Should Podcasting Be Part of Your Marketing Mix?

Most brands today find it hard to connect with their audience. People are constantly scrolling through social media and moving from tab-to-tab on browsers, searching for that next cat video, celebrity scandal, political outrage or some other form of dopamine hit.

Marketers could be forgiven for looking back at the pre-Internet world fondly, when a 30-second TV ad during the 6 o’clock news could reach a meaningful portion of their audience. But today digital channels create real opportunities to create community and define your brand in ways that tv spots could never do.

This is a golden age of marketing for those that understand the new rules.

Content marketing is one powerful way to engage your audience. With good content, you are not interrupting your audience with an ad they didn’t want to see but instead are attracting them with content that provides value. That value is generally in the form of useful information; something that makes them better informed or more competitive. Your content can be a blog post, social media shareable, white paper, ebook, infographic or another option. But the value exchange must be clear – the audience gives you their time in return for something that adds value to their life or their business.

Too many brands assume that putting self-serving content out in the universe will attract potential customers. It doesn’t work that way. The content needs to be engaging. There is too much choice in our world, and no one is going to listen to your company brochure. Not even your Mom.

Podcasts have emerged as a strong content option for both the B2B and B2C marketing mix. The podcast audience is growing – 41 percent of Canadians aged 35-54 listen to podcasts monthly, and 75 percent of listeners tune in to more than one podcast per week.

A podcast offers an engaging way to build a brand. It’s intimate and breaks through the relentless clutter of information to help actively shape a brand narrative. You can tell a story with a podcast and keep your audience coming back for more. A podcast also opens the door to great guests, connecting you with industry influencers and stakeholders. Some organizations are also using bespoke podcasts for sales outreach, providing information to prospects in a more relevant and engaging way.

Done consistently, podcasting is a powerful thought leadership tool, helping define your organization as a leader that cares deeply about their customers and their community. It is a regular and repeatable demonstration of your expertise.

A good podcast can be measured by the quality of its audience, not the quantity. You may not get Tim Ferriss numbers of downloads, but if only one or two of those listeners become clients, you have likely more than paid for the exercise. It sure beats running the risk of annoying your customers and potential customers with intrusive and repetitive ads.

A podcast can become a central component of your marketing mix, attracting eyeballs to your website and clicks on your social channels. It can help fill your sales funnel.

We see podcasts trending upward here in Atlantic Canada. That’s why Bonfire has partnered with Halifax-based Podstarter to provide podcasting services to our clients. They are experts at podcasting development and production, with more than 4-million minutes of podcasts listened to by a variety of audiences, and a client roster filled with many top Atlantic Canadian organizations. Bonfire works with you on the ideation, guests and marketing strategy, and Podstarter handles the production and distribution.

Intrigued by the idea of adding a podcast to your marketing mix? Let’s talk about it.

Allan Gates

Allan Gates is the president of Bonfire.