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Get on the mic: Local marketing expert says now is the perfect time for businesses to start a podcast – UPSTATE BUSINESS JOURNAL

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Get on the mic: Local marketing expert says now is the perfect time for businesses to start a podcast - UPSTATE BUSINESS JOURNAL

These days, it seems the old cliche of saying to your friends, “Hey, let’s start a band together!” has been replaced with a more updated version:

“Let’s start a podcast together!”

Or so it seems based on the numbers. As of March 2021, there are 1.95 million unique podcasts totaling 47 million episodes, according to the podcast resource Podcast Insights. With so many podcasts out there, it’s understandable why you might conclude there’s no point in adding yet one more to the podcast slush pile.

But if you think you or your company have missed the boat when it comes to starting a podcast, local marketing expert Ryan Alford begs to differ.

“Look at the amount of money that Spotify and Pandora and all these companies are just now investing in podcasts,” Alford said. “They’re not quadrupling down their investments because we’ve hit the top of the bell curve. They’re doing it because it’s still going up.”

Alford, who runs the Greenville-based marketing agency Radical, is not wrong when it comes to big-name companies going all-in on podcasts. In the past two years, the music streaming platform Spotify has spent a whopping $1 billion on podcast-related acquisitions and production. Pandora recently plopped down a cool $145 million to acquire the digital audio ad technology AdsWizz. WarnerMedia, the television powerhouse behind HBO and dozens of cable networks, recently inked two separate multiyear deals with Spotify and iHeartMedia for exclusive narrative-driven podcast content.

Advertisers have also taken notice of smaller-scale podcasts — so-called “micro-influencers” — as a means of reaching more niche and engaged audiences.

“Influencer marketing isn’t just for big brands,” said Barbara Rozgonyi, CEO of Charlotte-based CoreyWest Media. Speaking on her very own podcast InfluencePros, Rozgonyi said targeted advertising has already become the standard. “What I love are the micro-influencers,” she said. “Some of these [larger] influencers may have a million followers, but how many of those followers are active?”

And then there are folks like Alford, who started his own marketing-centric podcast, The Radcast, nearly 10 years ago but has still not opted to strive for overt monetization, despite tens of thousands of unique downloads.

Instead, he uses his podcast to build his brand, build relationships and find new leads, which is its own form of monetization. His podcasts have featured a range of guests, from “Top Chef” winners to entrepreneurs to social media influencers, all telling their stories and discussing how they’ve grown their own personal brands.

“If I get one good lead a month from the podcast, that’s still a great month. It’s about building these relationships organically,” Alford said. “But even if you are trying to get paid directly for your podcast, it’s really not as hard as you might think.”

Whether you’re looking to build your brand or gain revenue from your podcast, here are Alford’s tips for how to get started — and why now is the perfect time to jump on the podcast bandwagon.

Don’t worry too much about the technical aspects

“I think a lot of people get hung up on whether or not your podcast sounds professional enough. But a $20 Amazon microphone plugged into your iPhone will sound wonderful for 8 out of 10 people, and that’s really all you need if you’re just starting out. Focus less on the equipment and focus more on the topics of your episodes.”

Be consistent and have a plan

“I see it all the time where people get three or four episodes in and then you never see them do another podcast. You need to outline at least your first 20 episodes. There are about 2 million podcasts in the world, but only 400,000 make it past 10 episodes. If you can break through that barrier, you’re already positioning yourself much better than the majority.”

Outline every episode

“Think of it like a story, with a beginning, middle and end. Even if it’s meant to be a casual conversation, outline five to seven questions or topics you want to cover. You don’t need any more than that, because people will talk and have their dialogue around it. But five to seven questions should get you a 20-30 minute episode.”

Understand when people are listening

“One of the most common questions I get is: ‘How long should my podcast be?’ Think about when people are listening, which for most is when they’re commuting to work or working out.  Now, how long does that take most people? I’d say 15 to 40 minutes is the range, but you probably want to keep it close to 20 minutes or so, because with how short attention spans are now, you better have a damn good talker to fill 40 minutes.”

Find your niche

“You can easily monetize with advertisers even with a small audience, so long as you have an engaged audience. Micro-influencers are all the rage with brands, so while a brand might look at a guy with 100,000 followers, they still might turn instead to the guy with 50 followers who listen religiously and are willing to spend on what you’re selling. If I’m a B2B company that sells servers and I only have to sell two servers a month, I’ll be on a podcast that’s about network security even if they have only 40 listeners a month.”

Get over shyness

“I listen to every episode I put out, and it’s not because I’m self-absorbed but because I want to get better. At first I didn’t listen, but when I stared going back, I realized I can slip into this un-energetic tone without even knowing it. You’ve got to bring our your personality and amplify it. Bring that energy level. I like to say, ‘Develop your character,’ because even though it’s just you speaking as yourself, you still need to build your own persona.”

It’s not too late

“I can’t stress enough how beneficial I think [podcasting] is to our business. Even if I never got anything out of it directly, the way it’s kept me excited and engaged in my industry has been such a great ancillary bonus. Over time, things can get stale or you might not keep up on the trends, but when you make yourself engage directly with the topics relevant to your industry on a consistent basis, it’s a benefit that’s impossible to fully calculate.”

Resources for would-be podcasters

Podmatch is a service that connects podcast hosts and potential guests based on more than 40 different criteria

Founded by Alex Sanfilippo — host of Creating a Brand Podcast, which is ranked among the top 20 entrepreneurial podcasts in the United States with more than 10,000 unique downloads per episode — Podmatch is best described “Tinder for podcast guests.”

“You can always find guests for your podcast, but the problem is, so many people I know were having trouble finding the right guests for their show,” Sanfilippo said.

Podmatch, which serves more than 7,000 different members, is a free service with a pay-for-upgrade option that meets the needs of both guests and hosts. Unlike a podcast booking agent, which caters to bigger names (think celebrities, best-selling authors, politicians), Podmatch simply connects potential guests with the right podcasts, and vice versa, and allows them to take things from there.

Sanfilippo said the free model, suited for the type of podcast that wants to book a new guest every week or so, meets the needs of 90% of users. Those who want to get a new guest every day, for example, would want to upgrade and pay $39 a month for more extensive connections. Agencies pay $69 a month plus $5.99 per user that is added, meaning a PR company would pay the base rate plus $5.99 per client.

Sanfilippo also recommends would-be podcasters look into booking podcasting studios, which allow hosts and guests to simply meet in a studio and perform the show, while all technical equipment, mixing, editing and posting online is handled by the studio.

“My big takeaway for those new to this is that there are tons of people that offer podcasting services,” he said, “so you don’t have to do it alone.”

Warn to find some local podcasting studios? We’ve got you covered:

This content was originally published here.

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Business online video content is a cost-effective marketing tool

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Business online video content is a cost-effective marketing tool

The use of business online video content in companies’ sales and marketing mix has slowly increased over the years. It’s now on a rapid pace upward.  Businesses have quickly found that having a business video marketing strategy is critical. Integrating a steady stream of business online video content is tough but rewarding. This video advertising, sales and marketing process can build awareness, engage customers, convert leads and drive sales.  NOTE: If you don’t yet have a business video marketing strategy, check out “One video is not a business video marketing strategy

Both B2B and B2C purchasers want information quickly. Business online video content is more valuable to them than websites that are only filled with text.

Why should you invest in online video content for your business? Why get a business video marketing strategy in place today?  This video says it all:

Statistics

Aberdeen released a report titled that showcased companies that have a business video marketing strategy and integrate business online video content into their workflow experience:

  • 27% higher click through rate
  • 34% higher website conversion rates
  • 50% higher revenue growth rates year-over-year
  • 63% more company revenue attributed to marketing
  • 85% support lead generation
  • 123% more likely to adopt a lead

Benefits of Business Online Video Content

Studies show that having a business video marketing strategy, to use video content, has a lot of benefits to your business. Here are some core business objectives that you will realize with a business video marketing strategy:

  • Boost brand awareness – with the right content planning and business video marketing strategy, your videos will gain audiences. And online reputation will surely help you turn your leads into high-paying customers. Sounds interesting, right?
  • Increase online engagement – people find videos more interesting than lengthy text or captions. Develop concise and captivating video content, and you’ll definitely catch more attention and increase engagements. It can also generate leads, let’s not underestimate the power of social shares.
  • Videos can explain more – having a video marketing strategy can help your audiences understand more about your business, may it be a product or services. It can explain enough and deliver a lot of information in a short period of time. Giving your audiences what they need without feeling bored can make a huge impact.
  • Cost-effective – investing in high-quality videos can make your business stand out and attract potential customers. Be sure to collaborate with an agency that has vast experience. Because your video content can live a long time, you can also repurpose it for future use and that makes it cost-effective.

Conclusions on Business Online Video Content

Be sure to check out the full report from to learn how you can achieve higher website conversion rates, higher revenue growth rates year-over-year and more fresh leads by establishing a business video marketing strategy and integrating business online video content into your tactics.

Looking for some guidance to create a business video marketing strategy or maybe you wanted to get started with your business video content?  We work with businesses that are just starting out or are eager to add more video content into their sales and marketing communications.

We’ll see you in front of the camera!

The post Business online video content is a cost-effective marketing tool appeared first on MultiVision Digital.

This content was originally published here.

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6 Methods to Incorporate Your Email Marketing and Social Media Strategies – Business 2 Community

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6 Methods to Incorporate Your Email Marketing and Social Media Strategies - Business 2 Community

Here’s the truth…

Two of the frequently used and merged branches of marketing in the digital space are email marketing and social media promotions.

In this guide, we’ll learn six ways to integrate the two strategies for a more holistic marketing campaign for your business.

6 methods to incorporate your email marketing and social media strategies:

1. Advance social media pages on your email newsletters

Run an email marketing and social media strategies campaign designed specifically to turn more of your subscribers into your social followers.

When creating your newsletter, apply stunning designs and highlight the perks of following your social media account.

To see if you sent an interactive email with this integrated social media tactic, check your email reporting results. See which metrics, such as click-through rates, new subscribers, etc., increased and decreased, and work on refining your promotional messages.

2. Include social buttons that are applicable on your emails

This practice is among the most common ways of weaving your email marketing and social media strategies.

Doing these lets your subscribers know that you’re on the social platforms they’re also in. It even entices them to follow you there for more exciting content and offers and engage your other followers.

Display your social buttons (or logos) prominently and appropriately on your email newsletters in the same way Jimmy Choo did:

Display social buttons in your emails to invite your mailing list to follow you on social media. Source: Jimmy Choo.

Jimmy Choo placed these clickable logos at the bottom of its marketing email but surrounded them with white space to make them more noticeable.

Armani shows us another perfect example:

Logos of social media platforms on Armani’s marketing emailProminently showcase your social buttons to direct subscribers to follow you there.
Source: Armani.

Armani wrote a call-to-action (CTA) at the bottom of its promotional email, telling subscribers to follow their social account, “Giorgio Armani.”

Like Jimmy Choo, Armani also displayed clickable logos of its brand pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and put plenty of negative space around each of them.

Follow those same tactics to ensure your readers quickly spot your social buttons.

3. Ask your social media followers to sign up for your emails

Grow your email list by inviting your followers to subscribe to your promotional emails.

To do that on Facebook, visit your page and hit “Create Call-to-Action.” From the dropdown menu, choose “Sign up” and add your website’s URL.

Goldieblox did exactly that on its Facebook page:

Facebook page of GoldiebloxInvite followers to join your mailing list through “Sign up” CTA buttons on your Facebook page.
Source: Facebook.com.

With a single click of these social CTA buttons, you can extensively grow your mailing list and email engagement, and customers can painlessly subscribe to your emails.

4. Add your mailing list to your social networking platforms

This method allows you to target your subscribers with more promotional messages on a different platform, increasing your sales and conversion opportunities.

Through uploaded mailing lists, you can follow your subscribers, understand and interact with them better, run targeted, personalized advertising campaigns on social media, and more.

For instance, Facebook’s Custom Audience feature lets you define your target audience from your uploaded email list:

Page in Facebook’s Audience Manager for choosing custom audience sourceUpload your email list on Facebook Audiences to target your subscribers on the social site.
Source: Facebook.

On Twitter, you can also create tailored audiences through the platform’s Audience Manager. Click “Create New Audience” and select the option for uploading your mailing list from your email marketing software:

Page of Twitter Audience Manager with options to choose audience typeUpload your email list on Twitter to target your subscribers on the platform.
Source: Twitter.

Something to note: these platforms require you to create business or ads manager accounts before proceeding with setting up your social customer list.

Sign up for one as prompted when you’re on their Audience Manager sections, or voluntarily prior to visiting those pages.

You should also have your email list ready for uploading to smoothen the custom audience creation process. So, if you’re considering updating your mailing list for social media, do it first.

Now that your email list is incorporated into your social media, you can efficiently monitor both marketing campaigns and harmonize, share, and dive deeper into your followers’ and subscribers’ data.

If you’re using social media management tools or customer relationships management (CRM) software with email integration features, you can accomplish this task more smoothly.

With your subscribers targeted on your social campaigns, you can amplify your customer engagement and marketing performance on email and social media platforms.

5. Make use of “share-with-your-network” links

Insert share-with-your-network (SWYN) links into your promotional emails. This tactic lets your email subscribers share your messages with their social networks without leaving their inbox.

Specify which parts or how much of your emails are incorporated in your subscribers’ shared posts. These can be your sale announcements, voucher offers, product videos, and other content pieces.

Here’s an example by LastObject:

Promotional email by LastObject with a quote image and social media logosEncourage subscribers to share your email content using SWYN links.
Source: LastObject.

LastObject shared a quote by Emma Watson and encouraged its subscribers to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by clicking on the SWYN links.

Clicking the Instagram button, for instance, led to this page, where subscribers can like, comment, repost, share as a story, send to a friend, and more.

Instagram page with a quote imageSWYN links make it easier for your subscribers to share your email content on social platforms.
Source: Instagram.

Make your SWYN links profitable by offering at least two network sharing selections. Also, position your buttons in highly visible areas of your email, so your readers don’t miss them.

6. Create a Facebook group exclusive for your mailing list

Everybody wants to belong to a restricted community, especially when it has low entry barriers. This makes private Facebook groups ideal when merging your email marketing and social media strategies.

Give your email subscribers special access to your brand’s members-only Facebook group. This evokes a sense of exclusivity and comradeship, motivating them to connect seamlessly with like-minded followers.

You can embed your Facebook group link in your promotional emails, so when your subscribers click it, they’re immediately directed to request access or accept your invitation to join.

Additionally, to make your Facebook group thrive, regularly publish meaningful content and spur interaction with and among your members.

Encourage them to share how they used your products, how your brand made a positive impact in their lives, and so on. You can even post announcements of an upcoming sale or giveaway and post live videos.

Adorn Cosmetics presents a stellar example:

Screenshot of a promotional email from Adorn CosmeticsInsert exclusive Facebook group invitations into your emails to grow your social following. Source: Adorn Cosmetics.

Adorn Cosmetics placed a one-sentence invitation for their subscribers to join their exclusive VIP Adorner community on Facebook.

Clicking “here” then leads their readers straight to this private Facebook group page, where they can hit the “Join Group” button to enter:

Facebook group page of Adorners Exclusive CommunityCreating an exclusive Facebook group for your brand entices your email subscribers to join. Source: Facebook.

What’s great about this strategy is you can wield another social-and-email integration tactic from it. You can grab pieces of user-generated content (UGC) from your Facebook group and showcase it as social proof.

Infuse UGC into your email marketing content or other social media blasts on your page. This boosts your credibility and captures more customers.

Integrate your email marketing and social media campaigns now

Email and social media can initially appear like opposing forces, but when you harness them both, they can band together to supercharge your customer reach and relationships at every point in your funnel.

Experiment with your implementation of these methods and continually monitor and adjust them as needed to get the maximum performance results for your business.

This content was originally published here.

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Creative Ways to Use Direct Mail Marketing For Your Business

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Creative Ways to Use Direct Mail Marketing For Your Business

Direct mail marketing may be a thing of the past but it is a great option if you want to increase your market reach without taking too much out of your budget. If you can do it correctly, you can get a high response rate from your potential customers. Making it work all comes down to creativity and innovation. Now, if you are having a hard time coming with unique ways to use direct mails to promote your business, then here are some ideas to get you started:

Discount Updates

You can use snail mails to send information on the latest discounts offered by your company. In most cases, your potential clients would be grateful for it. While you’re at it, consider including coupons that are exclusive to recipients of your direct mail campaigns.

Product Samples

To entice people into buying your products, you can send them samples through your direct mail campaigns. Even though this is an expensive way to get your products out there, the number of sales that you can generate from it will outweigh the cost when done properly.

Special Announcements

Physical mail campaigns can be used to send announcements to both potential and existing customers. This not only lets them know that you care for them but also keeps them up-to-date with the latest products, and services that you are offering as well as the latest developments in your company.

Brand and Image Reinforcement

Since this medium gives you the opportunity to convey certain types of images through the use of visual presentation, reinforcing your brand and market position would be easier. Now, this may require you to invest in your mail designs but the results would benefit you in the long run.

Quick Response Codes

If you want to increase the response rate of your campaigns, then you should consider including QR (quick response) codes in your letters. They can be scanned using smartphones, which makes them easily readable. Through these codes, you can take your customers to your website, your product pages, and even have them download an app your company just made. The possibilities are endless.

Unique Designs and Texture

One of the common disadvantages of using snail mail for business promotions is that it can be perceived as junk mail by clients. You can get around this by adding unique designs and texture to your letters. This will make them stand out and help attract the attention of your leads and customers. However, this might require you to spend more time and even money on design creation.

Build Credibility

If you want to persuade people into buying your product, you have to gain their trust by building credibility. Physical mail campaigns can help you out with this. Through your campaigns, you can send articles you wrote and demonstrate your expertise in the industry that your company is in.

Conclusion

While using direct mail would make most startups cringe, its effectiveness has been proven through the years. It can help catch the attention of your market and gain trust along the way. With a bit of creativity, this approach to business marketing will serve you well in the long run.

This content was originally published here.

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