by Paul Urwin
This is not just about monetization (although some of the strategies below are), it’s about how to create value with a podcast, and my definition of value could include an immediate monetary gain, but also refers to other ways in which you or your company will benefit by having a podcast.
These strategies apply equally to entrepreneurs and companies looking to host podcasts, whether internal (for staff only) or external (for the general public).
Here we go:
1. Create Real Connections
There is just something about audio. And something about listening to a podcast. As the US’s 42 million weekly listeners will confirm, listening to a podcast is just different to consuming other forms of media. In many cases, listeners form a real bond with the host and really feel as though they are having a chat with that person.
This allows a podcast host to create real and lasting relationships with listeners in a way that might be more difficult with other media. And once the connection is there, getting the message across becomes significantly easier.
2. Grow your Network
Many podcasts have an interview format, at least for some of the episodes. This means that the host will reach out to potential guests (and potential guests also reach out to hosts) in order to have them appear on the show. The entire process from start to finish – making initial contact, planning the discussion, recording the interview, publishing, sharing and even follow-up means that many hosts and interviewees create a connection.
This connection then leads to the development of a relationship and many podcast hosts and interviewees end up doing some kind of business together at some point. So, if you want to grow your network and open up future business possibilities, hosting a podcast is a great way to open some doors!
In the case of corporate podcasts the same types of relationships develop, and while this may not always result in an increase in sales, it can help to bring people together and help employees to have a much better understanding of what happens in other parts of the company.
3. Develop Expert Status
There seems to be little doubt that creating a podcast and working with (interviewing) experts enables the interviewer to achieve a certain expert status. This is, in part, due to the fact that by associating with experts, the host is seen as an expert themselves. On top of this, there is the inevitability that, by leaning from all of the experts with whom she interacts, the host does indeed go a long way to becoming an expert in their chosen field.
4. Increase Brand Awareness
There are times when “increasing brand awareness” can sound a bit wishy-washy when compared to, let’s say, getting new leads and signing deals. And it’s true that brand marketing might not deliver the type of immediate, concrete results that a sales closer is used to, but it is a very, very important part of the sales and marketing cycle.
Having a podcast allows companies to talk about issues in their organization or industry, their product or service, and industry trends, on an ongoing basis, enabling them to share with more and more people. It allows people to become more involved, helps develop more interaction and involvement, and eventually this will lead to more sales. A podcast should not be like a commercial along the lines of “Buy this now!” but it does help sales and marketing efforts significantly over time (by helping others first through good information / great content).
5. Promote Products and Services
A podcast should not be an infomercial, but it can be used to successfully promote products and services, especially if this is done in a way which is completely aligned with the audience. Pushing unrelated products at 5-minute intervals throughout the recording is just going to be annoying, but suggesting a product or service that is likely to be of interest to a particular audience, and in a way that is not too “salesey” can certainly work. If a commission agreement of some form is agreed with the provider of the service, then this is going to create extra income for the organization.
6. Share News, Events etc.
While this is not necessarily a monetization strategy (unless you are sharing details about a paid event in return for a commission), it can be a podcast value creation strategy, in the sense that people find real value in being informed about current events, especially when those events are in a particular niche. For example, information such as “The Top 10 Freelancer Events of 2019” would take some time to research (you are not likely to see this by just switching on CNN) and therefore by sharing this type of information with an interested, focused audience, you are providing real value to listeners.
7. Ramp up Web Traffic
Podcasts are by their very definition, audio files, and therefore someone listening to a podcast is not going to directly affect your web traffic.
However, there are a number of ways in which podcasts can be used to influence and increase the traffic you get to your site.
Examples include the following:
Offering extras such as a blueprint or guide to a particular topic (perhaps a pdf document) can attract listeners from your podcast to your website, if the extra information you are offering is only available on your website. This extra information is often provided free in return for signing up to an email list.
Podcast show notes are a written summary of the podcast. For example, who appears on the show, and some of the topics that are talked about. It could be anywhere from 200 words to 1,000 words (or more) long, but something like 300-500 words would be the normal length. Podcast show notes would also usually include all of the links mentioned in the show and links to any other people / products / events etc. mentioned in the show, to make it very easy for the reader to find out more about a particular topic that was mentioned.
Having a transcript for the show is another great way to provide access to even more people (some people will prefer to read the transcript rather than listening to the show) while at the same time providing a text that will contribute toward SEO.
8. Work with a Sponsor or Partner
Podcast sponsorship is not for everyone. Depending on the type of show, it might be considered irrelevant or too intrusive. But for some, it can help to generate additional value for the podcast. Once again, this is likely to work best when the sponsor is aligned with the topic of the podcast. For example, I have heard 99Designs.com as a sponsor on several different podcasts for entrepreneurs – this makes sense as many entrepreneurs are likely to be interested in the services offered by 99Designs.com
9. Re-purpose Content
Another way to provide value is by re-packaging the podcast into different types of content. I have already mentioned transcripts and show notes (see above) and these are an ideal way of generating some extra “SEO juice” from the podcast.
Other possibilities include:
- Converting the podcast to a “video” by adding static images and then posting on YouTube
- Cutting certain parts from the podcast to form shorter “audio clips” and using these as separate pieces of content
The key here is to try and get as much value from a particular podcast episode. Everyone consumes content in a different way, and having more options gives you more chances of connecting with the right listeners / readers / viewers.
10. Reach new audiences
Having a fantastic product or service is part of what makes companies successful. But there are also lots of companies out there that have great products or services but that don’t have big audiences. And audiences should not just be about “buying products” but audiences a real value-creator for all of those involved: sharing ideas, a sense of community and so on.
Podcasts create value by creating and developing communities that were not there before – bringing people with similar interests together from all over the globe! Now that’s real value!
Well, there are some of my ideas for creating value through podcasting. What about you? Do you have any value-creation strategies you would like to share Please add them in the comments below…
All the best!