Podcasts Gain Momentum as a Media Tool to Connect with Potential Customers

Marketing with Podcasts

Background: Many of my long time readers know that I’ve always had my eye on Podcasting.  My first Podcamp was in 2008 in Columbus, just a few years after I started this blog. I remember listening to Dave Jackson, from the School of Podcasting, who provided a podcasting 101 session that made it sound oh-so-simple. I was delighted that he was located outside of Akron in NE Ohio just like me.

Although I think I’ve only had about 10 audio files included in Branding & Marketing, I continued to learn more about podcasting. At the beginning of 2018, I started a separate community with a co-host (Jill McCauslin) that includes a website and podcast. It’s been an experience in putting together an editorial calendar, finding guests, recording, editing, developing the art, distributing the podcast and then promoting it. We’ve got 23 episodes recorded so far.

Marketing with Podcasts - co hosts Chris Brown and Jill McCauslin
Chris with podcast co-host Jill McCauslin at the Pair Networks / Libsyn headquarters in Pittsburgh in early November.

Types of Podcasts: There are a full range of categories of podcasting. People listen to them in the car, when they are exercising or while doing something else. In the US, where iPhones are so popular, most listeners download their podcasts on their phones from the Apple Podcasts directory (formerly known as  iTunes.) Recent reports show Apple Podcasts has a directory of 550,000 different podcasts with over 18 million episodes.  In general, the number of podcasts has grown exponentially and the listen base has grown accordingly. Still, there are many people who don’t listen to podcasts yet because they aren’t sure how to listen or subscribe. Many other people listen on Spotify or a wide range of other apps, such as Stitcher, Player FM, Tune In, Castbox and so on.

Yesterday a recent announcement from Pandora (who will be partnering with Libsyn among others) about additional distribution will ensure that podcast listening will continue to grow in 2019.  Pandora’s  71 million active users will definitely add serious numbers to the distribution of podcasts.  The majority of the US has not been listening to podcasts because, “they just don’t know where to start.” With Pandora getting into podcast distribution, that’s about to change.

Marketing professionals on the leading edge are already into it as podcasts gain momentum. It’s not a new thing. Podcasting has been around since 2005 or even earlier. In fact, it was a thing about the time “everyone” started blogging. But as the world has gotten faster with shorter and shorter messaging, podcasting provides a wonderful way to provide long content, full explanations and a deep dive into content.

Libsyn staff outlines the Libsyn WordPress integration session (from left) Krystal OConnor, Rob Welch, Dave Jackson and Elsie Escobar.

At a recent meeting of podcasters that was held in Pittsburgh at Pair Networks (part of Liberated Syndication’s company), I was able to meet a variety of content developers, customer support people, and other podcasters. It’s so interesting to hear about the different types of shows and content being developed. I liked learning about new developments like the Pandora announcement too.

Host with a server set up to handle your audio fileswhen you are marketing with podcasts.
Hosting Server room set up at Pair Networks – Libsyn in Pittsburgh.

Just like with websites, the podcasting world has its own lingo and requirements that you’ll need to become familiar with in order to promote your company, products, services and establish yourself as a thought leader by using this medium. Marketing with podcasts isn’t rocket science but there is plenty you’ll need to learn.

If you’re considering launching a podcast, one of the first rules is don’t host audio files for your podcast on your website. They are huge files and website hosting is just not the right place. You want a podcast hosting company that will provide hosting, distribution and statistics among other things. I recommend using Libsyn (the largest podcast hosting) but there are others too like Blubrry and PodBean. (Skip Anchor and SoundCloud.) You definitely want to host with a server that is set up to handle your audio files when you are marketing with podcasts.

There’s too much for me to include about starting your podcast, so let me just refer you to the best place to become familiar with it, which is Dave’s School of Podcasting.

If you decide you want to add podcasting to your 2019 marketing plan and want to talk about it, I’ll be glad to discuss it from a marketing standpoint… However Dave (who is a 2018 inductee in the Podcasters’ Hall of Fame) eats, sleeps and lives podcasting.

Meanwhile, if you’re not listening to podcasts yet, it’s time to find out more about this. It’s a way to build a powerful audience. Those who have “building awareness” as a goal for 2019 will not want to ignore this media opportunity.

Perhaps your company spokesperson will put “become a podcast guest expert” in their to do list for 2019. Or add “develop a set of 10 questions a podcasting host will ask us to learn more about ____” to their actionable items. Maybe you have had marketing with podcasts on your list for a while.

Here is one of my favorite podcasts: Finding Mastery. He regularly interviews exceptional CEO’s who are searching for mastery of their craft. Besides this one, I regularly listen to about 20 to 25 different podcasts.

If you enjoy listening to podcasts, let me know which ones. If you have a podcast, let me know. Or if you are interested in learning more about using podcasts as a way to connect with your customers, let me know. You can leave a message in the comments field below or send me an email.

PodCasting Basics: What I Learned from Participating in PodCampOhio

PodCampOhio June 28 2008 How To PodcastPodCampOhio — what a massive meet up and sharing of some super information about podcasting, webcasting, and wordPress ideas & how-to’s yesterday in Columbus Ohio at the ITT Technical Institute!

Beyond getting GREAT ideas and step by step how-to’s and what-not-to-do’s, I think some of the best take-away’s for me were:

  • The support and sharing of all this great info — for F*R*E*E!
  • The spirit of comradery among all the participants
  • How fun it was to go there on a road trip with some awesome women business owners
  • I learned as much in the “debriefings” over the meals as I did in the sessions
  • Generous people: After Kenny Ruffin (music/video/photography/web) Media artist won the Soccer Moms Myth book as a doorprize, he was so nice to give it to us to read.  Thanks! 
  • Great Sessions: Dave Jackson Podcasting in Plain English was wonderful and a great intro for those who are still beginners.  He’s a great presenter and –bonus — he’s from Akron. He talked about Blubrry pronounced blueberry , so I’ll have to check out that and libsyn as a hosting place too.  I didn’t realize that there was a media host (server for the media), a webhost (for the blog/website) , the media (actual podcast) and that iTunes was where people went to find it. 
  • Great Sources, Links and Contacts:
  1. All was recorded and will be posted at PodCampOhio’s Podcast by CoefficientMedia.
  2. Talkshoe for hosting. BlogTalkRadio for recording and hosting.  Audacity for recording and editing. GarageBand for recording and editing. Skype’s Pamela or FreeConferenceCall for recording.  iTunes for distributing the RSS.
  3. Mitch Cantor from StudioNashVegas (marketing communications, graphic design agency) posted his slides at SlideShare.net: WordPress 101 and WordPress 201 . By the way, he drove all the way from Nashville to Columbus to deliver the presentation while his wife is 8 1/2 months pregnant!  We were all expecting the phone to ring & Mitch to take flight at any moment.  Best of luck to you and your wife with your new baby, Mitch!  I like your business card too – very creative.
  4. Heard quite a bit about Blip.tv as a f*r*e*e host for audio or video.  Another place I’ll need to investigate.
  5. Check out some of the other podcamps or look for a podcamp near you at PodCamp Community Unconferences.  These Unconferences are: “for new media enthusiasts and professionals including bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, social networkers, and anyone curious about new media.”
  6. You can learn alot from other PodCamp’s SlideShare shows too. The photo below shows organizer Angelo Mandanto with another staffer passing out more freebies:

PodCamp Organizers Pass Out Door Prizes after PodCampOhio in Columbus

So, here’s my Podcast Plan.  (Comments welcome, especially if I’m on the wrong track with this!!)
My PodCast Content and Technology plan - click on Flickr link above for bigger resolution and sorry about my hard to read handwritting

There are two challenges for me: organizing the content and organizing the technology.  PodCampOhio gave me some great ideas for both, but lunchtime with my friends helped my plan to really come together into an actionable to do list.

We’re all planning to get together for “A Podcast on the Pontoon” in about a month to see how we’ve progressed in a quest for learning to podcast with confidence.

ABC Akron Bloggers Community Share Blog Marketing Tips

The Akron Bloggers Community got together yesterday at the Arabica Coffee Shop in Stow Ohio to swap marketing tips and catch up with new events in our blogs and businesses.

Just a few of the highlights:

Stephen Hopson will be the closing Keynote Speaker the National Tractor Association Meeting next month. UPDATED 7/1/08: Stephen’s Keynote speech is in Berea, OH for the National Tractors Parts Association in July – doing a keynote closing presentation called “Transforming Adversity Into Success.” He joins Jim Cermak on July 15 at Panera Bread in Medina Ohio to deliver his “HEAR” Principle for overcoming adversity. Stephen is also waiting to hear from major publisher and literary agent on the status of a book proposal for his first-ever book, which will be a collection of first person narration stories about events that have happened in my life including some of the funniest, most embarrassing and scariest moments.

I leave tonight withDeborah Chaddock Brown and Norma Rist for Pod Cast Camp in Columbus PodCampOhio for an all day session on Saturday.

Ron McDaniel recently launched a Buzz Assistant Network to help companies who want a Web2.0 buzz but aren’t sure how to do it. He’s looking for more assistants to help support all the leads coming his way. It’s a win-win for the assistants and the companies. Very clever!

We’ve decided to meet once a month at the same place each time. When we tried to vary to location and time/dates to accomodate everyone’s schedule, it just wasn’t working for the group and we ended up not meeting for a while.
Next Meet up: July 31st 9:30 am at the Arabica in Stow Ohio.