This week for me has been a flurry of meetings with marketing, digital and integrated agencies around London.
It made me think that, to help them get their heads around podcasts, it would be nice to have a quick checklist as to whether podcasting is right for them. So here's my list, and it's as applicable to coporate clients as it is to agency folks. I hope it's of use to you.
Here are the questions to ask, to find out whether a podcast idea is a good idea:
- Will anyone listen? Simple, but often ignored just because podcasting sounds like fun. I often talk about a "contract": we are expecting a listener to contract themselves to devote, say, ten minutes to our message. If you can't convince yourself that what you are proposing is worth the listener's contracted time, go back to the drawing board.
- Is there a payoff? This is the equivalent of "What's in it for me?". If you can't express a clear payoff to the listener, a clear benefit for their effort, then start again.
- Can we engage? Nothing succeeds better than making an offer to the listener which is engaging, which makes them glad they were a part of the audience.
- Do we know our audience? In an internal comms environment, the answer is usually "yes". In a public-facing marketing plan, the answer is usually "sort of". The better you know the audience, the better you can target their specific needs.
- Is the audience podcast-savvy? They don't have to be Ipod owners, nor do they have to buy in to the mp3-player-carrying lifestyle. But if your target market is from the D&E demographic, there's every chance they might not even have a computer, let alone the impetus to download podcasts. If so, go back to direct mail...
- Do you have clear objectives? Some clients just like podcasting because it seems like a good idea. This is the way to a fall. I ask clients specifically what they want to get out of a podcast- perhaps it's sales, perhaps it's client knowledge, perhaps better customer service. Either way, if we don't have a clear objective, we have no way of measuring success. And then I look stupid six months down the line. Ask what you're trying to achieve, and how you're going to measure it.
These six questions may mean that 50% of podcast proposals fall at one or more hurdles.
But the remaining 50% are good ideas and warrnt further discussion- I hope these questions lead you to many successful podcasts.