We hear lots and lots about the need to have a content marketing strategy. I don't disagree, I am for content marketing.
However, I think our focus has been too narrow. Most often, we limit the concept to actual text copy, or blogging as our definition of "content marketing."
Content marketing, however, is much more than just blog content! Here's how Wikipedia defines it:
Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers,e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc. View on Wikipedia >>
Content marketing is about telling your story digitally, and using multiple means of media to reach different audiences, or the same audience in a different way!
With that backdrop in mind, I want to dive into a resurrected area of content marketing...namely Podcasting.
Podcasting has seen a resurgence with the growth in use of smartphones and simple apps to allow streaming of audio.
According to Social Media Examiner's 2013 Social Media Industry report, podcasting was expected to grow by over 24% from the year prior. Podcasting has become much more mainstream for a couple of reasons. First, as noted, the growth of smartphone use combined with the streaming and cataloging of podcasts by services such as Apple's iTunes that has enabled both producers and consumers of digital audio ease of access.
For producers, digital services that host audio for streaming have become affordable and for consumers the capability to learn and listen while on the go via audio streamed from their smartphone provides flexibility. All of which, ultimately, results in a "win-win" situation.
With so much text based blog content being published daily, a means to keep up by simply listening to audio podcasts is a welcome option for many consumers. It provides another flexible method to learn and be informed across practically any business industry. While perhaps not as captivating as video with the absence of visuals, podcasts offer listeners a method to consume while driving, jogging, on the train, or exercising; and for producers it offers a lower cost and simpler production method than video.
Podcasts for Business
For businesses, podcasting can be a means of providing an alternative (and additional) digital media option for customers to learn about products and services. It also can be a method for the business to offer product training, industry information and entertainment. Similar to talk radio, it provides a means of learning and connecting that can build trust and loyalty between customers and companies.
As well, podcasting can also be a way to reach more people and a broader audience, as well as means to establish greater credibility. It offers a deeper connection than simply words on a web page and yet can be a efficient means for a blogger to multiply the ways of getting their message out. For instance, if a blog post is published, that is one use of the that material. A efficient way to get more value out of that content is then to host a podcast episode about it. The reason being that this can reach more or a different type of user, plus it does not take the creative effort of creating a completely new piece of material. As well, since the podcast is unique from the written blog in the format of delivery, it provides another source of material to share via social networks, thereby reinforcing and increasing the impact of that one material source.
Podcasts can vary in length by episode or by host, ranging in time length generally from 5-45 minutes. One of the key items for podcasting is using a hosting service that offers streaming and an embeddable player. This allows the podcaster to embed the episode on their website, and visitors can play it from that location and can fast forward /rewind as needed.
Services like Libsyn.com (which I use), Blubrry, or PodBean, all offer the tools and features necessary at a reasonable starting price to host podcasts. Using web software like Audacity or Camstasia for the recording and editing makes it fairly simple for a user to record, edit, and create a mp3 file that can be uploaded to the podcast host service.
So, the next time your company evaluates their online presence, podcasting as an additional form of media may be something that should be considered.
For an example podcast, come visit my show, www.Halftime Mike, available at the "Podcast" link above and searchable in the iTunes podcast app by searching for my name.