How mastering the right technology can catapult an association forward
Do you have your own podcast? “Who? Me! No…I barely have enough time to listen to a podcast much less run my own.” At least that’s what I used to say. Until that all changed. I launched the “That’s My Financial Guy” Podcast in June of 2019 and have used it successfully to transform our digital brand and our practice. As a result, I’ve received a National Industry Award, improved client relationships, partnered better with centers of influence, and am now asked to speak nationally to members of my industry on how to deploy technology to maximize success. For us the podcast has worked wonderfully. The question though, is why?
Why Launch a Podcast?
People launch podcasts for a variety of reasons. Most of them do so because they have something to say and podcasting is a wonderful medium to communicate your message to a large audience. Others use them to leverage a business or highlight a special area of expertise. Setting up a podcast is also easier today than it ever has been. However, with so many out there, what separates the good from the rest is the market development necessary to gain an audience.
While a podcast isn’t right for everyone, the brand strategy behind it is! If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Should our association have a podcast?” or struggled to leverage email, newsletters or social media in an effective manner, then I recommend you take the following steps to bring clarity and help move you forward. I call them the three technology commandments:
Three Technology Commandments
Honor thy brand
The most essential questions to ask yourself when considering a digital medium is, “What is our brand value proposition?” For our firm, part of our value proposition was how we educate our clients and provide thought leadership as experts in our field. We wanted to perpetuate those values and expand our reach. The consideration of a podcast answered the question, “How can we provide more education and value to a larger audience?” Our brand and marketing strategy determined our mediums of consideration. The podcast became just another tool in our larger digital brand toolbelt.
Consider thy audience
It may sound like a simple question, but ask yourself, “Who is your audience?” Our largest market is associations and association professionals. Our market research identified key demographic synergies that would align with a podcast. The people we are trying to reach already listen to other podcasts and are frequent social media users. We recognized a clear need to become more of an influencer on social media, and the podcast was an obvious tool to accomplish that. However, if the people you are trying to communicate with don’t normally listen to podcasts, then you need to find out what medium would reach them best.
Produce quality over quantity
Knowing a podcast would be a good medium, we then asked ourselves, “How can we develop a podcast people would want to listen to?” It’s not just enough to know a podcast has “reach potential.” If it’s not something fun or valuable, no one will subscribe. To this end, we spent several months building out a framework for what the podcast would be like: Would we have a mix of exposition and interviews? What topics would be covered? In what ways can we make it fun and interesting and show our personality? Who would be on our list of interview candidates? How frequently would we publish an episode? The attention to detail should the same as any other marketing or membership communications component because the podcast itself becomes an extension of your organization. If it sounds great, you sound great, but if it doesn’t come across the right way, the podcast can certainly harm more than it helps.
Leverage your podcast strategically
Finally, it’s not about one tool, it’s about using the right ones strategically. Technology comes together when you leverage it properly. Today, 93 percent of buying decisions are influenced by social media. It’s critical to deploy the power of social media in any strategy you deploy.
We launched our Podcast using a platform called Podbean.com that makes it easy to leverage all our social media accounts to create a buzz and get people listening. The episodes are on iTunes, Spotify and all other podcast platforms and are accessible through VSO (Voice search optimization – “Hey Google, play That’s My Financial Guy!”).
We post a good eye-catching photo on Instagram which auto-syncs to Facebook and then use a professional post with a similar photo for our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Synchronicity is essential to minimize the time it takes to manage your efforts.
Each podcast episode transcript can be easily turned into an eBooks or whitepaper using a website called Designrr. Repurposing good content is a must to maximize its value.
When you know your brand and stay true to your organizational values, it’s easier to select and deploy the right digital tools for your association. And if your audience is asking for it, a podcast could be a great step forward. Who knows, maybe a podcast really could change everything for your association!