I recently had the honour of being part of a panel at Future of Social Media Strategy Conference, where I spoke about the power of podcasting.
In particular, how businesses can strategically leverage podcasts across all stages of the customers buying journey, right through to maintaining strong relationships with existing customers and upselling customers to additional products and services they may not be aware that your company offers.
A podcast can help a business build their Thought Leadership, which, as a recent Edelman/Linkedin study confirmed, would enable companies to build trust, their reputation, and that would allow them to charge premium prices.
And, with social media platforms constantly changing the rules means organisations MUST look at developing self-owned channels that won’t disappear over night because you went against a TOC/TOS.
A podcast platform is perfect.
Plus, what other platform has your ideal client subscribe and consume (often binge listening) to your content because they want to and in their own personal time?
BUT, as I shared, the right strategy (which is totally different for each company/business and dependent on the organisations needs/ desired outcomes, their industry and their ideal clients/consumers) is key!
Here are the key points I mentioned during my presentation, which I’m sure you’ll find helpful if you’re in the process of determining how best to leverage a podcast in your business to build Thought Leadership, while be able to nurture listeners into leads and ultimately paying customers right from your very first episode.
Meeting the challenges of constant social channel evolution;
Challenge 1: Changing algorithms; Changing Social Platforms Terms of Service; and Social Platforms closing down
Q: As organisations, do we want to put all of our efforts in building our brands and reputations on third party platforms that may just go out of business or that could shut us down (from their platforms) if we go against one of their TOC/TOS?
It can take years to build a solid profile and to have it be closed down overnight, which I’ve heard has happened to many unsuspecting businesses.
Now, while these platforms are fantastic and we should not ignore them, we should leverage them to bring people back to our self-owned platforms such as your website and your podcast platform – a podcast channel for your business.
You’re leveraging social media platforms to AMPLIFY your message, which means if a social media platform does change it’s algorithm or TOS or goes out of business, you can just change the method of distribution to grow your visibility and reach. However it all goes back to your own podcast channel, which is housed on YOUR website.
Challenge 2: Standing out in a cluttered and highly competitive marketplace AND short attentions spans:
We are told to keep our videos short and concise; our articles so people can scan through them quickly.
A podcast is typically 20-30 minutes or even longer. Some podcasts are in long-form formats – going for hours.
Challenge 3: Customers loyalty in a fickle market
Nurturing prospective customers through the customer buyers journey; up-selling existing customers; and retaining customer (and preventing them from being poached by competitors).
This can all be addressed and achieved with a strategically produced podcast.
Seizing opportunities in podcast innovation
Acast & Nova Podcast Intelligence Report 2018, findings include:
- Podcasting is the fastest growing on-demand audio medium with currently 3.5 million listeners between 16-64
- Listeners are affluent and strong influencers
- People listen in their own personal time, including:
- Commuting – 16%
- Doing chores – 16%
- Cooking – 15%
- Falling asleep in bed – 11%
- Web surfing (social media) – 10%
- Exercising – 9%
- Driving for leisure – 9%
- Walking for leisure – 8%
Your audience are listening and subscribing because they WANT to listen to your content
Each time you publish a new episode a notification is sent to their device, so it pops up on their screen alerting them to new content.
USA studies confirm some additional information which is that:
- Listeners are more likely to follow a brand’s social media accounts, which means more opportunity to engage with your ideal customer.
Defining social channel priorities and future possibilities.
(a) Leverage your podcast to Build Thought Leadership:
Findings of a recent Edelman survey ‘2019 Edelman-Linkedin B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study’ shows some interesting results:
- 58% of decision makers say they would choose a business because of their Thought Leadership (whereas only 26% of businesses selling their services believe thought leadership is responsible for closing business); and
- 61% of decision makers say they are willing to pay premium prices to work with a brand that articulates a clear vision through their Thought Leadership (whereas 14% of businesses selling their services believe thought leadership allows them to charge more than their competitors who produce lower quality or no thought leadership.
- 87% of decision makers say building thought leadership build trust and 89% of decision makers say building thought leadership enhances your reputation
(b) Leverage your podcast to build TRUST [both externally and internally]
Edelman Trust Barometer shows there is a 16-point gap between Informed Public and Mass Population.
How are you informing your community and building awareness with your potential customers.
It’s well known that customers look for brands that align with their personal values. Do you know what you stand for?
As an organisation do you share your vision and values, your ethos and build a community of people who align with your core values.
Edelman Trust Barometer’s ‘Expectations for CEO’s’ showed results which confirm CEO’s and business leaders should into their communication strategy.
In a world where trust continues to erode – positive shifts are happening in the marketplace.
Especially when CEO’s communicate regularly on economic and social issues AND when they speak out if government makes bad decisions.
Results show that:
- 64% of people agree CEO’s should take the lead on change rather than wait on government to impose it;
- 63% of people agree ‘without trust they will stop buying.’
In fact, one of the survey respondants said:
“A good reputation may get me to try a product – but unless I come to trust the company behind the product I will soon stop buying it, regardless of its reputation.”
How should CEO’s be communicating?
Authentically and unrehearsed. Results almost doubled when comparing a spontaneous speaker vs a rehearsed speaker in ‘giving you the truth.’
So, keep your conversation authentic, without the corporate speak, and lead with purpose! A podcast is a powerful way for CEOs to get their message out, both externally and internally.
- In fact, regular communication by the CEO that’s shared internally, aids in building trust with employees too.
- (c) Map out your customer buyers and journey and meet your prospective clients and existing customers with relevant information at just the right time
- Do you know the concerns and excuses of your ideal client? Eliminate those concerns with stories, case studies and insights on your podcast.
- Speak into the issues your customers are facing and let customers know how else you can support them with additional service and products your company offerings (which they may not know about.
- Deepen relationships, build know, like and trust with your OWN podcast platform;
- Create a trusted and respected platform where people visit regularly as your brand becomes their go-to trusted authority;
- Build the personal brands of key staff members – especially your CEO and other key stakeholders who are driving the vision of the organisation;
- Integrate your podcast strategically into our customer buyers journey so you can begin to nurture listeners into leads and ultimately paying customers from your very first episode.