Podcast perseverance: From running an experiment to building an asset

Creating Business Assets Through Content Marketing

You could say it’s “mission accomplished”. To launch our first podcast in February. By the end of the year to have recorded 68 shows. Over 10,000 unique downloads of myself and co-host Mark Masters talking marketing with minimal fuss (i.e. expense).

It’s been a great learning journey. Like all investments you make, whether that’s time or finance, in order to judge success you need to take a step back. To reflect and plan ahead. That’s the reason we’ve taken 3 weeks out. To consider what’s happened and what we want to happen next.

Yes, we’ve received good feedback. We’ve received enough positives to assure us that the podcast is an investment well made. Both as a personal learning tool and a valuable product for our audience.

The highlight for me have being the occasions when people quote comments from the show back at me. “Shit! People don’t just download they listen too!”. It keeps you on your toes. Let’s face it, if the shows were half-arsed it would be detrimental to our own work as marketing practitioners.

PODCASTING: LEADING AN EXPERIMENT

Our first years work, Marketing Homebrew, has been an experiment. The simple hypothesis was ‘Does podcasting deliver reward?’ The simple verdict, ‘Yes, I believe so’.

Our plan was to ‘record’. To create a variety of shows focusing on topics we believed to be important to our listener. Our listeners being practicing marketers and business owners. Nothing too niche. Enough to ensure we could build and retain listenership.

Our duty was to show up. We stuck to a schedule of firstly recording one 30 minute show per week. Half way into the year we revamped to 2 15 minute shows. To keep things snappy. To deliver more varied content.

When you work to a schedule you stick to a schedule. When you know people expect from you, you provide. So we made sure that we recorded a week or so in advance and doubled up when either of us had an upcoming holiday or business travel. From that angle, it worked very well.

However. There’s a vast difference between working to a schedule (making sure something takes place) and working to a plan (a proposal to achieve something). As marketers, it’s all too easy for us to see working to a schedule as an accomplishment. It’s not. It’s just the doing. The step up is to ‘build’.

PODCASTING: BUILDING AN ASSET

So now we’re podcasting professionals. Finally we’re comfortable listening to our own voice. Thankfully we’re comfortable taking our voices and putting them in the marketplace. It does take time. Like anything, confidence builds the more you do things working to an objective. Our objective shifted from ‘doing’ to ‘building’.

Now, that objective has substance.

Last year we traded ideas on podcast topics a week or so before the show was recorded. For 2016 we have a calendar in place.

2016 Podcast Plan

Aren’t we the podcasting bigshots!?

The calendar is vital. It’s an overlay of topics based upon a core theme of ‘modules’ we’ve developed. Those modules ( Preparation, Process, Results & Review) allow us to create a 48-week process that will make sense to our listener. Our listener who is stuck in marketing ‘experiment’ mode just as we could have been if we carried on with the ad hoc nature of the Marketing Homebrew show.

Now, we’re setting out the ideas we have in some form of cohesive order. We’re working alongside our listeners in their own endeavours. We’re building together. You know that saying about walking in your customer’s shoes? That’s us.

Throughout the year we’ll be sharing our own marketing process. The thinking, the ideas, the frameworks and the results. We’re turning the Homebrew into an audio guidebook to help time-starved marketers and business owners be more productive, more profitable in how they invest their own time.

We’re now building a valuable marketing asset. As we further develop the show we’ll be inviting listeners to register and receive worksheets and our newsletter to add further value. In return, we’re building a database of listeners. The audio experiment now becomes a business development tool. Our aim is to then offer client workshops where we can deliver assistance one-to-one with our listener. With a database of listeners we can take Marketing Homebrew to the next level as we continue to grow our audience.

Like any marketing output it’s reassuring to see you’re building an audience. The next step is to build commitment. To provide enough value that your reader/listener/viewer is comfortable to receive your newsletter or download your further words of wisdom.

To enable you to switch from ‘doing something’ to ‘doing something for a reason’.

WHAT ASSET ARE YOU BUILDING?

I see too many smart marketers stuck in experimentation mode. Knowing that you need to be blogging doesn’t validate why you should continue. Similarly podcasting, video channels, Adwords, the list goes on. There’s so much we believe we ‘should’ be doing to grow our online business. How do you ensure what you’re doing is worthwhile?

Aligning what you’re doing with where your customer is right now pays dividends. The process behind Marketing Homebrew is changing. Before we offered the map. Now, we’re taking the role of the guide. As consumers we’re all on independent journeys. As a marketer your responsibility is to present the map and be the guide that takes your audience from where they are to where they want to be.

How you approach the development of that guide will be a huge differentiator between you and the competition. The closer that relationship, the greater the opportunity to win more business. Online and off.

Consider how your present marketing experiments are honing in on the journey of your online audience. Are you simply presenting signposts? Are you proposing shortcuts? Whilst you may receive acknowledgement for your help (i.e. visits to your website) there’s so much more you’re leaving on the table.

Turn those experiments into assets. Come join us for the 2016 Marketing Homebrew shows as we share our learning to benefit your own work. It’s our round…

 


Written By:

Ian Rhodes

Twitter

Founder of Ecommerce Growth Co. Sharing lessons learned building and growing ecommerce brands since 1997.


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