Generating Web Marketing Leads with Podcasts - dummies

Generating Web Marketing Leads with Podcasts

By Jan Zimmerman

A podcast, coined as a term in 2004, is basically radio on demand over the Internet. The Pew Internet & American Life Project found that by September of 2010, 21 percent of adult Internet users in the United States had listened to a podcast in real-time or downloaded it to play later. That percentage now translates to close to 40 million U.S. listeners enjoying podcasts.

Podcast demographics and usage

RawVoice, a podcast advertising network, finds that the podcast audience is skewed toward young (67 percent ages 22 to 40), Caucasian, male (68 percent of listeners), educated (74 percent with at least some college completed), and relatively affluent (61 percent with household income over $60,000). The topic, more than anything else, determines the audience that a podcast will draw.

eMarketer forecasts that “as a percentage of Internet users, podcast downloaders are expected to grow from 9 percent of Internet users in 2008 to 17 percent in 2013,” with podcast advertising growing apace to more than $435 million.

Before you spend money producing audio programs, make sure your audience listens to podcasts.

Getting the best results from podcasts

Before you decide to market with podcasts, listen to a few, such as the ones at BlogTalkRadio, shown in the following illustration. Or search podcast directories to hear how other businesses take advantage of this technique. To buy ads on existing podcasts, check out podcast advertising networks or find a podcast that you want to sponsor.

[Credit: Courtesy of Cinchcast Inc.]
Credit: Courtesy of Cinchcast Inc.

If you want to create your own podcast, decide what you’re trying to accomplish. Like webinars, podcasts are best used for branding, lead generation, and content delivery — not sales. Also, take some time to think about your content. Unfortunately, just reading your newsletter aloud doesn’t work.

Audio is completely different from print; it definitely has a performance component. Will you riff on your own commentary? Interview someone? If so, whom — clients, colleagues, or decision-makers in your field?

Optimizing podcasts

Add meta data to your podcast when you upload it. Be sure to include your essential search terms in the title and description of every podcast. Make these fields as rich in keywords and content as you can.

As with other content-sharing services, use existing keyword research, meta tags from your website or blog, or optimized text that you’ve already created. Transcribe and post a short excerpt from a keyword-loaded portion of your podcast to help search engines find it easily.