28 Feb Should You Start a Podcast for Your Business?
Everybody’s talking about podcasts, and it seems everybody’s also launching their own. Even House Hunters featured an episode about podcasting friends who bought a house together. Of course, one of the must-haves was a dedicated room for podcasting. This Golden Age of Podcasting presents a great opportunity for businesses and brands to get their thoughts – as well as products and services – out to a wide audience of potential customers. But what goes into creating a podcast that will captivate listeners and motivate them to buy – and is it right for your business?
For those who are hearing the buzz for the first time, a podcast is a digital audio or video file available online for downloading to a computer or mobile device. Podcasts are typically created as a series – as opposed to a single-time production – new installments of which subscribers can receive automatically. Podcasts cover all topics in a variety of formats. A podcast may be an interview show, a solo storyteller or have a dramatic theme. True crime is a popular podcast genre, but not applicable to marketing purposes – unless you’re a publisher of crime and mystery books.
As noted by podcaster Kylie Ora Lobell for CreativeLive, “Podcasts are informative, entertaining and enlightening. They offer hosts a chance to connect with their audiences, build valuable connections, make money selling advertisements and products/services and promote their brands.”
The inevitable statistics to back up the stellar trajectory of podcast listenership
Jay Bayer – founder of Convince & Convert consulting – reports on 2018 podcast statistics in The Infinite Dial 2018 report compiled by Edison Research and Triton Digital®. The research was conducted of Americans ages 12 and up, and was balanced to be a representative sample of age, gender, location and ethnicity. According to the report, 44 percent of Americans have listened to a podcast – representing an impressive 124 million people overall. Of that number, 26 percent listen to a podcast on a monthly basis – up from 24 percent in 2017 – representing 73 million people.
Taking the podcast plunge
Podcasting can be an ideal way to give your existing brand messaging a new and more vibrant dimension. As evidenced during the Golden Age of Radio, the intimacy of the human voice connecting with listeners is as old as early humans gathered around a fire as the tribal elder told stories. This powerful form of communication is still effective – perhaps even more so today.
Podcasts offer a great medium to do the following:
Build a community around your brand – If you own a craft brewery, your podcast can focus on the story of your brewery, how you source ingredients, the brewing process, desirable flavor profiles, release dates and events surrounding the launch of your next ale, etc. Also bring in owners/managers of local bars and stores that serve and sell your wares. Your audience will feel a stronger connection to your brand, and become enthusiastic advocates.
Position yourself as an industry thought leader or category authority – Share your specialized knowledge or insights with your audience with the intention of providing information they may find useful. For example, if you sell vintage tin toys, a podcast geared toward collectors could position you as an expert on manufacturers of the era, and how to determine the market value of a specific toy.
Complement and expand your social media marketing initiatives – A podcast and its transcript (more on this later) can lead to your website and be used on your social media posts to increase traffic – and ultimately, conversions.
As stated on the Podcast Motor blog:
“Social media is the perfect way for you to meet potential fans and let them know about your podcast. Increasing your followers not only raises the likelihood of people downloading each episode, but also sets you up as a podcast that potential followers will want to learn more about. Would you check out the podcast with five subscribers or 5,000?”
Quality content counts
As with any type of digital content, quality counts. You need a good script or outline, as well as a presenter with a good speaking voice – that is, a steady delivery free of hems, haws and random pauses. Accents need not be considered a minus. Depending upon the nature of your podcast, it could convey the authenticity your audience can identify with – making your message and brand more credible.
Why transcribing your podcast is important
Writing for online transcription service Temi, KTLA reporter Erin Meyers observes that if you’re not transcribing your podcast, you’re not maximizing its reach.
“Offering multiple ways to consume an episode is a must,” she writes.
Her verbatim reasons include:
Improve SEO – People will come across your episode while searching for key terms. And if your content is good, they’ll stick around for more.
Provide a place for backlinks – It’s much easier to reference a podcast and link back to a transcribed version of it. People can still listen to the whole episode, but if they only have a few free minutes, they can cite a certain section.
Allow everyone to access your content – People who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, non-native speakers, or suffer from auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder may have trouble following a fast conversation. Transcriptions provide an avenue for them to absorb everything you’re putting out.
Build thought leadership – You’re saying great things on your podcast – maybe even quote-worthy things! If your thoughts are already written out, it’s that much simpler for someone to quote you. Even better, you’re getting a referral from another industry leader anytime you’re quoted.
Regarding Meyers’ first two reasons, our January 25, 2019 blog post, “The Importance of Backlinks in SEO,” provides detail on getting high-quality backlinks and improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Getting links back from Apple, Stitcher and other podcast platforms will also help the cause.
Why podcasting may not be right for your business
As we set forth in our blog post of January 11, 2019 – “Is Instagram Right for Your Business?” – not every social platform is beneficial. Such is the case with podcasting. The Podcast Success Academy provides an unromantic look at the commitment in equipment, money, time and hard work producing a worthwhile podcast involves. The academy’s post on Podcast Websites lists the pitfalls for novices who don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into.
We’ll let the post’s author take over from here until the end of the list
Like most things, building and growing a podcast typically takes more effort than what the finished product shows you. Podcasting requires a certain amount of grit, creativity, and persistence. Grit because you have to get through the logistics and hassle of creating the whole set up of the podcast.
Yes, hassle, because to start a podcast you have to:
1- Find a host.
2- Acquire a URL for the podcast.
3- Figure out a format for the show.
4- Determine how long the show should be.
5- Think of how many episodes should you publish in a certain amount of time.
6- Are you going to create an interview or solo show?
7- Do you want a cohost?
8- If it’s interview, how are you going to acquire guests?
9- Purchase the equipment to record and edit.
10- Schedule time to create episodes.
11- Figure out how to upload them.
12- Link the RSS feed to the podcast catchers.
13- Pray to the iTunes gods to feature your new podcast on New & Noteworthy; offer first-born as a tribute and offering.
14- Start social media campaigns.
15- Get a website for the show.
16- Create show notes.
17- Set up email subscribe options.
The take-home message
Podcasting may no longer seem so glamorous or an avenue of free publicity for your business. But that’s the point. If you go into podcasting with open eyes and a clear vision of the goal you want to achieve, you’ll be able to give your target audience an enjoyable experience that can pay off in increased brand awareness, sales and market share.
So, we can’t answer the question we asked – only you know the resources your business has available to devote to the effort. If you’re a little disappointed, at least you’re now much better informed.
Whatever your decision, however, our Social Media Marketing department at Virtual Stacks Systems is ready if you need to craft a social media strategy or campaign.
Contact us to learn how!