Podcasts are such an alluring marketing tool because they give you the chance to build a very personal relationship with your audience. A social media post, ad or a press release might get seen by more people, but a podcast allows you to speak directly to your prospects through their headphones. Your listeners have downloaded your episode and are spending a significant amount of time engaging with your businesses. By providing interesting and insightful content you can keep that person coming back to your brand.
Databarracks specialises in providing business continuity and disaster recovery services to SMEs in the UK. A lot of enterprises will typically have someone responsible for business continuity within their organisation. For small businesses, without the resources for a full-time business continuity specialist, business continuity planning (BCP) and disaster recovery can seem daunting. This is why we set up The Business Continuity Podcast. To educate listeners on how to develop good BC practices and to give them a chance to hear tips from the best in the business.
We had no experience of producing a podcast, but we knew what we wanted it to be (and importantly) what we didn’t. There are a lot of corporate podcasts out there that are just a veiled sales pitch pushing products. We didn’t want that. We wanted a straightforward, jargon-free discussion with real continuity practitioners who deal with disasters for a living.
To make sure we didn’t slip into that trap we decided to make sure the podcast was distinct from Databarracks, the business. We wanted it to live on its own. While we might have missed having the Databarracks logo branded across each episode, it gave the podcast much more integrity. This separation actually worked in our favour when it came to find willing interviewees. Over the course of the three seasons, we’ve interviewed representatives from the likes of The Economist, TFL, BP and the 2012 Olympics continuity team. We’re not sure if we would have been able to attract the calibre of these guests had we branded it under our own name.
With so many businesses now trying to ride the wave of podcast-popularity, the first question you must ask yourself is how are you going to stand out? The great thing about podcasts is that they can appeal to a very specific niche and just serve that audience. We did our research and couldn’t find anyone doing a Business Continuity podcast so went for it.
Next, make sure the content is useful for the listener. If it’s interesting and helpful, it will be successful, but don’t go in thinking every listener will automatically become a customer. If you’re selling that hard on your podcast, the content can’t possibly be useful. The focus should be on raising awareness and building relationships.
One of the other great things about podcasts is the technical barrier to entry is very low. You can learn the skills quickly and you don’t need expensive, specialist equipment to get started. We tested lots of different microphones: expensive condenser microphones, cheap tie-clip microphones and even recorded straight onto a mobile phone. For interviews in open, loud spaces such as hotel lobbies or trade shows the tie clips actually produced the best quality recording. Sometimes those locations can’t be avoided, but our recommendation would always to find a quiet space with as little background noise as possible. For editing we use Audacity. It’s free, opensource software and widely used by podcasters which means there are a lot of good tutorials online to learn the basics of editing.
Creating the podcast has been a really enjoyable experience for us. Who wouldn’t want to sit down with an expert in their industry and just have a chat for an hour?
It provides us with great, impartial advice from experts that we can share with our customers and prospects and it has led to opportunities we didn’t imagine. We have been invited to speak at events and last year we even won an award for our contribution to helping SMEs develop resilience at the Royal Albert Hall. Through each season of the podcast we’ve learnt different things and how to do things better. That is what we’ve really enjoyed; being able to experiment and have fun, as ultimately that’s what a podcast should be about.
About The Author
Peter Groucutt, managing director, Databarracks