Looking To Engage With Customers? Start A Simple Podcast

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Over the last week, we here at Direct Capital Blog have been sharing tips on how to make social media work for your small business. Hopefully you’ve found them helpful.

Of course, the Twitter/Facebook/blog-centric posts will be useful for many, but not everyone. Some businesses don’t have writers on staff who can handle the workload of a blog, and others lack an audience that would appreciate it. In those cases, Mashable suggest that you can make a podcast work for you.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, a podcast is essentially the online equivalent of a radio show, albeit often a brief one. You can make it instructional or fun for your customers, but many choose to balance the two. As is the case with so many other forms of online media, striking a balance is critical.

Podcast Success Story

I can speak to podcasts to some degree, as I’ve been a guest on many sports-centric shows over the last few years. The key is to focus on delivering the same kind of news, analysis and information you would offer up on a blog, but in a spoken word format.

Just like a blog, you want to avoid bludgeoning people with a boring baton. A podcast is not a tool for you to champion sales and your products. Instead, focus on your industry and your customers, and strongly consider having a portion of the show set aside to answer questions from those customers.

One of the examples Mashable provides, that of WEBS, offers a cogent example of what I’m talking about. A large-scale knitting supply store, WEBS found success putting together a local podcast strictly about knitting. That draws in enthusiasts and casual listeners alike, and if they like you, they will find out more about what it is you do.

For WEBS, their 13,000 listeners each week drive revenue to the company, with clear correlations between patterns or yarns they mention on their show and what people buy in the aftermath of it. Such is the potential of the podcast, if you’re willing to put the time in to develop it.

One final tip: Consider brevity. An hour-long podcast once a week or even a single half-hour one will ensure customers want to stay up-to-date on what you’re doing. Three hour-long podcasts a week would be an ordeal to put together and more or less guarantees most consumers won’t bother to keep up with you.

This about.com article will get you started. Talk podcasts in the comments section below.

Photo credit goes to www.thecreativepenn.com

2 Comments

  1. As with other ways that a business presents itself to the world, a podcast should be professionally done. If the audio quality of your business podcast is low, not only will people decide against tuning in for later episodes, but they’re also going to walk away with a negative image about your business.

    There are many ways you can work with a local media production professional to help ensure the professionalism of your podcast. For example, you might consult with one about appropriate equipment and other steps that can be taken during recording to ensure good quality. You can also outsource any elements of the production process you’re not comfortable with, up to and including the entire process (other than editorial review, since you will certainly want to have close control over your message).

    Don’t overestimate your audience’s patience when it comes to putting up with low production quality. If in doubt, contact a local professional who can help you avoid having your podcast sound amateurish.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I would agree that even if you’re not able to spend a lot of money on your podcast, you should make every effort to make it look professional, lest you lose your customers before you even get them on board.

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