Be Heard! Why Podcasts Are Great for Your Business
Today, businesses have to contend with the consumers' growing needs for different types of content. For years, blogs and video media have dominated the business marketing landscape. But now, podcasting is becoming a valuable part of any business marketing strategy.
Podcasting works well for brands because of its on-demand nature. We know that podcast listeners have cash and they're really keen to learn new things. Until recently, they also fell into a younger demographic.
But that appears to be changing. According to Marketing Charts, the percentage of 35-54-year-olds engaging in the medium has risen from 39% last year to 43% this year. From a business owner’s perspective, that’s good news.
With a wider age range of people engaging in the medium, your potential for reaching the right ears is that much more. But, while eBay, Microsoft, Starbucks,General Electric (GE) and Slack are already doing it, podcasting is still an incredibly underutilized marketing tool for businesses and brands.
Indeed, there's never been a better time to test the podcasting water.
9 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Podcast
Podcasting can bolster your brand, build a loyal audience, grow your discoverability and attract inquiries from prospective clients. It might just be one of the best things you can do, marketing-wise.
We’ve outlined nine benefits we believe podcasting can offer your business. The list is far from exhaustive, however. You’ll more than likely discover many other advantages once you dive more fully into the medium.
Because this is purely a business-focused list, we didn’t add it here, but something a lot of people notice once they get into podcasting is how much fun it is. Yes, you’re doing it to support your bottom line, but who’s to say you can’t also enjoy the process?
Here's why podcasting can make an excellent addition to your marketing arsenal.
1. Attract Warm Leads and Quality Clients
One of the most challenging jobs of a marketer is convincing prospects to go through the entire buying funnel, let alone stay to purchase. Podcasting can help reduce the usual wrestle with client "churn" — those clients who fail to stick around. Although many businesses admit that their clients feel that a podcast isn't necessarily the most significant driver of leads, it is the best educational platform today.
We mean that a client may listen to a brand's entire episode catalog and then reach out. Other prospects might not listen to every episode but come into the buying process prepared. That means they require less hand-holding, making the onboarding process much faster — a marketer's dream.
Looking at it from that perspective, podcasting can certainly act as a lead generation tool, albeit indirectly. And perhaps that's not such a bad thing anyway. Most people don't appreciate the hard sell, preferring instead to find their own way down the sales funnel.
2. Your Prospects Are Listening to Podcasts
Don't believe that your prospects are tuning in? Take a look at these stats. According to research conducted by Bredin, 39% of small to medium business owners are listening to podcasts. With that said, 65% of that pool listens to at least one episode a week.
The bigger the brand, the bigger the scope for listenership. Research shows that 70-72% of owners of businesses with 100 to 500 employees are regularly tuning into podcasts. If your business is fixed within an industry where customers have a high value, podcasting has proven to be a highly effective marketing tool.
While podcasting might not work for every business on the planet, some industries have shown to increase marketing ROI. For example, many financial, legal and business service sectors have benefited from audio marketing. Other sectors have also seen positive results, like real estate, where geotargeting within a specific area is essential. Or if you're selling high-end products or services.
3. Reach Qualified Prospects and Improve Conversion
Most business owners need to be good at one-on-one consultation with clients. The problem is that relationship building takes time, and doing hundreds of consultations and client calls in a week isn't possible.
Podcasting allows brands to reach a lot of people with minimal effort. Those who resonate with the podcast's host, products or messaging can approach businesses fully prepared and in their own time.
Simultaneously, by sharing your expertise, you become the go-to person. In the eyes of the listener, you're helpful and valuable, which only boosts your credibility. As the listener relationship deepens, you gain trust.
When listeners think of you as an informative friend rather than a strange, mystical voice, they're more likely to buy from you, improving conversion rates.
4. Podcasting Drives Traffic Towards Niche Industries
Unlike other media, podcasting is highly effective at targeting individuals based on their unique interests and preferences. According to a recent survey, 22% of consumers said they listened to podcasts more than usual during 2021, with some of the biggest listenership spikes appearing across niche-topic titles. Surprisingly, there was even uplift in podcast activity during typically slow periods for the industry.
Although thousands of podcasters have increased their content output recently, niche podcasts are one key area for growth. A niche is a narrowly-defined topic that interests a specific audience.
For example, take a graphic design business that specializes in logo design. If they decided to build a podcast around expertly diving into designing logos, that would be classed as a niche topic. Speaking on a particular subject helps draw in your ideal target market; those who either need a logo or want to become better at design.
Who is the audience we want to serve?
How can we build a show specifically for them (that only we could)?
What stories can we tell that no one else can?
What is our unique perspective or point of view?
What guests can we have on our show that few people have access to?
What do we know about our audience and their desires?
How are they currently being served, and how can we create something different?
It's worth remembering that having 1,000 good listeners willing to share your show or buy your products and services is better than 1,000,000 listeners who don't do anything.
5. Podcasting Can Increase Website Content and Traffic
Content is king! Businesses looking to build traction and broaden their reach know that having a lot of fresh content is the best way to draw in traffic. Podcasting slots perfectly within that goal.
Hosting a podcast on your website is a great way to drive more organic traffic. In addition, as potential customers and clients search online for information related to your industry, by having multiple forms of content — including a podcast — your online reach is going to be much more significant.
By treating each of your show's episodes as a blog post and ensuring your audio content is optimized for search engines, you'll end up encouraging leads toward your site. To do this, investing in things like transcripts, show notes, and descriptions can impact your podcast's search performance by increasing your SEO capabilities.
Include keywords within your show's descriptions, written content and homepage to improve discoverability. When your podcast lives on your site, you can build internal links by creating blog content supporting your show.
6. Podcasting Opens Up Networking and Additional Marketing Opportunities
Podcasting is ideal for expanding your web of expert touchpoints — especially if you choose to interview industry leaders. As we all know, building networks and gaining connections is a vital part of business growth.
By bringing established guests onto your show, you can offer a richer experience for listeners. Guests can include industry experts, business partners, potential and current partners, customers and clients.
Expert Information: Even though we may think we know a lot about our industries, there is always someone out there who knows even more. Bringing on a guest allows you to present a different viewpoint and expertise. As you learn, your audience learns with you, which helps to establish trust and positions you as a reliable source for industry information.
Enriches Your Content: New personalities and perspectives can refresh your content.
Tap Into Their Audience: A guest will certainly have their own following. By having them on your podcast and encouraging them to advertise it, you can tap into their audience. This will extend your brand's reach and will often lead to their followers becoming active subscribers and potential clients or customers.
Promotes Networking: Guests don't have to be someone you already know well. In most cases, guests are someone you barely know or have never even met. Inviting them onto your show is a great networking opportunity. Getting to know someone else in a different field who you wouldn't usually meet can create ties and become potential clients or industry allies.
Guests appreciate the exposure you may be giving them. But don't think that it's just a one-way street. We regularly see guests paying back the favor and are often more than willing to promote your show.
7. Podcasting Can Be Profitable
Initially, there wasn't much money in podcasting. However, there is a lot of scope for boosting revenue for any brand or business. For example, Onward Nation, hosted by Stephen Woessner, is listened to worldwide and has generated at least $2 million in cash. In his book Profitable Podcasting, Woessner refers to the "Trojan horse" method of selling. With his podcast, he was able to open up his network by interviewing industry leaders.
Not only can podcasts bring in those all-important leads and sales, but there's also a lot of scope to draw in additional revenue via sponsorship. If your audience resonates with another similar company, non-competing, they are more often than not willing to pay to get their products in front of them.
8. Personalization at Scale
Clients often have questions. Lots of questions. You can certainly answer those questions as a business owner, but that takes time and energy. If your brand is rapidly evolving, you might not have a lot of time to dedicate to emailing prospects with individual answers.
However, if you're smart and have put your customer's questions in a spreadsheet, you may spot many continuous themes. Most businesses tackle frequently asked questions on their website. While directing your customers to an FAQ landing page is easy, it's not entirely personal.
Podcasting is a great way to address frequently asked questions in-depth and at scale. Using your voice and personality adds an additional layer of trust to your brand.
Staying with our theme of personalization, podcasting also allows you to share your business backstory with your customers. People love hearing how a brand or company came into existence. Sharing your passion for what you do is a surefire way to create a loyal following.
While you're at it, make sure you showcase your team as well. Getting to know the people behind the brand makes interacting with your business more personal (and rewarding) for your customers.
9. Listeners Engage with Podcasts at Length
We’ve explained how podcasting can act as a lead generation tool and highlighted the benefits of using it for marketing. If you’re still on the fence, perhaps these statistics will convince you.
Over half of the US population listens to podcasts. Amazingly, 80% of that percentile listens to at least one episode, in its entirety, a day. That doesn't seem like a lot to anyone outside the podcast bubble. But, when you consider that the average episode length is 43 minutes, that's a lot of time to spend with a potential client.
Then there's the podcast's ability to be listened to anywhere and anytime. That's the beauty of mobile smartphones, which means listeners can listen while driving (26%), while they're at work (12%), at home (48%), at the gym (4%) or anywhere else they fancy.
Recent studies show that listeners are highly responsive to ads and engage with a podcast brand on social media. Podcast listeners are incredibly active on social media and often follow brands on their social channels. Also, over half of listeners (58%) agree that the ads they hear are relevant, enjoyable, and memorable.
Ready to Get Started?
Podcasting can add yet another layer to a brand's credibility with not that much effort — which is one of the reasons why they're so appealing. If you're looking to start a podcast, here are some basic steps to consider.
Develop a Theme: Your topic needs to be interesting for your target audience. What could you regularly talk about and address from within your industry that will keep listeners engaged and coming back?
Create Your Podcast: You don't need super expensive equipment or be a total whizz at editing to create a great-sounding podcast. However, if you want some guidance of where to begin, check these blogs for a bit more guidance:
Create an RSS Feed: You need a hosting website and an RSS feed to get your podcast out there. The hosting site is the central hub to upload your episodes and podcast details, including its description. The feed contains information about your show and its episodes. It then passes that information to podcast directories like Apple Podcasts or Spotify each time a new episode is published on your host site.
Inform Customers via Email: Once you've started publishing episodes, let people know that you have some additional great content to share.
Update Your Website. Make sure that your show is easy to find and play on your business website even though you have a podcast hosting site. Our Podcast Website Examples blog post outlines this in more detail.
Submit Your Show to Podcast Directories: You want your show to be found everywhere your listeners might be tuning in. Submit your podcast to every directory available (Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher etc.)
Create Feedback Mechanisms: Your customers must interact with you and give you feedback on your podcast. Feedback is vital for ensuring that the content you create is what listeners want to hear. It takes you out of your internal echo-chamber.
Create a Schedule: People who listen to podcasts are creatures of habit. Create a release schedule and stick to it. The same applies to your podcast production (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly); make recording and editing a part of your weekly schedule.
Why Podcasting Is Great for Business: Summary
Remember, there's no perfect or textbook way to do podcasting. Instead, there are many different styles and themes to choose from. With that much scope for creativity, you can approach your audio content strategy in a way that 100% works best for your brand.
Podcasting ultimately increases traffic generation. Like any other form of content, podcasting can help you reach new audiences for your business as it strengthens brand recognition. Listeners subscribe to a show they enjoy and, as long as you're consistent, your audience sticks by your side and continues listening.
While the initial learning curve may put you off, you must realize how beneficial podcasting can be for a business. Without one, your brand is missing out on a wealth of lucrative, customer nurture and growth opportunities.
From concept to completion, our podcast production company will guide you through the entire process. Find out more about our next-level podcast production services.