MARKETING AND SALES STRATEGIES

Podcasting is more than just music

For content that is best delivered via audio or for buyers who prefer to listen to audio content, podcasting is obviously essential. For example, many politicians and churches podcast so that supporters can keep up with speeches and sermons when they can’t hear them live.

While the podcasting of music is perhaps an obvious choice given the medium's similarity to radio, all marketers can learn from what the music business and bands like Uncle Seth have been doing with podcasts. After all, who would believe that a business like that of student loans providers would benefit from a podcast? "Podcasting is almost exactly mirroring the internet of a decade ago," George Smyth of Eclectic Mix says. "Ten years ago, I was telling people about the Web and building example sites. But then some larger companies jumped into the Web. I see the same thing with the evolution of podcasting, with some big organizations jumping in, like NPR."

As a component of a larger content marketing strategy, podcasting is also an increasingly important part of the marketing mix. For example, customer service departments increasingly deliver "how to" podcast series to keep users of their products informed. Companies that market to people who are often on the road (such as salespeople) and therefore have "down time" in their cars or on airplanes have had success reaching people with interesting podcasts. For many organizations, podcasting for marketing purposes is not an either/or decision. Instead, podcasting coexists with blogging, a great Web site, e-books, and other online marketing tools and programs in a cohesive marketing strategy.

Digg, a technology news Web site that combines social bookmarking, blogging, RSS, and non-hierarchical editorial control, uses a podcast to deliver technology news, commentary, and information to its constituents. But Digg also has a blog and a content-rich Web site, and the different marketing tools work together. The Diggnation podcast, which generates more than one hundred thousand downloads per episode, is classic thought-leadership content. Hosted by Kevin Rose, founder and chief architect of Digg, Diggnation is not just about the company and its products. The 2006 People's Choice Podcast Awards chose Diggnation as the best tech podcast because people learn about technology as they listen. And they keep coming back.

David Meerman Scott

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