I know I’m certainly not the first to tell you we’re currently in the midst of a great transition. A new normal has emerged in the past couple of months as the coronavirus pandemic has upended businesses and everyday lives across the world. As we emerge from the quarantine, life will certainly feel different — from the way we greet each other (elbow bump, anyone?) to how we do business.
But the changes aren’t all bad. Past crises have taught us to be more alert, more secure, and more mindful. Under our current circumstances, we’ve gotten more creative with how we interact, connecting with loved ones over video, opting for virtual events instead of in-person ones, and using digital channels to consume content (even more than we did before). The beautiful strand that runs through these methods? Human-to-human conversation.
Even before COVID-19 hit, I believed conversations were the future of marketing. In fact, it’s why I started Casted. Now, more than ever, I know that podcasting has a place in the future because people are hungry for authentic conversations — even if they can’t be present to witness them.
People Crave Authentic Conversations
As humans, we yearn for contact and connection. We thrive on relationships and interaction. But shelter-in-place orders have left us yearning to be closer; to share stories and moments together. This is where podcasting plays a huge role. In fact, podcast engagement has shot up over the past couple of months as people have more time and freedom to listen from home. Podcasts give us the ability to hear from great minds, savor human stories, and to listen in — not from the sidelines, but in a deep and intimate way.
I love this account from Columbia Journalism Review’s Martine Powers about “Podcasts in the Time of Quarantine”:
“Now that so many people are stuck at home and isolated from friends and family and colleagues, it seems like the priority isn’t simply to use podcasts to give people information or sweeping stories or you’ll-never-believe-it serialized drama. Suddenly, there are new objectives: What will make people feel connected with the outside world? What will provide comfort and a sense of community? What will help people feel less alone?”
Despite our penchant for the latest tech or most riveting entertainment, we’re still humans at heart who crave basic interactions. And like our ancestors, we love settling in for a good story. But pandemics (and all kinds of other life circumstances) can make gathering around the proverbial campfire an impossibility.
But what we can do is gather our hearts and minds for a great audio tale. Podcasting is storytelling for the modern age. It brings us closer to each other, transcending physical distance to deliver content people truly want to hear. And it brings intimacy and personality to otherwise sterile business relationships, reinforcing conversation’s place in meeting people on their own terms and with humanity (instead of strictly a transaction mindset).
“I believe virtual/remote experiences and on-demand content are going to be even more important to your overall marketing strategy,” says Heather Zynczak, CMO of Pluralsight, a technology skills platform. “I would encourage all marketers to be thinking about ‘What does that look like? What tools do I need to have an amazing virtual marketing experience?’” she says.
Even if you feel your audience isn’t ready, Heather believes it’s still worth exploring virtual experiences and content delivery.
“Start now. That way, when we do come out of this…you’ll be prepared and primed,” she says.
No Shortage of Content
Perhaps your team has been managing a show for a while. Or maybe you’re still trying to decide whether corporate podcasting is for you. Regardless, there’s never been a better time to lean in further. Podcasts pose a unique opportunity for your organization to reach audiences in ways that not only breed engagement but fuel your marketing strategy for a longer period of time through a wealth of evergreen content.
Think about this: one single podcast episode has the power to be repurposed into …
Written content. Show audio can be transcribed into written content as full or partial transcripts for use in blogs, social posts, and campaigns. This not only provides great opportunities to boost SEO, but brings greater accessibility for more people to listen (or read) in.
Embedded clips and episodes. Too often, we as podcasters promote our show once and move on, leaving incredible value on the table. Embedding audio clips or entire episodes into landing pages, presentations, web pages, and other digital channels adds value and makes your podcast easier to share and consume, boosting total ROI for each episode.
Audiograms. As of right now, you can’t share audio files on social media. Pairing this audio with visual content makes it easier to share and get noticed, bringing more listeners back to the podcast and bringing awareness to your brand.
Future podcasts and interviews. When we find great content, we don’t want it to end (#bingeworthy). If the subject matter, interviewee(s), and/or storyline of an episode are engaging enough, they can fuel future episodes to come with sequels, follow-up interviews, or simply reposted shows from your archives.
Increased web traffic. When you host your podcast on your own website, you make it easier for listeners to consume content right where they are with the click of a button. Plus, it keeps traffic local instead of sending listeners to an external platform.
The best part? Every one of these strategies is digital. They can be consumed from anywhere, on any device with an internet connection. And that means reaching more people without sacrificing the warmth and familiarity of genuine conversation.
The New Wave of Marketing is Now
Not every marketing channel available today has the power to influence people or transcend physical limitations the way podcasting does. Across the decades, we’ve seen countless mediums emerge and fall in a cycle that reflects modern consumer’s preferences. As society and culture changes due to COVID-19, so will the way we reach consumers.
Are you ready for the “new normal”? Are you prepared for the ongoing conversation that is modern marketing? If you haven’t taken the leap into podcasting, the time is now to connect with your fans and share the authentic, engaging, inspiring moments found in every story you tell.
“Your marketing plan needs to shift. Things that worked for you before definitely don’t work for you right now during this time,” says Heather. “But marketers are creative. Get your best brains together and think about what this new reality could look like and start planning for it now.”
Authentic conversation is at the heart of the Casted platform. We help B2B companies manage the stories of their thought leaders, partners, customers, and fans; share them with the world; and measure their impact. We’re prepared to help you record the future of marketing if you’re willing to create it. Give us a nudge (we’re here!) to start the conversation today.