As of January 2021, there are 1,750,000 podcasts and 43 million episodes in the world. In April 2018, these numbers stood at 585,000 and 18.5 million respectively. Podcasts may not be as popular as online video streaming, but if these numbers are anything to go by, their popularity is definitely on the rise.
Relevant, insightful, and well-crafted audio content delivered in a friendly yet authoritative voice can be an easy, intimate, and powerful way of connecting with different segments of the audience, educating them about your business and its products, generating brand awareness and love, strengthening your identity and eventually boosting your sales.
If the numbers stated above don’t make a convincing enough case for the humble podcast as a worthy addition to your content marketing mix, the six compelling reasons mentioned in this article surely will.
However, before you get into making the most of your newfound passion, you must address the first step — building an identity for your podcast. This starts with registering a domain name.
Instead of going the traditional route, consider getting a little creative and giving your podcast a meaningful and contextual online identity.
For example, if your podcast is more tech-oriented, you could register a domain name on .tech. If you’re talking about small business marketing or subjects like SEO and customer management, you could opt for .online or .site. If you’re speaking to creative professionals, or have something to do with housing, design, or outer space, you could opt for .space.
New domain extensions such as these add more character and flavor to your online identity and make you stand out. This ensures that your listener is impressed with you right from the beginning.
6 Ways Podcasts Supercharge Your Marketing
1. Easy and Inexpensive to Produce
It costs money to produce well-researched, high-quality, professional-looking content. But when it comes to podcasts, your production costs are far less than those for other forms, especially videos.
You don’t need to hire a professional cameraperson or editor to create a podcast. A basic headset with a mic is all you need to get good audio quality. Podcast editing software such as Alitu and Audacity are fairly simple to use and there are enough tutorials on YouTube to help you get started (Audacity is also completely free).
If you are a good writer, you can write your own podcast script, one that channels your thoughts in your own voice and thus is more authentic. However, if you don’t trust your writing skills, hiring a freelance content writer from a platform such as Fiverr is also an option.
2. Stand Apart from the Competition
Content marketing is highly competitive. Almost every brand has a blog, a YouTube channel, and an active social media presence. Compared to these, podcasts are still relatively untapped, yet they have a fast-growing listener base. The number of podcast listeners globally has increased by 42% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, research has shown that podcast listeners are dedicated to the podcasts they love. According to this 2019 report by Edison Research on Podcast Consumers, 52% of monthly listeners will listen to an entire episode. And, even though it is easy to listen to podcasts while doing something else, 70% of the listeners claim that, at least sometimes, they listen to podcasts while doing nothing else.
This is your chance to stand apart from the competition, create simple, meaningful content, and connect with a niche audience that sees the true value of what you have to offer and has great potential to become loyal to your brand.
3. Establish Your Authority
People nowadays look toward brands as more than just transactional entities. They gravitate towards companies that are experts in what they do, whose products and services are guided by knowledge and experience, who aren’t just in the business of selling but of truly understanding and satisfying their needs.
This evolution of the customer-business relationship forms the crux of content marketing, and with podcasts you have an edge over other formats. As revealed in the 2019 Podcast Consumer study mentioned above, 74% of listeners say that they listen to podcasts to learn new things, while 71% do so for entertainment. By tapping into this medium, you can establish your brand’s authority not just as a business but as an industry expert and an authentic source of knowledge and entertainment.
4. Better Engagement
Unlike videos and articles that require people to focus their sight and thoughts on a screen, podcasts can be consumed anywhere, anytime, and in conjunction with other activities. People can listen to them while driving, doing household chores, exercising, or just before bed.
But ease of consumption isn’t the only way in which podcasts offer better engagement. This is a chance for you to also engage more personally with your audience. Through your voice, you are able to infuse your personality in your content, while a conversational tone makes your matter more relatable. It’s like a person is having a real conversation with you rather than reading an email from you.
In fact, you should consider including real conversations in your podcasts to encourage audience participation. You can do this by incorporating live chats and Q&As, reading comments and feedback shared with you in real-time, and giving shout outs to people who are tuned in. All of this makes for a wholesome interaction that is missing from other forms of content.
5. Connect with New Audiences
Your podcasts can cover a range of topics all directly related to your business industry — such as trends, product reviews or tutorials, or other general interest topics. For instance, a bike company can have a fitness or travel podcast, while a travel company can have a nature or photography podcast.
As the owner of a company, you can even leverage your personal brand to gain more customers for your business. For instance, let’s say that you’re an avid surfer who runs a sports equipment company. Talking about your passion for surfing on your podcast and sharing your expert tips and exciting experiences is all sure to help you attract fellow surfers. By identifying topics that interest different segments of your target market, you can reach new audiences and build brand affinity with them.
If you’re collaborating with another brand on your podcast or inviting people to co-host or interview, you are also opening up immense opportunities for cross-promotion and tapping into yet another consumer base. All you have to do is make sure that all parties involved are actively sharing and promoting your podcast on their platforms.
6. Build Deeper Connections
When you’re talking to your audience through your podcasts, you are quite literally telling your brand’s story in your own words and in your own voice. The very nature of the medium makes it one of the most authentic, personal, and heartfelt forms of communication. It helps people see your brand in a more personable light.
Writing about your brand’s journey, the passions that led to it, the struggles you faced, and the successes you celebrated are good enough, but nothing beats the sentiments that a human’s voice can evoke. It helps people relate better, feel empathy, get inspired, and form a deeper connection with your business; and these are the kind of connections that transform into long-lasting relationships based on friendship and loyalty.
Get Started with Podcast Marketing
Now that you are well aware of how a podcast can boost your marketing, it’s time to hone your speaking skills and put your voice out there!
Ensure that you have the right recording equipment that does justice to your content and voice. Find a recording space that permits minimum disturbance. Look for the right music to complement your podcast’s theme and mood. If you’re looking for co-hosts or guests, try to find people who would appeal to your target demographic or whose demographic you’d like to connect with.
Make sure you put out at least a few (typically three) episodes to start with, so that people who are curious to engage with you more get a chance to do so. This increases their likelihood of becoming your subscribers and potentially becoming your customers and brand ambassadors. You can experiment with different formats and episode lengths to see which ones work best for you.
Remember that the key is to deliver great content consistently to entice people into coming back for more.
Alisha is a Senior Content Marketing & Communication Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .STORE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.