Are podcasts easier to sell than to produce?

As mentioned in a post last week, I’ve been considering recommending to one of my clients that they produce a podcast, but have refrained from doing so until I convince myself that a podcast would be a practical and beneficial undertaking for this company. I floated the idea past the marketing consultant who directs the company’s marketing communications efforts and she was unreservedly enthusiastic. She has a general and vague idea of what a podcast is, but at least knows that its one of those Web 2.0 things that’s getting a lot of buzz these days. What’s not to like? she seemed to say. She wants to see a proposal.

Her reaction reaffirms what I believe is one of the most appealing aspects of podcasting as a marketing communications “product:” It’s one of those things, like blogging and web video, that businesses think they ought to be doing to be “cutting edge.” And since I am ultimately in the business of selling and manufacturing marketing communications products — print, broadcast and online ads, web content, video, etc.— adding podcast production to my list of services has great appeal, because:

• It seems relatively easy to get clients excited about podcasting. Even if they don’t know what podcasting is, they like the sound of it. And it sounds more affordable than video.

• Podcasts are far simpler to produce than other “cutting edge” assets, such as web video, and seem less cumbersome to business executives than doing their own blog. As a sole proprietor, I like that I could realistically produce a client’s podcast without enlisting outside resources. I can’t do that with video. I wouldn’t even attempt to create a web page for a client without a graphic designer.

• Podcasts have higher perceived value than, say, a comparable amount of content on a web page or in a brochure. And they are far less of a commodity than other marcom tools, and so potentially more profitable.

I’ve talked myself into doing the proposal.

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