The human voice is a very powerful tool, it conveys emotion in a way text generally can't. It can convey pain and happiness. It can make us feel empathy and compassion. Why not put this power to use with a podcast?
Podcasts are one of the fastest growing forms of new media and is expected to show continued growth. Podcasts are quickly replacing blogs because the market is overly saturated like the blog world is. This is an engaged and loyal audience you should be targeting.
Podcasts help you build authority and open up networking opportunities that may not be available otherwise. People you'd love to connect with might not typically respond to you, but will be more than happy to do a podcast interview with you.
While social media seems to be plateauing, podcasting is continuing to quickly grow.
A podcast can open new opportunities for podcasting and allow you to build new relationships.
A podcast can be repurposed into blogs and broken down into micro-content for use on social media, saving you time.
Americans over the age of 12 that listen to podcasts regularly, up from 32% in 2019. This is 116 million listeners*
Americans who listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.*
The amount of time spent listening to podcasts by the weekly listener. ****
Percentage of podcast listeners who are more likely to buy from a brand after hearing an ad on a podcast.**
The majority of monthly podcast listeners have a household income between $100k-150k.**
Podcast advertising revenue for 2021 is projected to surpass $1 billion. Up from $479 million in 2018 and $105.7 million in 2015.***
* The Infinite Dial, 2021
** Podcast Consumer Report, 2019
*** eMarketer, 2019
****The Infinite Dial, 2020
Podcasting As Content Marketing
Podcasts are here to stay and are expected to continue to grow. Businesses are quickly incorporating content marketing into their digital strategies. A well thought out podcast can put you in front of your target audience.
More and more companies are turning to podcasting as a new way to build or enhance their brand and reach. Podcasts don't always need to be lengthy, or even ongoing to be beneficial to a company.
Podcasts are a great way to build and increase brand awareness with an audience that is interested in the the subject of your podcast.
Repurpose your podcast into other forms to help with marketing and communications. Create audiograms, social media posts and video content from each episode.
Some companies have started utilizing short form podcasts to help educate potential clients or customers about your products or answer common questions you receive.
Save time writing blogs by turning your podcasts into blog posts. It takes less time to talk than it is to write. You can use the transcript from your podcast as a blog post and save time.
Three Keys To A Successful Podcast
If you want to make your podcast successful, one of the most important things you need is engaging content. Without that, no one will be interested in listening for long, and if they do, they will eventually tune out. We’ve seen podcasts with really great ideas start out strong but fizzle because there was a lack of interesting material or poor quality audio.
You're asking listeners to invest time in listening and supporting you so you need to make sure they feel like that investment was worth it by providing quality content from one episode to the next. Even if the content is good, it needs to be presented in a way that resonates with your audience. Your personality needs to shine through. You want your podcast to offer value while being engaging and informative. Understand your audience and know what they want to hear. Avoid information overload and find good guests who will be of interest to your listeners.
A podcast is an extension of your company and brand, yet so many companies ignore the audio. One of the biggest reasons someone stops listening to a podcast is poor sound quality. Whenever podcast listeners are asked what makes them turn off a podcast, audio quality is always first or second on that list.
Sound quality also plays an important role in credibility. A 2018 study by USC and the Australian National University showed that audio quality plays an important role in believability and trust. The two researchers, Norbert Schwarz and Eryn Newman wrote in the study:
"When the video was difficult to hear, viewers thought the talk was worse, the speaker less intelligent and less likeable and the research less important."
Additionally, Newman said of the immediate impact of audio quality on the perception of the content:
“As soon as we reduced the audio quality, all of a sudden, the scientists and their research lost credibility.”
You don't need studio quality perfection, but you shouldn't sound like you're recording in your bathroom or in the middle of downtown. This means using a microphone and choosing the most suitable recording space available to you. A good usb mic can be picked up for $70-100 and will provide much better results than your computer's built in mic.
An Engaging Host
To tie it all together, you need a good host. Someone who can engage your audience and speaks to them as if they are in the room. The host needs to know the subject matter well and come off as knowledgable.
Authenticity is key. The host should be themself; be real. Don't read from a script and don't worry about being perfect. Planning and outlining are a must to keep the episode focused, but reading from a script usually comes off as flat and feels more like a product.
More and more companies are turning to internal, or private podcasts. These are secure audio feeds that only employees can access. Internal podcasts are cost effective and a must to keep remote employees engaged. Internal podcasts can be used in a number of ways.
Keep your team up to date with project updates, policy changes and general news with an internal podcast. They can also be a great alternative to monthly employee newsletters.
How much time do you spend with each new hire going over the same information? Save time by creating an internal podcast to introduce new hires to the company, it's culture and history. This is even more crucial if you have new hires spread around the country or globe.
Training & Development
Use internal podcasts to build an on demand training library that will save time and can increase productivity. Podcasts can be listened to while performing other activities. Use the audio to augment written training and development courses to give it a more personalized feel.
Strengthen company culture by letting employees hear news and updates directly from the leadership team. This helps break down the divide between upper leadership and employees that exists in many companies. Replace the company newsletter with a monthly podcast from upper leadership.