In the latest episode of The SME Growth Podcast, Dave Parry is joined by BBC presenter Ed Nell to delve into the world of podcasting. From podcasting basics to the importance of authenticity, it’s a great overview of how podcasting can be a valuable tool in your business’ marketing mix.
You can listen to the full episode here.
Balancing content and sponsorship
Podcasting is a great way to increase audience engagement with your brand, as well as develop authenticity with your target audience.
The podcast begins with Dave Parry and Ed Nell discussing the need to balance content and promotion in podcast episodes, and how this can be a challenge. They share experiences from meeting people at an exhibition who later became podcast guests, highlighting the value of networking and promoting both a podcast and a business. They also highlight the flexibility of podcasts as a marketing tool, suggesting various creative approaches such as:
Recording audio testimonials
Sharing tips and tricks with listeners
Incorporating news segments (for example, the new approach of The SME Growth Podcast introduces some UK business news).
The episode also discusses different styles of podcasting, including the challenge of striking a balance between expanding the audience and avoiding excessive self-promotion of guests (which can be off-putting to listeners!). Adding genuine value with real, useful information is key.
The conversation debates the impact of sales messaging in podcasts. This includes the potential tension between sponsored content and trust associated with news or analysis in both radio and podcasts, with both Dave and Ed emphasising the importance of clear objectives and authentic content.
The Importance of planning a podcast
Both Dave and Ed emphasise the importance of careful planning in podcasting, stressing the need for a strong purpose as well as understanding the target audience when creating an engaging content and distribution plan.
The planning phase includes:
Naming the podcast
Creating a clear podcast intro
Determining the format (for example, monologue, conversation or interview)
Ensuring the content is tailored to the audience’s understanding, especially in technical fields
Having a clear distribution plan across social platforms
Why podcast authenticity is vital
The conversation shifts to the authenticity of podcasting, and in particular, the placement of adverts within podcast episodes. The difference between advert style in podcasting and radio is talked about, with Dave and Ed advocating for the organic integration of ads. The potential to lose authenticity with product endorsement, as well as the regulatory aspects of advertising in radio compared to the currently unregulated nature of podcasting closes this section of the podcast.
Strategies for keeping podcasts interesting
In this podcast segment, Dave and Ed discuss different strategies for keeping podcasts interesting for the listeners. These include:
Having different podcasting styles
Solo or collaborative podcasts
Having a guest on the podcast
Having a podcast guest can be a great way to keep podcasts fresh and interesting, but it’s essential that guest interviews are engaging conversations rather than one-way interactions with the hosts. One way this can be achieved is to prime guests for a more conversational format, allowing conversation to ideally flow more naturally.
Collaboration with guests and the team behind the podcast is also important, ensuring fresh content and approaches.
Common podcasting challenges
While podcasting offers many opportunities for marketing, there are also challenges.
Maintaining consistency in publishing episodes.
Overcoming the initial excitement that often fades after a few episodes.
Covering content in an in-depth way. This can be overcome by planning the content ahead of the episode and sharing with guests.
One of the biggest challenges when podcast is longevity, and the podcast references the fact that a high percentage of podcasts do not go beyond a few episodes. Dave Parry talks about The SME Growth Podcast reaching 21 episodes as a milestone and reflects on the commitment required to sustain a quality podcast series.
What are some of the podcasting basics?
The podcast focuses on some of the podcasting basics, identifying the right things to focus in for people just beginning in podcasting. Podcasting on a shoestring budget, particularly for solopreneurs is highlighted, as is the accessibility of podcasting tools to make this possible. As an example, Dave and Ed discuss a workshop demonstration where a podcast was recorded on a phone, edited with free software, and distributed on a free platform.
Emphasis is placed on encouraging more people to share their messages through podcasts, even without elaborate production costs.
Video and podcasting
The discussion touches on the evolving landscape of podcasting, with the integration of video, paralleling the trend seen in platforms like LBC. Dave and Ed explore the distinction between radio and TV shows, noting the expectation for higher production values in television.
Podcasting is a flexible tool and marketing mix addition, and this includes tolerance in podcast production quality. Different podcasts have different production standards, and there is the need to balance this with engaging content.
Lastly, the conversation covers practical tips for podcasting, including the importance of planning podcast schedules, considerations for sound quality, and the potential impact of the recording environment. It’s stressed that achieving high-quality production is achievable without significant financial investment, encouraging prospective podcasters to focus on content clarity and connection with their audience.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
For all other platforms:
Episode 21: So, You Want to do a Podcast?
The SME Growth Podcast hits 21 episodes!
Episode 42: The Manufacturing Marketing Maze
In the ever-evolving landscape of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), marketing is a...