Podcasting is the fireside chat of content marketing techniques. It’s a surprisingly intimate and effective way to get your message out to your audience and generate business leads.
If you’re not already podcasting for your business, here are 9 reasons it’s time to think about it.
1. Podcasts are convenient for your audience
Unlike blogs and video, podcasts are a form of content your audience can consume passively. Like radio before it, podcasting can be listened to in the car while they’re commuting, while they’re out walking the dog or jogging, while they’re ironing their shirts for work, or while they’re cooking dinner.
But while radio is often background noise, people actively listen to podcasts. They’re more engaged. The following points come from a 2017 study by Edison Research and Triton Digital.
- Podcast listeners subscribe to the content they want to listen to; they actively “opt in”. Usually this content downloads automatically to their device, and they listen later
- They consume podcasts when they are best able to pay attention to the content
- They are more willing to promote podcast content to others and to rely on word-of-mouth
- Podcast listeners prefer in-depth content.
2. Podcasting has become super popular
Figures from April 2018 indicate there are more than 500,000 active podcasts in more than 100 languages. They’re most popular in the US, where 44 per cent of the population has listened to a podcast and 17 per cent listen to podcasts weekly.
According to data from Podcast Insights:
- Those who listen to podcasts listen to an average of seven shows a week
- 80 per cent of them listen to all or almost all of every single episode.
Perhaps the most famous podcast of all is Serial – a gripping real-life “whodunnit”, that explores a murder and the subsequent conviction. Serial’s episodes have been downloaded more than 175 million times.
But you don’t have to be Serial to create a podcast that will resonate with your target audience. A 2018 study by Demand Gen showed that 64 per cent of buyers of B2B products found podcasts a valuable form of content in the early stages of the buying process.
Yes, there’s even a market out there for the Boring Widget Podcast!
FURTHER LISTENING: Brand Newsroom 177: Greg Allan of Response Electricians
Listen to this episode of the Brand Newsroom marketing podcast to hear how a Perth electrician became the host of the most popular podcast for electricians in the world and how that has benefited his business.
3. Podcasting increases your potential reach
In March 2017, there were 700 million iPhones in use around the world. That’s 700 million smartphones carrying the native Apple Podcasts app.
Add to that people who listen to podcasts on Spotify and other apps like Stitcher, Google Play Music, Overcast and Pocket Casts, and that’s a lot of people who could discover your content at any minute.
FURTHER READING: Why podcasts are right for every business
4. It doesn’t cost a lot to make a great podcast
Some podcasts have very slick sound production. Others have pretty much been recorded around an iPhone. No matter what level of investment has gone into producing a podcast, those with great content quickly find loyal audiences.
The fact is, it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to create a great podcast. Although we certainly recommend a few basics before you start, if your podcast is going to represent your business to your audience:
- Have a well-produced intro and outro, with a professional voice over. This is a one-off cost that helps you sound professional
- Plan your content. Make sure each episode has a solid topic for your host and guest to discuss and ensure there are some “takeaways” for your audience
- Use quality sound recording equipment. Recording into your phone might work, but it can be patchy (one person may sound louder than another). If you can’t afford an expensive recording device, like a Zoom, then at least buy some inexpensive lapel microphones for your host and guests to use
- Choose a reliable hosting service, like Libsyn or Blubrry.
FURTHER LISTENING: Brand Newsroom 166: Chris Ashmore on Podcasting Best Practice
5. Become the trusted expert in your field
One of the great benefits to all forms of content marketing is that they allow you to become a “thought leader” in your industry. Some podcast hosts have become celebrities in their fields, often asked to host events, give presentations, or appear on other podcasts and in mainstream media.
This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone in business. There’s a real opportunity to leverage the kudos you get from hosting a successful podcast – and that can be extremely good for business.
[tweet] There’s a real opportunity to leverage the kudos you get from hosting a successful podcast – and that can be extremely good for business. #contentmarketing [/tweet]
The other advantage is that hosting a regular podcast forces you to stay across important (and even minor) developments in your field. That means you really will become an expert in your field. And if you have guests on your show, it will soon mean you’re incredibly well-connected to lots of people both in your industry and on the periphery of it. That’s handy.
6. Leverage your other content
If you’re considering a podcast, chances are you’re already producing other forms of content and you’re following a documented content marketing strategy. That’s great.
Having a podcast is an excellent platform to leverage those other forms of content, build on them, give them new life and introduce them to a whole new audience.
For example, if you’ve written a blog post called “8 Ways Boring Widgets Can Change Your Life”, you can follow up with a podcast on the same topic, pointing back to the original piece. And, once it’s released, you can link to the podcast episode from the blog, too. Then you can send both out to your database in your regular e-newsletter.
That way you might well pick up new subscribers across your various platforms.
7. Stand out from your competitors
As of April 2018 there are more than 525,000 active podcasts on iTunes and more than 18.5 million separate episodes. That sounds like a lot of competition for your audience’s ears but, depending on your particular niche, there might not be a podcast out there catering to your audience at all.
And, even if there is, there is still plenty of scope to create a superior product and win over audiences to your show.
Hosting a podcast helps you stand out from your competition. It builds your authority with your audience and it also, crucially, builds trust. Oh yeah, that’s the big one…
8. Podcasting builds trust with your audience
Something happens when you share information with your audience. Trust forms. If you’re giving away great information or entertainment to your listeners through this very intimate medium of podcasting and your audience finds that information useful or interesting or worthwhile, then they come back for more.
[tweet] Hosting a podcast helps you stand out from your competition. It builds your authority with your audience and it also, crucially, builds trust. #contentmarketing [/tweet]
Like all forms of content marketing, the hope — the goal — from podcasting is to convert the listener into a customer. What you want is for the listener, when the day comes when they finally say “yes, today is the day I invest in a set of boring widgets”, that your company’s name is the one on their lips.
By sharing good information, freely, and by doing so without beating the audience over the head with a “hard sell” message, you will build trust that will pay dividends later.
FURTHER READING: Podcasting for beginners: Tools and advice to get started
9. Build a community
When you create a podcast, you’re also creating a community of listeners. The more you foster that, the more successful you will be as a podcaster. Provide opportunities for interaction and feedback, hold competitions, do live events, and engage with listeners on social media.
Encourage them to subscribe to your podcast, so it turns up in the feed of their podcasting app automatically, every single week. Every chance you get, build that community and keep your listeners loyal and engaged.
If you’re interested in creating a podcast for your business, the team at Lush – The Content Agency can help you with everything from identifying your audience and getting your strategy right, through to producing and hosting your podcast. For more information on our podcasting services, get in touch.