As a business, it is vital to have a comprehensive marketing strategy. While there are many avenues you can explore when marketing your business, from online ads to print media, one often overlooked option is podcasts.
Podcasts are a great way to reach out to potential customers and clientele. According to The Infinite Dial, 62% of people in the U.S. aged 12+ have listened to a podcast – which equates to 177 million listeners. Just imagine the potential customer base you could tap into by starting your own podcast!
So, why should you use podcasts for marketing? Let’s take a closer look at this form of media and why you should develop a podcast marketing strategy for your business.
If you have already taken the decision to use podcasts for your marketing, see our extensive guide on podcast marketing – how to start and grow a podcast successfully.
What Is a Podcast?
First, let’s start with understanding exactly what a podcast is. A podcast is essentially a digital audio file, often likened to a prerecorded radio show, that can be downloaded and played on various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Podcasts are usually episodic, meaning they are released regularly (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly). This helps build a loyal following of listeners who tune in regularly to hear new episodes. As for how long a podcast is, it entirely depends on the content and format. However, the average podcast episode is in the 30-45 minute range.
Podcasts can come in various forms, including:
- Personal podcasts, e.g., a monologue
- A panel of experts discussing a topic
- Storytelling, either fiction or non-fiction
- A roundtable discussion, e.g., friends/coworkers chatting informally
- Branded podcasts
What podcast route you take entirely depends on what your audience will engage with most. You may want to go personal if you’re exploring a more intimate way to connect with your audience. On the other hand, if you’re looking to build your brand awareness, you’ll want to consider a branded podcast.
What Is a Branded Podcast?
A branded podcast is technically no different than a podcast created by an individual. The only real difference is a branded podcast is used by a business as a form of marketing.
Branded podcasts usually focus on topics related to the business, such as industry news or tips. They can be hosted by company employees, a hired third party, or conducted as a series of interviews.
But don’t be fooled into thinking these podcasts are all business and no fun. In fact, a branded podcast should be just as entertaining as any other podcast out there. After all, people are more likely to tune in and listen to a podcast that’s enjoyable and informative – not one that’s dull and full of marketing jargon.
Here is some example of big-name companies that have branded podcasts:
- Trader Joe’s (Trader Joe’s: Inside Trader Joe’s)
- Sephora (#LIPSTORIES)
- Shopify (TGIM)
- Slack (Slack Variety Pack)
The key takeaway from the above podcast examples is they are not just focused on selling their products or services. Instead, the content is engaging and informative, providing value to the listener.
Why Should You Use Podcasts for Marketing Your Business?
Now we’ve covered what a podcast is and some of the different types of podcasts out there, let’s explore why you should consider adding this form of media to your marketing mix.
Increase Brand Awareness
Considering the sheer number of people who listen to podcasts, it’s no wonder that more businesses are using them to reach potential customers. Podcasts can be a great way to connect with people who might not otherwise be exposed to your brand.
Podcasts provide an easy and convenient method to consume content while on the go. And with nearly half of all podcast listeners tuning in while driving, it’s a perfect way to reach out to a commuting audience.
Not everyone has the time, patience, or attention span to read a blog post or watch a video. But almost everyone can incorporate a podcast into their day-to-day lives.
Create a Community
Podcasts give businesses a unique opportunity to build a tight-knit community around their brand. By releasing new episodes regularly, you can keep your listeners coming back for more. Plus, podcasts offer businesses a way to personally connect with their audience.
Think about it – when you listen to a podcast, you feel like you have a connection with the host, almost as if they’re talking directly to you. This is because podcasts are intimate and personal, providing businesses with a human touch.
In a world where consumers are faced with marketing messages from various sources, this emotional connection can make all the difference.
Generate Leads and Sales
Podcasts offer businesses a great way to generate leads and sales. Even when you are not actively promoting your product or service, just the sheer fact you have a podcast can increase brand awareness and create a positive association in the minds of your listeners.
For example, say your business targets homeschooling parents. If you release a podcast about the challenges and joys of homeschooling, parents considering this educational route for their children will be more likely to think of your business when they’re ready to make a purchase.
If your aim is to generate leads, consider including a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of each podcast episode. A CTA could be something as simple as directing listeners to your website or asking them to sign up for your newsletter.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
As we just touched on, podcasts can be a brilliant way to generate traffic to your website, just as a blog can be. After all, if you want people to take action after listening to your podcast, you need to give them somewhere to go.
Including a link to your website in the podcast description or show notes (more on this later) is a way to drive traffic from your podcast to your site. You could also mention any promotions or discounts you’re currently running or include a coupon code listeners can use when purchasing.
Build Trust and Credibility
When done right, podcasts can help build your business’s trust and credibility. When creating a podcast for marketing in a specific niche, you can position yourself as an expert in that field. If you also regularly interview guests who are experts in their own right, this will further enhance your credibility.
People are more likely to do business with someone they know and trust. By creating a podcast, you can create that relationship with your listeners and turn them into paying customers.
Not only this, but as you own your podcast, you can curate your brand image and ensure your target audience gets the right message.
Utilize Cheaper Marketing
It’s worth mentioning podcasts can be a fantastic, low-cost marketing option for businesses. The barrier to entry is relatively low – all you need is a decent microphone and some recording software, and you’re good to go.
Of course, as with any marketing venture, you’ll need to work hard to make your podcast successful. But podcasts can be a great, cost-effective way to promote your business when you put in some time and effort.
Take Advantage of Trends
Podcasts also offer businesses a way to jump on trends quickly. If there’s a hot topic in your industry you want to weigh in on, you can record an episode and have it live within hours. Podcasts can be much faster than other content marketing strategies, such as blog writing, which can take much longer depending on the length and depth of the article.
Quickly responding to trends can help you stay relevant and top-of-mind for your target audience. Plus, getting involved in hot topics or relevant trends can help you score major brownie points with potential customers.
Connect With Other Businesses and Influencers
There is power in numbers, and this is certainly true when it comes to podcasts. If you can form partnerships with other businesses or influencers in your industry, you can tap into their network of followers – which can help you to reach a whole new audience.
Creating lasting and sustainable business partnerships with other companies can be valuable when growing a business. These partnerships can also lead to other opportunities down the road, such as joint ventures, product development, or cross-promotional campaigns.
Help You Stand Out From the Crowd
Finally, it’s worth mentioning podcasts can help you to stand out from the crowd. In a sea of businesses all vying for attention, a podcast can be the perfect method for making your business more visible.
When done right, podcasts are a wonderful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. If you’re thinking about starting a podcast to promote your business, keep the points mentioned above in mind – they could just be the key to success.
How to Use Podcasts to Grow Your Business
While we’ve looked at some ways podcasts can benefit businesses, it takes action and a podcast marketing strategy when using a podcast for marketing your business.
Develop Your Brand Image
Your podcast marketing strategy provides an excellent opportunity to develop and enhance your brand image. When creating your podcast’s artwork, ensure it’s in keeping with your existing branding. Using cohesive branding will help people easily identify your business and reinforce the message you’re trying to convey.
Your podcast name is also important. It should be catchy and easy to remember and give listeners an idea of what your show covers. Ideally, you should include your business name if possible – take a look at the previously mentioned branded podcasts for some inspiration.
Finally, the way you present yourself on your podcast also plays a role in shaping people’s perceptions of your brand. Be sure to come across as friendly, professional, and trustworthy, and you’ll be well on your way to developing a solid brand image.
Stick to Your Niche
When creating content for your podcast, it’s essential to stick to your niche. A niche will help you build a strong and loyal following, aka people interested in what you have to say because it’s relevant to them.
If you try to cover too many topics, you’ll spread yourself too thin, and your content will suffer as a result. Your aim is to use podcasts in marketing your business, so make sure your show is centered around that.
Target Your Audience
When creating your podcast, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind. After all, there’s no point in putting out a show nobody wants to listen to. As a business, you should already know who your target market is. If you don’t, you need to take the time to figure it out.
Once you know your target audience, you can start creating content that appeals to them. There are several things you can do to ensure your podcast content stays on point, such as:
Define Your USP
What makes your business unique? Your unique selling point (USP) could be anything from your product or service offering to how you run your business. When you know your USP, you can make sure you curate your podcast to appeal to your target audience.
Plan Topics You Want to Cover
You should target topics that are either not currently covered or are discussed but in a way that isn’t appealing to your audience demographic. Doing this sets you apart from the crowd and helps position you as an authority figure in your industry.
Focus on the Format
Would your audience engage most with an interview-based podcast, or would a panel discussion be best? Look at what other podcasts in your niche are offering, and see how it is being received.
Don’t be afraid to occasionally switch up the format to keep things fresh and exciting, but the base of your podcast should remain the same.
Think of the Tone You Wish to Convey
While remembering to stick with your brand image when using podcasts for marketing, you also need to ensure the tone of your podcast is in line with what your target demographic wants to hear.
Remember, people listen to podcasts because they’re looking for something specific. If you can give them what they want, you’ll keep them returning for more.
Offer Guest Spots or Be a Guest on Other Shows
One great way to promote your podcast is by being a guest on other podcasts or inviting guests onto your show. This will help you to reach a new audience and get your name out there.
The beauty of being a guest is that you can venture into other niches and still talk about topics relevant to your business. Guest slots are a great way to show people what you’re all about and then draw in new listeners to your podcast and business.
Create Engaging Content
Of course, any content you create for your business needs to offer both quality and value. This is especially true for podcasts, as people want to stick with an exciting and engaging show.
Keep It Entertaining
Nobody wants to listen to a dull podcast. If you’re not excited about your topic, your listeners won’t be either. Don’t be afraid to offer a varying opinion to what is already out there; just be sure to consider any potential effects on your business if the view is particularly controversial.
Be sure to ask your listeners questions or get them involved in the discussion.
There are many ways you can open up your podcast to interaction, such as:
- Asking for questions from your audience
- Conducting polls or surveys
- Encouraging feedback and comments
By getting your listeners involved, you can make the experience more enjoyable and get them to keep coming back.
Consider sharing your own experiences and stories related to the topic you’re discussing. Podcasts are perfect for humanizing your business and building a connection with your audience.
By sharing your own stories, you’re giving your listeners a glimpse into your life and showing them there’s a real person behind the business. Doing this can go a long way in building trust and ensuring loyalty from your audience, which makes using podcasts for marketing so effective.
Consider the Length
Your podcast’s length is directly linked to the content you are producing for your audience.
People often listen to podcasts during a commute or while running errands. Nobody wants to listen to a long-winded discussion that you could summarize in a few minutes. So, it’s important to make sure your podcast is concise and to the point where applicable.
But what if it isn’t possible to condense your podcast content? If your niche is full of lengthy topics, don’t hesitate to go into detail. Just make sure your content is engaging enough to hold people’s attention.
The key is to find a balance. If you can do that, you’ll keep your listeners happy and your podcast successful.
Be Consistent With Your Release Schedule
Nothing is more frustrating than finding a brand new podcast that only has a few episodes, with no new ones in sight. You must be consistent with your release schedule to build a loyal following.
Just think about when a streaming service like Netflix releases a new TV show. They either release all of the episodes at once, so people can binge-watch the entire series, or they release one episode weekly, so people have something to look forward to.
The same goes for podcasts. If you want people to become repeat listeners, you must be consistent with your release schedule. Make sure you upload new episodes regularly, whether that’s once a week, fortnightly, or monthly.
Create Show Notes
For each episode, you should also create show notes. These are essentially written versions of the podcast, which can help to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a vast marketing tactic that can help draw people to your site and improve your ranking on search engines like Google.
Including keywords in your show notes makes you more likely to come up in relevant searches, which could result in new listeners coming across your podcast.
Not only that, but show notes also give people a taste of what your podcast is about without having to commit to listening to the entire thing. This is perfect for people interested in your topic but who don’t have the time to listen to an extended episode.
Your show notes could also include the following:
- A brief summary of the episode
- A transcript
- Any key takeaways or points that were discussed
- Links to any websites or articles that were mentioned
By including these elements in your show notes, you’re providing a written version of the episode, which can be referred back to at a later date. Plus, show notes and transcripts open up your content to a broader audience, including those who are hard of hearing or prefer to read instead of listen.
Repurpose the Content
Once you have a few episodes under your belt, it’s time to start repurposing that content. Recycling content is a great way to get more mileage out of your podcast and ensure people still gain value from it, even if they’ve already listened to every episode.
There are some ways you can repurpose your podcast content, such as:
- Creating blog posts
- Making social media posts
- Shooting YouTube videos
- Designing infographics
By repurposing your content, you’re giving your audience different ways to engage with your business and are increasing the chances they’ll listen to your podcast. You’re also freeing up more time to create new episodes, as you don’t have to worry about creating separate content for your blog or social media channels.
How to Tell if Your Podcast Marketing Strategy Is Working
Your podcast marketing strategy might be amazing, but without the right analytics, you won’t be able to tell if it’s working. Once you have released some episodes, it’s time to look at the data.
The two leading analytics that gives you valuable insights into your podcast marketing strategy are downloads and subscriptions. Like Instagram followers vs. post likes or YouTube subscriptions vs. views, these stats do not hold equal value.
Downloads are the figure you should use to measure the success of your podcast. Downloads show how many people actively seek out your content and hit that download button. On the other hand, subscriptions show how many people are interested in your content, but this does not necessarily mean they are listening to your show.
Ratings and reviews are also valuable sources of feedback, as they can give you an idea of what your listeners think about your podcast. Finally, you could also track metrics such as sales, website visits, or social media engagements to get an idea of how your podcast impacts your business.
Final Thoughts on Using Podcasts to Advertise Your Business
Using podcasts for marketing is a fantastic way to reach a new audience and promote your business. As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to plan and track your progress to see what’s working and what isn’t. While trying something new can be daunting, the rewards are worth it.
So, if you’re willing to put in the work and give it a go, a podcast marketing strategy can be a hugely powerful tool for promoting your business.