I’ll point out that one thing: there can be different intentions for a podcast. A reason you can use podcasts is business development. For example, there’s one company I’m thinking of, particularly where they have a target list of 100 to 250 companies – a relatively small number – and the only reason they’re doing a podcast is that it’s easier to get a meeting with those accounts than reaching out by a cold sales email as everyone else does.
It’s something that I’m experimenting with Beyond the Uniform. I’m thinking, “Oh, this is a guy or gal that I really want to talk to. I think that could be a Captivate.ai customer. They’re also a veteran. Maybe I have them on the show.” This is a way to demonstrate what I do and build a relationship over time. Because it’s better to play the long game rather than approach a potential customer and say, “Hey, will you buy my stuff?” It’s not going to happen. Thus, certainly, consider podcasts as a means of business development.
Another reason is to deepen relationships. That can be for thought leadership; it can be for customers. I haven’t done that yet, but I’ve had many brands ask me about that. And my general advice is: in your podcast portfolio, maybe one out of 10 could be a customer conversation. But I’m really – right or wrong, I don’t have evidence for this other than my anecdotal experience – I’m very cautious about anything that could be perceived as sales.
If I’m listening to a podcast because they’re teaching me, informing me, and giving me knowledge, I will continue listening to that. But the moment my spidey sense kicks in that they’re talking to a customer about what a great brand the host or the product is, it becomes a turnoff really quickly. It feels like they’re trying to trick me, or they’re trying to trap me; their only motive and purpose seems that it’s to sell their products and nothing else.
I love the idea of strengthening the customer relationship by having them on the show. In particular, I love it if they have specific knowledge to apply, as both sides win.
But I would go back to that 11-second rule, like in the same vein, they’re going to want to plug you as a company probably. It’s a polite thing to do. After all, the brand’s ultimate goal is to promote its products besides informing its customers and giving free knowledge. But you need to make sure that it’s only 11 seconds out of the 45 minutes and really having it be about adding value rather than an infomercial, which we’ve all seen, and you change the channel as soon as you feel like you’re watching some paid ad like that.
Thus, you can see that podcasting can be used with many different intentions while also having many advantages for both the host and the listeners. But, that can only happen if used correctly.