Creating podcasts can potentially benefit businesses in a number of ways. In our experience, the return on investment (ROI) has come in a form I certainly didn’t expect.
I think lots of people are publishing great content right now on why podcasts are important. Listeners seem to really want to engage with this form of media, and publishers can connect with their audiences in an important way.
I’d like to focus on some of our experiences with the Paradigm Shift of Healthcare to help clarify expectations and show what we’ve learned along the way and what we’re getting out of the entire process.
We’re one season in (20 completed episodes), so we must be experts at this point, right?
Ok, not really, but I do think that relaying some of this experience can be helpful if you’re considering starting a podcast or if you’re in that early phase where you’re still trying to decide if you should keep with it.
A Better Definition of Our Audience
Every podcast needs to be clear about its intended audience.
As we been going through our show, we’ve been developing a clearer definition of who we want to reach the most. We’ve been updating the way that we ask questions and the type of content that we bring to the show to try and better reach this group.
At this point, our intended audiences include specialty practices and businesses that sell to these practices.
This audience definition translates to us asking questions about how our guests’ work directly relates to our audience.
In other words, why does this show matter to them?
This is somewhat a basic requirement in any marketing endeavor, but this effort helps shape who we request to be on the show and what kind of conversation we would have with them.
Co-Creators in Authoritative, Reusable Content
In advertising, we all have the ability to pay to get our message out to our intended audience. This certainly doesn’t mean that people will find this interesting or be interested in our service, but we have access to people.
When it comes to content (text, video, or audio), the audience has much more control. If the content is boring, the audience leaves. Simple enough.
The longer your content (your word count or the amount in your episode), the more important it is to continue convincing your audience that you have something worth saying.
Content creators can’t simply show up and rehash old material. They have to keep pushing forward in their quality and relevance for the audience. This provides an excellent opportunity for content creators to get more effective at communicating with their audience.
This process also has lasting value that extends far beyond the initial airing of an episode.
In a chat on LinkedIn, Joe Lavelle said, “Podcasting provides an “easy” way to provide REALLY high-quality content and establish relationships with thought leaders. I regularly mine my interviews from last week to 6 years ago to tell new stories and to present to new audiences.”
I’m constantly using quotes and ideas from our podcasts in blog posts on our sites, including these posts here on this site:
- Healthcare Successfully Moving Beyond the Hospital
- How Patient Advocates Can Help
- Bridging the Gaps between Patient Care and Patient Communities
Sure, the whole idea of re-using content has been a big tactic of content marketers recently. That said, a half-hour podcast gives us the chance to focus succinctly on a few topics.
Later, I may reflect on how that topic affects my family’s life, and I can provide a new angle.
On other occasions, I realize that our podcast guest simply said it far better than I could hope to. That person is an authority on the matter.
If you’re struggling to keep your content efforts going, then I highly recommend using an interview format. You’ll see benefits from the approach for a long time.
New Relationships in Our Industry
Overwhelmingly, I feel that the best return on podcasting is the relationships we’ve been able to build. And we are still early in the process!
Several other podcasters I’ve had the chance to speak with echo the value of their shows in creating opportunities for relationships.
As is often the case with relationships, it can be difficult to point back to the one thing that made a relationship click.
For example, when did you first connect with some of your best friends? Is there a specific incident, or was it something that grew over time?
Such is the way that I’m finding relationships online are developing. Did we connect because I was in a tweet chat with this person, or was did they come across a relevant podcast episode?
The answer could be that both of those interactions mattered. As Jared Johnson (co-host of Paradigm Shift and host of Healthcare Rap) says, there is no “audio pixel” that allows us to easily track all these interactions.
The Principle of Reciprocity
You may have heard the advice before about how you can use the principle of reciprocity to get more out of an audience. Essentially, when you give to someone, there is an inherent desire to pay it back. It’s a sort of scales and balance kind of thing we have inside us.
While that principle certainly is at work when it comes to inviting people to be on your show, I’ve been surprised at how it is working on me.
When we started, we had very little to offer our guests in terms of guaranteed exposure. People that were willing to take that chance and be on the show anyway have engendered a feeling of reciprocity in me. I want to help them succeed if I can.
Taking that a step further, I am honored and grateful whenever someone responds to our show online. Because Jared has a much larger social network than I do, we’ve had some folks comment on the shows because of his connections with them. I may like their comment and end up either following them on a social network or commenting on their posts later on.
This virtuous cycle creates a new relationship.
These kinds of interactions are happening more and more, and they’re not dependent on any one of our networks to make them happen. We may even find that guests’ connections are chiming in, and we’re creating relationships there.
This is the kind of stuff it’s really hard to measure in terms of knowing its long-term effect. Of course, we can see how many comments or likes we get on a single post, but that doesn’t tell the real story behind it all.
The Business of Relationships
Look, I know I’ve been shooting for a feel-good vibe here. “Pay it forward” and all that, but I’m doing so in part because it is a good business approach.
There are definitely other ways to approach business, but this is who we are. Relationships have always been at the core of our opportunities. Now we’re taking them into a more digital setting instead of just relying on in-person visits.
Marketing is getting harder and advertising more expensive. Whenever we have the opportunity to build trust and new relationships with potential customers, we should seize it!