With the saturation of the smartphone market, podcast listening is at new highs. Many are going so far to say there is a podcasting renaissance. Podcasts offer a chance to reach a new audience that you might not reach via newsletters, blog posts, or social media. And homeschoolers love podcasts just like the general population!
Three Advantages to Marketing Through Podcasts
1. focused attention
Listening to a podcast is typically in a situation with few mental distractions. Homeschool parents listen to podcasts as they drive, exercise, and do household or yard work. Their hands are busy, but their minds are free to focus almost exclusively on the ideas which you are speaking directly into their ear.
2. lengthy time investment
Even a short podcast takes longer to listen to than reading a social media share or a blog post. This means you’ve got that focused attention for a long period of time.
3. personal connection
The audience hears your voice, your personality, and comes to know you in an even deeper way than reading your writing. This kind of relationship generates a strong loyalty between your audience and you.
How to Leverage Podcasts for Homeschool Marketing
I’ve broken this down into three levels, moving from most effective to less effective.
1. Host your own weekly podcast.
Equipment and hosting needs are not as expensive or as complicated as you might think. But you do need to invest time to create the recordings, make the posts, create promotional graphics, share on social media, etc. You need to be sure that a weekly (or monthly) podcast is something you can commit to. Regular posting helps you gain momentum with your audience.
But even if you don’t host your own podcast, you can still take advantage of their potential by working with existing podcasts.
2. Be a guest on someone else’s podcast who has an audience you want to reach.
This can be done by your being interviewed or serving on a panel.
3. Sponsor a podcast with a financial investment.
With financial sponsorship, you can get things like an audio ad, text ads on the show notes, logo on a podcast image, or maybe extra social mentions.
Potential Mistakes When Using Podcasting
As much as I love podcasts for marketing, there are mistakes that lessen their impact. Avoid these four bloopers.
1. being an advertisement
Make sure that the podcast provides real value to the listener and isn’t a thinly veiled sales pitch. Obviously, you want to demonstrate your expertise and let the audience know what you do for a living or what product you sell, but no one will listen to a 45 minute advertisement.
2. being boring
Strike a balance between personal stories and practical information. If you are too personal, your stories are hard for the listener to apply and you seem self-centered. If you are too practical, you lose the chance to make an emotional connection. Make sure that the stories you tell, even if they are about you, relate to the listener in a practical way. And always leaving them wanting more; make the podcast too short versus too long.
3. giving up before you get momentum
Before you start, decide how often and how long you will publish your podcast. I suggest weekly for a minimum of 6 months. If you record a handful of episodes and give up, you don’t give an impression of reliability.
4. neglecting follow-up actions
Make sure that you optimize the podcast posts on your site and cross promote them so that your existing audience can learn about them.
Podcasts We Recommend
These podcasts are hosted either by bloggers in our network or by friends of our network.
- Homeschooling In Real Life by Fletch and Kendra Fletcher
- The Homeschool Sisters Podcast by Kara Anderson and Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley
- Homeschool Snapshots Podcast by Pam Barnhill
- The Homeschool Sanity Show by Melanie Wilson
- The Crazy Real, Real Crazy Podcast by Amy Dingmann
- Christian Homeschool Moms Podcast by Demetria Zinga
- From Broken to Blessing by LaToya Edwards
- Learning to Speak Life Podcast by Michael and Carlie Kercheval
- The Wired Homeschool by John Wilkerson
- Connected Homeschooling by Devin Dabney
- The Sociable Homeschooler by Vivienne McNeny
- The Homeschool Leadercast by Jeremy Jesenovec
- Real Life at Home by Angie Kauffman