Podcasts are the new blog. Like me, you have probably heard of several brands this past year expressing interest in starting their own podcast for a good reason – it is one of the fastest growing mediums for content consumption with 85 million Americans listening to at least one per week and 75 million who listen every month (statista).
Podcasting is not a new tactic though, they have been around for over 15 years. In 2004, Adam Curry launched his first podcast called Daily Source Code and he was one of the first people to embrace this growing medium.
Today there are over 200,000 active podcasts being produced each month and that number has increased by 300% since 2013 with the average listener spending 42 minutes per day listening to podcasts.
As we discuss in today’s newsletter, podcasts are an excellent way to build your brand, expand your reach, and deepen relationships with existing and potential customers. How can they do all this? By creating content that is designed to teach, inspire and entertain.
When talking through marketing strategies, some of the two most frequent questions I receive from business leaders are:
1) Should I start my own podcast?
2) How do I create a podcast that accelerates my business?
To help you determine the right strategy to build a podcast for your business that provides results, I interviewed my friends Whitney Gossett and Casey Helmick at Terra Firma, the top experts in the audio production and strategy space.
Are there types of businesses or industries that should consider starting a podcast?
We believe that most businesses should be considering how podcasting fits into their marketing strategy. However, starting their own show may not be the right entry point for everyone. For some companies sponsoring an existing show, underwriting a show in development, or being a guest (rather than a host) is a better use of the platform.
Podcasts are a medium in which to tell a story. They are a format that lets you connect to a person, create a relationship, and continue to connect with an end user. When determining if podcasting is a fit, we usually first try to understand what someone is wanting to achieve, and then, from there, determine the best way to use audio to do so. You may be a fit if you:
- Have a personal brand you are trying to grow or a personality you are trying to amplify.
- Have a message that is interesting to the audience you are trying to connect with.
- Are actively trying to create owned IP.
What are some of the most strategic ways for business owners to utilize a podcast in their marketing efforts?
There are many ways a podcast can be a tool for a business and in a growing industry the uses are constantly evolving. However here are some of the strategic ways we advise our clients to think about podcasting
#1: RELATIONSHIPS: A podcast can be a platform in which to interact with potential clients or partners. If you are looking to do an interview-style show, this platform allows you to bring on guests you want a reason to talk for an hour, with the ROI being potential ripple effects from the relationship.
#2: SOURCE MATERIAL: A good podcast can be source material that your marketing team can use to populate other channels. Whether it’s social media content, LinkedIn articles, op-eds, or material a publicist could pitch to other outlets, a long form of a podcast and the transcripts that come out of it can be sliced and diced into hundreds of other assets. We have found that often times busy CEOs are unable to give their marketing team content for all the channels they are trying to fill, but sitting down weekly to record a podcast can be a great use of their time.
#3: SALES TOOL: Are there questions that your sales team gets asked regularly? Consider starting a podcast that would answer some of these questions rather than having to craft a custom response every single time.
It feels like everyone is starting a podcast these days, is podcasting oversaturated?
Similar to the book publishing, where now anybody can upload a Word Document to and consider themselves an “author,” many people think that they can just buy a microphone off Amazon and be a podcaster. However, while podcasting has a low bar to entry it actually has a very high bar when it comes to producing something successful and high-quality. While there are over 2 million podcasts available, only 154,000 of these shows have over 10 episodes, have released a new show in the last year, and have released a new episode in the last seven days.
Having good content, consistent content creation, and a strategic plan all become essential to guaranteeing success.
What does it take to grow a successful podcast (is it all about how many downloads you have)?
Success is all about how you measure it. The reality is that most business owners won’t have a large enough audience to convert downloads into traditional advertising revenue. National advertisers won’t even entertain an ad spend until you are consistently garnering over 10,000 downloads an episode. However, we have found that there are many other ways to see ROI on podcasting.
- Brand awareness
- Upselling of internal courses, consulting, or products
- Subscription-based content
How can podcasting impact the growth of a business?
Because podcasts are mostly long-form, we have seen it be a credible tool for positioning a CEO as a thought leader for SEO search ability and for establishing IP in the marketplace. The way this translates is nuanced and specific depending on the business and context, which is why we work with podcasters to 1) understand their overall brand strategy and 2) establish the ways they are looking to grow their business in order to determine the best podcast strategy for them.