podcast audience and their engagement
1. Create content relevant to your target audience:
Content is critical especially when you are competing with so many other alternative sources of information. The best targeted content will always attract and retain audiences. We use E2I2 (Educate, Entertain, Inform and Inspire) as a guideline for creating good content. To work you need at least 3 out of the 4. Once people are engaged your strategy should be to keep your content refreshed and up-to-date so you can retain them as subscribers. This means you need a strategy for content ‘serialisation’ and not just one-offs. This will need careful consideration and will vary depending on the organisation and services provided but could be achieved in a number of ways such as updates on different products and services offered, general news and updates and Points-Of-View.
Creating and delivering a podcast also gives your organisation the chance to show authority on a particular topic or area to help support your overall branding and market leadership.
2. Quality of the production:
A few years ago when online audio and video was new audiences were prepared to accept variable sound and image. Audience expectations change over time – just look at Hollywood blockbuster movies. What was ‘state-of-art’ effects a few years ago now look basic compared to what audiences expect today. Our mobile phones boast stereo sound and ever more powerful cameras for still and video imaging. When producing a podcast – audio or video – it is important that the best quality is achieved.
It should be noted that audiences will accept lower quality sound and images in ‘breaking news’ reports from citizen journalists. This can include ‘live’ reporting streams using products such as Vine and Periscope.
3. Have interesting interviews
Interviews can be one of the biggest attractions to your an organisation’s podcast; they can also be one of the biggest pitfalls. There is nothing worse than watching or listening to an interview, where the interviewer is not well prepared or asks banal questions and the interviewee is unprepared or stumbles when answering. If your organisation is producing a podcast, it is your job to get the most out of the interview for the audience.
Not everyone is comfortable being interviewed. As the interviewer your job is to make them feel at ease, ask the questions the audience would like you to ask and get the best responses. One of the most important things to do when conducting an interview is to really interested in hearing what the interviewee has to talk about, listen to the actual replies and be prepared to ask any additional questions that help ensure the question is fully answered to everyone’s satisfaction.
4. Promote your Podcasts
There is no point in having a great podcast, if you cannot get an audience. It is important to promote your content at every opportunity. You can promote your podcast through social media; encourage listeners to become subscribers and use RSS Feeds. You can also promote it through email signatures, through links from your website and as URLs embedded in your digital documents including media releases.
You can also promote upcoming programs via social media and ‘trailers’ before they are live. For example you can publish details of what is being planned, updates of recordings in progress including using Twitter other social media sites with pictures/video taken of the recording and give updates of the progress of the production.
5. Archives are valuable
Content as long as it is archived and maintained can be valuable. A companies history – its people, products and places of business can be of interest to employees and the public alike. For example we have been recording around the UK since the 1970s. We have a lot of footage of Southampton and Hampshire which has gone forever due to re-development over the years. We have donated a lot of this to the Hampshire County Archives for future generations. A company may have a lot of still images of people, products and events or places from the past. These can be creatively used in a podcast. These can be of great interest to current and future customers and employees.