Podcasts are having a bit of a moment lately. There’s a lot of buzz around new shows from traditional media outlets, celebrities, and huge global brands - but small businesses and organizations can see huge benefits from podcasting too.
Here are just a few reasons your small business or organization should start a podcast:
1. Podcasting Is Networking x 10
This one’s huge - podcasting is a fantastic relationship-builder. A podcast gives you the opportunity to connect with leaders in your field while establishing your own credibility and authority. Having a thought leader or potential partner on your podcast goes way beyond a brief chat at a networking event. A podcast interview gives you the chance to sit down for an hour or more and have a deep, thoughtful, and structured conversation. As a bonus, being asked to participate makes your guests feel special, and they’re likely to share the episode with their network.
2. Interviews Hone Your Speaking Skills and Messaging
Your podcast is a safe place for you or your staff to practice public speaking skills and build a level of comfort talking about what you do. Effectively, it’s DIY media training that makes your clients, staff, or whoever you’re interviewing feel like a star. And through the wonders of editing, no one will hear your mistakes!
3. Audio Dives Deep and Untangles Complexity
Listening is fundamentally different from reading or watching. Most people listen to podcasts while commuting, doing chores, working, or exercising. So while video or written content demands your full attention, audio lives in the background and integrates with our lives more easily. That means audio content can run longer, and dive deeper. Videos and blog posts that take more than 5 minutes to consume can be a tough sell, but podcasts routinely engage listeners for 20-60 minutes. This gives you time to educate, inform, and connect in new ways - both internally and externally. If your next 25-page report was a 25-minute podcast, just imagine how much more of your intended audience would make it all the way through to the end.
4. Engage Your Audience on Their Terms
Podcasts go where your audience already hangs out, and move with them throughout the day. Smartphones and tablets are now the primary way most people consume online content - and podcasts are extremely mobile friendly. On top of that, there are hundreds of millions of potential listeners on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, and other podcast directories. Let them find you when they search for shows in your niche. And thanks to the podcast subscription model, and the intimacy of audio, podcast listeners are extremely loyal. If they like what they hear, they’ll keep coming back for more.
5. Podcasting Complements Existing Content Marketing
Smart businesses and organizations are shifting away from traditional “hard sell” advertising toward content marketing. Blogs, videos, and social media posts provide value to potential customers and improve SEO. Podcasting can bolster and seamlessly integrate with your existing content marketing mix. First, it’s an opportunity to repurpose content: blogs and social posts become fodder for discussion-based podcasts; videos can be transformed into audio episodes; and recordings of talks or panels could reach a large listening audience. Second, your podcast can be a source of content itself - killer quotes can be transformed into Instagram and Facebook-friendly videos called audiograms; podcast interviews can be the basis for blog posts or even books; and many podcasters are now live-streaming their recording sessions on Facebook and YouTube.
So there you have it - a few reasons your business or organization might want to take a closer look at podcasting.
Finally, there’s an old saying that goes something like this: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Like that tree, the audience for podcasts is set to grow rapidly over the next few years. You can set yourself up for success by starting now.