There are many blogs that have been created in the past surrounding the idea of podcasting. The approach of this blog is to bring more awareness to what podcasting is and the way it can benefit marketing agencies. Though podcasting today has become a household name, the concept of audio-blogging started back in the 1980s.
WHAT IS A PODCAST?
A Podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading on computers and smartphones. There are many different styles of podcasts that often focus on a discussion covering a range of topics. Popular formats are information-based podcasts with one host and often a featured guest who is interviewed to offer a different perspective on the topic being covered.
WHY IS PODCASTING IMPORTANT?
Over the last few years, podcasting has been on the rise. There is now a show for everything! You name it, and someone out there is probably doing it. Podcasts now range from comedies to informational to full novels.
With a variety of styles and the barrier to entry very low, it has created a massive ecosystem in which many connections can be made. Speaking from a marketing agency perspective, there is a lot to gain for the consumers and the podcast producers.
Marketers are able to speak directly to their consumers and potential clients for free. This is something of amazement due to the fact that if you were to go back 15-20 years, the thought of producing a radio show would be nearly impossible.
We are extremely fortunate to be able to have access to this technology at a very low price point. Taking advantage is a must for anyone wanting to build a personal brand or business.
Interesting facts to pay attention to would be that nearly 68 million Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis – that’s nearly one in four people across the country. Out of a total of 68 million listeners, 44 percent are between 18 and 34 years old. Understanding these metrics and gearing your content around these individuals could bring heavy ROI in the long term. According to Entrepreneur.com:
- 52 percent of people listen to podcasts while driving – (input picture of a car)
- 46 percent while traveling (train- airplane)
- 40 percent while walking, running or riding a bike (bike)
- The ad industry has seen growth in the past two years, as podcasting ad revenue has grown by double digits from $69 million in 2015 to a projected $220 in 2017. This is just the beginning of marketers getting into podcasting. Once there is attention on something, marketers battle for your eyeballs.
BENEFITS OF PODCASTS
The benefits of a podcast are endless. First of all. you will see customer engagement for your brand. There is a good rule of thumb that stuck with me through all of my reading and podcast binging: the closest to customer wins.
I try to base all of my business decisions on that statement because it is so true! If you have a feel for what your customers want, then you win. It is the businesses that think they know what their customers want without doing the proper research that fails. You must ask to receive.
Engaging with the community by answering their questions on the podcast adds value, while “shmuck” agencies charge their customers a consulting fee.
This will expand your client base tremendously if you do it right. I had mentioned there are a million podcasts out there, but only the best will rise to the top. That’s actually false. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to be extremely niche within your topic and be the only one in that space. The best model I would suggest would be to give your listener so much value that they would have paid you for it if they could. When giving people more than expected, that is when you win.
Once you have consistently shown that you can produce valuable content, you will then take the title of being an expert of your niche. This will lead to sponsorships and partnerships with companies and brands that will pay you to promote on your podcast.
Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? You better get to work!
CHALLENGES OF A PODCAST
These benefits don’t convert to straight sales and that is why a lot of personal brands and businesses are not particularly eager to jump into the podcast landscape. A lot of podcasts will die out due to inconsistency and not being able to bring value on a regular basis. There are many challenges that you can encounter with podcasts.
It’s an extremely crowded market now. Everyone and anyone can start one. It’s time-consuming, and there is a lot that goes into the set-up: the production, post-production, and distribution. Giving valuable information regularly is a test of how much of an “expert” you truly are. Gaining downloads can be extremely hard in the beginning. You might get just your mom downloading, but it’s a start.
If you are interested in the idea or if you are wondering what it’s like, I challenge you to start a podcast. Everyone is in love with the idea of fancy. Don’t wait for it to be perfect, just do it. Great things happen when you just do. Don’t hold back, give it a go and who knows? You might love it!
This article originally appeared in Brand & Mortar.