Podcasting describes the process of producing audio files—aka, podcasts—and making them available online via iTunes or other types of media players. Often, podcasts come in installments or series based around topics relevant to a brand’s audience. If listeners subscribe to podcasts, they receive new content automatically as it is released. Many consumers prefer to listen to podcasts rather than read long-form blog posts, as podcasts can be accessed on the go.
A business can produce a series of podcasts for a variety of reasons, including to accomplish the following:
- Introduce a product or service.
- Answer commonly asked questions.
- Engage an audience, especially in talk-back-style episodes that encourage readers to call or write in.
- Supply information relevant to a particular industry.
- Interview thought leaders or other parties of interest.
- Provide product training.
- Give reviews.
The goal of most podcasts is to build a following of brand advocates—those willing to connect with and listen to the messaging of the “host” for far longer than it takes to read an article or write a comment. As part of a well-rounded content marketing strategy, many companies use podcasting to drive traffic, establish credibility, and build thought leadership around a topic. Ultimately, podcasting companies hope to gain repeat customers and referrals.
Companies can promote their podcasts on their websites or social channels. Many podcasts are free for listeners, but there are ways to monetize podcasting. Besides the obvious answer of directly trying to sell a product or service, companies can consider including affiliate links, soliciting sponsorships from suppliers, hosting paid promotions, or allowing advertisements during breaks.
IMA has assembled a list of podcasting solutions for your review here.