Podcasting has absolutely exploded over the past few years. In the U.S., 21% of people over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast in the last month. That monthly listenership number is up 75% since 2013. Is that a lot though? Is 21% really that significant? Well, that’s the same percentage of Americans who use Twitter. So yeah, I’d say so.
Where has this boom come from? Partially from the proliferation of mobile devices. As of this writing in 2016, 64% of podcasts are being listened to on a mobile device. Increases in storage space on mobile devices has made it easier to download podcasts and store them on phones and tablets. Faster mobile internet speeds has made it easier to stream podcasts on demand.
We can also thank the previously unprecedented popularity of podcasts like Serial, This American Life and WTF with Marc Maron for making the word “podcast” a household term in the first place.
Podcasting is not just for the NPRs of the world anymore. Anybody can create a podcast with the microphone and software that are probably already built into your laptop or phone (or with a small investment in a microphone if you want to be a bit more legit). So, we know that anybody can start a podcast, but that brings us to the question…
Should You Start a Podcast for Your Business?
Short answer: Yes. You should. Here’s why.
Content Is King
For one thing, people are hungry from content of all kinds. And great content is what drives internet traffic, social media engagement, and sales – especially for small businesses.
You should be creating as much high quality content as you possibly can. This includes blog posts, social media activity, videos – and yes, podcasts.
Podcasting is currently at a point where it’s getting more and more popular, but not quite EVERYONE is doing it yet. Which means if you jump on board now, you’ll likely be beating a large percentage of your competition to the punch. This will help you stand out from the crowd and give you a competitive edge over said competition, as you will anytime you can be offering something that they aren’t.
Podcasts can help drive traffic to your website. Modern SEO is all about creating great content. Google’s algorithms pick up on that content on their own, and the added time that people will spend on your site while they stream or download a podcast can provide a boost to SEO as well.
If people aren’t listening to your podcast directly from your website and instead listening to it through a service like Soundcloud or iTunes (or the iPhone “Podcasts” app), that’s another opportunity for people to link back to your site.
A podcast is also a piece of content that your fans will be able to share on social media, thus expanding your reach through word of mouth.
A podcast, similar to well-deployed blogs or videos, can be used to make you an authority on your business’s subject matter. It gives you an opportunity to spread your wisdom, opinions and lessons learned in your area of expertise.
When you become an industry expert in this way and speak from a position of authority, that goes a long way to setting you above your competition in the eyes of both customers as well as prospective employees.
The Real You
When you create a podcast, you are speaking directly to your audience in your own, human voice. This creates a deeper connection with your customers and followers, as they will no longer be capable of seeing you as some faceless entity hidden behind the veil of the internet. Instead, they’ll be forced to see you as a person, which inherently breeds personal engagement, and hopefully, brand loyalty.
Beyond that, there are so few opportunities to show your customers who you are and what your personality (and brand personality) is like. Establishing your company’s unique point of view and sensibility is so important for creating customer engagement. A podcast is an amazing chance to show people why you are passionate about what you do.
Obviously, not every company is going to be able to create a podcast. But if you have the opportunity or the curiosity, give it a try. It’s easier than you might think, and can have a really big payoff. Need help getting one started or with creating a comprehensive marketing strategy to grow your business? Contact 10twelve today.