Last week, social media marketers migrated down to San Diego to attend Social Media Marketing World, a conference for those looking to make the most of social networks.
Often times, the goal is to create online advocates and increase sales through social media marketing. At Social Media Marketing World, one of the hot topics was the use of podcasts. In one presentation, Pat Flynn explained the audience Exposure Cycle. The three aspects of this cycle are discover, stick, and share. Here's how you can get started on the exposure cycle with podcasts.
How to Be Discovered
Getting found by your target audience is the first step. While a recent Edison Research study on the Podcast Consumer found awareness of podcasting has grown 105% since 2006 from 22% in 2006 to 45% in 2012, (Tweet this stat!) if no one can find your podcast, the chances of you being successful through this medium are slim. To get discovered by your target audience, you'll need to determine the focus of your podcast, determine who your target audience is, and take the steps necessary when creating podcast descriptions to ensure each one is easily found by that same audience.
- Choose Your Focus: What is your niche? The focus of your podcast needs to be something you're passionate about where you can add value to or start a discussion.
- Define Your Audience: Who is your target audience? Market your podcast on networks, newsletters and pages where your ideal viewer and customer can be found.
- Optimize Your Descriptions: Be sure to use keywords in each individual and overall podcast description.
How to Stick
Once a listener or viewer comes across your podcast, consider how you can keep their attention and coming back for more. As with all social platforms, you don't want one-time followers, you want long-term, loyal customers who engage. Get your podcast audience to stick with content that adds value that will encourage them to return. Avoid the fluff and think about how you can create meaningful connections with your subscribers.
- Attracting Art: Make sure your podcast has compelling visuals associated. Your cover image and any video you choose to incorporate needs to be attractive and eye-catching.
- Awesome Audio: Because the content you're delivering involves audio, you can't drop the ball here. Make sure you're recordings are clear and that you have the equipment to ensure a great listening experience.
- Consistent Content: Be consistent with when you publish and on what topics you publish about. Sporadic publishing won't keep your audience coming back. If content is king, consistency is queen.
How to Get Shared
Your podcast will be more successful if what you produce encourages sharing. Share your podcast with others and ask them to do the same. While your ranking (in the iTunes Store, for example) will help you gain traction, rankings are determined by number of downloads, new subscribers, ratings/reviews (within a certain time period). To boost your rankings and your shareability:
- Be authentic and transparent. Podcasts come from people and each person has their own personality and something to offer. Showcase who you are.
- Be fascinating. Whether it's comedic, opinionated or something else, find a way to fascinate your audience and their audience. Boring and lackluster podcasts won't do well.
- Be shareable. Make sure each of your podcasts is easily shared with visible sharing buttons. You can even include sharing calls to actions at the beginning and/or end of each podcast.
If your business is looking for a new platform to engage with its audience, consider podcasting. As with all content, in order to be successful with what you're creating, you need create something worth sharing that is easy to share. Consider the exposure cycle and how it applies to your business, your podcast, and your marketing efforts. Help your audience, discover, stick with and share your content.