The podcast is a format few can ignore these days, with listener numbers consistently up year-on-year and showing no signs of slowing. What’s great about such a dominant platform in its relative infancy, however, is that it’s not too late to stand out by being one of the only brands in your sector to use it well.
If you’re in business and still on the fence about entering the audio space, there’s a number of pots of gold at the end of the podcast rainbow…
Boost Your Engagement & Earn Sponsorship
One of the fundamentals of marketing is to know where your target market is, and aim your messaging that way. Statistically speaking then, a quick glance at an Ofcom survey published in April should show you the power of promoting a podcast through the right social channels.
In the survey, the most frequent place to hear about a new podcast is on social media sites, and the 2nd most common reason to listen to a podcast is ‘to learn something new, or improve knowledge of something they already know about’ (if you’re planning on an entertaining podcast then you’re in luck, because that was reason number 1).
If you can put these elements together to create a digestible episode that you promote well on social media, you’ll have a consistent touchpoint for people to engage with your brand, which keeps your name fresh in their mind for longer.
Better still; once you’ve been going for a little while and have amassed your loyal listener base, there’s an opportunity to earn some financial reward for your efforts. Brands in your industry are looking for reliable messaging to relevant audiences, and with all the analytics that come with podcast publishing tools the value of a sponsorship slot on your podcast becomes enticingly clear.
Raise Your Profile
Increasingly frequently, the phrase “I heard about this really interesting thing on a podcast the other day…” is finding its way into our collective lexicon, demonstrating how influential a podcast host can be in this day and age.
Give content that creates value, and your listeners will share that value with others. When listeners switch off and go to their peers, they’ll spread the insights you gave them, the fun facts they learned, and (most importantly) where they discovered them.
If you’re a prominent business in the audio space, you’re already jumping ahead of those who are sleeping on the idea of running a podcast. That’ll keep your name at the top of people’s minds for longer, especially if you’re appearing in the social feeds with a new episode week in, week out!
Networking & Lead Generation
Leading on from the idea of increasing presence in your industry, this kind of profile-raising activity starts conversations with listeners, guests, and fellow industry experts. Perhaps you’ll put out an episode that divides a community and invites constructive debate, or raise awareness for an issue rarely spoken about and others chime in to support. Whatever form it takes, it’s all building your network.
But the buck doesn’t stop with discussions; Whether it’s a listener who engages with your brand as a result of an intriguing episode, or a guest who enjoys their experience with you enough to want to work with you, the potential to create real business partnerships through podcasting is both tantalizing, and extremely tangible.
Perhaps a more self-interested reason to get talking with others in the industry you’re in – and one that grows as your podcast does – is the chance to interview someone you’ve taken interest in for a while. Followed an entrepreneur with an underdog backstory, or a favourite athlete on a winning streak? A podcast is a great reason to get to know them, and give your audience some valuable content along the way!
Consider flipping the script, too. Being a notable podcast host can lead to a guest spot on others’ podcasts with a new audience full of untapped potential. If they enjoy your episode, there’s a strong chance they’ll follow you back to your own podcast, at which point you’re able to take advantage of the engagement and profile points we’ve already mentioned. It’s a win-win.
So with a financial incentive, the potential to create new partnerships, and a regular touchpoint from which you can connect to your target audience, it’s clear that the power of podcasting has never been greater than it is right now.
The barriers to entry have also never been lower; while it takes over a million views per month to even scratch YouTube’s upper echelons, reaching the top 5% most downloaded podcasts takes just over 700 downloads in an episode’s first 7 days. The podcast market is an arable land for building communities, connections and – most importantly – a committed audience.
Written by Dan Johnston.