When COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill, IT support company ADITS’ marketing calendar was wiped, with training events and other campaigns cancelled.
Marketing Manager, Shannon Willcox had been listening to podcasts to gain insight into how other businesses were approaching the pandemic, when she had her lightbulb moment and realised they could create their own podcast.
She knew that an IT-based podcast would not resonate with the ADITS’ target market of business owners and C-Suite executives, so the podcast was designed to empower their target market, with actionable advice to help them achieve business success.
“I needed to bring together experts of industry, from PR to finance and everything in between, discussing their roadmap to business success and to promote the tools that will support our listeners on their journey,” Shannon explains.
“It may seem strange to some that an IT company would produce a podcast that has nothing to do with IT, but that is entirely the point. We wanted to allow our business community to acquire the knowledge needed to improve their way of doing business, across all facets.”
Shannon began to flesh out the idea, creating a trailer, cover art and a simple pitch to potential guests. She backed herself to approach high profile businessmen and women from across the country, and once they secured their first big guest, they began to snowball. Guests include Glen James (My Millennial Money), Odette Barry (Odette and Co.), Emma Scott (Tiny Hunter) and Abigail Forsyth (Keep Cup).
Although it has come together in a relatively short period of time, it is a clever marketing strategy that has been extremely cost effective, and has the potential to not only add value to their current audience, but significantly increase the awareness of the ADITS brand and value proposition.
“There is a common misconception that people within the IT industry lack social skills or the ability to explain concepts in layman’s terms,” says Shannon.
“Our staff at ADITS break this stereotype, and the podcast has allowed us to showcase that through a brief segment we include called the ‘ADITS Advantage’, where I chat with our Managing Director Ashley Darwen about how the content in the episode aligns with our service offering.”
Unlike some advertisements that disrupt the flow of the podcast and irritate the listener, the ‘ADITS Advantage’ segment does not feel intrusive or advertorial, rather a continuation of the chat, but is a very effective component of the marketing strategy.
Shannon says that although there was initial expense to purchase equipment and software programs, producing the podcast has very few ongoing expenses as guests are willing to come on as part of their own content collaboration strategy. As for needing a fancy studio? Season One has been recorded COVID style.
“I am currently set up at home in a small room, covered in mattresses and doonas to reduce the echo,” Shannon laughs.
“Fortunately, the guests can only see a blank wall behind me when we record, so they would be none the wiser…until now!”
Shannon admits that putting the idea into action required her to step out of her comfort zone and just get started.
“I was constantly second guessing myself in our first pitch,” Shannon admits.
“I had to get used to using a microphone and the first episode took a long time to edit, but like anything, once we had a systematic process in place, it became easier. Podcasting really is the ‘wild, wild, west’. It is like when social media started, everyone is learning as we go and it’s so exciting to be a part of.”
“My advice to anyone in business is if you have an idea; start and iterate quickly. The only way you will improve is by gaining feedback through doing.”
The first three podcast episodes have been released today to kick off Season One, with the next seven episodes to be released weekly.
“We wanted to provide a large amount of content for listeners to immediately sink their teeth into and make an informed judgement on their loyalty to the podcast,” Shannon explains.
“We’ve already reached the Top 5 in our category, and we hope listeners will enjoy and subscribe to it.”
Managing Director Ashley Darwen says that although the impacts of COVID-19 have been challenging, creating the podcast has been a positive experience for the team.
“In a sense, the standstill gave us an opportunity to strengthen our offering and increase the value we provide our clients and business community,” he says.
“There has been a silver lining, allowing us to move in this new, exciting direction.”
Subscribe and Listen to the ADITS Business Roadmap Podcast here:
Episode One – Finance with Glen James (My Millennial Money)
I’m not usually one to listen to talks about finance, but I genuinely enjoyed this podcast. I found myself scribbling down little nuggets of wisdom from Glen, and even laughed out loud a couple of times. Shannon’s voice is easy to listen to and she has the right balance of leading the conversation without talking over the guest, so you really get the chance to hear what they have to say. It’s well-structured and just the right length for busy schedules and short attention spans! There are definitely some great takeaways for small business owners and managers, and I’m looking forward to listening to more episodes from the ADITS Business Roadmap Podcast.
By Julie Johnston for BDmag