While blogs, social media channels and video are all very effective platforms for publishing business content, podcasts and webinars can give audiences a more immersive and personal experience of your brand or business at a relatively low cost.
We take a look at how podcasts and webinars work, and why it’s worth considering using them to enhance your content marketing strategy.
What is a podcast
A podcast is essentially a digital audio file that can be listened to directly online or downloaded onto a device such as a smartphone for later listening. There are several benefits of podcasts:
- They are relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, especially when compared to video which requires greater investment in terms of time, money, equipment and expertise. Software applications such as Skype and GarageBand enable just about anyone to make their own podcasts without the need for complex technical knowledge.
- They can be used to connect with audiences using a conversational and more ‘natural’ tone than written formats. They may also cut out the need for constant grammar checking, re-checking and editing that comes with writing!
- Podcasts can be listened to while doing other things such as walking, exercising, resting, travelling on public transport, or even while going to sleep – providing a very accessible form of content for your audiences.
- Transcriptions from podcasts can be used as a form of content or as a resource for expanding on topics in future blog articles.
Podcasts can be used in a number of ways, including to:
- Record question & answer sessions, conversations and / or interviews with experts on a particular topic.
- As an enhancement to written content such as blog posts. For example, you might include a podcast of your written articles for people who prefer listening to reading.
- Provide tips and advice on topics of interest.
- Share expertise, opinions and thought leadership with listeners.
- Add humour and a light-hearted approach to your content marketing.
- Use any transcripts you produce as a form of written content, and optimise by adding keyword-rich titles.
Since not everyone has the time, energy or means to be always reading articles, podcasts can help you reach more people, more of the time. It might also be the case that some people retain information more readily when it is delivered aurally rather than visually.
A webinar is a live meeting, discussion or seminar that is presented online, often at no cost to the audience.
During a webinar, you provide the opportunity for your audience to ask questions and interact with you and other attendees. Some of the benefits of webinars include:
- A truly interactive experience in that attendees are given the opportunity to participate.
- Can be a good way to introduce people to your brand or product, providing them with enough information to whet their appetite and encourage them to take further action.
- As well as being live, webinars can be recorded which makes them available for viewing to later on. This may also mean that the impact continues after the event.
- Unlike live seminars, attending a webinar requires no travelling for attendees and no need to hire a venue. This reduces the cost of production – possibly by thousands of dollars – and also makes for a wider reach and impact.
- As for podcasts, some people may retain information for longer through webinars than they might from reading articles alone.
- According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, webinars are rated as being among the top five most effective strategies by marketers, and are very good for engaging audiences across several stages of the buying cycle.
Interactive Webinar ideas
- To provide product demonstrations, such as ‘how-to’ instructional demos.
- For online educational programs.
- For online presentations on a topic or idea.
- To run question & answer sessions with panel members.
- To present new or existing products or services.
- In almost any way you might use a live presentation or meeting for promoting your business or for building customer relationships.
It’s also a good idea to send a reminder email or SMS to attendees before you start.
This marks the final instalment in our series on business publishing platforms, which we hope has provided you with some useful information for your own content strategies!