Why should every manufacturer and retailer have a podcast? The answer is very simple: because it’s important to connect with your customers on all levels. A couple of excuses I’ve heard manufacturers give for not starting a podcast are that they are afraid to connect with consumers because they want to make sure retailers are being supported. For retailers, it’s that they are super busy and focused on in-house work. These reasons are understandable, but sometimes consumers need to hear from all sides of a business before making a purchasing decision. Most consumers do their own research on the web or go through friends to find out what’s happening in the industry. Even with the many press releases being sent out to all of the different media sites, there’s still a disconnect between manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
Those of you reading this are probably saying, “Well, I already do social media. Isn’t that enough?” No, actually it’s not. Your brand should be spread across all media platforms and sites—not just one or two but as many different platforms as possible. Right now, one of the most important and underutilized platforms for many businesses is podcasts.
Why a podcast? It’s your voice, for one, and you being the key holder get to tell your business’s story in your way and style. Think about the effect and influence you as a manufacturer or retailer had on consumers during the early stages of the COVID-19 quarantine earlier this year. How many consumers would log into your virtual herfs, Instagram and Facebook Live sessions? How many of these customers asked you questions you haven’t heard in a long time or have never been asked before? Your customers want to know who you are and what your life is like. There’s so much information that you have that can be of benefit and interest to your customers and industry partners. For example, how does the taste or strength of tobacco change when grown on the side of a mountain? Or how hard was it to start up a retail shop in your city? These are things consumers are really curious about. That’s not implying all of them are going to go out and purchase a factory or build their own shop after hearing how your business did it—no, they’re just interested in your business’s journey. The cigar culture, especially, loves hearing about and are motivated by these things as they support various brands and retailers.
When Amy Tejada (of Casa de Montecriso) and I started “The Lounge Experience,” the first female-based cigar podcast in the industry, we knew there was something missing in our culture. For us, our social media pages weren’t enough. The algorithm didn’t allow us to be as loud and creative enough for more people to experience who we truly were and what our message was. What platform would allow us to be who we are, tell our story the way we wanted to, not allow anyone to manipulate or edit what we say and yet still bring substance? For us, and likely you, the answer was to start our own podcast.
Podcasting is easy as long as the show you create has structure, brings meaningful information and is fun. Consider bringing someone on as a co-host that has an uplifting personality or has a completely different point of view. This would keep things interesting and fun because your audience doesn’t want to watch or listen to anything boring.