Podcasting was cool when I started blogging four years ago, but as social media became fashionable, Facebook and Twitter made podcasting look a tad obsolescent and dowdy.
Not sexy or trendy was the phrase that crossed my mind.
So why is podcasting having a resurrection? It is due to two key factors:
- The growth and rapid adoption of smart phones. You can now get your podcast direct to your phone without having to hook up your iPod to the computer.
- The explosive growth of an online media portal where you can publish and download your podcasts—“iTunes.”
Who Is Doing Podcasting Well?
Podcasting can take many forms and styles, just like Crocs and platform shoes. It depends on what type of media, flavor, and voice you find works. It’s a lot like choosing your favorite radio station.
In fact, that is what podcasting is: 21st century radio channels that you can listen to in your car, at the gym, or on the beach.
According to Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner, when they conducted a recent social media study they discovered
“even though only 3% of marketers are currently using podcasting in their social media marketing strategy… 32% have a desire to learn how to use podcasting in their marketing efforts and 23% have plans to increase their podcasting activities in 2013.”
Add this to the growth of smart phones and the adoption of iTunes and you have a strong podcasting marketplace with a large upside.
So let’s find out about podcasting success. Here is a case study of podcasting success that I discovered while attending the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. Why is it emerging as a hot new trend?
Pat Flynn: Smart Passive Income Podcast
Pat Flynn operates a very successful blog at “Smart Passive Income,” which, as you have already guessed by the name, is about creating passive income from focused blogging and content creation. He started his podcast 18 months after buying the equipment, due to the fear of creating a personal podcast. So even successful bloggers are human!
Introduced in July 2010, its listeners have given it more than 500 five-star ratings. Mr. Flynn consistently ranks in the top 10 business podcasts on iTunes, including at one point a second-place spot behind The Dave Ramsey Show (iTunes doesn’t explain how it ranks podcasts).
His marketing philosophy is based on what he calls the “Exposure Cycle.“
The Exposure Cycle
Here are the 3 steps to exposing your podcast to the world and some of Pat’s insights on what is required to make a podcast successful.
To get exposure you need to be discovered.
You do this by:
- Making sure that the podcast is optimized for search engines with a keyword rich title, description, and metadata. Also, Pat optimizes it on iTunes for SEO.
- Creating professional artwork which should be like the cover of a quality book.
- Pursuing tactics that assist in getting the show rated and ranked in the top 10 on iTunes.
Podcasts are much stickier than an article on your blog, as they keep people hanging around (the podcast manages to do that well for an hour). A blog post is read in a few minutes.
So how does Pat make it sticky?
- Work hard on creating a great first impression with the best quality sound he can create.
- Share relevant information without fluff.
- Inject his personality.
- Give valuable content that is actionable and provides listeners with takeaways that answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
- Provide social proof (he displays that there have been 3 million downloads and the fact that 50,000 subscribers regularly listen to his weekly podcast).
- Keep listeners involved by using voice techniques that make people “lean in” by repeating important points and dynamic voice changes from whisper to loud.
- Break the one hour podcast into 4 sections and signal the next transition with “Next we are going to talk about.”
I don’t know how many times I have dropped into a blog and tried to find the social sharing buttons and discovered them quietly lurking down the bottom and wearing camouflage.
Any media needs to be easy to share, and it isn’t just about the social sharing buttons.
So how does Pat make it easy for people to share his podcast?
Obvious floating sharing buttons on the side bar
Provides show notes
Implements calls to action
Syndicates his podcasts to the popular podcasting directory “Stitcher”
Creates landing pages with their own domain name
He also uses mobile optimization, which uses texting and a mobile landing page and an opt-in.
If you want to learn more about podcasting from Pat, you can check out his free podcasting tutorial, which is six “step by step’” training videos to help you get your podcasting up and running.
Wrapping It Up
Pat is not the only podcaster on the planet, and in fact one of the most successful is a gentleman called Cliff Ravenscraft who podcasts under the show name “The Podcast Answerman” and has created more than 2,800 episodes since 2008. Cliff provides 120 minutes of free instruction on how to podcast on his blog.
Where there is smoke there is fire. Podcasting is worth checking out.
What About You?
Did you know that podcasting was making a comeback? Have you tried podcasting? Do you even listen to podcasts?
What has been your experience?