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Podcasting: The Referral Engine Multiplier

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Ben Krueger – Enjoy!

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photo credit: HarryLeaks

When all the dust settles, marketing is about exposure and engagement.  Who has heard of your brand, and what opinions have they formed about your offering?

Your mission as a marketer, then, is finding and leveraging these opportunities to spread your message to new audiences and connect with them.

Imagine you have the good fortune to showcase your products and services to a crowd of your target customers, but you have a choice.  You can choose between a crowd of 10 people, or a crowd of 10,000 people…

Assuming you’re ambitious, you want the crowd of 10,000 people right?

But what if the crowds were similar in size, and now there are other marketers competing for their attention.  To one crowd, there will be only yourself and four other marketers.  To the other crowd, you are just one of 800 marketers all clamoring for the same group’s attention and business?

The answer is clear right?  Why then do so many small businesses insist on only blogging and ignore the opportunity presented in podcasting?

There are currently over 4 million active blogs all publishing competing content to the world while there are only 25 thousand podcasts vying for that same attention.  You may notice, this is the same ratio as the 800 vs. the 5 marketers example above.

While the sheer numbers add up to a win for marketers, I must say that podcasting isn’t for everyone and every brand.  It’s a calculated art that only produces results with a solid strategy, valuable content to your audience and a commitment to developing listeners into customers and lifelong brand ambassadors.

Who Has The Most To Gain From Podcasting?

Let’s explore for a moment who stands to gain the most from podcasting. In my experience,  I’ve discovered a few key attributes that position a business to take maximum advantage of the opportunity in podcasting.

An Existing Audience Of Customers, Readers or Followers

Though not entirely necessary, launching a podcast with an existing audience of any size will help your show get maximum exposure.  The first 8 weeks of a podcast’s life are crucial for showcasing your podcast to a new audience of potential listeners, particularly in iTunes’ featured New & Noteworthy section.

For the first 8 weeks only, your show can be featured on the podcast homepage of iTunes.  Getting there requires some initial listeners, downloads and reviews which is where your existing audience comes into play.

A Topic Your Customers Are Passionate About

Let’s say you have a small bakery that specializes in cupcakes.  People aren’t exactly going to flock to a cupcake podcast.  However, perhaps your most profitable customers are event planners.  You could launch the podcast reveals the best methods for getting high paying clients and inside strategies for running a seamless event straight from the mouths of the best event planners in the industry.  Think that might grab their attention?

When your audience of event planners is lining up a cupcake supplier for their next gig, who do you think is top of mind? Consider who your most profitable customers are and how you could provide value to them with a podcast.

A Value Gap in The Marketplace

Examine other podcasts in your industry to determine what’s missing.  If there are already many different shows that listeners love in your market and they seem to have covered all the angles, gaining steam with a podcast won’t be easy.

If you see there are a few shows in your industry, but perhaps they aren’t very well organized or valuable to their audiences.  Maybe they’ve missed a particular niche in the marketplace or you have a new type of information or value for them.  This is your chance to seize the opportunity.  Imagine seeing a year from now your closest competitor with all the attention because they developed a thriving and loyal listener community of your target customers, simply because they took action when you didn’t.

The more of these attributes your market has, the better positioned you are to become the go-to source for your target customers.  What will you do with the opportunity?

Ben KruegerBen Krueger is the Chief Podcast Strategist and founder of Authority Engine, a full service podcast agency with a focus on designing, building and optimizing podcasts that turn prospects into paying customers.  Our free guide: Planning the Perfect Podcast is designed specifically to help you discover if podcasting is right for you, and how to get the results you desire through podcasting.

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