What can podcasting add to your value proposition?

22 November 2023 by
Memcom, Rachel Appleton

If ramping up your audio visual content is a priority for 2024, we’re confident you’ll find that podcasting can make a significant contribution to the membership marketing mix. Of course, you may already be broadcasting a podcast series. (In which case you’ll be looking for ways to take that to the next level… about that later.) But if not then podcasting can be a relatively low cost and agile entry level platform to amplify key messages, foster community and get your organisation's voice heard above the crowd.

Podcasts soared in popularity during lockdown, and audiences’ enthusiasm for audio content shows no sign of abating. But if at first glance the global statistics seem somewhat overwhelming – the latest count indicates around 5m podcasts in the world with more than 700m episodes between them – don’t be deterred. As a membership organisation with a strategic approach to content creation – and a wealth of gold-standard content to boot – you’re unlikely to podfade if you stick to the principles that guarantee engagement.

Membership podcasts work well for the same reasons that all member content has a head start to success when it’s underpinned by deep audience understanding. No organisation is better placed to create content that’s incredibly relevant and tailored to your membership’s needs. Honing in on the topics and themes that you know are important and that can make a genuine difference to listeners’ lives. And in the new era of hybrid working podcasts remain a more intimate way to help membership audiences feel connected and stay informed than purely written communications.

The best B2B podcasts tap into conversations that are already happening within the membership group and the wider business community, enabling listeners to benefit from the insights, opinions and experiences of peers and experts on topics of interest. And we know that time-poor members value the ability to further their professional knowledge and engage with their industry at their leisure – whether commuting, going to gym or walking the dog.

From the point of view of professional bodies themselves, podcasts are a compelling way to establish thought leadership and take the competitive edge. They can open new revenue streams too. So always consider whether your audio content has the potential for monetisation. This could be through sponsorship by a supplier wishing to increase its brand exposure to your membership. Or a more deeper involvement when a representative of the brand is part of the discussion. The level of interaction will depend on the topic or theme.

Inspired to start recording? To make sure you head off in the right direction, here are some tips from around the Redactive team: 

Kellie Williams 
Digital editor IOSH magazine, and host, IOSH magazine Podcast

Brief your interviewee. Agree the themes, angles and directions of questions in advance to keep the discussion moving without too many pauses for thought. But don't make it too polished, audiences want to hear authenticity.

Rob Dabrowski
Editor, The Biomedical Scientist, and co-host IBMSPod

Be conversational. Podcasting is a very different skill from straight interviewing. It's not about getting answers and grilling people – you want to take the audience on a journey where they enjoy the experience as much as they value the information they take away.

Jon Watkins
Group Head of Content, Finance, and host, FSB Podcast

Keep it concise and keep it practical. Focus on the value for the audience – ask yourself: ‘how is this content going to help them broaden their knowledge or do their jobs better?’

Joanne Perry
Editor IOSH magazine

Harness the special beauty of audio. Your podcast audience is able to consume more than just words. They can hear the personalities of the speakers, their reactions to what is being said and the emotional content of anecdotes. You can actually ‘hear’ someone smile!

Deniz Arslan
Commercial Projects Manager

Grab snippets and visual sound bites. Get the most from each episode by creating promotional teasers that can be distributed on social channels to amplify the content and reach audiences beyond your membership.

For membership organisations already well practised at podcasting, one final thought. At Redactive we’re committed to getting the most from every great content idea – across every appropriate platform and channel. That’s why – when the opportunity arises and the budget is available – we recommend videoing your podcast, and preferably in a professional studio setup.

It’s a relatively untapped approach – stats from the IndiePod Census 2023 show that only 11% of respondents record video and publish the full episode while 32% don’t record video and have no plans to. But we’re finding the option to watch a podcast recording is being warmly received among our membership portfolio. As you can see from these episodes from Public Finance podcasts for CIPFA and the IFoA’s The Actuary magazine, helping to put faces to those familiar voices that, episode-by-episode, become trusted and valued friends.

If you would like to find out more about how Redactive can help boost your audio and visual output, please get in touch. And as the membership sector’s leading publishing agency, of course we would also be happy to discuss our innovative approaches to boosting the effectiveness of your written words too!

Redactive is the UK’s most successful publishing, events and content marketing agency specialising in member organisations. We work with more than 45 member organisations providing editorial, design, digital, events and commercial solutions.

Memcom, Rachel Appleton 22 November 2023
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