1. Nobody Cares What You Do.
Time and time again, I hear corporate/business podcasts go on and on about how great their latest widget is. Here’s the truth – nobody cares what you do, they only care what you do for them.
Instead of speaking from a company-centric perspective, speak from the customer’s point of view. What are the problems they face? Why are they in trouble in the first place? What have many of your customers done in the past to try to solve their problems (but have come up short).
You bond with people on their problems, not your solution. Before you offer me a solution to my problems, prove to me you know what problems I’m dealing with in the first place.
2. Adding Video to Your Podcast Will not Help if Your Audio is Poor.
I’ve written about this before. If the sound on your video podcast sucks, nobody is going to watch. Those developing video content must recognize that the most important component to your video is not the video. It’s the ability the hear the story being told. If I cannot hear that story, or if the quality is so bad that it is distracting, you’ve lost me.
3. An Un-Prepared Guest is a Boor.
If your podcast consists of interview employees and partners, take the time to prepare them for the interview. It is VERY difficult to listen to somebody who stutters, hems and haws, “uhhs”, “errrss”, “you knows” through an interview because they simply aren’t prepared to answer your questions.
We solve this problem by pre-interviewing the guest ahead of time. You want the guest to know what to expect before you hit “record”. Learn before the interview what’s important to them. Help them understand the point of Scary Fact #1. Then, prior to the recording, let them know what the questions will be (and, depending on the guest, remind them of what they felt would be their important answers).
4. An MP3 Link is Not Enough.
I would guess that over 90% of all podcasts I’ve come across only provide an MP3 as a means of listening to their show. This is not enough if you want to increase the probability of listenership. Besides providing an easy way to access your RSS feed (for those who want to subscribe to your podcast), do not forget to provide a Flash Player for each episode. Failure to do so ignores the fact that many people dislike having to click. . .then wait. . .for the MP3 file to load in their browser. Instead, adding a simple Flash Player for each episode gives a new visitor a chance to audition your show. . .something he may otherwise not be willing to do.
5. If You Don’t Plan Your Podcast, You Will Hurt Your Brand.
It’s shocking to me how many podcasts get started with their first episode (or dump a few episodes all at once), and then stop producing any more episodes. Developing a great podcasting is like being asked to develop a new radio/TV talk show. It takes work and can be overwhelming. This, more times than not, leads to “podfading”, which is the premature ending of a podcast series due to lack of time, resources or planning.
Frank Sinatra had a great line. He said that he had his whole life to record is first record but only six months to record his second album. In podcasting, you have your whole life to record your first podcast episode. Guess how long until the next episode is expected?
Of course, if I was talking about an amateur podcast, this wouldn’t matter. But because of the subscription nature of podcasts, this is poisonous for a corporate podcast. By podfading, you’ve told all those subscribers that their interest in your show doesn’t matter to you. . .and that their vote doesn’t count. From a branding perspective, this is bad new.
A well-planned podcast will drive show momentum and increase listenership and reduce the risk associated with failing to deliver what is promised to your audience.