Technology and digital marketing is coming full circle once again with radio podcasts coming onto the scene. Podcasts broadcasting live on the radio is not bad thing, but there are some points that might not fit your digital marketing goals. These radio pitfalls are often not seen readily like the following: the content and the type of audience which can sometimes lead to brand confusion between the radio station and the podcaster. The fact the radio shows involve no tech is appealing to many, especially to new podcasters, but there is a need to know what they are getting into and what they will be getting into once they decide to part ways with the station. Learn more of the podcast pros and radio show cons and why there should always be an exit strategy from the very start.
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The Pros and Cons of Radio Podcast and Brand Podcast
We didn’t want you to wait for this because we have gotten so many people in our Facebook feed talking about this and we didn’t want to wait. We want to get the info out to you right away. We actually have our customer who came to us who has been podcasting for 80 episodes or something as a radio show live at a certain time every week and then it’s been repurposed as a podcast. We had another one in our feed who is considering going and applying to be a radio podcast host. We were like, “There are so many pitfalls and so many considerations and some things that you need to do smartly if you’re going to go down that road.” There are pros and cons to it. We want to talk a little bit about that. We really also want to make sure that you are signing the dotted line with the radio shows or the blog talk shows and doing and asking for the right things. It can make it harder later for you to get the full value out of it.
Some people pay for their shows and some people are paid to do it in a way. They get a reciprocal affiliation for however many listeners they have. There are different ways to go about it, but sometimes they have some pitfalls for you personally as a brand and we really want to make sure you’re aware of those things. There’s nothing wrong with broadcasting your podcast live on the radio if you’re into it. There are some obvious pros and cons. If you’re going to do it live as a radio show once a week or whatever your time interval is, the reality is you have to be available at that time to do it every single week. Your schedule has to be worked around that. That can be very limiting. That’s one of the things I like about podcasting in the traditional way, not doing it live is that you can do it whenever you want. Also there’s that great appeal to radio because it’s broadcast. They provide the audience for you. There is no tech involved. That’s the one I get the most from people who are doing it. They’re like, “I don’t have to do anything but call in or dial in or do whatever it is, Skype in,” if that’s the case of how it works.[Tweet “You want to make sure you own the content so you can use it to your benefit.”]
We are just making sure that these things are considerations for you. It’s time and that’s the big thing that we are here about at Feed Your Brand and what we have done in our businesses. If you’re spending time recording these things, you’re spending time doing them, then you need to get full value out of that time spent. It goes further than the radio show. That’s really where we want to bring the attention to you is that you may not be able to get full value from it if you haven’t set some smart things in place. What are those smart things you need to set in place? Let’s talk about ownership. Who owns the content? In the case where you’re a paid host which happens in cases and we have clients who do that, when you’re paid host for a radio station, you do not own the content. You don’t own the rights to replay it. This happens a lot on the TV channel ones too like YouTube where you’re working in somebody else’s YouTube stations. It can go TV and not just radio. You don’t necessarily own the content. There are as probably as many different agreements as there are host of radio shows. Maybe some of you do, but we found oftentimes some people think they have the rights to their content to use it in other ways and they really don’t. The number one thing, you want to make sure you own the content so you can use it to your benefit.
Sometimes there are limitations. In my Inc. column, I have a two-week limitation. I can’t repost the entirety of the article anywhere for two weeks and then when I do it, I have requirements. I have to link back to the original article. I have to give Inc. credit. There’s a series of things that I have to do once I do that. I do have rights to my content, my words that I wrote, after two weeks from its original of going live. Understanding what’s in your contract or what’s in whatever you sign in your agreement with the radio show or the blog talk show is really important for you to make sure that you put in place from the beginning and read that fine print. If you don’t understand it, get someone who does and maybe talk to somebody else who’s been on that station before. That’s always helpful if you know one of the other hosts. Sometimes you have content usage limits. You can re-link to the article, you can post a brief but you’re not allowed to put a transcription from the airing of the radio show. You’re not allowed to do that. You’re not allowed to take the audio and edit out the commercials and put it on your station or on your own website or in your own podcast. That’s where it starts to maybe limit what you want to do with all of those materials. In some cases, be a waste of money because you can’t repurpose and you can’t reuse it so you don’t want to send everyone to that radio station all the time.
I know it seems really easy that they’re going to produce it. All you have to do is call in or log in or whatever and then they’re going to take care of it. There are some truth to that, but recognize that you may be giving up things if you’re going to do that. It all seems great when everybody is happy. You are recording every week, the show is going out. It’s when the separation happens, when you want to move on from the radio show where things can get really dicey and I want to make sure we talk about that. Let’s talk about a couple of the other things that consideration. We mentioned timing, you have to be there. It’s a specific hour that you have to do. A lot of times, with a lot of the shows that you pay for, you pay to have it produced. If you don’t show for your hour or you’re going to cancel the hour, you still pay for it. You pay for that minimum of four shows a month no matter what happens. You’re going to still pay even if you take a vacation day. That becomes cumbersome for a lot of people which definitely does not fit my style or my schedule at all. That’s one of the reasons why when we thought and decided what we are going to do, podcasting became the logical choice for us, straight podcasting because of its time flexibility. It means we can record in one day everything for the month and that’s super easy for us. That’s a consideration.
Let’s talk audience transfer and then we’ll talk about how you get the files and you do some of these things from a technical perspective. Audience, a lot of times the radio station because they have such a broad range of shows, they may not actually have a broad enough audience for you. It sounds great that they have millions of listeners and isn’t that fantastic? If it’s not millions of listeners interested in your particular topic, is that going to transfer into giving you more business and giving you the visibility you need and giving you more for the time spent? One of my concerns always is like, “Is it the right audience?” Especially if you’re doing it on a true radio station and not a blog radio. You’re in a true radio station that is broadcasting within a particular region. Do you do a lot of local business in the San Diego region or do you do a lot of business in the Dayton, Ohio region? When you think about those things, does that make sense for you and what you want to accomplish? If it does, then perfect. It might be great for you. The other part of that is like, “The blog talk shows are all about entrepreneurs and I’m really talking to real estate professionals.” It may not be a match to the kind of people you want to attract. Look carefully at that because just more listeners, does not mean more business for you.
I’m not a big fan of the Internet Radio, Blog Talk Radio or any of these types of programs because they’re trying to have content that they own, that’s in their network that attracts people to go listen to their platform instead of another platform. The way that we’ve been experiencing the trends happening for listens to podcast, to audience for podcast growing, the trend is definitely moving away from a set scheduled show at a certain time even if it’s recorded that you can watch afterwards. People, by and large, want to go to the biggest distribution channels for content that they can watch any show in and not limit themselves going to a smaller organization that has less choices. I really don’t see that changing and there being a significant benefit to being on someone else’s network or platform as a radio show. The only exception I see to that is if you’re someone that really needs to have things organized for you and having that pending live time once a week coming at that certain time and a producer who helps produce it for you and force you to do it. Otherwise, you’re not disciplined enough and it’s not meant to be a criticism but you really are not the type of person that can be organized enough to record at any old time you want. If you never record, then maybe that would be a bad thing.
Thinking about that audience is being really critical to you. You want to transfer that audience to you at some point. You want them to join your membership group, sign up for your email list, friend you on Facebook, whatever the goals are for where you want to transfer that to. We see a lower level of transfer happening from the blog shows. If you like a certain blog talk network or a blog talk radio channel where they have multiple shows and you’re considering going on with them, go on some of their other shows as a guest. Check it out. Try it out. See how it is. See if you get anyone to follow your call to action, to friend you on Facebook from that. See what kind of transfer you get as a guest because a guest is an expert. Theoretically, they should get just as good a mix of transfer as the host themselves. The host has the repeat so that will happen again and again and again for them.
What I found because I’ve done tons of podcast interviews where I’m the guest and tons of radio show interviews and I have found personally that I got less from the radio show and more from the podcast interactions that I did. There is more action taken by the podcast listeners than there is. Many of the shows do transfer and put you on a podcast, give you a podcast link. There are two kinds here and that’s one of the audience transfer problems you have. They create an iTunes page for you. You’ve got your show on iTunes and that’s great and everything. You don’t get those subscribers. iTunes keeps those subscribers. They’re still not your listeners, they are iTunes’ listeners. You have to be careful in that. The second problem that happens is some shows put a global show with every single one of their radio shows, definitely do not agree to that. Whatever happens, you need your own icon, your own show unless all those shows are focused on exactly the same audience. They’re all about the same type of thing and so you’re all going to trade in getting that great audience. You’re going to end up like one of the many and you don’t want to be that. You want to be the authority.
Here’s my biggest issue for you being the authority. At Feed Your Brand and at Brandcasters, we’re all about podcasting to market and grow your business. This is about spreading your unique perspective and sharing your message with the world, but you also want to get something out of it. You want to build a large following, you want to add to your email list, you want to have a market to sell your books or teaching courses, programs, products. It could be many different things. In order to do that, you really need to have the traffic come to your domain, to come to your website. Here’s one of the things that happens with some of these networks is, they’ll put you on iTunes, “They’re taking care of that for you. How wonderful.” The problem is when you go to that iTunes listing, there is a link to the website for the show and all too often, in these radio situations, that link is going to the radio show’s website. They’re capturing the web traffic and also when it’s promoted on Facebook or LinkedIn, the links for that are going to the radio show’s website. That really doesn’t help you.[Tweet “Social media is a wonderful thing. You use it but you want to be bringing people back to your site.”]
As podcasters, you build this audience who learns to know, like and trust you and wants to hear more from you. What happens is, you want to engage them on your website, in your domain. The only way to do that is have full control and full rights of it. That link on iTunes page should go to your website. Every link for every episode should link to your website. Social media is a wonderful thing. You use it, but you want to be bringing people back to your site. Have your complete control over your audience or at least have every opportunity to engage with that audience on your turf basically. You want them to see the side bar, buy into your programs, find out how else they can connect with you. You just want that to happen and that’s what the radio show wants too. That’s why they want you there because they want to drive more eyes there and that way they get more ads, they get more dollars from those ads and all of that. They have the same goals, but it’s contradictory to you transacting business with a core audience, it’s distracting. It can have a lot of brand confusion too. You’re in business to promote yourself as an individual or as a company, as a brand in some way, shape or form.
We see some people who do it really great. I love Aaron Young and Michelle Young’s show. They do a great job there. The show is called The Unshackled Life. They’re doing a great job there and it works out. It’s a wonderful network that they’re on there because it’s all entrepreneurs. It’s all focused on that and they are thought leaders in that. They’re putting themselves out there like that. That works really well for them and that is a good situation. It may not be working for everyone of you and that’s what you really have to develop for yourself and do it. I will say the only place that I watched their show though was on Facebook. I’m not going to this radio show’s website. I don’t know how many people are. I’d be interested to know that. That’s another thing. Where is that transacting that’s really valuable to them? Those are the things that you need to evaluate and so check that out and see how that works before you sign on the dotted line.
As any relationship, business or otherwise, it has a beginning, middle and an end; remember there is an end. That’s where we’ve been picking up the pieces lately. When you get into it, make sure you know what you’re getting into and what you’re going to have to deal with when you get out of it. We’ve had a lot of trouble where somebody decides to part ways with this radio show producer and they immediately shut down their show on their website. It’s like on their website, you’re dead to them. That can be very difficult. All of a sudden, your podcast is no longer on iTunes and you want to continue it maybe, like our customer who contacted us and wants to continue their podcast on their own. They need to work hard to get their old episode media so it could be relisted on iTunes. A lot of the assets, the cover art and other details were hard for them to get. The worst part though is the listing on iTunes. You want to continue that because you have a lot of subscribers that are listening to you all the time and you want to maintain those subscribers. You don’t want to make it difficult for them to find you again. The last thing you want to do is list a new one. You need an exit strategy from the beginning and you don’t always think about it. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of technical. If you’re going into Blog Talk Radio or you’re going into the radio show with no technical skills, the exit strategy part is technical. You may not know that you didn’t have the rights to it. You don’t have the ability to get your files. You don’t know how you’re supposed to do it and you go, “Budget-wise, I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore,” and you stop paying and now all of a sudden your content is literally gone off of it.
Luckily for this one client, we caught this where it was still cached and still labeled to be caught and we were still able to get it all out of there. It could have been tight, we were a little worried there. There’s a narrow window of time you have in order to have that continuity so that people don’t have to re-subscribe to your show. It’s hard enough to get those subscribers the first time. To get them to subscribe twice to the same show can be very challenging. If somebody else lists your show on iTunes for you and they’re providing the hosting of the podcast, they’re providing the RSS feed, which is a URL that you give to iTunes. That’s how they get your shows. You have to make sure that whoever has created that RSS feed is going to willingly provide you a redirect to your new feed and that’s how people will not have to re-subscribe. You can start serving the podcast from somewhere different. The URL that’s provided to iTunes doesn’t change and you’ll have continuity, but it’s not always that easy. Sometimes you scramble trying to contact someone at the company, “I need to redirect. I need to redirect,” and just getting them to even take your call when you’re no longer a customer can be really tricky. These are the things that we’re dealing with sometimes picking up the pieces for others.
We just wanted to put this out there as fast as possible so that you have this information and you can really consider how you’re approaching this and what you’re doing and then maybe plan some smart controls in place, and be aware that when you’re ready to exit, call us, call someone. Call someone with the right technical skills and do it before you say goodbye to your host or your radio contract or whatever you do. Absolutely nothing wrong with distributing your podcast through every possible distribution channel out there especially if they’re free and most of them are to list them. Put it out everywhere. Just make sure that you are in control and you own it. I do want to mention one that you have to be really careful of the contracts on and how you get your content. iHeartRadio is incredibly restrictive in some ways and the way that it works. If you do have an iHeartRadio Show, be aware of that. If it’s an iHeartRadio first show, be aware of that. You can rebroadcast, it’s totally different that way. If it’s first on there, be really careful of that. Be cautious of that if you’re headed into that situation on your show.
I think people really think, “There’s a network out there like iHeartRadio and that’s going to build my show more quickly. They have an audience, there’s a draw.” Somehow that gives more credibility to your show. We are all struggling to get more clients, get more listeners, get more members, get whatever more of whatever we need in terms of lead generation. It’s the biggest problem in every business I talk to. Tapping your way out there, finding new venues for that to happen is really important. What we found is that when you’re in some of these where it is not important to them who you are, it’s just important that they have more people, more members, more content. More for them does not translate to more for you. The right match of those things is critically important for you.
If you own your own content and everything is on your site and you’re driving everyone there and you’re rebroadcasting, you’re in other directories and you’re out there, that’s really great. We encourage that. We do that for our clients here. We put them on TuneIn, which is the Alexa device. We make sure that it’s convenient. Google Play, lots of people don’t even know that Google Play has a whole podcast section just like iTunes does. It gets played a lot there. We have a growing section there. There is Stitcher, there are many, many directories. They’re just directories of podcast that people find cool and they might have ones in your niche like all the health and wellness podcast are all together. Some people put a directory together of those and the listings don’t cost you. They’re free and they’re there. Get yourself out there and get yourself listed in as many as possible. We try to keep that up on the major directories for our clients and we provide that technical service because it is technical for the most part. The other part is just building relationships with great groups to rebroadcast your message or share it.
It really has been our experience that even if you are just starting out as a podcaster and you have 100 fans, subscribers, listeners who are yours, that engage with you, come to your website, opt-in in what you have, they are much more valuable than a thousand that are just out there off some other network that are perusing the content and watching from time-to-time. You really can build a very valuable following community network of fans who really want to listen to what you have to say in a relatively short period of time. The traffic value that you can get to your website and all of the value that that brings you is really significant and meaningful. We see it with many different clients in many different ways depending on what kind of business they’re in whether it’s real estate or they’re a doctor or they’re a consultant. There are many, many different ways that we measure success, but it is actually working and transacting for them in business.
We’re here as resources to you. We want Feed Your Brand to be as helpful as possible. We want you to avoid pitfalls. We want to give you the stuff that’s working really well for podcasters out there, for brandcasters, for bloggers. It goes farther. Remember, we are always talking about brandcasting means that you’re blogging and if you’re creating good SEO, good Google links, you’re podcasting. You’re getting stuff out there in audio, maybe you’re videocasting. That’s a choice. Some people just are not comfortable on video. Video is a growing important part of that as well. We want to find other ways to post on social and do some of these things that are just getting your messages heard and creating that so that you really start with one core thing that you do. Whether that’s record your radio show or record your podcast or record your video. It doesn’t matter if you start from one thing and everything else flows from that and you get multi-platform value from everything you do. Content marketing, that’s what this is.
We just want to make sure to expose you the ways. This is the thing about us. We have three kids, we have a busy life. We run a business together. We’re in this to make sure that everything works as optimum as possible. We would not keep podcasting for more than two and a half years, over 500 episodes on one of our shows and we have started this one and another one. We wouldn’t be doing that if it wasn’t working. That’s really where we want to really show you the best practices, and we also want to share with you where it’s working for people that are much more like you. Maybe your business isn’t like ours and you’re worried that it won’t work for you. We want to share those and show those techniques for you that are working. That’s our ultimate goal here.
If we can help you, if you have any questions or anything you want to share, things that you want us to cover in this podcast, please let us know. Share with us on Facebook, @FeedYourBrand and always go to the website FeedYourBrand.co and you can leave a message there as well. We’ll be back with another episode of Feed Your Brand.
- The Unshackled Life
- Internet Radio
- Blog Talk Radio
- Tracy’s Inc. column
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