A couple days ago, I was doing a pre-interview for an upcoming Polycom on Demand podcast. The topic revolved around a new resource Polycom has placed on their website that provides a one-stop location meant to help their customers better implement (or propose) a video conferencing environment. As I was learning about this resource, I discovered that within their “Tools” area, they had included links to a couple previous Polycom on Demand podcast episodes.
I thought this was a great idea.
To help their customers better position the Return On Investment (ROI) delivered by a Polycom solution, they included links two of our Determining Your ROI episodes:
By integrating their existing podcast content into this new customer offering, they’ve enhanced both the podcast’s standing as a valuable educational tool for their customers and the ability to deliver timely, helpful content via their online presence. This is a great use of their podcast.
If we turn our attention towards you, I’d suggest that if you are already producing a podcast for your company, ask yourself,
“What am I doing to help my other marketing efforts by
leveraging the content in my podcast?”
And if you haven’t begun podcasting yet, don’t forget that there is more to it than just creating a new MP3 file for your customers.
With the release of each new show, we provide each customer with a long list of ideas on how to promote/leverage that particular episode. I’d suggest that besides simply posting your latest episode on your server, think hard about how else your podcast can help move your story forward and shorten your sales cycle.
Now, I have a looooong list of other uses for podcasts. But I’d like to hear from you. How do you put your podcast to work for you? Let’s take turns sharing some ideas!
Reason Number 7 – Momentum
For companies that have successfully deployed a corporate podcast, they know a little something about momentum. Specifically, if your podcast is “reliable”, that is, it produces new episodes at the promised frequency, you can’t help but build more and more momentum around your show. (Of course, if the show is terrible… not so much.)
But what about the overall awareness of podcasting? As I’ve said before [post: Describing What a Podcast Is], many folks still don’t know what a podcast is. And if you read enough press, they’ll tell you that podcasting is a fad that is close to being (or is) over. However, a recent report suggests that podcasting continues to move up on our collective awareness scale.
According to an article I found on PodcastingNews.com, podcasting audiences have grown 40% in one year. The article states that e-Marketer’s January 2008 Arbitron-Edison Media Research study found the following:
- The podcast audience has grown nearly 40% in the last year.
- Podcasting reaches 18% of the US population, up from 13% a year ago.
- Podcast adoption is accelerating. A year ago, they reported that the podcast audience had grown 18%, less than half of last year’s growth.
- An estimated 23 million Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month.
This is good news. And it matches my experience here in Las Vegas. When I first moved here, the vast majority of people I talked to didn’t have the first clue what a podcast was. This is becoming less and less the case as the podcasting word continues to grow. (I consider this especially promising in Las Vegas, which I believe is 2 years behind my previous home base (SF Bay Area) when it comes to the adoption of technology–specifically, online technology like podcasting.)
The key to growing these numbers is to continue to deliver great content. Content that either educates or entertains your audience. If we all continue to work hard at delivering a great product, podcasting will continue to grow in the collective awareness and continue to help folks learn, laugh and take advantage of this great communication tool on their time, whenever and wherever they want!
Are you seeing an increase in podcast awareness where you live? Let me know!
Reason Number 6 – Web 2.0
This is an interesting “reason” because it depends largely on how you deploy your podcast as to whether or not this will work for you.
If asked to guess at the percentage of business podcasts that take advantage of the Web 2.0ness of a podcast, I would guess it’s in the single digits.
Web 2.0ness? What the hell is that? Let me clarify.
If you search for a definition of Web 2.0 in Google, you’ll get about a five million results. This tells us is that if we ask 100 people to define Web 2.0, we’ll likely get 100 different answers. To me, Web 2.0 has to do with a sense of collaboration with your visitors which is predicated on an architecture of participation. In other words, the platform that the podcast sits on is designed to make conversing with your listeners easy for them. . .and for you. The problem is that most corporate/business podcasts do not allow for a collaborative environment. Meaning, they don’t allow comments.
Allowing comments about a podcast episode demonstrates your interest in making it easy to do business with you. Here’s great example.
Interwoven, who I’ve spoken about before, decided at the launch of Intersections that they wanted to allow comments. The reasoning was simple—if a listener needed clarification or had insight not presented in an episode, they wanted to know about it. This decision lead to a perfect instance of putting out a helpful episode, getting feedback from a listener, and closing the loop with that listener.
The episode was titled, “Interwoven TeamSite’s Best Kept Secret” and featured senior product marketing manager Annie Weinberger taking the listener through a feature in TeamSite she felt was largely overlooked. About a month and a half after the episode was available online (demonstrating that new listeners were discovering the episode over a month after it went live), we received a comment:
“Do you have a set of slides that could bring me up to speed quickly? A teamsite 101.”
– Rogers Johnson
In my book, this is an invitation to have a sales conversation with somebody. Now, I’m not saying that you start SELLING here. But you do start having a conversation. . .which can certainly lead to a sale.
Annie responded with a solution. Actually, two solutions:
Funny you should mention it, there is a WCM 101 webcast this Tuesday, March 11th and you can register to view it here –
If you are unable to attend and would like a link to the recording or a copy of the slides, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Annie Weinberger
Annie demonstrated that Interwoven was very interested in helping Rogers get the answer he was looking for. As a matter of fact, if Annie’s first suggestion wasn’t good enough (the webcast), she provided a second solution: her personal email. Well done!
This is the kind of interaction companies like Interwoven love! And it should be something you embrace as well. It further demonstrates your company’s desire to improve Approachability. And it demonstrates that your company is aware and taking advantage of what the latest technology has to offer.
What about you? Does your podcast allow for comments? For many companies, they fear a commenter will say something unkind about a particular guest. Does that worry you?