Monday, 20 July 2009

Podcasts – Turning them into Conversations

I was asked for a few tips on making a B2B Podcast. Obviously not being a creative, or indeed a content expert, I had some thoughts on the part they could play in creating a conversation with customers

Be Relevant . Obviously audience understanding is key, but you need to make sure that the content is not only relevant but also adds value to the customer. Relevancy also means matching content to the sales cycle. Is it a thought Leadership piece to promote awareness, preference in the early stages of the purchase cycle? Or is it more technical that focuses on the product itself during its life in your customer’s hands, and so promotes loyalty and advocacy?

Post new podcasts on a regular basis. Decide on a schedule — twice a week, every week, every two weeks and stick to it. Listeners look forward to new material on a consistent basis. Consistency helps you gain and maintain an audience.

Infotainment. Content is important, but so is the delivery. It needs to engage perhaps by the way that it is presented, its particular style etc. But never forget that content wins at the end of the day

Delivery. Content is wasted if the delivery mechanism isn’t thought out. Think about how the first impact of a Podcast can cut though the other stuff that lands on your target audiences desk/inbox. Why not send them the iPod to start with?

Keep podcasts short. Probably about 20 mins . If the topic takes longer, break it into two or more podcasts and let listeners know this podcast is the first of a two- or three-part series.

It’s an opportunity to start a conversation. Provide an opportunity for listener interaction. Podcasts are Web 2.0 technology and listeners want to interact. These podcasts should be linked to a perhaps a blog or other social network so listeners can make a comment or ask a question.

Build a community . Use whatever channels you currently have to promote the podcast, but use your customers to act as advocates in promoting them. Getting listeners to comment and sharing those comments will boost this community building

Is it working? Measurement and evaluation are important in creating the budget for podcasts. Simple measures such as downloads, customer engagement are key statistics to measure. Oh, and why not ask your customers what they think of them ( now there’s a thought), and if they were used in the decision making process?

Don’t for get that this is part of a value exchange mechanism between you and your customers..their time in exchange for added value from you

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