Inbound is about providing answers and solutions to your personas’ questions and problems. And there are multiple ways of delivering those clarifications online. Blog posts, videos and podcasts are just a few examples. This post will focus on the latter and why those can be truly effective.
Google is great for businesses to be discovered online but it is certainly not the only place where people look for things. And that is why you want to provide content to complementing touchpoints.
Podcasting. What is it, really?
The name originates from iPod and broadcast but actually dates all the way back to the 1980’s. It was at the time known as audio blogging. Today, podcasts are generally audio files and videos that are distributed online, subscribed to, streamed or downloaded through RSS. And even though this media can be a great way to reach target groups, relatively few thinks of the format for their communication.
So, let us begin with the first question that might pop: Why should I start podcasting?
Pod consumption—an upward trend
Podcasts are an up going movement. In 2013, the number of subscriptions on iTunes broke the one billion mark. In 2015 there were 46 million Americans over 12 years, which listened to at least one episode during the past month. That is approximately 17% of the US population. In 2014 the same number was 15%.
It is hardly surprising to see this uptick of interest given that podcasts are a good source for information, insights and inspiration. But what drives this trend?
- We like different toutchpoints
Firstly, we like to consume information in different ways and places. Different sources, suit different occasions.
- Always available
Secondly, the advances in technology—from the rapid growth in mobile use to the increased ease of in-car listening—make the podcast format constantly accessible.
- Our behaviour changes
Thirdly, we change the way we find answers to our questions—and how far we have come in the buying process once we reach out.
Now, let us get back to the headline and how podcasting actually boosts inbound.
Relationwise: It establishes authority
From your perspective, podcasts let you reach and convert your audience in several parts of the buyer’s journey: First by growing their interest, then by building that interest into trust which in return leads to conversions.
As already mentioned, some likes listening, others reading and a podcast allows you to reach a wider audience than if you only focus on written content.
Contentwise: You have a stab of experts—let them share their knowledge
Just as we consume different types of media, we like to do different things. Some loves to write, others to talk. A lot of people grow in front of a camera, and that applies to microphones as well.
So take advantage of our differences and let your employees do what they think is fun. It guarantees that content is produced—and that it will benefit you as a company.
Tip: Cast light on your colleagues and interview them about their expertise (i.e. find supplementaries to external authorities).
Missionwise: Visibility online is a consequence; so what are your objectives?
Over the last years, publishers and the platforms that distribute pods have found ways to effectively monetise content. However, you need to know the purpose of your actions. Read Anders Björklund’s post about Business blogging and the mission to it; the same mindset applies when you think about producing a podcast.
Searchability: Increase your podcasts' visibility online
You want to be were your target groups hunt for things that interest them. But how do you make your audio files visible for search engines? Is it even possible?
Publishing a pod and posting it to market places like Apple’s iTunes Store and Google Play, will make it available to those looking for words from the description of the podcast. The description is searchable within those dedicated platforms and it helps search engines to recognize the pod.
But what about all the interesting things you talk about? There are several options to increase an episode's visibility, here are three:
- Write a blog post to each part of your podcast and new listeners will find their way to your shows. Use your post to briefly describe the episode and its topic. Also, add the audio link to the article so that the visitor easily can listen to it.
- Create a transcript of your pod and publish that script to your blog post. It ensures that the dialogue is indexed within search engines. A recommendation though is to go through the text and take away and / or rewrite parts to make the script optimised for reading. (This should always be your focus when publishing texts online; good copy will be read and that is what truly boosts your SEO).
- Last out is the importance of promoting your episodes in your offsite touchpoints (a.k.a. social media). Make sure to be relevant, to use those updates as adverts and to make those posts click triggering.
To summarise; strive to provide your target market with what they are looking for—where they spend their time. Words, audio and video are all essential to a media mix that aims to boost inbound.
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