Gone are the days of plugging ourselves into a Walkman and listening to the same CD over and over again until it’s scratched to death.
Today, we have the whole world at our fingertips and, as an extension of that, in our ears.
Because of this, the importance of podcasts in digital marketing has shot through the roof.
The advent of audio-only episodes has given us access to a mammoth number of topics, knowledge, and ideas from across every single sector – despite the still-infant industry.
Via audio, podcast listeners can tune into episodes packed full of information, a sprinkling of entertainment, and a hearty dose of human interaction.
What’s more, podcasts have found a place in the business world because they are so personal and provide a human connection between brands and their customers.
Most businesses don’t see the true potential of podcasts.
They think they take up too much time, aren’t geared towards lead generation, and are simply meant for people with too much time on their hands and too much to say.
Just for the record, these businesses are wrong – and here’s why.
Why Start a Podcast For Your Business?
1) Convenient to Consume
People today are busy.
They don’t have time to read reams of text or countless ebooks just to get the gist of your brand. Compared to text and even video content, podcasts are far more accessible for today’s busy consumer.
Think about it:
People can listen to a podcast on-the-go, whether they’re exercising, driving, or walking to work; things they wouldn’t be able to do if they were reading text or watching a video.
For example, our own podcast, Under the Instagram Influence, featuring host Ian Ryan, is perfect for people who want insight into social media marketing, but don’t have time to read blog articles like this one.
2) Quick and Cost-Effective
You might think you need all this fancy equipment to get started, but that is far from the truth.
In reality, recording a podcast is far less time-consuming than writing a blog post or recording a video.
All it takes to create a podcast episode is you and a piece of recording equipment, whether that’s your laptop or a dedicated microphone. It’s up to you to do the talking (a.k.a. something you do naturally every single day).
The well-known magazine Slate has been publishing a really simple but effective podcast since 2014, The Gist, where host Mike Pesca chats solo about a wide variety of current news and issues – simple, but effective.
3) Stand Out and Rise Above
There’s a high probability that you’re up against some serious competition in your industry.
The truth is, every industry is becoming more and more saturated by the day, which makes it harder than ever to stand out and reach the people that matter.
Compare how many brands are in your industry to how many of them are creating and publishing podcasts. We’re willing to bet that it’s not many. So by doing this one simple thing, you’re already differentiating yourself from others and giving your business the push it needs to get ahead.
Take Mosaic Crop Nutrition, a company that specializes in creating products that help crop nutrition, as an example.
They wanted to reach a wider audience of farmers, particularly the growing population of younger, tech-savvy farmers who can often be found checking social media while doing their rounds.
To do this, they created a 10-episode podcast drama, The Great Yield Mystery, that highlighted a farmer’s experience with the harvest season. Along with the podcast, there was a dedicated website, complete with gamification and prizes to be won.
We can’t think of a better way to stand out against competitors, but the podcast did more than just that for Mosaic. It exceeded their interaction goals by a whopping 379%.
4) Build Trust
Trust is so important for businesses today – in fact, it’s one of the top things consumers look for before they buy.
While really meaty text and video content can reap great results, nothing is quite as personal as audio content.
It’s really difficult to hide your (5-htp) personality and your authenticity in your voice. Listeners can detect excitement, passion, sadness, and every other human emotion just through your voice, which is incredibly powerful.
Because of this, it instantly feels like they “know you,” which makes it far, far easier to build trust.
5) Lead Generation
When someone is listening to a podcast, you have their full attention.
They can’t skim read it like a blog post or skip to the good bits. Instead, they tend to listen from start to finish – which means you have ample opportunity to promote your brand to alert ears.
Research on podcasts has shown that two-thirds of listeners take action after listening, including visiting the brand’s website and making a purchase.
End your episodes with a call to action (CTA) and set up a landing page especially for listeners to navigate to.
6) Low Competition
It’s easy to think everyone is producing podcasts because the industry seems to have shot to fame over the past couple of years.
Despite this, it’s still nowhere near as competitive as text-based content or the video marketplace (just look at how many videos are published on YouTube every second).
There are more than 80 million Facebook business pages, but only 700,000 podcasts that are being aired (and this number shrinks even further when you start honing into different sectors and topics).
7) Mobile Friendly
More and more consumers are ditching their desktops and turning to smartphones to do literally everything, from research on Google and online shopping to using social media and listening to their favorite podcasts.
Smartphones make it possible for people to listen in during their commute – or literally anywhere else. In fact, 69% of podcast listeners are tuning in on their mobile devices.
8) Get in Early
It might seem like podcasts are everywhere, but the industry is still in its very early days.
In 2018, there were 73 million weekly podcast listeners.
This number is expected to rise to 115 million by 2021.
If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, now is the time to do it. Waiting two years might mean the difference between being the pioneering podcast in your industry to being just another one that gets lost in the crowd.
9) Loyal Listeners
Today’s consumers are fickle.
They can be turned off by the slightest thing simply because there are so many brands out there to choose from.
This can make it difficult to generate a following of loyal fans who will continue to sing your praises and buy your products.
Getting started with a podcast now will instantly put you ahead of the competition and start creating loyal listeners. You can establish relationships with listeners and create a rapport that keeps them coming back every time you publish a new episode.
Loyalty from podcasts has been shown to translate to other marketing channels, too. In fact, listeners are 20% more likely to connect with the brand behind their favorite podcast on social media.
10) Establish Thought Leadership
Content is a key part of establishing authority, expertise, and credibility in any industry because publishing insightful, knowledgeable, and engaging content boosts your brand’s reputation in the market and makes you the go-to person for a particular topic.
Podcasts are the ideal addition to your thought leadership strategy since listeners get to hear your expertise straight from the horse’s mouth (a.k.a. your mouth).
Sharing personal stories, your experiences, and general insights into your industry will automatically build your credibility as an industry leader.
Jumper Media’s content creation services help your company or small business stay relevant in today’s social, digital world.
Find out about our Social Media Content Creation Services.
11) Get to Know Influencers
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of podcasts bring in guests to interview. This adds depth to an episode and allows for a broader range of topics to be aired.
Not only is this great for listeners, but it’s also good for you.
Every time you invite a guest onto your podcast, that’s another influencer and expert you’ve created a personal connection with.
12) Reach More People
For many brands, adding in the creation of another form of content just isn’t an option. They’re already strapped for time and struggling to stick to their content calendar, so dropping in a podcast on top of all that would be a certified death wish.
But here’s the thing:
A podcast doesn’t have to be made from fresh content every single time.
In fact, there are plenty of successful podcasts out there that are simply repurposed videos or live events. You’ve probably got tons of content already that you could edit into a couple of episodes, giving you the chance to reach more people through a different medium.
Take the TED Radio Hour podcast as an example.
Each episode features a series of repurposed clips from live events and videos that all focus on a related topic.
13) Get Creative
Creating content should be fun, but you might find yourself getting stuck in a funk every now and again.
By giving yourself the chance to exercise your creative chops, you might come up with some really unique and powerful ways to market your business.
Just take General Electric’s journalist-style podcast, The Message, as an example.
Each episode sees scientists attempt to decode extraterrestrial messages using GE technology, something that’s wildly creative but also working wonders for GE’s reputation and growth.
How to Start a Podcast for Your Business
We’ve already mentioned the two things you need to get started:
- Your voice
- Something to record your voice on
This is literally all you need. By keeping things to a minimum, you can quickly get a feel for being on-air and creating audio content.
However, if you want to take your podcast further and really turn it into a successful brand asset, there are a few things to consider:
How Can a Podcast Create Value?
Your audience is busy and you don’t want to overwhelm them with more, useless content.
Instead, really dig into the ways a podcast might be valuable for your audience. Maybe there are a slew of FAQs you get asked that you could turn into a series, or maybe your industry is rife with success stories you can share.
How Would a Podcast Fit Into Your Content Mix?
You may already have your hands full with a saturated content strategy, so it’s important to consider where a podcast would fit into that.
Maybe it’s simply a case of repurposing some of the content you already have, or maybe you decide to cut back on videos and start creating podcast episodes in their place.
Once you’ve started to think about these aspects, you can start brainstorming specific topics and episodes to include.
Remember to think about what length you’d like your episodes to be and what format you want to produce (be it interview-style episodes, solo chats, or repurposed content).
Get Ahead With Podcast Marketing
Podcasts are still in their infancy, which means you’ve got time to swoop in and become a hit in your industry. By 2021, podcasts will be a common part of daily life, and you want yours to be the one people tune into.