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Marketing Momentum: Podcasting Strategy for Newcomers

Marketing Momentum: Podcasting Strategy for Newcomers

By Katrina Olson

If you read the November 15 Marketing Momentum, you know that podcasting may be the next big thing. But it’s also a big commitment that requires planning, commitment, discipline and some technical savvy. If you’re not yet up to the challenge, you can start preparing by talking to other podcasters and potential audience members, researching equipment and software, attending workshops, and considering interviewees and subject matter. 

Podcasting is also time-consuming. Creating just one episode can take 5 to 15 hours of scheduling and confirming a guest; writing and recording an intro and outro; researching the guest or topic and developing an outline; editing and mixing the audio recording(s); creating cover art; writing show notes; publishing on directories; and promoting your podcast.

Some people start podcasting as a hobby, without considering their goals or strategy. As a consultant and marketer, I feel you need a strategy and business purpose, and that you must generate a return. Otherwise, it just takes away time from your other responsibilities.

If you’re thinking about podcasting, consider these questions:

  • What is your goal? To entertain, educate, build your business, or all of the above?
  • Will podcasting be your business? If so, you must figure out how to make money through sponsorships, advertising or converting listeners to clients.
  • Who do you hope will be your audience? Is it internal (employees or members) or external (customers or prospects)?
  • How will you measure success? Downloads, listenership, or some other external measure like increased knowledge or sales?
  • What format will you choose? Single or multiple hosts, interviews of a live “call-in” show?
  • Will you go scripted or unscripted? Beware: over-scripting often makes you sound rehearsed and unnatural.
  • What’s your budget? Will you start simple and do-it-yourself, hire professionals, or get trained on how to produce a professional-sounding podcast?
  • Do you have appropriate software and hardware? Will you start simply or buy professional equipment?
  • What will you name your podcast? Will it be descriptive or clever? Will it reflect the subject matter, industry or a specific discipline?
  • How will you create album art, a website to host or link to your podcasts, and other promotional materials?

A little strategic thinking will help you to focus your efforts and appropriately allocate your time, energy and financial resources.

Podcasts for Electrical Distributors and Manufacturers

Search for podcasts with the words “electrical,” “distribution” or “manufacturing” and you’ll only find a few. Eaton’s “101 Basics” podcast series offers an introduction to the electrical industry and products. GE’s Energy Consulting’s podcasts offer insights on electric power industry trends.

My new friend Bruce McDuffee hosts “Manufacturing Marketing Matters,” a podcast designed to advance the practice of marketing for manufactures. (I was featured on Bruce’s 44th episode in 2016, “Understanding Your Target Audience Through Market Research.” And Carnegie Mellon University’s (Pittsburgh) Software Engineering Institute produces a series called, “The Smart Grid: Managing Electrical Power Distribution and Use which some people in the industry may find helpful.”

Since podcasting hasn’t yet caught on with electrical distributors and manufacturers, you have some time. Or, you can start now and lead the charge. It’s up to you.

Olson is a marketing and public relations consultant, and principal of Katrina Olson Strategic Communications. She has written for tED magazine’s print edition since 2005, judged tED magazine’s Best of the Best Competition since 2006, and emceed the Best of the Best Awards ceremony for a total of seven years. She can be reached at Katrina@katrinaolson.comor via her website at katrinaolson.com.


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