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Integrating Podcasts into a Utility's Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by Allison Sparrow

Tags: Marketing

Once just the realm of audiobooks and underground music, podcasts are becoming mainstream—and they’re increasingly becoming part of companies’ content marketing strategy.

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According to Edison Research, 46 million Americans not only listen to podcasts, but they tune into an average of six a week. And research from Edison and the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that almost two-thirds of those listeners are influenced by the advertising or product promotion they hear on podcasts.

A good content marketing strategy entails multiple media platforms, so it’s no surprise that MarketingDIVE reports that Prudential, Netflix and GE are all creating branded podcasts.

While your content marketing strategy doesn’t need to be as cutting-edge and far-reaching as those of these major corporations, you can still learn lessons from those companies about how to incorporate podcasts into your communications with field staff and trade allies.

Tell a tale
Because podcasts don’t have any visuals, their content is king. A podcast needs to engage the listener, and one of the best ways to do that is to tell a story.

For instance, you could interview a customer about his new coffee shop and how he brainstormed with his employees about innovative efforts to reduce energy use. Or how a trade ally partnered with your utility to increase the solar footprint of a tiny-home housing project in your city.

The trick is to tell a compelling story that highlights your brand message—for instance, innovation or commitment to community. But be subtle. The story should engage listeners without obviously promoting your business.

Vary the length
Most people think of podcasts as being half-hour or even hour-long engagements. But a quick-hitting, three-to-five-minute tale can be more engaging for listeners who don’t have the time or attention span to listen to more.

You can also piggyback your short podcasts off of each other. Try doing a series on interesting things your staff discovers while out in the field. End one podcast with a brief promo for the next one, and your listeners may be engaged for the length of a traditional webinar.

Include your employees and partners
Hiring a marketing agency to produce your podcasts obviously costs money. Producing a podcast in-house can take time and expertise your staff may not have. So why not give your trade allies an opportunity to create their own podcasts about their relationship with your business?

You’d need to make sure the podcast adheres to your company goals and vision. But including your trade allies will help strengthen your network and also allow them to better understand your brand and motivations.

Marketing the podcast
Consider releasing your podcasts on a consistent day or week each month, so staff and trade allies know when to look for them. You can promote the podcasts in your company newsletter, network communications or blog.

If your business has an app, you can upload your podcasts. Otherwise, consider an email blast with a link so that your field staff and trade allies can easily download new podcasts to their smartphones or tablets.

 

Do you have an online marketplace and are interested in attracting customers? Our new e-book How To Effectively Market Your Utility's Online Store can help. 

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