You already do a lot to effectively market your company: You're on social media. You have a blog. You produce videos. Your email marketing program is humming along. But have you ever considered podcasting?
You might say this sounds like a difficult endeavor that would take too much time and resources. Besides, it's out of your comfort zone and you probably couldn't garner enough listeners to make it worth it.
But to that, we say, not so fast! There are a number of reasons why podcasts are a powerful marketing tool and why they're not actually as daunting as you might think.
Why Should I Consider Podcasting?
First of all, podcasts are soaring in popularity. A recent study by Edison Research says that 50 percent of the U.S. population has listened to at least one podcast, and listeners report an average of 17 hours of listening in the last week. What's more, one-third of respondents said they have listened to a podcast in the last month, adding up to 90 million monthly listeners.
At the same time, other modes of entertainment are declining:
- In 2018, Nielsen reported that the number of time people spent watching TV dropped below two hours per day for the first time
- Newspaper circulation, both print and digital, declined by about 8 percent in 2018, according to Pew Research Center
- 2017 research by Deloitte showed that movie ticket sales have decreased 6 percent year over year.
- Edison Research finds that, since 2017, the number of current Facebook users continues to drop
At a time when people are unplugging, podcasts offer listeners an efficient — yet intimate — way to consume content. They are especially perfect for multitaskers, as they can listen while driving, running, cleaning, cooking, etc.
There are many great things about podcast listeners:
- They're loyal, on average making it through about 90 percent of a given episode
- They're much more active on every social media channel
- They're more likely to follow companies and brands on social media
This all adds up to the fact that once you get your podcast listeners hooked, they're likely to stick around as well as engage with you on social media.
The bottom line is that podcasts are an increasingly effective way to enhance your marketing. They will help build your brand recognition, give you the chance to be a source of insight and expertise in your industry, and allow you to have a more personal connection with your audience.
How Do I Start Podcasting?
Here are the basic steps of getting your podcast off the ground:
- Choose a topic. Before you get started, take the time to brainstorm ideas for your podcast theme. You want to make it's not so narrow that it will be easy to run out of content ideas, so try to come up with at least 10 ideas for episodes. It's also a good idea to research existing podcasts to see what else is out there. If there are existing similar podcasts, that's OK – if they're popular that just means the theme is a good one. Just make sure you're not copying the exact theme and execution of an existing podcast.
- Pick a format. You'll need to decide how to structure your podcast. Will you have more than one host? Will each episode be an interview, a narrative, or a combination? Also think about how long each podcast will be (consistency is key so your listeners know what to expect).
- Get your equipment. You really just need a microphone, a headset, and an audio recording program (such as Audacity or GarageBand). That said, don't get the cheapest mic you can find, as audio quality is important. You may also want to consider purchasing a diffuser or a more sophisticated audio editing software.
- Record your podcast. Find a quiet space with no background noise. In the beginning, plan to have more than enough time for your hosts(s) to get familiar and comfortable with speaking and recording.
- Publish your podcast. There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to publishing your podcast – learn more here.
- Make your podcasts SEO friendly. It's important to take the right steps to ensure your podcasts rank highly in search engines. SEO best practices include creating a blog post for each episode, setting up the right keywords and meta description, and sharing on social. Learn more about SEO for podcasts here.
Podcasts can help position you and your company as a thought leader in your space as well as build a community of loyal followers and customers. As you delve into the podcasting world, just remember to have fun! People will keep listening if your content is both informative and entertaining.