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For A Brand Boost, Consider Starting A Video Series Or Podcast

For A Brand Boost, Consider Starting A Video Series Or Podcast

The following questions can be used to guide your thinking and discussions as you determine whether a video series or podcasts are a viable way to develop more effective content marketing assets.

When the time comes to take a team photo, you might notice some of your coworkers become highly uncomfortable with standing in front of a camera. Others, hearing themselves on a voicemail message, might cringe at the sound of their own voices.

The same kind of sentiment can ripple through the room when the subject of marketing using a video series or podcast comes up. Even though video and audio has become some of the most common (and most consumed) content on everyday channels like social media and YouTube, businesses don’t always feel ready for their close-up, or to bring their brand voice to a microphone.

“We’re not exactly a TV network around here,” some might argue, citing the high production values we see from many traditional broadcasters. Others might wonder if there are too many podcasts and video series on the market already, and whether the company is at risk of simply adding another “talking head.”

Video series and podcasts are not for every company, but the question of creating such content is well worth exploring. For one thing, many brands have already invested in a lot of written and illustrated content, whether it’s brochures and ads in the case of consumer brands, or whitebooks and case studies in the case of business-to-business (B2B) firms. That means you’re already competing for attention with the same format. Moving to video or podcasting will be no different — quality storytelling is more important than being first on the scene.

Second, consider the opportunity video and podcasting presents to engage customers and prospects in new ways. You can actually show how your product works in action, or bring the expressiveness of your leaders to people who might never see them at an industry event. Think of what it means when your audience hears the voices of your customers on a podcast interview, versus reading a canned quote on your website.

Finally, we live in an age where user-generated content can be uploaded by anyone on a variety of different platforms, which has changed the expectations around having perfect lighting or the kind of sound editing you’d hear on a radio newscast. Brands shouldn’t be sloppy in their efforts, of course, but the point is that the barrier to entry is lower than it’s ever been.

The following questions can be used to guide your thinking and discussions as you determine whether a video series or podcasts are a viable way to develop more effective content marketing assets:

What would a customer watch (or listen to)?

One of the most common marketing mistakes is to see that a format is proving popular and then immediately jumping on the bandwagon. A company might spend considerable time and money, for instance, creating a video series or podcast that walks through what their products and services do, and why people should pay for them. The end results might look and sound great, but there’s just one thing missing: a hook for the intended audience.

Most people realize they could get the essential information about things to buy if they connected with a company directly. Instead, think about how you can use video and podcasting to give customers and prospects access to information or stories they might not get otherwise. If you’re a B2B tech firm, do a video series where some of your experts talk with those presenting keynotes at an industry conference and summarize their best insights. If you’re a consumer brand in the home improvement space, launch a podcast where your subject matter experts offer tips on finding the right contractor, or how to budget for a renovation.

What’s the correct cadence?

Putting out a video or podcast one month and then leaving your audience wondering when you’ll create a second episode is no way to develop a relationship with them. Browse a few company channels on YouTube or iTunes, however, and you’ll notice what’s often a scattershot approach to making use of these mediums.

Given that creating this kind of content may require some additional heavy lifting from multiple members of your team, think about how you can align them with other kinds of marketing you might be doing at the same time. If you use an editorial calendar to plan your content marketing over the course of a month, a quarter or the year, for instance, you might see some obvious places to schedule a video series or podcast.

You might want to have videos come out on a quarterly basis, for example, when you introduce new features or versions of your key products and services, or when your team tends to be active at industry events. In other cases the timing of a podcast might be linked to a monthly series of topics you’re exploring on your blog. Weaving multimedia content into the existing marketing plan will make coordinating everything a lot more fluid.

What’s our distribution and amplification plan?

You can put out a video or podcast on your own site, or on a public platform like YouTube or iTunes and hope it will be seen or heard. Or you could do what top publishers do, and find channels that will bring your videos and podcasts in front of the audience you want.

If you have an email newsletter, for example, you can easily link to your latest video series and podcast episodes to drive engagement with an audience that’s already opted-in to hear from you. Social media is another obvious one: as you finalize video series episodes or podcast episodes, make sure someone is creating “teaser” copy that can be used in posts to announce them to your followers. Some companies amplify their videos and podcasts through partner companies, or even forge deals with traditional media properties that are hungry for additional content.

How will we measure success?

Everyone would like to see their videos get thousands of views, or for their podcasts to get thousands of listens. That may or may not happen, but it’s not the only metric to determine if your strategy is working.

Remember that you can build links into the descriptions of videos and podcast episodes that bring your audience directly to your website, or even an e-commerce section. That means multimedia content can be judged, at least in part, by its ability to drive sales activity. Engagement is another one — even if you have a small audience but most of them are watching or listening until the end, you’ll know you’re focusing on topics your customers and prospects care about, which can guide further marketing activities and campaigns.

Once you get started, developing video series and podcasts can be a fun way to connect with your target market. They’re also some of the most immersive and persuasive formats you have at your disposal. Depending on your message, sometimes customers and prospects might need to see it — or hear it — to believe.

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