The Untapped Potential of Podcasts Using Best Practices
As the podcast industry continues to grow, so does the potential for businesses to reach their target market through storytelling. With its unique ability to engage and captivate listeners, podcasts offer a powerful platform to promote products and services. By carefully creating a podcast that caters to your target market, businesses can unlock new opportunities for brand growth and customer acquisition. Here is proof of the effectiveness of podcasts and how to create your own.
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Podcasts have become part of our daily lives, with millions of people tuning in to their favorite shows on a regular basis. Unlike other forms of media, podcasts offer a unique and personal experience for listeners. They allow individuals to consume content at their convenience, whether it's during their commute, workout, or while doing household chores.
By implementing a podcast that caters to your target market, you have the advantage of reaching a highly engaged and loyal audience. These listeners have chosen to subscribe to the podcast and actively seek out its content, indicating a genuine interest in the topics discussed. This level of engagement creates a prime opportunity for businesses to promote their products or services in a way that is both relevant and impactful.
When I posted an article on the benefits of using a podcast as part of your marketing mix, I was quite taken aback by the response on several of the social channels. There appeared to be two camps among those who saw my video or read my blog. Camp one consisted of those who said they were about to embark on creating a podcast of their own. The second camp was comprised of the haters saying that the days of podcasts were waning and that they had one and it generated zero growth.
Well, this blog is for both the naysayers and those who have that next podcast to be released. Since there are those that doubt the effectiveness of podcasts for marketing, we will share third-party proof.
After that, we will share those best practices and tactics that can make the difference between talking to yourself and having a conversation with the masses.
Podcasts By the Numbers
If anything, the 2020 pandemic brought about a slew of new talent taking their storytelling and thought leadership ideas to the public. Armed with only a microphone and internet connections, they can reach like-minded individuals around the world. Podcasts have grown to become a major avenue for entertainment and education, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Here are the numbers:
The popularity of podcasts has never been greater, with 200 million Americans listening to a podcast weekly and 214 million listening at least once a month. (Ads Results) The best part may be the demographics that are now listening to podcasts. Over 71% of all listeners are above the age of 35, the sector of the population that has the most discretionary income.
Here are some additional facts to convince you to buy a microphone today.
75% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, with 70% having listened in the past week. (Pew Research)
Over 16 million Americans consider themselves “avid podcast listeners.” (Podcast Insights)
Podcast listeners may be the most highly engaged audience, with over 80% of them listening to the entire episode. (Pew Research)
Brand recall is 2.6 times higher with podcasts than with other digital audio formats. (Zipdo)
Podcast listeners convert, with 61% of listeners stating that they were more likely to buy products or services advertised on podcasts. (Nielsen)
Podcast listeners are loyal and are more likely to follow brands on social media and are more receptive to brand messaging compared to non-listeners. (MidRoll)
Podcast ad spending in the United States alone is over $1 billion (Zipdo)
Weekly podcast listeners spend over 6 ½ hours per week listening to broadcasts. (HubSpot)
Podcasts drive website visitors with 69% of podcast listeners visiting the brand’s website after hearing a podcast. (HubSpot)
How to Manual for Podcasts
We all are finally on the same page as to the benefits and effectiveness of having a podcast in your marketing mix. Now the hard part, figuring out what to say and who to say it to. We have been part of a number of podcast series, and these are some of the critical considerations and actions you need to figure out.
Define Your Purpose and Goals – What is it that you wish to accomplish? Is it to entertain? Present thought leadership? Is the goal to expand listenership, and increase brand awareness? Maybe you plan on booking clients or making sales. The answers to all of these will guide your content and help you connect with the audience.
Who is Your Audience – As with all marketing, understanding what your targeted audience wants to hear is critical for podcasts as well. The first step is making sure the subject matter and content of your podcast will resonate with the intended audience. The only true way to establish this is to develop your buyer personas through a systematic process. That means interviewing them to learn not only the content they wish to hear, but to learn how to better infuse your content with your marketing message. It has to be seamless and cannot come across as sales-minded.
Choose a Topic and Name – Take your time to explore the content strategy for a few seasons. The topic you will choose has to be broad enough to allow you to make this journey in a natural progression. The name of your broadcast needs to both reflect the topic and add a hook that will compel a curious person to investigate.
Plan Your Content Strategy - Develop a content strategy that aligns with your business goals and target audience. Plan your episodes in advance, ensuring a good mix of educational, entertaining, and informative content. Consider inviting industry experts, or thought leaders, as guests to provide diverse perspectives.
Tip – We always find the best podcasts are where they bring two people together to discuss a particular topic. It is particularly engaging when the parties come at the subject from different angles. The discussion is usually quite revealing and provides the audience with a natural tension to the show. When inviting this other person to share your podcast, be certain that their social reach is comprised of the same target audience. To gain a seat on the broadcast, they will have needed to share the event across their social platforms. That way both parties have the opportunity to be introduced and possibly convert a new market segment.
Exploit the Narrative – Become a storyteller. It doesn’t matter if it is a true crime podcast or one on growing a business. You will make the most headway if you can find a way to spin your thought leadership lessons into a good yarn. The podcast has to be entertaining, so think about presenting it in book format with chapters and themes that build to a crescendo in the final installment.
Make it Dynamic – The podcast team must have a flair for the dramatic. You have to have a compelling storyline, so add your personality to the mix. Being dry, boring, and informative is a recipe for disaster. Have fun. Make it content where everyone can’t wait for the next chapter.
Invest in Quality Equipment – While content is king, the quality of your podcast production also matters. While you don’t need to spend a lot, you will need a great microphone, soundboard, and soundproofing equipment to ensure a professional and enjoyable listening experience for your audience. You want to sound as professional as possible.
Invest in Production Software - Choose software for recording and editing your podcast some of the more popular options include Audacity, GarageBand, and Pro Tools.
Optimize Your Podcast for Discoverability -To maximize the reach of your podcast, optimize it for discoverability. Use relevant keywords in your podcast title, description, and episode titles. Create a thumbnail that will drive interest. Submit your podcast to popular directories and platforms to increase its visibility.
Promote Your Podcast - Actively promote your podcast across various channels to attract listeners. Leverage your existing social media platforms, website, and email list to spread the word about your podcast. Collaborate with other podcasters or influencers in your industry to reach a wider audience. Promote the broadcast on all platforms that your targeted personas frequent.
Engage with Your Audience - Encourage your listeners to provide feedback, ask questions, and suggest topics for future episodes. Engage with them through social media, email, or a dedicated podcast community. Building a strong relationship with your audience will help you retain listeners and attract new ones.
Consistency - Maintain a consistent publishing schedule. This helps retain your audience and attract new listeners. It doesn't have to be every day or even every week. But whatever day and time you pick, be consistent week after week.
Continuous Improvement - Always look for ways to improve your podcast based on feedback from your listeners and your own self-evaluation. Establish performance metrics at the outset and monitor them each week.
As the podcast industry continues to grow, so does the potential for businesses to reach their target market through storytelling. With its unique ability to engage and captivate listeners, podcasts offer a powerful platform to promote products and services. By carefully creating a podcast that caters to your target market, businesses can unlock new opportunities for brand growth and customer acquisition.