More organisations than ever before are paying greater attention to podcasts as a medium, and are beginning to experiment with them to grow their business in tough economy times where cost-effective marketing and communication are mission-critical.
Organisations are asking themselves questions like, how can we use this tool to reach out to our customers?
Probably the most notable organisation to have taken up podcasting as a marketing tool and to have embraced its benefits as an integral part of their marketing mix in a rich media world, where they are leveraging their brand and building relationships with customers is General Motors.
GM began their podcasting marketing strategy with such assets as interviews with GM executives on the launch of new products. Since then, GM has used other podcasts highlighting their services and building product awareness. The reaction of customers and enthusiasts have thus far been highly positive and customers are receptive, and it has now enabled GM to gain invaluable feedback from podcast listeners – feedback they would not have been able to source in any other way.
But you don’t need to be GM to see the value of podcasts. Such a communication channel could be used to present to almost any business as part of overall communication strategy and to develop more effective relationships with stakeholders.
Here are three other ways companies are using podcasts:
– A weekly 15-minute business update for employees spoken by the CEO: employees worldwide ‘subscribe’ to receive the podcast via the company intranet (or, better yet, from the CEO’s weblog).
– New product announcement: traditional product info on the public marketing website, press release goes out – and there’s also a podcast which contains an informal interview (a conversation) between, say, a customer and one of the men or women in the factory who made the product.
– The sales director records an occasional podcast for her geographically-dispersed sales team with tips and tricks on, say, how to close deals with certain types of customers; the podcast is available from the sales intranet as additional information to complement other, more formal, sales collateral.
These are simple examples, yet you can probably imagine how effective a podcast could be in such situations as a complement to other communication channels.
Hearing the voice of a CEO or factory employee or sales director adds a human and informal touch to what’s often the formalness of organisational communication, which can be a powerful emotional influencer on internal and external audiences alike.