You might have realised that podcasts have become a big deal in recent times and that includes for businesses too.
As of March 2021, there were approximately 1.95 million podcasts worldwide alongside 47 million episodes (source: Podcast Insights). When compared to 850k as of January 2020, the meteoric rise in their popularity is plain to see.
It’s pretty simple – people love podcasts!
Well, as I’ve said before podcasts are simple in nature yet so powerful in effect. Unlike other types of content you can listen to a podcast whilst going about your day: from working out at the gym or driving to work, to cleaning the house or cooking dinner.
Podcasts are one of the most accessible types of content there is because, technically speaking, they’re just audio files that are easily distributable. Moreover, listening apps are readily available on all modern smartphones, and subscribing to a podcast takes a couple of clicks. Not only that but there is a podcast for pretty much any subject you can think of.
And, this is the point.
Regardless of their sector, more and more businesses start a podcast to interact and, ultimately, engage with lots of potential customers. Provided you learn the podcasting ropes properly they present a serious opportunity for business growth.
1. The Personal Touch
Podcasting is an intimate format.
By listening to your podcast, customers allow you to communicate with them and influence their thinking, not to mention their feelings. 80% of podcast listeners tune in to an entire episode. There is something about the casual and unfiltered nature that makes audio content so relatable and trustworthy.
Unlike other content marketing methods, and of course episode show notes, your business podcast relies almost entirely on your humble voice. But, therein lies the benefit – it’s precisely this human element that people find authentic and compelling.
Add this to the fact most people listen to podcasts whilst going about their daily life and you can see why they can be influential.
2. Builds Authority
Much like blog posts and other forms of content marketing, creating a podcast enables you to speak to your industry about your industry. Sharing genuine expertise and knowledge engenders trust, familiarity, and authority which, over time, can form into a brand.
Once your podcast has an audience it is only a matter of time before some of those loyal followers become business customers.
And, it doesn’t stop there.
Podcasts are not just accessible for followers; they’re also very versatile for creators because any range of industry topics can be covered. Thinking of launching new products and services in your sector? Start a podcast about it to attract interest, engage with prospects and get valuable feedback.
3. Creates A Business Community
As I mentioned earlier, most people typically stay tuned for the entire episode and will devote their time to hearing you out. It seems they naturally invest more time and attention in podcasts than they do surfing the web and social media. Businesses start podcasting as a way to reach many people that need help in their field of expertise.
This kind of innate, underlying interest can be cultivated into a business community.
How you interact with people to capitalise on this depends on the other channels your business marketing utilises, such as social media. Of course, you might host a live Q&A session on your podcast for certain members to discuss relevant topics.
Ultimately, your engagement and enthusiasm with such a community is where the business value is. Interacting with your audience allows you to get their perspective on your business and feed that back into what your offering.
As a result, engaged listeners are even more likely to become loyal customers.
4. Business Podcasting Is Seductive
Every day, people get bombarded with companies trying to get their attention. We’ve all learnt to tune out but podcasting is different. In fact, the majority of people tune-in to take a break from the eternally demanding digital world we live in.
Furthermore, there has been an ever-increasing interest in long-form content as evidenced in blogging, and podcasts are no different. Business podcasting is not limited by character counts or attention-span constraints. It’s possible to shape the story of your brand fully which is much more challenging, if not impossible, with other formats.
Through a business podcast, your target audience get access to the ‘VIP area’ behind the scenes where you impart the full brand story (both successes and failures!). As a result, your followers feel like they’re getting the exclusive scoop whilst developing a deep trust for a business they really know.
It’s a win-win. And, the best bit, it’s incredibly rewarding, both personally and financially, when people love your business for all the right reasons.
5. Crystallises Brand & Generates Leads
The US has an estimated 144 million listeners alone which, along with the rest of the world, means podcasting has huge potential.
A business podcast not only means you can connect with them, it also provides total control of the messaging and how you position your brand. People subscribe because they want to hear from you regularly and are ready to listen to everything you have to say and suggest.
This kind of brand consistency helps you stand out from your competition; by being in people’s thoughts regularly you inadvertently become part of their existence and routine.
Once your show has a loyal audience, a natural curiosity to learn more about you and your business takes over. Podcasts are a proven way to drive website traffic and generate leads. In fact, 75% of listeners take action from the messages they hear in a podcast. A simple promotion through a well-subscribed-to podcast will lead to more website traffic, which providing is funneled properly, will lead to sales.
But, that’s not all if you’re in the business-to-consumer space.
People who listen to podcasts are also known to have higher salaries on average which means they have more disposable income. Return On Investment (ROI) for podcast marketing tends to be better as a result.
6. Engenders Collaboration & Productivity
If you employ or work closely with others in your business, podcasts are a fantastic way to circulate news, company values and operational changes. Consequently, team members and associates can become a part of your culture which has no end of invaluable benefits and rewards to the business and its growth.
Close-knit teams are the foundation of any successful company for two main reasons:
Connectivity – remote working is something that will likely remain for the foreseeable future. Whilst it has proved to be popular with many, working from home does have its challenges and can get lonely: this is where business podcasting can come in. The inherent intimacy of a podcast helps people feel closer to one another, like they’re part of the team no matter where in the world they are.
Productivity – podcasts are a way to keep everyone in the loop beyond the usual meetings and one-on-one conversations. They provide you with an opportunity to send digestible information that helps maintain focus, deliver new initiatives and provide a happy, albeit digital, ‘workplace’.
7. Enables Strategic Growth
One great advantage of podcasts is that they’re readily available to anyone with a smartphone. Better still, most people spend considerable time on their mobile phones nowadays.
This means you can reach your audience, and new prospects, pretty much anytime you choose and know they’ll listen and engage with your content.
It’s the perfect tool to build a brand, then capitalize on that messaging according to your strategic goals and growth targets. What’s more, you’ll know exactly what subject matter is most relevant by engaging with your podcast community.
Currently, no other marketing channel possesses this kind of intense loyalty which makes podcasts a phenomenal tool for strategic growth opportunities.
The good news is that alongside the unique and powerful benefits of podcasting for business, starting a podcast is not difficult or expensive.