Building an audience is a marketing strategy that has been around for decades. In the early to mid-20th century, Edward Bernays — long considered the father of public relations — built audiences on behalf of his clientele, including politicians like Calvin Coolidge.

To soften President Coolidge’s image, Bernays put together pancake breakfasts and concerts at the White House. These events not only softened Coolidge’s image, but also enabled the president to build his network and gain positive media attention.

Today, building an audience is just as important as it was then, except now we have more tools at our disposal: from YouTube videos to blog posts and social media campaigns, there are more ways than ever to reach millions of people with your own content. My own experience with podcasting has allowed me to broaden my network, strengthen my network, and showcase my command of old-fashioned relationship building combined with modern technology.

Why Podcasting?

Podcasting is one of the most powerful ways to reach people. According to one study, more than half of Americans over age 12 (144 million Americans) have listened to a podcast. It’s estimated that 60 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly. With so many potential listeners, having a podcast can be instrumental for building your audience and growing your business.

Podcasting also positions you or your business as an expert in your field, making your business more appealing to potential customers. Through sharing your expertise and having a deeper audience connection by listening to your voice rather than just reading your words, audience members will come to know, like and trust you. The ease of access and niche topics increase brand awareness on their own, but the intense connection converts listeners into brand advocates by sharing your podcast with friends and family.

How Technology is Helping

Because of the avid listenership and the popularity of home voice assistant devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, podcasting is now an important part of the marketing mix for a modern brand strategy. Home voice assistant devices are making it easier than ever to listen to podcasts, flash briefings and other types of audio content while you’re doing other things in your home, whether it’s getting dressed in the morning, cooking meals, cleaning or relaxing on the couch.

Planning Your Podcast

Like with marketing and public relations, you need a plan for your podcast in order to achieve your goals. It is best to first determine the goals and objectives for your podcast, then you can figure out what equipment you will need, appropriate music and the overall feel of your podcast. Here is a list of what you will need to get started.

The list is long, so let us help with a Marshall Plan for Podcasts. Here is what Kelly Barden has to say about how the Marshall Plan helped MEMIC get their podcast started:

“We would not be ready to launch now and would probably not be ready to launch ever if we had not utilized Nancy, Greg and The Marshall Plan. It is an extensive plan and really has been our guideline for how to do this and how to do it right.”

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