Things are always changing, and this is especially true in content marketing. Podcast content strategy is still wide open to get your brand, message, or business out there. If you're in this field, you'd be aware that the internet runs on content. With regards to lead generation and attracting the right traffic with SEO savvy, the rules change often.
Add to this a bewildering array of potential channels for content, it's no wonder that navigating this terrain can seem difficult. With so many bright shiny objects everywhere, many of us lose our way.
I. A Podcast Content Strategy Avoids Digital Sharecropping
We've seen exhausted clients pour all of their efforts into “rented” social media platforms, posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium, Twitter, YouTube and other channels. To them, it seems like they are doing the right thing. They gravitate to where they feel their audiences' attention is.
Nothing seems wrong with that. But often there is a lack of underlying strategy. More on that in a minute.
Meanwhile, our clients' website's content often lies neglected. It is no longer at the center of their efforts or content they publish. For most clients, social media seems so much easier than blogging. The occasional viral attention gained appears more attractive than building a body of authority content - a convenient and sexy shortcut.
The issue is that social media content has a limited life span. It disappears up Facebook's or Twitter's timeline. Thus it serves no real purpose in growing a website, domain authority and SERP rank. The social posts need to refer to and drive traffic and engagement back to the central website.
The social networks fight this tooth and nail, they want ALL engagement to take place on their own platforms.
So what's the solution?
I won't pretend to have all the answers, but in the last couple of years we have discovered a self-generating content strategy that seems to works well for the “content marketing” challenged: Podcasting as a Content Strategy.
This might surprise you, or you may think of it as another content fad; but hang on for a minute and allow me to explain the often surprising benefits.
II. Podcasting is a Self Generating Content Strategy
Instead of laboring over creating blog content, our clients interview other people in their field. They love doing it, it’s fun, energizing and not as time consuming as blogging. They jump on a Skype call, hit the record button and discuss a topic they and their guest find energizing, and voilà: original content.
I’m not saying it’s easy or less work, but it’s a less intense effort for clients. They focus on recording a meaningful conversation, and we, as their podcasting partner, take care of the rest. For example, we use a transcription service and edit these conversations, and have an almost instant 5,000+ word article. We then apply both technical and other SEO optimizations - in fact the topics and episode titles are based on SEO research and low competition key phrases in the first place.
Podcasting can serve as the missing center for a multi channel strategy
Once a podcast is recorded, the show notes become the central business asset from which all multi-channel and social media efforts emanate. So yes, we still do “traditional” social media content distribution campaigns to share and boost the podcast show-notes. But that’s only the beginning.
We often produce videos from our podcast episodes. There are some automation tools that help us. These transform audio into video. Later, we publish these episodes on YouTube, DailyMotion and other social video channels.
For an example of this audio video combo, check out our episode about "Podcast Guesting".
And for a completely automated tool that converts audio into video, check out a tool called “Headliner”. It produces audiograms and even adds relevant images and slides to the videos. In our previous post, Podcast Audiogram Alternatives For Promotion and Visual Storytelling, we are excited to show how we now use the Invideo platform as our video platform of choice.
Social Content Platform Syndication:
We syndicate the content to platforms with existing engaged audiences and built-in internal search engines, for example Medium, Blogger, Facebook Stories or LinkedIn.
Michael Seltzner’s “Social Media Examiner” team recently cancelled 3 Facebook video shows. He moved them from Facebook to YouTube. Why? Because the data shows that videos longer than 1-2 minutes penalize your Facebook page rank. So when publishing video to Facebook, the idea is to take 15-45 seconds from the podcast video episode and publish it as “teaser content“ with subtitles. I’m still working on automating this part of the process.
Syndication And Content Distribution Automation:
We use a smart and affordable content syndication and distribution platform from a Belgian company called StoryChief. The reason I like it so much is that it can publish natively to multiple platforms (like Wordpress, Drupal etc.), and supports podcast player embeds.
What’s smart about it is their use “rel=canonical” tags. You get to decide where your primary content should live. For those unfamiliar with this tag, it lets search engine indexing bots know where to apply the SERP rank credit and link juice. This way, your podcast show notes will rank pointing to your site, NOT to Medium or other platforms.
Podcast directories RSS syndication:
Promoting a podcast requires submission to dozens of podcast directories. These directories will automatically link to each published episode and your primary website. This results in a valuable SEO benefit, namely, links from high domain authority sites.
III. Podcasting as SEO Cornerstones
A lot of podcasts tackle content themes. In podcast parlance, these can be thought of as "Seasons". For example on an SEO podcast, you might focus on "Technical SEO" in Season 1, and "Link Building Techniques" in Season 2.
This is the genesis of a cornerstone strategy. You cross link this content to other important long form content pieces on your site. Such content will naturally rank higher because of the relevance of all participating articles. Furthermore, we have seen this content rank very quickly.
Podcast Guesting as a Lead Generation & SEO Link Building Initiatives
For people not interested in launching their own podcast, “Podcast Guesting” is an alternative. It results in effective link building, lead generation and launch strategy for any business. For example, this method has become a very popular book launch technique. The idea is that you find relevant podcasts in your niche and then run an outreach campaign to approach the hosts of these podcasts to invite you on as a guest.
Benefit: Intimacy With Your Ideal Audience
The first set of big benefits include getting to talk to your ideal and relevant audience when they are in a receptive mode. Think about what people are doing when listening to their favorite podcast, the one you are appearing on. They are likely commuting, working out, going for a walk. The modality is very different from interrupting an audience in the middle of browsing through their Facebook feed.
This is why Podcast Listeners are such a lucrative audience. And you get to present your core ideas to them.
Benefit: SEO Back-Links
The second big benefit is SEO related. Each podcast you appear on will create show notes that feature highly valuable back-links to your site and product or launch. SEO agencies charge a lot for high Domain Authority back-links. And the link building process can be onerous.
You can automate the outreach campaigns, or you can hire agencies to do this for you. We have a free downloadable podcast guesting outreach automation system for this, including outreach email templates and mail merge tools. To learn more how these campaigns can be automated for free, check out our podcast guesting system and templates.
Podcasting Benefits Summary
Our clients love having a podcast. It helps them re-connect with content as their own business asset. “Having a show” re-introduces a strategic purpose and promotes content discipline. Our clients keep on a weekly schedule much more easily than when they were just “blogging”.
The ROI is in lead generation and list building and SEO. A year into their podcasting journey, most our clients with medium sized shows get 65% of their traffic and leads from organic search and podcast listeners. These are for keywords they would otherwise have to pay $1,000's a month for on Google AdWords.