Although podcasting has been around since 2004, its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. According to Edison Research, 51 percent of Americans have listened to at least one podcast in their lifetime, and this percentage continues to grow each year. Brands must adapt to changes in how people consume content. But many businesses still leave this medium unexplored. With so many people listening to podcasts, ignoring them altogether puts your brand at risk of missing out on reaching millions of potential customers.
Avoiding the risk of losing potential customers is not the only reason your business should have a podcast. There are many advantages to using a podcast as a way to reach your target audience. Here’s how a podcast can help your business grow.
First things first: What is a podcast?
A podcast is a series of audio episodes focused on a particular topic or theme. Think of it as your company’s own radio program. It’s a way of offering information to target audiences specifically through audio, whether on mobile apps like iTunes or on the internet.
A manufacturing company might create a podcast that discusses new innovations in the industry or a variety of other topics related to their business. A podcast allows you to reach more qualified prospects who are genuinely interested in your products or services. Also, people want to buy from companies they trust, and creating a connection with them through a podcast is one way to develop that trust.
Podcasts are especially helpful for people on the go who don’t always have time to watch a video or read a blog post for information they may need. For example, a distributor who spends most of the day traveling between appointments might find a podcast focused on how to improve their sales technique useful. Your listeners can enjoy your podcast from anywhere, whether they’re in the office, at the gym, or doing chores at home.
Using your voice to tell your story directly to your audience helps create a connection with them that can’t be achieved through writing like you do with your business blog. A good podcast combines storytelling with your own expert knowledge of your industry, offering educational value and a human connection to your visitor.
What you need to know when creating a podcast
There’s a lot that goes into planning a podcast. Your podcast probably won’t be successful without a solid foundation. When you’re ready to get started, you should:
Decide on a topic or theme for your podcast. This will help you determine what you want to talk about and how you plan to talk about it. Think about content that will inform and inspire your audience.
Determine how you will format your topic. Will you tell stories, interview experts, repurpose your existing content, or do something completely different? Regardless of the topic, be sure to offer a unique perspective to give your audience a different view of your discussion.
Understand the timing of a successful podcast. Make a plan for how much time you will spend on each aspect of the episode. Stick to your plan and ensure that your podcast is structured effectively.
Establish a schedule for when you plan to post each episode. Decide if you want your podcast to be ongoing or broken into seasons. If your format promises no shortage of content, an ongoing podcast might be a good fit. Otherwise, seasons allow for extra time to find inspiration for new content as well as to produce more content.
Consider additional necessary content. Creating a written transcript on your website for each podcast offers an alternative to listening, letting you reference links to websites that might be mentioned during your program, and can improve search engine optimization (SEO). It’s also important to understand that your podcast should supplement your content, not replace it. Just because your podcast achieves great results doesn’t mean you should abandon your company blog, videos, or other content.
Pros and cons of podcasting
As with any inbound marketing strategy, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of new methods of content creation. Your decision to create a podcast should be based on whether you think it’s a good fit for your business.
Connects with your target audience on a human level
Reaches a different audience and offers your company’s insights to a wider range of listeners
Allows listeners to multitask while working, commuting, etc.
Readers spend more time with your content, building trust and loyalty to your brand
Limited opportunity for SEO
Requires special equipment for recording high-quality audio
Content creation is time consuming
Readers are unable to skim the content for important information
No opportunity to offer links or calls to action
Although podcasts are not the most popular form of content creation for B2B companies, the ever-increasing number of listeners makes a podcast an essential tool to reach a wider audience and grow your business. It’s also a great way to emphasize your industry knowledge and complement your existing thought leadership content.