Some 46 million Americans tune into podcasts each month. Like blogs, podcasts offer marketers the possibility of creating comparatively low-cost pieces of content and delivering them on-demand to their audience members. With monthly podcast listenership on the rise (there’s been a 75% uptick in listenership noted between 2013 and 2016) and the same number of Americans listening to Podcasts as actively using Twitter, investing in podcasts should be a part of most any marketer or business owner’s playbook. Still need more convincing? Here are 10 ways podcasting can benefit your marketing strategy.
1. Relatively low cost.
A good marketing strategy balances cost with benefit and right now podcasts are giving brands and businesses a strong ROI. Creating a digital audio file for download requires only a few pieces of equipment, and most of it is affordable and easy to use. The start a podcast, begin with these 8 steps to making a podcast. The barest of these necessities include some kind of audio recording software (i.e. GarageBand, Adobe Audition or even Skype) and a microphone (condenser microphones are typically used in recording studios while dynamic mics are better for noisy or “natural” environments). A small investment in hiring voice-over artists can also add professional polish to a podcast. Try bookending your recording with an introduction and conclusion from a voice-over artist or consider working with voice talent to host your entire podcast.
144 million Americans spend 52 minutes of their day in cars and more than three-quarters of them are doing their driving alone. Push content like podcasts are tailor-made for our on-demand, on-the-go world. Listeners can literally take the content with them, wherever they’re going: on their commute, on a run, or in the car. With digital listenership moving largely to the self-curated, on-demand model, it’s a safe bet that podcasts will continue to enjoy an extended renaissance and widespread popularity amongst consumers.
3. Grow your audience.
Social sharing tools will help get your content out into the world and bring followers, subscribers and listeners in return. Using social platforms to share and publicize podcast content is a great way to increase the size of your audience. Remember to make it easy for new subscribers or customers to download or stream podcasts (consider removing time consuming barriers to entry, like sign-ups or logins) and provide a synopsis or preview of your podcast so potential listeners know what’s in store. Make sure you have more than one podcast ready at the time of launch (three is always a safe bet) so hungry listeners can get, listen and share content from jump.
4. Build long-term relationships with customers.
Podcast listeners are often repeat customers, consuming an average of 5 podcasts per week. Having and maintaining long-term relationships with customers reduces your cost-per-acquisition and ultimately drives profits. Podcasts are tailor-made vehicles for such customer retention. Strong bonds often form between listeners and their podcast hosts (Serial began the ever-popular podcast listening and entertainment). There’s an intimacy that comes from listening to a podcast and it provides ample opportunity for building strong, lasting, committed relationships with your audience members.
5. Own your expertise area.
Do you have a unique niche or area of expertise that could be helpful to your audience? Do you have access to people or a network of people who could contribute useful or interesting information to your listenership? When creating podcasts as part of an overall marketing strategy take time to think about what you or your business can uniquely contribute to the conversation. Podcasts are a storytelling platform. It can put the publisher or creator in a position to speak with authority on virtually anything. Unsure what your angle should be? Don’t be afraid to test different ideas, topics and formats to see what resonates most with your listeners and adjust your strategy based on those findings.
6. Create thought leaders and influencers.
Thought leaders and influencers aren’t born, they’re made. Podcasts are just one of the mediums business owners can use to create great content and share it with the world. Once you’ve established your niche or expertise area, you will be in a position to speak with authority on that topic, hopefully gaining and growing a loyal audience of followers along the way. Becoming an influencer in your field is not only great for your brand reach, it can be great for your business as well.
7. Drive revenue.
Making a podcast worth listening to should be your first order of business, but once you’ve done that and established an audience base, there’s money to be made. Whether through selling advertising time, engaging in affiliate marketing, accepting sponsorship opportunities or booking speaking engagements, podcasts create unique and lucrative marketing opportunities and improve your return on investment.
8. Boost web traffic.
With competition in the search field fiercer than ever, many are looking for new ways to drive qualified traffic to their sites. Creating high quality, original content, like podcasts, and then promoting them on social can do more for traffic than dropping thousands of dollars on pay-per-click or search engine ads.
9. Strengthen your brand.
Content continues to play an enormous role in brand building and is a crucial part of any viable marketing strategy. A strong content library that includes podcasts can also improve your search engine rankings – building up your backlink profile and creating new pathways for potential customers to find and engage with your brand or business.
10. Podcasts are the future.
Podcasting continues to see interest from investors ready and willing to pour millions of venture cash into the medium. Streaming and on-demand platforms like Pandora, Spotify and Google are expanding their podcasting services and big name celebrities, authors and influencers are podcasting in droves. With investment money abounding, great content, expanding distribution and talent all coalescing around podcasting as the storytelling medium of the future.