The PR Power of Podcasting
It’s been a long time since our grandparents gathered around the radio to listen to their favourite programmes. But what’s old is new again in marketing and PR. Radio, which made ‘waves’ in the early 20th Century, has seen something of a resurgence in popularity thanks to its next-generation reincarnation: the podcast.
A podcast is an audio show, usually spread across a series of episodes, which can be downloaded from the Internet and listened to on a phone, laptop or MP3 player. Users can listen wherever they want, whenever they want, for free.
There are podcasts on everything, from start-up business advice, to high-end fashion. And more than 6 million of us listen to them each week according to RAJAR, which monitors radio listening figures in the UK. That’s up from 3.8 million in 2016.
Why have podcasts become so popular?
It’s all down to our lifestyles. We’re busier than ever before and that fact has made it more difficult to sit down, read a book or even watch a TV show without distraction. People want to multitask, and podcasts make it easy to listen to during the commute, on a run, or while doing the housework.
Given the popularity of the format, it’s no surprise that a growing number of brands are joining the podcasting revolution. And it’s paying dividends for them in terms of PR.
How can podcasting boost your PR efforts?
PR is all about managing your reputation and relationship building. Podcasting is a unique way to do both, by:
1. Sharing your expertise
The more openly you share your expertise, the more others will trust you. By addressing the common issues and frustrations people face in your industry, you can boost your reputation as an authority in your sector. This is what HCA Healthcare UK achieved with its super popular Health Fact vs Fiction podcast. A mix of myth-busting and discussions about health issues from leading healthcare consultants, each episode gets to the heart of a different medical topic, from fertility and HRT, to bowel cancer.
2. Communicating your brand values
You can increase trust in your brand by aligning your podcast to your company values. Take American bank and brokerage firm, Charles Schwab. Their podcast, Choiceology, tells stories of irrational decision-making and explores whether or not we can learn to make smarter choices in life. This echoes the company’s role in opportunity assessment and calculated risk.
3. Connecting with influencers and others in your industry
Interviewing other professionals in your industry gives you a great opportunity to network, collaborate and share ideas. It’s a win-win for you and them: they get to connect with your audience and you with theirs.
Start by asking a few of your friends in the industry, so you get to practice interviewing and thinking on your feet. Then you can move up to micro-influencers and then full-blown influencers as you build your confidence and platform.
These are just a few of the ways you can elevate your brand with podcasting. But whatever route you choose to go down, there are a few fundamental things to keep in mind:
Make sure your podcast doesn’t suck
Take time to listen to those in your industry that already have a substantial following. You can use any podcast app or podcast directory to browse for the most frequently downloaded casts. Your podcast should be unique, and offer value to listeners, whether in the form of entertainment, humour, advice, emotional support, guidance, news, analysis, stories, or simply creating a community. No amount of marketing and PR tactics will work if your podcast is boring.
Show your brand personality
One of the advantages podcasts have over written content is their ability to convey emotion. You can use this to your advantage and choose a tone and language that informs, enthuses or excites your audience.
The ability to share your passion can really help bring your brand to life, creating a more meaningful connection with your listeners. Audio and visual content is often far more engaging because of this dimension. You could start by turning articles you’ve already written into podcasts and seeing if they generate more interest in that format.
Appear as a guest on existing podcasts
If starting your own podcast isn’t realistic for you right now, you can still benefit from featuring as a guest on other podcasts. Spend some time researching popular podcasts for your industry. Ask customers what podcasts they listen to. Once you find ones that may be relevant to your industry, or that you think you could add value to, look for opportunities to build relationships with the hosts. If you have your own content that you think they’ll find interesting, share it with them so that they can see the type of value you could offer as a guest.
Ready to go?
Podcasting is a growing medium, so now is the time to get your voice heard. It can help you create a genuine connection with your audience and secure you a load of fabulous PR to boot. Give me a call to find out how.