If you run any kind of business, can you really afford not to have a podcast? Let's explore.
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It’s a crowded market place
Have you ever tried to draw attention to something you’re doing online? Did it feel like yelling into an empty room?
Here’s something I can tell you, having been involved in the content space for decades; getting attention is not as easy as the marketing gurus will have you believe. I go back to before the internet was mainstream.
*Cue “Back to the Future” orchestral incidental music*
Attention please! Hello??
It’s 1996. I’m working in a tiny little AM radio station (remember those?) just outside of London.
I’ve got a major ‘bit’ I want to do, and there’s a potential to pick up a show sponsor off the back of it, and bolster my reputation as a creative and forward thinking dynamic radio personality.
But I need the bit to work and we don’t have that many listeners yet.
My rivals already want me to fail, because they want my job. I can’t let that happen, and I need people interacting.
Which means I need attention. How do you get attention in a pre-internet and paid social media marketing world?
Got too much competition? Get creative!
You have to think outside of the box.
My idea was a simple one, but it worked. I’m intriguing you now, aren’t I? Read on…
Back in 1996, the only thing us radio people had to work with in terms of content for our shows was newspapers, magazines, other radio stations, TV, movies and real life.
I wasn’t allowed to use other radio stations and TV because it was seen as the competition.
Which left just magazines, newspapers and real life.
So how do you get attention for your content when you only have static media and real life to work with?
An audio drama
I got my idea one day from accidentally watching daytime television.
I was watching a ‘bit’ on one of them where someone had adopted a child that had been accepted into Harvard. I noted that the legal guardians had seen a previous episode years before where a dramatic meltdown had been played out in front of the cameras involving a drug addict mother. Long story short, this had been an ongoing hell for this kid, which had resulted in a very happy fairytale ending.
I’d decided that to get attention, I need to build a story arc of drama that people could follow.
Years ago, in the local newspapers, long before the technological distractions that people are now subjected to endlessly, everyone used to love flicking through something called ‘classifieds’. They were little adverts that you could take out for a small charge which came in a fairly bland little black and white box on the page that you could write anything inside.
I bought one. It cost me nine pounds, which back then was actually quite a lot of money. Particularly for someone earning eight thousand pounds per year in their first ever paid radio job.
Inside the advert I wrote “Jenny in Booker, you won’t remember me, but I can’t stop thinking about you. Listen in to eleven SEVENTY am on Monday June 17th at 1:30 pm and hopefully I’ll jog your memory.”
I chose that day quite deliberately. The Bucks Free Press came out on Friday, meaning that the listeners had plenty of time to read this over the weekend, and make an appointment to listen.
That Monday, as I went into my first commercial break of the week in my 1pm until 4pm radio show, I made the following announcement; “coming up I’ve got new songs from George Michael and five crazy ladies called the Spice Girls…. and I’ve had a special message I’ve been asked to read out on the air. And you’re not going to believe it. Keep listening!” And with that, I hit the commercial break.
At exactly 1:30 pm I put my mic up and read the following announcement, “This is for Jenny in Booker, from Daniel in Princes Risborough. It says, Jenny we met in Majorca at the hotel bar and you told me where you lived. I hope that you read the piece I put in the paper asking you to listen in, and that you’re now remembering me. If you do, please let me know your response in the Bucks Free Press on Friday. Looking forward to hearing from you”.
My suggestion was that the response should be made in the paper, not directly to my radio show. I needed to build drama.
The following week’s newspaper had the following advert placed; “Daniel. How could I forget? I’m delighted to hear from you. Listen in on Monday afternoon at 1:30 pm to Neal’s show to hear my return message.”
Sure enough, on Monday, at 1:30, I made the following announcement; “Hi Daniel, thanks so much for the lovely message both in the paper and on the radio. I’m so happy to hear from you, and I’m glad it wasn’t just the drink talking haha! I’ll be reading this Friday’s paper more closely than usual!”
The mid-season finale…
I carried on with this back and forth fake communication, using the radio show to ‘promote it’ for eight editions of the newspaper. After that eighth week, I stopped. Without explanation. I didn’t want to seem too attached to the ads, because me having an emotional connection would ruin the bit. This led to listeners calling me up to ask what happened between the couple. I pretended to not know or care, but I’d still announce randomly on the radio, from time to time, that Daniel had called dedicating a song to Jenny.
The season finale
Eventually, after a few months of this, I finally had two actors on the show pretending to be Jenny and Daniel, and I promoted the heck out of it, running 30 seconds trailers for the appearance, using clips of previous announcements. The day they came on air, the phones were off the hook, and we had a card company sponsoring the show for the next year. The following month, my radio show and I were mentioned in a news story in the paper, and my afternoon show actually beat the afternoon drive show in the ratings for my remaining time at the station.
And now we come to my point.
Sorry, but you’re just not dramatic enough
The truth is nobody’s as excited about your company news, or exclusive offer, as you are. That’s why you have to think smart, and adjust your approach if you want to win attention. Let me talk you through what you’re shooting for.
You want to spark drama.
This doesn’t mean you have to start a public fight with a rival, or start melting down on your social channels. It does mean you have to stand out.
It’s a crowded place, and if you don’t do something different, you’re just going to get drowned out by all the other businesses that do the same things as you. And regardless of how niche you think your offerings are, they’re not as niche as they need to be.
If you’re expecting people to sit, read, and be captivated by the not-all-that-exciting thing you’ve written about, you’re being a little ambitious. Most people have a short enough attention span even when it comes to stuff they’re actually emotionally invested in. Is your stuff getting added to their already piled up “will get to it list”? I don’t think so.
Speak up, with podcast marketing!
How can you expect a passive web browser to be excited about your news update?
Millions of brands fight, daily, for a position in front of our eyeballs.
Many pay thousands per week for the privilege of being in your timeline.
But what if you could spend a fraction, on a new platform, which offers you a chance to produce dynamic, and occasionally dramatic content.
Welcome to podcast marketing.
You wouldn’t just open a physical store location, and expect people to just find you, would you? You’d have to let people know you were there, which is why you book advertising campaigns.
So, why would you start an online business, and expect people to just find it? Especially knowing, as you probably do, how difficult it is to get anywhere near the front page of Google’s search results, without really knowing what you’re doing, or hiring someone who does.
Just a few of the MANY benefits of podcast marketing
Here’s what podcast marketing can do for your business:
Get into the consciousness of people who would otherwise never be aware of your existence.
Create a relationship with some brand new fans.
Passively sell your services, but in a non-forceful way, helping to avoid the ‘I don’t want to see these ads’ mentality.
Give your brand that all important ‘authority’ in your given space by becoming a natural ‘thought leader’.
Create an exceptional and effective sales funnel, with an unparallelled return on your investment (ROI)
Next step… podcasting!
Excited? You should be!
It’s a great time to get your podcast started.
Shy? Want to learn more about podcast marketing, and how to get a podcast started, but in your own time without my help, initially?
Then, once you’ve had a listen, and you agree that podcasting is the right choice for you to boost the signal on your marketing messages, let’s have a chat.
The first one’s completely free!