If you’re looking for strategies to elevate your company’s thought leadership, consider podcasts. With podcasts exploding in popularity and number, landing a company representative a guest spot can be one of your most valuable digital successes. In some cases, prioritizing one good podcast over 10 separate pieces of content can immensely benefit your company. Keep these suggestions in mind when proactively identifying podcasts to express thought leadership.
Entertain both paid and unpaid podcast opportunities
Many businesses find the idea of paying for thought leadership opportunities with podcasts to be a nonstarter. While it’s true that your company could find another podcast that would happily host a guest without a financial commitment, don’t discount a podcast just because it’s a paid opportunity.
If the host is an industry thought leader, or if his or her audience is hyper-relevant—and especially if the podcast drives a considerable number of downloads—why wouldn’t you pay to be in the ears of the right people? Divide the investment by the number of listens or leads as you would with digital advertising, and you’ll know whether the potential return is worth the investment.
A small listenership isn’t an insignificant listenership
I worked with a tech startup with a well-informed subject matter expert (SME) in a rapidly expanding field, and one of our objectives was to promote her thought leadership in that field. We found a hyper-relevant podcast whose guests and hosts dovetailed nicely with the SME’s expertise, and we were confident that she could contribute valuable insights to the conversation. However, the podcast had fewer than 100 downloads per month.
While the downloads were minimal, the podcast and client were growing, so we saw every reason to engage. Even though its listenership was in the nascent stages, the podcast had a spot-on niche, and ultimately, the guest spot proved to be a win for both the podcast and our client.
The podcast’s impact doesn’t end when it’s over
A podcast episode’s lifespan doesn’t end after the sign-off. Though the episode may only last 30 minutes, there’s a lot more juice that can be squeezed from it. Promote the podcast on social media and your website, and consider that the podcast entity will do the same. The exposure multiplies quickly.
And keep in mind that the podcast now functions similarly to a news article; you can quote it or reference it. The episode is teeming with sound bites that you can convert into social quote cards, reference in speeches or link to from other digital materials. You can also repurpose the episode into a blog or a bylined article based on the whole episode or just one salient narrative. Or, think even more long-term, and create a blog series out of the episode.
Titles and experience don’t guarantee a good podcast guest
Sometimes, companies think they can only offer a CEO or other high-ranking executive as a podcast guest. Unless the podcast is called “Chats with CEOs,” that’s not necessarily true. Your company has many experts in many fields: HR leaders, marketing gurus, design experts, etc. Because podcasts continue to grow in number and niche podcasts are becoming more commonplace, there’s a podcast for anyone and everyone.
Similarly, the employee with the most knowledge and experience doesn’t necessarily enjoy the spotlight or possess the desire to share insights with listeners. Podcast guests should be comfortable with a mic, embrace the opportunity to share narratives, and dispense advice and dialogue easily and willingly.
When determining podcast guests, consider employees across your company. Each department holds its own knowledge, respective skill sets and areas of expertise. If you’re a cybersecurity company, the obvious choice would be to propose a security practitioner for a cybersecurity podcast — and you should! But what about the marketing team that digitally exposes millions of people to the company every day through award-winning campaigns? If your company has done something outstanding to further its goals, showcase it. Featuring these stories can result in visibility, leads or even talent recruitment.
Expressing thought leadership via podcasts is a multi-win situation, making it possible for companies to gain credibility by offering advice or ideas in the cycle of thought exchange for customers, prospects, and other valuable audiences. In the end, thought leadership is thought leadership. Consider it in all forms, and know that a good conversation is always invaluable.