With all this talk of new media, Web 2.0, consumer generated content, and [insert buzzword or buzzwords here] – all too often some of the best benefits of Business Podcasting get no press cause they aren’t sexy enough.
They are, however, some of the most important reasons that a business might consider Podcasting, so I’m going to hit them here today.
#1 – Podcasting is (o.k., can be) content without excuse. Need more time to tell the whole story? Take it. Only got 2 minutes worth of content? Stop tape at second #121. When companies stop hiding behind press releases and marketing content developed by either summer interns or companies that only care how much they can bill you, the truth will start to come out. If you got “good stuff” – it will come out – because the excuses are gone.
Obviously, or at least it should be, if you’ve been hiding behind press releases, legalese and SEMC (someone else’s marketing content) … you better beef up your resume.
#2 – Podcasting requires that you focus on communication over sales. People can tell when the whole purpose of your Podcast was to sell them something – and they can tell it from a mile away. Even the most manipulative corporations realize that they must put a human face (or voice) on their Podcasting efforts. Communicating why they should trust you with their money is a lot different that manipulating them into giving you their cold hard cash.
That focus on communication will do amazing things for your company.
#3 – Between the 8 billion different Podcast directories and the relentless splogging contingent (if you can’t beat em, put ’em to your use), Podcasts, implemented correctly, have some great SEO elements that are only going to send you additional Web traffic. Whether it is a legitimate customer hopping over to your site or if it is Google spidering you again because you were at the Pickle, you’re going to get the very inbound links that other companies pay a lot of money to get.
In SEO, the more things that point to you … the better. A Podcast that points to you is good. A few dozen Podcast directories that do the same – even better.
Want to “pay” for your Podcast? Take it out of your SEO budget.
#4 – Not all of your customers learn the same way. Presenting yourself or your company (in audio or video) will open you up to a brand new audience that will never read your marketing material (online or off). You just simply (and RSS has nothing to do with this), touch your audience (potential and existing) in a way you haven’t touched them yet.
As long as your touch is good, this is extremely valuable indeed. Again, this requires that you have a message worth sending through a Podcast chanel.
I know the audience of this Blog sure does.
#5 – A conversation (marketing has become conversation whether you like it or not) at the time, place, location, and platform of your customer’s choosing is a conversation incredibly in your favor. When you stop interrupting them with prepackaged moments of commercial brilliance and start waiting until they are ready to hear, they’re going to have that same feeling about you that you have about that one friend who is “always there for you.”
Be that friend – the one who is there when you need it.
Don’t be that friend who always interrupts at the worst possible time.
#6 – Podcasting is guilt by association. When your content is on The Perfect Thing, you look a lot cooler than the company whose content is on dead trees.
Want to amaze someone? Tell them, and I quote, “Go ahead, just look me up in iTunes.”
#7 – Do this for a year and you just might find yourself with a valuable back catalog of fabulous content. Not all of it will be ripe for selling at the eMediaMarketplace, but you can put it on CDs or DVDs (for those customers who don’t own The Perfect Thing, on branded MP3 players, or just at your Web site – for those who don’t get the bug until 2008.
Keep your history open, with no attempt to change it, and those customers you haven’t reached yet can spend a year with you … at the time and location (as well as on the device) of their own choosing.
Wait for your customers. They just might show up.
Don’t just Podcast because it’s cool or because someone told you that you need to – to reach the kids. Stay far away from this if your just doing it so you can have something to talk to your 14 year old about.
But if you want to reach your customers in a way never before possible on an intimacy level the likes of which have never before even been imagineable …
Yeah, then you should Podcast.