Using Podcasts As A Marketing Tactic

Shweiki Media has teamed up with Douglas Burdett, host of The Marketing Book Podcast where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing. Burdett presents a webinar on how to use podcasts as a marketing tactic to help your organization become better known, liked and trusted.

Before we begin talking about marketing podcast tactics, let’s first review the marketing universe. The marketing world has gone through a lot of changes in recent years. The challenge of marketing has changed from space to attention. Marketing was traditionally space-constrained and could only be obtained in three ways.

  1. Buy attention (Advertising)
  2. Beg for attention from the media (PR)
  3. Bug people one at a time to get attention (Sales)

There are two things that have broken the marketing megaphone: marketing interruption avoidance technology and the Internet.  Marketing interruption avoidance technology is all of those wonderful things consumers can use to filter out marketing messages such as caller id, ad blocking software, DVR, Satellite Radio, podcasts, etc. Internet allows you to build your own audience which many companies are doing effectively. With the Internet, every company is a media company. Also, buyers can do their own research and delay contacting the seller.

Basically, prospects are in a castle with a drawbridge up. Prospects are not going to let you in unless they are interested. This has led to the resurgence of content marketing. Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience–with the objective of driving profitable customer actions. Examples of content marketing tactics include: articles, blog posts, case studies, email, ebooks, surveys, videos, webinars, etc.


What exactly is a podcast? In order to be classified as a podcast, it must fit these four criteria.

  1. An audio file
  2. Published online
  3. Part of a series
  4. Listeners can subscribe

“Podcasts are to audio what TiVo is to TV: a way to watch the shows we want, when we want to.” Tom Webster, Edison Research

Who is the podcast listener?

  • 21% of the population
  • Smartphone users
  • Age skews younger
  • Male/Female=50/50
  • Higher income
  • Highly educated
  • Listen to 6 podcasts a week
  • Active on social media

Some of the most important benefits of podcasting:

  • Establish expertise and authority
  • Build industry connections
  • Grow your audience
  • Intimacy with the listener
  • Less crowded arena

Common Questions about Podcasts

What should your podcast be about?

The most important thing you should consider is the listener. Think about what people are interested in, who you want to attract and what will be most interesting to them.

Podcast should be “an overlap of passions and skill sets we call our zone of genius.” John Lee Dumas,

If you do not have both passion and expertise, then your audience will know and your podcast will not be successful.

How often should you podcast? 

At a minimum, one should podcast weekly. Do not publish more frequently unless you can make the commitment. If the podcast starts off strong but then drops off, it is a disappointment to the audience. Consistency trumps frequency.

How long should each podcast episode be? 

In terms of episode length, size does not matter much because it depends on the content and listener. There are different lengths that popular for different reasons.

  • Under 5 minutes (tips, inspiration)
  • 8-15 minutes (covering one topic in depth)
  • 25-40 minutes (good for commutes, workouts)

What’s the best podcast format?

There are two kinds of formats: interview and topic based.

Pros of Interviews:

  • Guest brings the content
  • Less preparation
  • Relationship building
  • Guests bring audience

Cons of Interviews:

  • Finding guests
  • Scheduling
  • Technical difficulties risk
  • Some guests might stink

Pros of Topic Based:

  • Control (agenda, pace, topic, schedule, etc)
  • Don’t have to find guests
  • More quickly builds authority and credibility

Cons of Topic Based:

  • Create all the content
  • Audience growth is 100% your responsibility
  • Limited to your own knowledge and perspectives

What else is really important for podcasting success?

Marketing is very important to a podcast’s success and many companies do not think of it. When marketing a podcast, it is important to remember that publishing it is only the beginning. You need to leverage podcast directories, guests’ audiences, and existing communities. It is also important to build and use email marketing lists, utilize social media, and pitch relevant media.

Why do podcasts fail?

Most podcasts do not make it past episode 7.  The reason for this is a lack of focus on what the topic is. Podcasts fail because podcasters do not understand the listener, there is a lack of niching and they have unrealistic expectations in regards to time.

What should I do next if I am interested in podcasting? 

There is a free podcast course from John Lee Dumas, Host of He has 23 videos and 20 podcast episodes to listen to. For more information, .

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Douglas Burdett

Douglas Burdett, is the principal and founder of Artillery, a business-to-business marketing agency in Norfolk, Virginia, established in 2001. He is also the host of The Marketing Book Podcast which was listed as the number 2 business podcast on iTunes. LinkedIn has included The Marketing Book Podcast on its “10 Podcasts that Will Make You a Better Marketer in 2016” list.

Prior to starting his own firm, Douglas worked at a Virginia advertising agency for 4 years after working in New York City on Madison Avenue for 10 years at ad industry giants J. Walter Thompson and Grey Advertising.

Before starting his business career, Douglas graduated from VMI, served as a U.S. Army artillery officer in Germany for three years and then earned an MBA.

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