Thermomix Marketing – How “The 4 Blades” got over 20,000 podcast downloads and over 3000 likes on Facebook
Thermomix is well known for its marketing and sales techniques of powerful, in-person demonstrations, so when I was introduced to Joe Winston, co-author of The 4 Blades blog and podcast, I was a little surprised to find out that web marketing was his passion.
Aside from his obvious enthusiasm, one element of Joe’s story that struck me was his experimentation with podcasting. Particularly with our own Web Marketing That Works podcast in the pipeline, I was keen to find out more.
In this detailed, how-to post, Joe dives into podcasting sharing:
- What is podcasting and why it is the least crowded channel for marketers.
- The 4 most common internal blocks to people starting a podcast.
- An Action list so you can get started right away.
Enter Joe Winston…
If the business world’s new economy is the attention economy then the currency is content. Content marketing is anything but a new idea in the marketing world, however there is one channel that is often overlooked and that is podcasting.
Within 9 months of its launch, The 4 Blades podcast had been downloaded over 20,000 times and generated a 3000 strong Facebook community of engaged and loyal followers. The 4 Blades is not a podcast about celebrity gossip or relationship advice; it’s all about the Thermomix, a high powered German kitchen appliance.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is the common name for the new era of ‘radio shows’ that are playable and downloadable from the internet. These shows are available for listening on demand, rather than the old shows where listeners would have to ‘tune in’ or they would miss it. All podcasts on the iTunes store are free to download and most podcasts can also be played via the show’s website. There are many popular services with which to subscribe to podcasts so that listeners can be alerted when a new episode is available, or even automatically downloaded to a computer or smart phone. ‘Show notes’, provide a written description of what was discussed in the podcast, linking to any resources mentioned during the show. Show notes are great because they allow listening on the go, with the confidence of knowing all resources mentioned can be easily found at a later time.
What makes podcasting such an effective medium?
It’s undeniable that having a website in the current business environment a no-brainer. In fact such a no-brainer that the marketplace to find your website (Google) has become extremely crowded, noisy and hard to earn an audience’s attention. You would be forgiven for thinking that Google is the only search engine that matters, but where else do your customers search for information where the competition is not as fierce? 45 million people are going to iTunes every month to search for something. This represents a great opportunity to be discovered and, with your own show, be seen as a market leader in your niche.
After downloading your podcast for free, your potential customers, fans and clients can take you on long walks on the beach or drives in the car. You can accompany them as they clean or as they go to work. What other medium can get you this much personal time with your target market?
The technical barriers to starting a podcast are lower than ever, but what about those internal barriers?
– ‘What will I talk about?’
– ‘I’m not interesting enough!’
– ‘How do I promote my podcast?’
– ‘No one will listen!’
These are all valid concerns and I’ll talk you through each one of them.
Internal Barrier #1 – What will I talk about?
If you’re in business, you have something to talk about. You can use the same process for podcasting as you do for any sort of content creation like blog posts, website copy or newsletters. Like public speaking, podcasting sets you apart from the competition and sets you up as an opinion leader in your industry. When you speak publicly on any topic your audience tends to think of you as someone who knows what they’re talking about.
This may seem like a huge responsibility, but don’t worry, you’re up for it. Here are a few tips for knowing what your audience wants.
Does your industry or niche have any active forums? With The 4 Blades we regularly check out ‘Forum Thermomix’ to see what everyone is talking about, what burning questions people have or if there are any emerging trends. Many industries have forums of some description, just get googling your industry with the word ‘forum’.
Social Media Monitoring
More and more, when people have a problem needing a solution they turn to social media in an attempt to ‘crowd-source’ a solution. Seeing a common trend in these questions can give you great material to cover in your podcast. Monitoring social media platforms for industry specific keywords is easier than you think. We predominantly use Tagboard which monitors Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Vine and app.net for keywords that have been hash tagged (#). You can also check out Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a web based app that allows you to manage your social media through a dashboard. You can set up lists (streams) made up of particular people or keywords. This allows you to see at a glance what the market and opinion leaders in your industry are talking about across the social media-sphere and if anyone is asking questions that you may be able to solve.
What about the content you already have?
When you’re just starting out there is absolutely no need to re-invent the wheel. Do you have any FAQ’s on your website? You could do an episode discussing each of them. There’s no right or wrong answer for podcasting, you can have a 5 minute show or a 5 hour show. For best results I’d recommend keeping it between 5 and 45 minutes to tie in with a usual commute. If you don’t like talking around a topic you could simply read out your blog posts, as a convenient alternative for the commuters that don’t have time to sit down and read your content from the web. On the flip side, there are heaps of transcription services out there. Once you’ve recorded a podcast you can get all of your episodes transcribed for your website. BOOM! You’ve doubled the content AND Google can read it too!
Internal Barrier #2 – I’m not interesting enough
While I doubt that’s true, if you are worried about your lack of entertainment value or feel uncomfortable in front of a microphone there are still options to suit you! Maybe you have a staff member who loves to talk. Find a co-host who brings out the best in you. Start a show interviewing people that would be of interest to your ideal client. Even if you don’t think you’ve got the skills to interview people, spend a couple of hours researching and find 20 questions which you think would interest your audience. Then, ask these questions to multiple guests, providing their professional perspectives to your ideal clients. Not only can this be a great way to podcast but also to build your professional network. You can then leverage your guests’ networks by asking them to promote the podcast that they were interviewed on.
The first step is to identify the top 10 ‘major players’ in your industry. These don’t necessarily need to be competitors, just find people or businesses that have the same audience that you want. For example a large financial planning firm would have an audience that an Insurance firm would also love. A Cross Fit gym would have an audience that a Paleo Cafe would love to get in front of and so on. Having your own show can open doors to these audiences that could otherwise be unaccessible. By using the aforementioned social media monitoring methods along with staying engaged with anything these people put out through their own channels (website, newsletters etc.) you can pick opportune moments to ‘offer’ to interview them on your show. This might be just before or after the launch of a new product or book. It may be in the lead up to a particular season (e.g. storm season, EOFY, tax time or Christmas,) – whatever may be relevant. Who wouldn’t like the opportunity to promote themselves? See how now you’re ‘offering’ them something of a high perceived value to them rather than ‘asking’ something of them to get in front of their audience. Done properly, you can be promoted to your ideal audience for free and set up as an expert in your industry.
Internal Barrier #3 – How do I promote my podcast?
With any sort of content creation, you need to ‘own’ a time. Whether that be Monday mornings or Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, or whatever day/s you decide. Your audience need to be trained to know when to expect your content. Decide on your schedule and stick to it.
Consistency = Reliability = Trust
Your podcast and Social Media
Whatever you do, make sure you have a channel where your listeners can interact with you. Facebook has been great for us, and because you spend so much (virtual) time with your audience, the engagement barrier has already been broken. It has been my experience that listeners of a podcast are far more comfortable getting in touch with the show as they feel like they ‘know’ you. We LOVE this and we love our listeners. We positively reinforce this from show to show, not only interacting on the Facebook page but bringing up some of the best posts on the podcasts giving our listeners a little bit of that ‘celebrity’ feeling. There really aren’t many channels that can pull on the emotional levers like a podcast can.
[Toby’s note: Our Content Marketing Promotion Template (Free Download) may also help you with this.]
Internal Barrier #4 – What if nobody listens?
That is the concern of every fledgling podcaster. That is essentially the fear of every new business owner… What if nobody buys? Done properly a podcast can be a low cost, high impact lead generation, trust and authority building machine.
You are who Google says you are. By creating a podcast you are increasing your attractiveness to the Google algorithm by creating high quality, unique content on a regular basis (your show notes can be extremely beneficial for this). This means you can own more real-estate for your business name and your keywords, so if customers are finding your business they’ll start to find your podcast.
The 4 Blades podcast’s audience are not the typical market segment that you would expect to listen to podcasts. In fact The 4 Blades is the very first podcast many of our listeners have ever listened to. Bec made a video of how she consumed podcasts to make it a little easier for people to figure out this whole podcast consumption thing.
Now it’s your turn to take action. Firstly, if you aren’t already listening to podcasts jump into iTunes and start downloading some that interest you. Of course, if you’ve got a Thermomix, give The 4 Blades podcast a listen! But you can search for anything, there are podcasts on any topic you can think of.
Here are a few I’m listening to at the moment:
- Small Business Big Marketing
- Two Blokes Talking Tech
- Smart Passive Income
- Cow Corner
- History in Five Minutes
- Mac Power Users
- The Smarter Science of Slim
Check out Tagboard and Hootsuite. When you start using these tools you’ll soon see that there is no shortage of content ideas. As you search, scribble down a few notes that will make up the bones of the first few episodes of your podcast.
Now download Audacity or open up GarageBand [for Mac users] and start recording something. No need to upload it anywhere. Just record something to prove to yourself that you can do it.
Now, armed with your new skills record 3-5 podcasts so that you have some ‘in the can’. Now submit to iTunes and get ready to engage.
Have you had any experiences with podcasting for your own business or personally? Which ones do you listen to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below…