One-stop podcast shop

Anxious to get a piece of the podcasting action, but not sure how? Digital Garage Media launched a specialized podcasting division last month to help you get in the game.

Anxious to get a piece of the podcasting action, but not sure how? Digital Garage Media launched a specialized podcasting division last month to help you get in the game.

The Toronto-based branded entertainment marketing firm is creating online communities that centre on blogs and podcasts.

‘The objective is to get the community to self-generate the content,’ explains DGM’s managing director Geoff Clendenning. ‘That’s the magic in it – putting the trust in the target.’

DGM provides a turnkey service: They’ll help you define your target, build a marketing model, set up a Web portal, create a branded online environment, provide ongoing maintenance like producing original branded podcasts (that centre on your product or company), and they’ll even track and report results. Clendenning says it’s still too early to provide a ballpark price range, but that it will likely start at about $200,000 for a small-scale effort and climb upwards from there.

He’s already working with a number of marketers, but at this point everything is still very hush hush. The self-generating content model is appealing from an ROI perspective, he says, since you wouldn’t have to hire anyone to constantly produce new content. He adds that registration mechanisms, contests and podcast downloads are all great ways to track how many active users are participating in your community, and he advises marketers to throw out fodder for discussion, such

as inviting users to local events or providing sneak peeks of new products.

Entertainment marketers (movies, music, video games) are ideal clients for the service, but Clendenning points out that there are ways for other categories to make it work for them, too.

For example, a snack company could provide a branded backdrop for a community centred on music discussions, while tossing out sporadic offers/event invites/etc. for its brands.

As for marketers worried about participants talking smack about their brand, Clendenning says not to worry. ‘Trust that your brand is a strong brand…all you can do is be proactive about creating a positive environment,’ he says. ‘And, a little bit of controversy isn’t always bad stuff.’