You Ask, I Answer: How Do Podcasts Help Tangible Marketing Goals?

Jason asks, “I’m writing about why brands should definitely start a podcast, and I was curious if you had any thoughts about how podcasts are becoming an effective content marketing strategy. How can podcasts can translate into reaching tangible marketing goals?”

The question is predicated on three different questions: first, what are your tangible marketing goals; second, which of those goals did you start your podcast for, and third, how effective is your measurement strategy?

Podcasts are like any other form of media, in that they can be used to help bolster nearly any part of the customer journey, from awareness to loyalty. The key is understanding what a podcast is and is not good at. Podcasts generally aren’t good at direct response by themselves. They’re excellent at building both brand and community. They can contribute well to top and middle of funnel with an integrated marketing strategy, meaning they have other digital support like email, blog, etc.

And like all newer forms of media, they’re neither a magic wand to change your brand or a magic pill that fixes fundamental marketing problems.

Finally, of course, podcasts live partially outside the clickstream, which means you need robust measurement strategies to help you understand how they’re contributing to your goals. That means surveys, qualitative research, and detailed analytics.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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In today’s episode, Jason asks, I’m writing about why brands should definitely start a podcast.

And I was curious if you had any thoughts about how podcasts are becoming an effective content marketing strategy? How can podcasts translate into reaching tangible marketing goals? So, okay, I would say that brands definitely shouldn’t start a podcast brands should consider it, for sure.

But I don’t think there’s a case where anybody should definitely start a podcast for a whole variety of reasons.

Now, that said, this question is predicated on three different questions that we need to answer first.

Number one, what are these tangible marketing goals? A lot of companies do not have tangible marketing goals, a lot of them have very messy, intangible, fuzzy, unclear goals.

So you need to make sure that you have that well detailed first, what are the specific marketing goals that you want to achieve? Are you looking to build awareness? Are you trying to influence consideration? Are you trying to prompt evaluation? Are you trying to build purchase? Are you working on loyalty? Are you trying to build evangelism? There’s whole big chunks of the customer experience.

And the question is, what goal Are you trying to achieve with the podcast? And this is not restricted just to podcast? This is true of any marketing.

Second question, which of these goals did you start your podcast for? And this is, it’s important to be very deliberate about, this is the goal that I want to achieve.

This is what we’re trying to achieve with a podcast, it is not.

Let’s start a podcast and see what happens.

Not if you’re doing it for a brand.

If you’re doing it for yourself personally, and just want to mess around and you want to have something as a hobby podcast, great.

do that without a specific goal in mind, have fun with it.

There are many, many great shows out there that are essentially just doing it for the fun of it.

But if you’re doing it for brand, if you’re doing it on work time with work resources, work is going to ask you, what goal you helping to support.

And third, and this is where podcasting in general falls down.

And marketers in journal fall down.

How effective is your measurement strategy, you need to be able to measure things very, very clearly and cleanly to gauge the effectiveness of a podcast or any other form of digital marketing.

Therein lies the problem.

podcasts are like any other forms of media, right, they can be used to bolster any part of the customer journey.

If you’re trying to build awareness, you can use a podcast as part of the awareness strategy.

If you’re trying to build consideration evaluation, you can do like a show about the different types of technology in your space of the different products in your space.

You can do things about that are specifically for customers, marketing the customers to improve tension and loyalty.

helping customers for example, understand, hey, you bought this thing, here’s 400 you ways to get use out of it.

There are any number of cooking appliances that have started very successful podcasts and YouTube channels and things where they’re showing you Hey, you bought this thing, here’s how to extract more value out of this thing.

The key is understanding what a podcast is and is not good at and I buy a podcast here I assume we are speaking about the audio form of podcasting, not the video form.

Fundamentally, someone is taking out their their device and there’s almost certainly a smartphone these days.

They’re sticking in a pair of headphones and they’re listening to the thing, right? What does that look like? Looks like radio is essentially a slightly different form of radio.

The show is arrived to you depending on the show whenever they’re produced, you listen to it, and and you enjoy it on your commute at the gym at the office at home.

But it’s audio which means that for the most part when you look at how people listen to podcasts, at the gym, on their commute in the office at home, they’re generally doing something else right that’s what audio is really good at audio is really good at letting you listen while you work out while you sit at your desk while you do this.

And that in turn means that podcasts are not great at direct response not by themselves right you can tell somebody Hey, go listen to any or insights interesting insights, go subscribe to the blog, go visit my website Christopher Penn calm go subscribe to leave a review for marketing over coffee calm, but people have to be able to remember that and they have to be had to have a reason for that.

And so we’re a lot of podcasts fall down as they try to act like direct response mechanism and they are not they’re excellent at building brand and community.

If your show is useful and helpful people will listen to it because they want more useful helpful information if your show is good at connecting people podcasts are excellent at building communities and and nurturing and and really agglomerated giving the community a place to cluster around a voice.

They podcasts contribute well to top and middle of funnel with an integrated marketing strategy.

Which means that they need digital support podcasts.

I have not seen a single podcast that has done well only being a podcast, there is almost always a website, a blog, social media accounts, email newsletter support, paid ads, podcasts that treat the show like a product and provide marketing support, like you provide marketing support to any other product line do well.

And so a lot of folks who start off podcasting, don’t think about it as a product, it is a product, it is a product and needs Product Marketing.

So if you’re not doing that, your shows not going to do well.

And it’s not going to support those content, that those marketing goals that you want to be tangible and has to have that support.

podcasting is also it is like most other forms of new media.

It’s like SEO, when it first came out is like email when it first came out when social first came out when mobile apps first came out, in that people want it to be a magic pill, they want to be a magic wand, you just do this thing and all your marketing problems go away.

Nope, doesn’t work like that.

It never works like that.

It can attract attention.

It attracted more attention 10 years ago, or 15 years ago, really now.

But now the landscape is so crowded, that starting a podcast will do nothing for you by itself.

You need to have that integrated strategy, in order for your podcasting be an effective part of what you’re doing for marketing, and you got to be willing to spend some money on it.

If you’re starting a podcast today and you’re not willing to spend any money on it, it’s probably not going to do well unless you have some kind of headline or talent that people would tune in for just for the sake of tuning in.

The last part on measurement is that podcasts partially live outside the click stream remember, somebody is Yes, they’re downloading this.

Yes, they’re loading into an app of some kind on this device and they’ve got their headphones in.

But once they start listening, you really outside of the click stream, the click stream breaks, meaning if I’m engaging with, say, your Instagram account, I can click from wherever I am to Instagram, click on the link in your bio and Instagram, go to your website and I can clearly see that chain of evidence that said this person came from Instagram.

If you’re listening to a podcast other than voice response for like voicera systems like saying you know, hey, Alexa, go to marketing over coffee calm.

The click stream breaks.

You may be listening to marketing over coffee.

And then you open up a browser on your desk or or you know maybe on your phone, don’t fall off the treadmill and you type in marketing over coffee calm.

Well, the click stream is broken.

There’s no attribution for that.

It comes in, in Google Analytics as direct none, no refer.

Nobody knows where it came from.

So you need to have very robust measurement strategies to help understand how your podcast is contributing to those marketing goals.

That means you need to be serving your audience on a regular basis, not your podcast.

So have your overall audience Have you listened to Brand X podcast? That means that on every intake point, you know, every form that somebody fills out every time someone calls the call center you need to be asking, What made you call in today? Right What made you fill out this form today? Was the podcast was it a search was it word of mouth from a friend Why did you do it at the podcast never shows up that’s probably about helping back.

You need qualitative research like focus groups and things.

And you need detailed analytics and and the more of that digital support system that your podcast has like a website like trust insights.ai, or marketing over coffee calm.

Or Christopher penn.com something that gives you a different referring URL, a newsletter social media accounts, if your podcast has all those things, again, like a product would, then you can do more attribution of how people are finding you and completing those goals that you set out in the beginning.

So there’s a lot to making a podcast work, there’s a lot to making a podcast part of your marketing strategy and part of your marketing goals.

But it for sure is not magic.

And it is not going to fix the most fundamental problem with your marketing, which is if nobody likes your product or service podcast isn’t gonna help.

Right? your podcast has to be in support of something that people actually want.

So great question Jason.

important question and we could spend hours and hours on this but give these things some thought.

As always, please leave your comments below.

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