Nurture Leads and Prospects with Podcasts


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Nurture Leads and Prospects with Podcasts

  1. 1. How To Guide Nurture Leads and Prospects with Podcasts Executive Summary: This report provides practical advice for understanding the value of podcasting, learning best practices, and getting prepared to develop and launch a successful podcast program. Read this brief 7-page report to learn:  What is a Podcast?  Business Benefits of Podcasting  Attracting Listeners to Podcasts  How to Record a Podcast  Action Plan Review this report to understand the business benefits of adding podcasting to your marketing mix. Additionally, follow our Action Plan to get started with your podcasting Call a Principal Analyst: (866) 947-7744
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents Page What is a Podcast? 3 Business Benefits of Podcasting 3 Attracting Listeners to Podcasts 4 How to Record a Podcast 5 Action Plan Call a Principal Analyst: (866) 947-7744
  3. 3. 3 What is a Podcast? “A podcast is a collection of digital media files distributed over the internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. Although podcasters’ web sites may offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added. This is done using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS (really simple syndication).” Source - Wikipedia Business Benefits of Podcasting Podcasting has quickly become an important part of many permission based marketing campaigns because it provides high value at a low cost. Companies are using podcasts for the following reasons:  Branding: effective podcasting is an excellent medium to reach our generation’s tech-savvy consumers. Additionally, podcasts can position your organization as an industry leader, provided the content is relevant and timely for your target audience.  Lead Generation & Nurturing: keep prospects engaged with your brand by providing a trusted source for value-added content and industry best practices. Set up a simple form on your website to capture visitor information as they register/subscribe to podcasts.  External Communications: keep investors, media contacts, industry analysts, and current customers informed with company news and product Call a Principal Analyst: (866) 947-7744
  4. 4. 4  Search Engine Optimization: search engines rank websites with high download activity as more “important”, thus increasing organic search results.  Website Content Improvements: if you are looking to beef up the “resources” section of your corporate, consider adding a series of podcasts.  Marketing Opportunities: many organizations are sponsoring solid third-party podcasts, advertising during the buffering time period as the podcast loads, and using podcasts to promote brands with listener prizes. Consider adding a revenue stream to your podcasts to increase the return on investment for your program. Attracting Listeners to Podcasts A podcast is useless if nobody is listening. In order to attract the right audience and keep them listening, follow these simple guidelines:  Keep it Concise: most listeners have an attention span of 15-30 minutes maximum for a given topic. Keep your podcast concise, and offer different podcasts on various topics rather than grouping them into one huge podcast.  Flexible File Format: use MP3 format for on-demand podcasts (after the original broadcast) as it can be played on most rich media players. Avoid .wav files as the industry has clearly adopted MP3 as the standard.  Use an RSS Feed: promote and deliver your podcasts through an RSS Feed to keep listeners coming back.  Don’t Sell to Hard: while it is fine to communicate the benefits of your product, ensure that your podcast is informational in nature, and not a canned sales pitch.  Optimize your Podcast: provide a detailed description of the content of your podcast, and add meta-tags and keywords to pages containing your podcasts to enhance natural search engine Call a Principal Analyst: (866) 947-7744
  5. 5. 5  Promote your Podcast: use an integrated approach to promoting your podcast, including the following channels: contact center, email, blog, website, and podcast directories such as  Brand your Podcast: have a clearly branded introduction and conclusion to your podcast to engage listeners, thank them for their time, and invite them to attend any future planned podcasts. How to Record a Podcast Podcasting provides a great opportunity to reach your target audience but comes with its own unique risks. When recording a podcast make sure to use the right equipment and delivery methods to mitigate user and brand experience risks. Follow these steps to create an effective podcast: 1. Identify Target Audience: determine the audience that is most likely to join your podcast and consider what they would like to learn about your organization. 2. Determine Podcast Content: brainstorm potential podcast themes, such as: investor reports, product upgrades, business cases, best practices, competitive insights, executive interviews, company strategy, etc. 3. Write Podcast Script: create a script that will be used to guide speakers through their podcast recording. Practice the script until it does not sound scripted. 4. Select a Podcast Solution: strongly consider using Audacity (free) for recording your podcast and Podifier for delivering your podcast to your audience. 5. Get a Solid Microphone: Ambient noise can be a major problem. The quality of your podcast can be greatly increased if you take the time of day into consideration and by using noise canceling filters in the recording software. Consider using a USB audio capture Call a Principal Analyst: (866) 947-7744
  6. 6. 6 6. Record your Podcast: record your podcast with key speakers, ensuring it is no longer than 30 minutes or more than 10MB in size. Re-record your podcast until it sounds extremely polished. Consider using Pinnacle Systems. Pinnacle Podcast Factory solution for an end-to-end recording solution. Add text notes to make your podcast easily searchable for specific content. 7. Test the Podcast: check your bandwidth package with your website hosting provider as podcasts can be expensive to deliver if you are have to pay for incremental downloads and traffic. Ping your podcast with AllPodcasts to ensure your podcasts are updated at any podcast directories you are posting on. 8. Deliver Podcast to Audience: upload an MP3 version of your podcast to your website (to be made available following the initial broadcast) and create an RSS Feed to distribute your podcast to your audience. Podifier’s solution automates to creation of an RSS Feed by enclosing one or more MP3 files, and providing the FTP application to upload the files to a server. Action Plan Before you launch into your podcasting initiative, consider the following action items to get prepared for a successful project: 1. Learn Best Practices: read thought-leader, Rodney Rumford’s whitepaper called “How to Leverage this New Media Marketing Tool.” Review IBM’s investor podcast section of their website, to see a solid finished product. Join and interact act Paul Colligan’s blog dedicated to podcasting, and check out the post: “7 Things to do Today to Make your Podcast More Valuable.” 2. Sell the Benefits Internally: discuss podcasting with senior management to build the business case for purchasing any podcast-related software or Call a Principal Analyst: (866) 947-7744
  7. 7. 7 3. Identify Podcasting Use Cases: discuss this media option with internal and external stakeholders to identify what type of content would be valued and in demand:  Product Management - technical podcasts?  Senior Management - strategic vision?  Current Customers - product enhancements?  Prospective Customers - best practices?  Media Contacts - company news?  Investors - company performance? 4. Select a Podcasting Solution: view vendor demonstrations and select the equipment and services you require to get podcasting going in your company. 5. Record your First Podcast: record the most impactful podcast in your line-up first to build momentum and secure senior management commitment to this medium. 6. Broadcast your Podcast: market your podcast to key stakeholders and monitor who is signing up. 7. Measure Results: track leads that were generated from your podcast to determine the ROI of your program. 8. Tweak the Process: with each new podcast take lessons learned from your previous experience to improve your capabilities. Ask audience members for feedback during your podcasts, or send out a short survey following the podcast to measure your Call a Principal Analyst: (866) 947-7744