Mark Asquith, founder and CEO of Rebel Base Media, joins Pitstop to tell Lucas how consumer brands should take advantage of podcasts for low-cost customer engagement
More than just That British Podcast Guy, Mark Asquith is also a veteran serial entrepreneur who knows the value of low-cost direct promotional content.
And according to Mark, too few businesses, both e-commerce and traditional brick & mortar shops alike, take advantage of the wildly popular, widely available and cost effective consumer engagement available through podcasting.
"How Can My Brand Use Podcasts?"
There are 3 easy ways that you can spread the word about your consumer brand with podcasting
- Buy Ad Space. The tip of the iceberg, nearly every podcast produced is looking for financial sponsorship, and will be more than happy to carry either bumper adds, or read on-air promotional copy. Find a show that fits your brand, and offer to sponsor them in exchange for a call out once an episode for a fraction of the price of a traditional commercial
- Tell Your Own Story. Unlike most other promotional media, podcasts can be cheaply and easily produced in-house, allowing you flexibility with the content, and how you use it to engage your listeners and customers. Tell your story your own way, control the narrative around your brand, and get people engaged with you beyond your products or services
- Answer The Big Questions. Don't feel like your brand has a grand story to offer, or your stumped for content episode after episode? Use your podcast space as an opportunity to provide an entertaining, engaging and informative FAQ for your product. Most people are principally auditory learners, and providing clear step-by-step instructions and trouble-shooting in a friendly manner will result in a better customer experience.
"I'm not a writer, how am I supposed to come up with content?"
Look at what you already have available to draw from, and aggressively mine that wealth of brand knowledge; no one understands your product better than you do, and no one understands your store better than you do.
- Provide product tips. Don't wait for a user to ask how something works, or how to use it. Be proactive in educating your customers about use and maintenance, help inspire how they enjoy your product, and your brand will gain a reputation as an authority in its field.
- Assume that every podcast is someone's first. You may be talking to long-time users, you may be talking to brand new-comers. You never know what level of interest or expertise a listener has in a topic, so don't hesitate to sit down and explain everything. If your product has more than one part, explain the parts, how they work together, what you can do with them. Take your customers through everything as if they had never heard of your product before
Don't think of podcasting as something apart from your promotional or customer service strategies, but as a tie that binds them.
Start integrating recordings into your daily business, if you're explaining a new system or tactic, designing a new product, or planning an event, and invite your listeners and customers closer.
How much it becomes a part of your overall business strategy is entirely up to you, so don't worry about scale. Production can be as small as one person with a laptop or an entire media team; there's no right or wrong way of doing it, just general guidelines.
- More is not better. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to content, and while daily content get the immediate numbers, it's the slow-boiled content that gets the long term traffic and attention
- Build your skillset. Don't think of your podcast as some promotional activity you do on the side. Broadcasting is very complicated, and there are a plethora of tips & tricks to consider, and pitfalls to avoid. Always be on top of the latest developments and tactics for podcasting, and your shows quality over time will reflect it
- Never compromise on your brand standards. Your listener may not have paid to hear your show, but they are giving you the most precious thing they have, their time. Don't waste it by giving them something that isn't up to the level of quality you demand for everything else