Few forms of content allow you to engage them whilst carrying on with normal life.
I love podcasts because they achieve precisely that. You can be cooking, driving or working on a mundane task. Meanwhile, the content sits there in the background, giving you great food for thought.
People engaged in financial marketing need to take notice. Having an IFA blog is great, but one of its limitations is that readers have to focus on your content.
It isn’t easy for them to cook, for instance, whilst reading your in-depth article on QROPs.
It’s also harder for your voice to be heard in a blog you’ve written, compared to an audio file.
This is hugely important, as one of the main tasks of your financial marketing is to make your IFA brand appear more “human” and “personable” to your clients. Podcasts are a great way to do this.
But isn’t audio “out” and visual “in”, I hear you say? Financial marketing certainly needs to heed the rise of video marketing.
Yet audio is not dead. In fact, evidence suggests that it’s on the rise. Edison Research, for instance, found in their 2016 study that podcast listeners have grown grown year-on-year – showing a monthly rise from 17% to 21%. Moreover, the Rajar Midas Audio Survey shows that there are now 4.6m podcast listeners in the UK and Europe.
So, podcasting will open the floodgates for leads if I use it in my financial marketing? Well, no. That’s not really what it’s good for.
However, as a lead-nurturing tool, podcasting is seriously powerful. Similar to a blog, you need to first generate enough of a following and establish your thought leadership. This then produces leads.
As such, podcasting for IFAs is much like financial content marketing. You need to put in the time and effort, and be consistent to see the results you want. However, it pays off big time in the medium-to-long term, like an investment portfolio does.
So, how can you as an IFA leverage podcasting fot your financial marketing? Here’s what you need to get started:
#1 Get the Right Equipment
You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need state of the art recording / audio equipment. You can start simply by using an iPhone and a Soundcloud account.
However, if you’re going to podcasting regularly, it might be worth investing in a USB microphone, like Blue Yeti. This simply inserts into your computer, and you don’t need to worry about converting / controlling the voltage, pre-amp and so on.
Interviews are often a good format for podcasting. If you’re going to go down this road, then something like a Zoom H1 portable recorder is useful.
#2 Getting the Content Right
So, you’ve got the right setup. What are you actually now going to say?
This is probably the scariest question in financial marketing! But don’t worry, you can come up with some great topics. You just need to abide by some important principles.
First of all, make sure your target audience will find the content relevant. Try and make it timely as well. Which recent, pertinent events have occurred which you could reference and hinge the content around?
Essentially, you’re trying to put yourself in your buyer persona‘s shoes and imagine what would be interesting for them to listen to. Not sure? Why not ask them directly?
Make sure you also consider repurposing. This simply means taking something you’ve produced in the past, and re-working it so it’s suitable for your podcast.
For instance, was there a blog you wrote a while back which did particularly well? Could you do a podcast on the same topic? Could you break the content down into a series?
When hitting the red button, perhaps the most important first consideration is background noise.
Try and find a quiet place to record your content. However, if you’re looking for a more “ambient” feel, then find a good cafe or restaurant where you can do it.
Try and minimise things that will cause unnecessary, distracting distortions – which will annoy your listeners. You want your financial marketing to be engaging, so avoid things like rustling and scrunching papers.
They make more noise than you might think!
#3 Get Hosted
You need to choose your hosting provider carefully. There are lots of options like iTunes, SoundCloud and Podomatic. Each one has its pros and cons. However, I’m going to put myself out there and recommend SoundCloud. Here’s why.
It’s very easy to set up a free account, and it doesn’t take too long to familiarise yourself with how the statistics work. You also get three hours of upload time to play with.
This allows you plenty of time to test and see what’s working before you pay. If the worst happens, and you decide to stop podcasting, you’ll still have an archive of great recorded material which you can share down the line.
#4 Do The Editing
Not done audio editing before? Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Not at this level, anyway.
The key thing is to play with the software, like Audacity. Practice makes perfect. Make sure you do some test runs with some practice audio files.
Once you’re more confident, you can consider something like Adobe Audition, which gives you more tools to play with in your recording.
Recording in WAV format is usually the way to go if you decide to start YouTube financial marketing. This is a larger sized file, but it retains a lot of quality.
Tying it all Together
So you’ve got your audio file recorded and edited. What now?
The next step is promotion. That’s where you’ll need multiple financial marketing channels working effectively and i synergy to deliver maximum exposure to your target audience.
You’ll also want to measure your progress, and make improvements as you go along. Make sure you consult your statistics in SoundCloud. Which topics did best? Why? How can you replicate that and improve on it for future episodes?
Good luck! If you need any help with the promotion in particular, please get in touch with us.
Phil Teale is the Sales & Marketing Manager at MarketingAdviser, an agency specialising in marketing for financial services – and especially for financial advisers. Along with our sister company, CreativeAdviser, we also provide bespoke website design, branding, graphic design and video production services to financial clients.
Contact us on 01923 232840 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org