If you haven’t considered adding podcasts to your content strategy, now is the time. With an explosion of listeners, proven success with other major brands, and low-key production, they’re a stand-out platform to do what solid content marketing is supposed to do–create compelling material to attract and engage your audience.
We luanched our new podcast, Just Sow, highlighting thought leaders in the heartland last month. We’re still learning, but so far it has been an easy way to tap into a new audience and cover our research content in an interesting and relevant way.
If you’re not sold yet, here are the 7 unapologetically clickbaity reasons why podcasts are the content your brand needs.
1. They aren’t new, but they’re growing fast
Podcasts have been around for more than 10 years, and the concept has been around since radio shows. But now, people are paying closer attention to podcasts as a content platform because of the steady growth in listeners. Podcasts listeners have more than tripled since 2007 in the US alone. Now, 67 million people are regular users, meaning there’s a huge potential audience out their for your brand.
2. By increasing your reach, podcasts grow your audience
Not only are there tons of people subscribing to platforms like iTunes and Stitcher, these platforms are search engines. Simply hosting a podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or Soundcloud exposes your content to thousands of listeners who are actively searching for content.
3. They add value to your brand
Major brands like Microsoft, eBay and Slack are killing the podcast game. They produce entertaining shows that provide educational/compelling content for their audiences. Their podcasts are not about directly promoting their products (because at that point it would just be a glorified ad). No, what they’re doing is much more valuable. By providing cool content with no overt ads attached, they’re building trust and turning brand awareness into brand loyalty.
4. Easy to consume
Audio content is so accessible for users. When consuming text or video content from a brand, audiences are most likely gauging if it’s worth their time. But because podcasts don’t require listeners’ full attention, they’re more accessible and awesome for enriching daily mundane tasks. Perfect for commutes, working out, and cooking, podcasts are inherently lovable like a cool, low-maintenance friend.
5. They’re easy and inexpensive to produce
For quality sound production, Drew has a breakdown on some of the gear you might want to invest in here. But the gist of it is this: get a decent microphone and a program to edit your episodes and you’re set. Recording a podcast is usually less time-consuming than writing an article or creating video content, especially if you’re doing an informal/conversational format. Even if you want to highly produce your podcasts like Serial or This American Life, you just have to focus on the audio.
6. Allows experts in your industry to be low-key brand ambassadors
Bringing experts in your industry as guests on your show is great for credibility and entertainment value. BUT, even better than that is your ability to network and tap into new audiences. For example, if your guests shares your podcast, you get exposed to their audience as well. With every new guest, you increase your network, your reach, and your ability to connect to new listeners. It’s honestly too good to be true.
7. They build trust with your audience
Unlike most kinds of content, podcasts have the unique ability to help your target market feel like they know you on an individual level. Audio content is inherently personal. A consistent host can have a lot of influence over an audience. If people enjoy listening to that host and that person is connected to your brand, that means you have a built-in brand influencer.
Basically, if it makes sense for your brand to start a podcast, you have tons to gain and very little to lose. It’s probably worth your investment. Also, on a more touchy feely note, it’s an uphill battle to be innovative and creative everyday in the business of content marketing. Experimenting with podcasts to tell your story is not only an easy way to tap into a new audience, it can be a creative challenge to get you out of an article-writing, video-producing rut. So go forth, and make an awesome podcast!
I’ll write more about finding interviewees and sustainability next month. But for now, just know that it’s as easy as finding a friend with a cool interest, a colleague who’s an expert in something, or someone with a quirky personality to talk to you in front of a microphone.
You can check our new pod out on iTunes and Soundcloud. Let me know if you have any questions about podcasts, recommendations, or topic ideas for Just Sow. I’m basically open and willing to talk all things podcasts with anyone indefinitely.