Hello Econsulters. This week I want to explore an online marketing tactic that does not necessarily work for everyone but which can be highly successful: podcasting.

Now, believe me when I say that this is not for every company. Not all
industries lend themselves to podcasting, some are simply not
interesting enough for people to go to the effort of downloading and
listening to sector-specific audio.
 
However, some creative
thinking can allow a higher number of firms than you may think to
engage with their site visitors in this innovative way.

For example, a company that manufactures slug repellent cannot blog or podcast about slug repellent, it must focus on the wider area. A gardening podcast with an occasional, unobtrusive call to slug-pellet-buying action could go down really well.
 
A quick warning though before I give you my tips on creating a successful podcast to support a product: even more so than when blogging, podcasting requires a tonne of time and effort. It has to be a quality, clear audio offering to avoid looking like a cowboy operation.
 
It also takes a great deal of time to do well, which is the reason SEOptimise has not yet launched its own podcast. Maybe one day!
 
Quality content
 
I could discuss this for hours but it should be pretty obvious. If you are creating any kind of marketing content, you have to give visitors a reason to read it, watch it, listen to it and talk about it.
 
The guidelines are pretty much the same across the board (perhaps visit some of my previous posts in which I rant about the importance of best practise for a bit more info).
 
Don’t pitch aggressively but instead offer your listener value. You can mention products, of course – this is an exercise in marketing after all – but give the podcastee a reason to return.
 
Planned podcastry
 
This is really just an extension of the quality content bit but, having listened to some dire podcasts in my time, this clearly needs saying. Plan your podcasts carefully. Have a point to them, a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t just hope to sit in front of a microphone and let the magic happen.
 
A company reflects itself in any content it publishes. You do not want to make the company sound like a rambling, unclear oddity.
 
SEO podcasting potential
 
Google cannot yet search audio or video but that does not mean your podcasting cannot add anything to your site’s ranking. Why not include a keyword rich description next to the podcast, or add a transcript at a later point?
 
Add accessibility
 
Podcasts are so-called because listeners can download them to their MP3 players but you should not assume your visitor wants to take it away.
 
Make sure they can listen to the content on your website if they want to. Perhaps they want it immediately, meaning you have to provide or they may go elsewhere. There are plenty of players available online; shop around and find the best for you and your listeners.
 
Publicise your podcasts
 
If you have followed the above advice, your podcasts will hopefully be filled with compelling content and industry-enticing, value-adding vocalisations. However, that is pretty unimportant if no one is listening. Failing to gain an audience will cause most companies to quickly give up their efforts.
 
So, get out there and promote the podcast if you want it to promote your product. Visit other blogs, Twitter your episodes, invite people to listen and then take part in a forum discussion, interview industry authorities (well, if appropriate – don’t publicise your competitors obviously!), do everything you can to get people to try your podcast.
 
After that, it is down to the quality of the content to retain your audience and promote your product or service.