Tucked away in the pages of a recent social media marketing report is a little-used social media platform that appears poised to make leaps and bounds in the coming year. Podcasts—digital media files made available for download and produced in a series, much like a radio program—are currently used only by about 6% of marketers, as measured in a survey of 2,800 marketers. But 21% of marketers plan on getting in involved in podcasting this year—more than a threefold increase. Podcasts are easy, cost-effective to produce, and can be consumed at any time anywhere in the world. They are a great promotional tool that can supplement your current digital marketing efforts. Read on to learn how your law firm can start podcasting and what benefits you can expect from a podcast.
One of the greatest things about podcasting is that it requires very little overhead. To get started, all you need is the following equipment:
- Recording and mixing software
- Internet access
In addition to hardware and software, you’ll also need somebody from your firm to host the podcast. Choose someone who is articulate and has a good-sounding speaking voice. Depending on time constraints, it might make more sense to alternate hosts. Although you could hire a professional, this would undercut one of the principal benefits of podcasting: building a strong bond with your listeners.
After you’ve made an initial equipment investment, you’ll also need to make a bit of a time investment to master the technology and the production. As for how often you should be creating a new episode, shoot for a minimum of once monthly. Remember that a podcast host is much like a radio host. You rely on a loyal listenership, and to have that, you need consistency. Many popular podcasts create a new episode per week, or even twice or three times weekly. Keep in mind, however, that your podcast library will grow in time, and the longer you produce, even if it’s only once monthly, the more episodes you’ll have available for download.
Benefits of a Law Firm Podcast
Here’s why you should consider adding podcasts to your social media mix:
- Content variety: The most effective digital marketing strategies are multi-faceted. Each social media platform—Facebook, Twitter, blogging, LinkedIn, et. al.—has its upsides. Podcasting may not appeal to everyone in your audience, but it is another tool in the marketing toolbox.
- Audience connection: The spoken word is much more intimate than the written word. Over time, a strong bond develops between podcaster and listeners. The same connection can’t be achieved with advertising alone.
- Create opportunities: It’s not just potential clients who might be listening to your podcasts. Other lawyers and industry leaders may also tune in, and if they like what they hear, it could lead to a speaking engagement or an interview on somebody else’s podcast. At the very least, the practice you’ll get from podcasting will improve your speaking skills.
- Immediacy: The word “podcasting” is a combination of the words “iPod” and “broadcasting.” Because podcasts can be downloaded and listened to at a time and place of the user’s choice, the medium has an immediacy that others do not. And with the advent of smartphone marketing, listeners are increasingly listening to podcasts directly from a producer’s website.
Legal Web Design is considering offering a podcast service to firms in the future. If you’re interested at this point, give us a shout and share your thoughts. In the meantime, here are some helpful links to help you learn more:
- American Bar Association: Eight strategies to consider before creating a podcast for your firm
- Bloomberg Law Podcast: Listen and get a sense of what a good legal podcast sounds like
- Social Media Examiner: Tips on how to start a business podcast