Josh Weiss, Associate Director for the Program on Negotiation at Harvard worked with The Otter Group to produce a podcast called, Negotiating Tip of The Week. The series has been running since April 2005 and now features over 50 podcast episodes on a wide range of topics. The show has had over 280,000 downloads and has been listed on the top 50 business podcasts of iTunes for over four months. “Podcasting has enabled me to reach a much more vast and broad audience than the people who take my courses or trainings,” says Weiss. I feel like I’m getting to people who don’t see themselves as negotiators but who negotiate all the time.”
Authors are learning how to utilize PodBranding to differentiate their books in an overly cluttered marketplace. “I was real excited about the prospect of connecting my voice with my existing 20,000 newsletter readers. I think podcasting takes the personal element we are used to in face-to-face interactions and brings it to prospects in a way that was previously not possible for Internet advertisers,” explains Michael Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged who is providing a content rich 30-minute audio interview to people who buy his book.
He’s also featuring an Audio Interview as an adjunct to his September newsletter that features music, multiple voices, and teasers about articles to help drive traffic to his content/site: “In the case of both my newsletter and my book, it has bonded me and my readers even closer together. This is something that goes well beyond the written word. It is all about that affinity that only can be communicated through sound.”
“Lovely,” you’re thinking. “Fuzzy emotional ties and supposed credibility don’t show up too clearly on a balance sheet.” Fair enough.
First off, let’s talk savings. Kathleen Gilory, CEO of the Otter Group (mentioned above) had this nugget of information to report about a recent podcasting initiative she created for a client:
We’ve been working on an innovation program for a global financial services firm for the past six years. It was relatively easy to convince the client to try podcasting because prior to this year we had been distributing our course materials in a big black binder that included hard copy lecture notes and DVD videos of the learning materials. And this year, instead of doing that we gave every participant a video iPod. Doing this actually cost us $200 less per person to use the iPod than for the binders, and that was just for duplication costs.
(On a quick environmental side note, Wal-Mart recently reported that those big black binders also tend to be the main component in most major landfills. Hmmm…Video iPod and a $200 savings, or spine-wrenching eco-trash. Your call).
Advertising in existing shows is becoming one of the quickest ways for companies to make money via podcasts without having to produce a show themselves. Gregory Galant, CEO of RadioTail, a service that provides automatic ad insertion services, notes that, “thousands of podcasts have proven themselves excellent media outlets by focusing on a niche and building a strong relationship with their audiences. Due to the subscription nature of podcasting these audiences are measurable and predicable so you can target your campaign with laser-like focus, track your results and get a great ROI.”
See? You don’t even have to reinvent the wheel. Just spin it.
In regards to marketing, providing interactive and fun ways to showcase your content isn’t really just cool—it’s a requirement. PodBranding allows you to establish a relationship with listeners through content-rich, entertaining programs that highlight your firm and distinguish you from competitors. Audio elicits an instant and emotional connection and can make or save you money if created for the benefit of the listener more than the producer.
In conclusion, a conundrum:
If your message has no one to hear it, then does it make a sound?
Nope. In a forest or anywhere else. Trees, and the rest of your audience are listening to your competitors. And your message is falling on deafened ears.