A whopping 57 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, according to a 2016 report from Edison Research. That translated into 23% growth year over year for a communication medium that was all but written off when social media took the world by storm a decade ago.
Perhaps a little sobering, however, is the knowledge that there were 75,000 new podcasts launched in 2016, a massive 146% increase in the number of active podcast shows.
With this many new podcasts to compete against and a lot more hitting the market in 2017, you may be wondering if now is the right time for your company brand to launch a podcast.
Before the daunting numbers above scare you away, consider that most podcasts are for personal entertainment and education – think “Ted Radio Hour” or “Radiolab” – and not for company brands.
Also, more and more companies are viewing audio content as an effective marketing tool to reach their tribe of customers and prospects in hopes of deepening those relationships and creating a stronger sense of community.
Podcasts provide a direct connection to listeners, in part because people typically tune in during their personal time – at the gym, stuck in traffic or in their home. The consumption of podcasts is getting much easier with the podcast app on smartphones, in cars with the app in the dash, and with Alexa and Google Home.
Savvy brands are launching new podcasts at record rates and here are 10 reasons why your brand needs a podcast:
Become the Thought Leader in your industry
If the CEO or an executive within your company writes a book about your industry, they instantly become a perceived “industry expert”. A podcast separates your brand from the competition and gives your company an elevated level of respect as the go-to resource within your industry.
Engage with your clients
Interviewing your client’s CEO on a podcast creates incredible goodwill. By regularly featuring clients in your podcast you get to share their expertise with your audience while at the same time create a closer relationship with the client’s key staff. You may soon have clients calling you to be included in an interview!
Generate new business
Interviewing a thought leader at a prospect’s company changes the entire dynamic of the next sales call and also provides the team a great lead-in with sales emails.
“Did you hear your CEO on our podcast last week?”
Expand your network of professionals in a growing media space
If you are personally responsible for developing your brand’s podcast, you will engage with other podcasters – you won’t be able to help it. The universe seems to be bringing podcasters together so embrace it and learn from others that are ahead of you in the podcast ecosystem. They’ve made mistakes that you can avoid and all you have to do is ask.
Increase web traffic
Your company podcast will drive interest in your business. When people are interested in your business, they go to your website. If you want to drive specific traffic to a particular product on your site, create a 15 second ad during an episode that says,
“Thanks for listening to this episode today, to get $20 off of the product we were just discussing, go to…”
Create a unique page and track the traffic to monitor engagement with your audience. Unique promo codes by episode can also help track listeners that convert online.
Did someone at your company do something awesome? Announce it on the next episode and have them personally tell their story. As the rest of their coworkers are cheering them on, your customers are also listening about how well you treat your employees. A win, win.
Expand your social media reach
Your social media team is always hungry for relevant content to post to your company’s social channels. Industry trends and company blogs are great, but combining a social post with a direct link to a podcast episode expands your brand’s social footprint. Plus, if your content is applicable today and in the future, this will provide the social team with evergreen content to republish.
Cross promote written content
Discussing an article that is published on your company blog puts written content into an audio form. Conversely, creating a written transcript of a discussion around a blog post then creates another blog post about the original content.
One original blog post turns into a podcast discussion, which can turn into a concluding blog post. Content is king and you just tripled yours.
Reach your audience more places with audio content
iPhone, Alexa, Siri…they are always with you so unless your audience is asleep, they are reachable with audio content.
Launch quickly and inexpensively
In under 60 days your brand’s podcast can launch for less than $110. You do not need a sound booth, editing expertise and expensive equipment. Decide the format of the show: One host interviewing one person or two co-hosts discussing industry trends and mixing in guests. Listen to other company podcasts to see what format best suits your company vibe and move forward.
The audio industry has changed and the barrier to entry comes down to effort and hustle. To elevate your brand and drive more business in a relatively new format that is exploding in popularity, your next right decision could be to launch a podcast.
Todd Nevins is the Founder of CLICKPlacement, a paid search marketing agency, and the Host of the Go Hunt Life podcast where he interviews people that pulled the ripcord on their normal, safe career path to pursue their passion and follow the path less traveled.