As the podcasting community continues to expand, businesses are wondering if they should follow the trend and also get involved in the world of podcast marketing. While podcasts are undoubtedly a relevant and lucrative outlet for information, how can you know if they’re right for your company’s goals? With the information in this blog post, you’ll be able to see some of the benefits hosting a podcast can offer your company’s brand, helping you make the best decision for the continued relevance and diversification of your business.
In 2013, according to research done by Concordia University Saint Paul, only 12% of the American population were regular listeners of podcasts. In 2017, however, that percentage doubled. Now, in 2018, the estimated number of semi-regular podcast listeners is somewhere in the 65 million range. With such a large audience, it’s no wonder why companies have started plugging themselves into the podcast marketing world.
While podcast marketing isn’t for everyone, it is becoming a powerful, practical, and persuasive tool that more and more companies are using to expand their content marketing strategies. If you’re on the fence about starting a podcast for your business, or don’t know where to start, this list will help walk you through the unique benefits that podcast marketing can provide for you, your company, and your content marketing successes.
1) People are Listening
With nearly 1-in-4 Americans listening to podcasts on a monthly basis, the podcasting market is rich with attentive and invested listeners. Over half of this audience tend to listen to their favorite podcasts while driving, which means that including podcast marketing in your content output can effectively open up a whole new environment for lead generation that was previously unavailable.
While podcasts are often “background noise” when listened to in the car, you still have a user who is concentrated and invested in your content. Even if they’re not attentively listening, your audience will still absorb the information you put out through something akin to osmosis, making your brand name and services that much easier for them to recognize and gravitate towards.
The point is, a lot of people want to listen to podcasts. On average, most listeners will finish about 80-90% of each podcast they listen to, and that percentage remains steady regardless of how long the show is. What this means for marketers, then, is that landing a spot on someone’s podcast rotation is a nearly foolproof way to earn a solid and invested lead who is willing and eager to interact with you and your brand’s content.
If you can find a way to tap into the podcast marketing audience, then you will be setting up a foundation of listeners who won’t only stick around but are more likely to develop a real, lasting relationship with you and your brand.
2) It Builds An Audience
The better defined your target audience and buyer personas are, the better equipped you’ll be to produce the kinds of content they’re interested in. This is true of content marketing—blogs, eBooks, etc.—and it’s true of podcasts too.
One of the most common objections to podcast marketing is that there just isn't an audience for it. While it’s true that having a large and pre-existing audience for your brand will better your listenership, that doesn’t mean a lack of an audience is a good reason to avoid the medium altogether. If anything, a lack of an audience is one of the reasons you should be producing a podcast.
The ever-growing popularity of podcasts, when paired with the ease with which they can be consumed, means that podcast marketing is not only an easy way to release your company’s content to the world, but it also attracts an audience to your company’s industry.
Podcasts can be a powerful tool for nurturing your leads down the sales funnel and can also go a long way towards delighting your existing customer base. By releasing a consistent stream of relevant content to people who are invested in receiving it, your podcast can become a reliable hub of information and audience engagement with long-lasting benefits for your company.
3) It’s Easy to Consume
Podcasts are a natural next step in your content marketing strategy, as they give you an outlet that can provide the content your audiences want in a package that respects their time and is flexible to their way-of-life.
The only major difference between your usual content marketing tools—such as blogs or eBooks—and podcast marketing is the ease with which they can be consumed. Where blogs and eBooks require individuals to commit their time and attention towards reading the content, a podcast can be played in the background while the listener drives, cooks, or does any manner of tasks.
This easy accessibility is one of the most persuasive features podcast marketing can offer its listeners. People want to have their time respected, and when you give them the content they want—and allow them to consume it how and when they want—you’re establishing the kind of trust needed for successful business relationships.
4) It Builds Your Brand Identity
Building your company’s brand is important, but there’s only so much a colorful logo or catchy tagline can do. What establishes a brand’s identity better than anything else is personality, and personality is exactly what a good podcast provides. In the same way that a phone call serves to establish real communication with a prospective client, a podcast serves to establish the voice and character of your brand by assigning a real person with a real voice to it.
At its core, a podcast is a conversation between the host, their co-host (if there is one), and the audience. The audience may not be present in real-time, but they are present for the conversation, and the more you can recognize and include them, the stronger your brand identity can become. Taking questions from listeners via email or social media is an easy way to actively include an audience in the conversation, and goes a long way towards establishing how appreciated and important their contributions are.
The more relaxed and conversational you can be on your podcast, the more approachable and genuine your brand will seem. In a landscape that seems to be ruled by mega-corporations, people value real people expressing genuine interests more than ever and making a podcast can go a long way towards humanizing your company’s public perception in the eyes of its customers.
5) It Allows You to Repurpose Content
One of the best reasons for starting a podcast is the opportunities for repurposed content it opens up. If you’re in need of material for a new podcast episode, look at your already existing blog posts. Any blog post can be easily converted into a topic for a podcast, meaning you have access to a deep well of resources that can fuel your podcasting efforts as needed.
On the flipside, your podcasts can also be converted into blog posts. Keep transcripts of your podcasts and then convert them into blog posts that summarize your discussions. This way, you’re providing multiple avenues for your audience to consume and interact with your content.
For example, you can take a podcast and use it as a script for a webinar; or record a webinar and release the audio as a podcast. Podcasts open up a two-way street of content sharing and repurposing that extends the longevity of your content, maximizes its accessibility, and ultimately, minimizes your overall workload.
6) It Has Low Costs, High Returns
As intimidating as podcasting equipment can be, all you really need to start with is a microphone and a host. The more tools you can use, the better your content will be, but the entry fee for podcasting is relatively cheap. A good microphone can cost as little as $50, but there’s a wide variety of options and prices for whatever your needs may or may not be.
Whatever you decide on, keep in mind that podcasting may have a low barrier for entry, but its potential for profit is great. If we go back to the research gathered by Concordia University Saint Paul, we can see that podcast ad revenue has more than doubled in the past two years. Not only will your podcast help improve your brand identity and customer engagement, but if you take advantage of ads—both internal and external—you can add another boost to your profits.
As an added bonus, podcasting ads are usually more effective than traditional ads. By putting the marketing message into the trusted and familiar voice of your host, you can increase the retention of the ad and better the odds that a listener will actually take action.
7) It Gives You a Platform to Talk to Other People
Another benefit of a podcast is the ease with which you can include guests that your audience might want to hear from. Since the podcast is an auditory medium, you can talk with or even interview just about anyone with a microphone and the willingness to join you on your show.
By welcoming other voices and personalities onto your platform, you reinforce your expertise in the industry while also helping to promote external sources. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. You can even have rotating guests from within your own company, which will further establish your brand identity and company culture.
There’s really no clear end to the benefits of including a podcast in your marketing strategy. It’s a cost-effective, easy-to-produce option that brings you closer to your target audience, broadens your ability to provide relevant content, and ultimately, will go a long way toward future-proofing your company. Podcasting doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, so the sooner you can plug into it, the better off you and your company will be.