From Podcast To Broadcast — New Podetize PlatformMakes It Easy To Shine
Not so long ago, podcasting was a new idea. Now there are 525–550,000 podcasts worldwide. Many businesses I know are planning to launch new podcasts soon for good reason: while there were 7 billion podcast downloads in 2014, Apple Podcasts passed 50 billion all time episode downloads and streams.
So what keeps the thousands of businesses like my own from moving forward more quickly? For perspective I spoke to a pioneer in podcasting — Tracy Hazzard, who with her husband and cofounder Tom Hazzard, of HazzDesign Consulting, began one of the most successful podcasts in the 3D printing sector in 2014, with an investment of $1,200 and a great deal of dedicated interest and time. After 107 episodes, the two shared their insights in a 2015 Forbes.com interview here.
The two have made giant strides in the three years since then. As a content and marketing expert, Tracy Hazzard has become a national columnist for Inc, keynote speaker and has contributed to the design and development of more than 250 products for her retail clients.
It has also led to the recent launch of Podetize, a platform for hosting, production and Done for You services for individuals and businesses that would like to podcast. Podetize helps clients launch or migrate their podcast to a hosted platform that provides unlimited storage, statistical reports on the show’s reach and syndication to all of the major platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Spotify and Stitcher. Hosting is available for a flat rate of $49 per month or can help monetize the shows through “ad mixing” across their growing syndication for $99 per month.
Here’s how ad mixing works:
“In the early days, a typical show might have 1,000 downloads per episode,” Hazzard says. “That’s pretty low, and not enough to make an advertiser take note.” By comparison, shows like John Lee Dumas’ EOFire, a Tim Ferris show, or the GaryVee show by Gary Vaynerchuk, can top millions of downloads per show.
But with ad mixing, the podcast can incorporate ads for your partners, your services, your courses or can collaboratively market across a network of shows. Ads are particularly powerful on podcasts because in audio, a listener’s eyes can’t skip past the ad, making the conversion rate much higher for audio ads. For example, the initial WTFFF? Podcast on 3D printing had secured a strong enough position in a single year to secure a sizeable sponsorship from one of the largest providers of 3D printing and with its niche focus to accomplish a conversion rate of 37 percent.
Hazzard’s expertise in multimedia and Google strategies around podcasts as well, resulting in a new business called Brandcasters, which helps businesses integrate video, blogging and podcast. As a “done for you” service, the Brandcasters team can take a video off of Facebook Live and port it to entries on YouTube (which is rich in Google results, as Google owns it) and LinkedIn and convert the audio transmission into an audio podcast and a blog. The blog, with the video and audio content embedded, is rewarded with a much higher Google result than a standalone blog (let alone the impact of allowing readers and viewers to consume the content in whatever form they prefer).
The transcription, conversion and posting as an outsourced service would cost an approximate $119 per post. In fact, an entire podcast set up for a company would cost a little under $4,000, one time, with all other services desired from the Brandcasters team and the Podetize platform available from there.
Hazzard acknowledges it was several key clients, in addition to her own experience in the creation and growth of WTFFF? that spurred the development of the services she and her husband (and daughter Alexandra, who has recently joined in as an equity partner) to create the services they now lead. As they contemplated the steps required to achieve podcast success they kept asking “Why don’t you just do this for me?”
Multimedia strategy coaching is a part of the practice as well, in terms of making sure the website is right, the photo and images are fitting (such as a compelling fitness oriented photo for a blog on physical fitness) in order to get the appropriate message across.
Fast reaction to website and coding issues is included in the service. And while growth companies and startups continue to be the crux of the company’s focus, the team is able to boast a client list that includes the Hearst publication videocasts and podcasts and support for Popular Mechanics and Esquire as well.
The team’s specialization can pay off in surprising ways, Tracy notes. One of the company’s clients who was already established and chose to continue hosting from another provider had established the cover art for his podcast in 2015. Unbeknownst to him, the image requirements for iTunes had changed and required a different size of image, but he wasn’t notified of the change. The result: his show, which had been one of the top 20 in the business investing segment, was suddenly delisted and taken down, all because his cover art was the wrong size.
Thankfully, Hazzard’s team had enough experience and working relationship with the iTunes team to intervene, but the process took three weeks, even so.
Next on the agenda for Hazzard is to reach 1,000 active podcasters who are broadcasting 4 or more times a month in order to maximize the advertising potential for brands such as Bulletproof Coffee, which is interested in advertising across a syndicated network of shows, along with the launch of a new show on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, which Tracy will co-host with innovation expert Monika Proffitt.
In all, the work Tracy and Tom began during podcasting’s infancy is paying off for many entrepreneurs and is bringing the potential to support many more. I look forward to tracking their continued success.
Republished from Forbes.com