We all saw it happen over the past few years. All of a sudden it seems everyone is starting a podcast. Just like with the explosion of YouTube, you can now go to your podcast app and, with a little detective work, find a podcast about almost any topic.
You may have even had the thought to start a podcast of your own, but with so many podcasts out there - what’s the point? How can you make a podcast that stands out from the crowd? (We’ll cover that one in a later post.)
In a 2021 study, it was found that 41% of Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. That’s 116 million people! On top of that, it was found that 80 million Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. That’s over 10 million more than the number of Americans with Netflix subscriptions. And these numbers just keep growing.
With so many people out there looking for new podcasts to listen to as they commute, clean their house or sit and watch the sunset, it’s clear that there is an audience just waiting to hear your story. Beyond just enjoying the process of making a podcast, there are many reasons why podcasting can be a great way to build your brand and business. Here are 5 ways that building a podcast could help your business.
Grow Your Audience
There are many ways you can grow your audience through podcasting. New listeners can find your Motorcycle Repair podcast while scrolling through Apple Podcasts, looking for a new show to binge on their ride through the Bad Lands. Or maybe you run a bed and breakfast, so you decide to start a podcast about all the haunted B&B’s out there and listeners stumble upon your show as they're looking for new scary stories to share on the next camping trip.
But you can’t just rely on new listeners finding your show while scrolling through the apps. So, here are some ideas that AuraForm clients have used to help grow their audience through their podcasts.
Guests are probably the easiest way to grow your audience. Bringing in a guest with an audience in your field can obviously help bring in new listeners and introduce them to your brand. The goal is to bring on credible guests from your industry with a loyal following. When the episode is released, you’ll tag them in social media and they will also share it with their audience.
I can see it now - In May, you feature an interview with a famous motorcycle stuntman and they share the episode on their social media. New listeners check out the interview and quickly subscribe to your engaging show about motorcycles and when they plan their annual ride in July, they schedule a stop for tune ups at your shop.
SEO Optimization is another way to help build your audience. Each episode provides you with an opportunity to share more of knowledge about your industry. Each one of these is a chance to think of key words and phrases that your target audience would be searching for as they look for more entertainment.
Ads are the last path to audience growth we’ll get into here. I know you’re thinking - didn’t he say that podcasts are better than ads? I did. And it’s true, but podcast ads are still great way to spread the word.
Running ads on podcasts can be a great way to reach a new audience. They will work better than any Facebook or YouTube ad for two reasons.
1. The listeners have already built up trust with the show you’re ad is featured on
2. It give you an opportunity to share your voice and personality
Maybe you find another podcast about Motorcycles and you reach out to them with a plan - you’ll run an ad for their show on your podcast and they will run an ad for your show on their podcast. Neither of you spend any money in the trade and next thing you know you’ve both doubled your weekly listeners.
Builds Credibility & Trust
Now that your podcast is bringing in new listeners, you can start building your credibility and their trust. Facebook & YouTube ads get ignored or scrolled past with haste. Even if they get seen, it’s very difficult to earn your viewers trust with a small ad or short video. However, podcasting provides you an opportunity to share your knowledge, passion and personality with your audience and this will help build a strong connection and deep trust in a matter of a few episodes.
Each episode of your podcast provides you with an opportunity to discuss your business in depth and show off why you love what you do, how it can help your clients or best practices, etc. Some of the AuraForm clients have done this through reviewing books related to their field, interviewing other industry leaders or providing their audience with how-to lessons.
Many listeners become subscribers and go back to the same podcasts week after week after week. I know I get excited when it’s a release day for one of my favorites. The bond and trust that is built from this regular listening is something you can’t get from advertisements.
The best part - by the time a potential customer makes their way to your website or reaches out for more information, they already trust and respect your company and are more likely to give you their business.
Strengthen the Relationship with Your Audience
As we already mentioned, 80 million Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. As one of those listeners myself, I know that feeling of excitement when I know that it’s the release day for one of my favorite shows. Creating a regular release schedule and continuing to bring new insight to your industry is a great way to gain subscribers. Subscribers will return to your podcast for every new release and the more they listen, the more their trust and confidence in your knowledge and abilities will grow.
Increase Interested in You Brand
As listeners become subscribers and dive deeper into your industry with you, it’s only a matter of time before they become curious in your work. Usually, I start looking through podcasters websites and businesses before I become a subscriber, but for the shows I become a subscriber of, I find myself returning to their work again and again. I tell my friends and other audio pros about the ones that stand out. I love sharing a great resource with other people who are passionate about my industry.
It’s worth saying it again - by the time this listener has become a subscriber and learned about how knowledgeable and personable you are, they’re ready to hire you or purchase from your business before they even get to your website. They already trust you and feel like they know you has a person.
Can Easily Be Repurposed for Blog/Social Media Content
Icing on the cake. When you producer a podcast you are also creating a wealth of material that can be used for social media and blogs. You’ll be constantly discussing and exploring new topics in your industry which may provide you with a wealth of ideas for blog content. You’ll also have plenty of audio to select sound bites to share, quotes from your guests and maybe even photos/video if you’re feeling ambitious.
Every time you post to your social media, it’s an opportunity to grow your audience and build relationships with your guests and industry by using appropriate tags and hashtags. This type of work can really help you get the most out of your podcast.
If these 5 reasons haven’t convinced that podcasting is a good idea, I challenge you to pick up your phone or laptop and open your podcast app, find some podcasts related to your passion or industry and take a listen. When you find one you like, check out their social media and their website. My guess is that they will have a community growing around their business and that community is all betting on their success because they have listened, subscribed and joined their team.