So You Want to Start a Podcast?

Podcasts offer a convenient and accessible way for your audience to consume your content, as they can listen while commuting, exercising, or doing other tasks. Overall, incorporating a podcast into your marketing strategy can significantly enhance your brand's reputation, reach, and engagement, making it a valuable addition to your marketing mix.


Bill Arnold

2/4/20245 min read


So, you want to start a podcast! Podcasting has become a great way to engage with your targeted audience. After all, how hard can it be as thousands of people do podcasts every day? And for that reason, having a podcast that increases brand awareness or marketing/sales is extremely hard.

In today's digital age, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to reach their target audience and stand out from the competition. One such method, that has gained significant popularity, is podcasting. Podcasts offer a unique and effective platform for marketing, allowing businesses to engage with their audience in a more personal and intimate way.

I have seen highly talented individuals who have embarked on the podcast journey. They were well-spoken individuals who had interesting content to share. Yet, somewhere in the ashes of good ideas gone bad, lie their dreams and recordings. If you are not doing a murder mystery podcast, like depicted in the Amazon show “Only Murders in The Building," you probably will not have an audience waiting for your podcast to air.

We are strong advocates of the power and reach that a well-marketed podcast can bring to our clients. We have often incorporated podcasts as part of our marketing mix.

In this series, we will explore the benefits of using a podcast for marketing and provide best practices for implementing a successful podcast strategy. We will break down the benefits of advertising on a program as well as producing your own. We will present statistics that highlight the effectiveness of podcasts as a marketing tool and make some recommendations

Podcast Coming of Age

The first podcasts began in 2003 with the advent of real simple syndication (RSS) audio feeds. (Descript) But the idea of sitting around listening to serial storytelling seems more like a throw-back to the golden age of radio when entire families would sit around the radio where tales and mysteries unfolded to the delight and amazement of the audience. The fact is, we always had a love affair with being told stories where we could paint the pictures in our mind.

Today’s podcasts are really just on-demand versions of radio shows. Many have the same characteristics as old-time radio sagas. Many podcasts, especially true crime ones, carry the same classic radio format. They have episodic content presented in a structured format that usually has a host narrating and weaving together segments.

But today’s podcast is not limited to the story-telling genre. They often take the form of game shows, variety shows, or talk shows. By 2006, the world had taken notice of podcasts. Ricky Gervais set a Guinness World Record for the most downloaded podcast. In 2012, over 29% of Americans had reportedly listened to podcasts. (Riverside) It is widely accepted, however, that the world of podcasts really became mainstream in 2014, when true crime shows became popular. The next milestone for the world of podcasting happened in 2020.

While everyone was bored during the lockdown, and looking for ways to entertain themselves, the world seemed to divide into two camps, those who listened to podcasts and those who made them.

Editor’s Note – We are often asked if YouTubers, who have regular episodic broadcasts, are considered podcasts. The answer is no. A true podcast is distributed through an RSS feed through the internet or podcast listening apps such as Spotify, Overcast, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, etc.

The Benefits of Podcasts in the Marketing Mix

Marketing is all about attracting and engaging your target audience, so you can begin to have a conversation with them about their pain points, interests, or concerns. This conversation can be direct or through emails, videos, graphics, or podcasts. It is an exceptional way to create brand awareness and loyalty.

Marketers can benefit from podcasts in two ways. They can find a program that a large segment of their target audience enjoys listening to and advertise on that program, or for the more adventurous, they can produce a podcast of their own. This segment is about those who have moved past mere advertising into becoming their own producer and host of a show.

Increased Reach and Brand Awareness – If you can find a theme or topic that showcases your brand as part of the programming, you have hit the holy grail of podcasting.  One company that has captured this magic formula is Trader Joe's. They have a near cult following of people who faithfully listen to their podcast called “Inside Trader Joe’s.” This series brings people inside the store and shares the newest items that they will be finding on the shelves.

Branded podcasts, such as Trader Joe’s, allow businesses to reach a wider audience by leveraging popular podcast platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. By creating valuable and engaging content, businesses can attract new listeners who may have never discovered them through other marketing channels. This increased reach leads to enhanced brand awareness and recognition.

Targeted Reach – The best part of a podcast is that your subject and content will naturally draw individuals who have a similar interest to the podcast. This targeted approach will increase the likelihood of information being shared, conversions, and ROI.

Establishing Thought Leadership - Podcasts provide an opportunity for businesses to position themselves as industry experts and thought leaders. By sharing valuable insights, tips, and strategies, businesses can build credibility and trust with their audience. This establishes a strong foundation for long-term relationships and can lead to increased customer loyalty. One great example of an organization making thought leadership accessible and understandable to the masses is a program produced by the Cleveland Clinic. They have a monthly podcast called “Studies in Empathy,” which presents medical experts and discusses how to create a better patient experience.

Building a Personal Connection - Unlike other forms of content marketing, podcasts allow businesses to connect with their audience on a more personal level. The intimate nature of audio content creates a sense of familiarity and authenticity, helping businesses establish a deeper connection with their listeners.

On-the-Go Content – True podcasts are not a visual medium. They are intended to allow the listener to craft the visual narrative in their mind. This means that you can take and listen to podcasts wherever you are. Whether your daily commute involves driving, walking, or taking a bus, your favorite podcast can be enjoyed during the trek. See an employee's earplugs at work? Maybe they are not listening to music but are deeply immersed in their favorite weekly podcast.

Deep Dives – Podcasts allow for deep dives on topics. Where we have been taught that the average attention span is eight seconds, the popularity of podcasts defies logic. It is almost the anti-TikTok effect. Instead of mindless watching of content that happens without any conscious effort, those who listen to podcasts are attentive. They are active listeners who engage in the content being presented. Part of that connection is because they are forced to recreate the story in their own minds. They add elements and embellishments that make the story more personal and that create a shared connection you cannot find when the entire show is given to you in a visual format.

Content Repurposing -  Podcasts can serve as a valuable source of content that can be repurposed across various platforms. Transcribing podcast episodes into blog posts, creating social media snippets, or repackaging audio content into videos can help businesses maximize their content marketing efforts and reach a wider audience.

Monetization Opportunities -Podcasts offer various monetization opportunities, such as sponsorships, advertisements, and affiliate marketing. As businesses grow their podcast audience, they can explore these revenue streams to generate additional income.


Having a podcast in your marketing mix can bring numerous benefits to your business. First, it allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your field by providing valuable and informative content to your audience. Additionally, podcasts provide a unique opportunity to build a personal connection with your listeners, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty towards your brand. Moreover, podcasts have a wide reach and can attract a large audience, increasing your brand awareness and visibility. This can lead to improved customer engagement and ultimately drive more traffic to your website or social media platforms.

Podcasts offer a convenient and accessible way for your audience to consume your content, as they can listen while commuting, exercising, or doing other tasks. Overall, incorporating a podcast into your marketing strategy can significantly enhance your brand's reputation, reach, and engagement, making it a valuable addition to your marketing mix.