With Digital Marketing being such a fluid, fast-changing industry it can be hard to be certain of where to focus your time and energy.
This is made even more pressing when you’re employed by a business to manage their online presence and make real ground in customer conversions.
So amongst all the noise, what’s with the booming podcast scene?
If you’re not sure how big podcasts are for business, or what role they play in your content marketing strategy, read on for the full DMJ introduction to business podcasting in 2021.
Does your business need a podcast? How do you start a podcast? Have these questions and more answered below…
Are Podcasts Important For Business?
Some people thought podcasts were a flash in the pan. Outside of audiobooks, listening to someone talk for extended periods appeared to be a radio niche, interspersed – of course – with popular, demographic-driven songs.
But our busy lives, a yearning for distraction and send of community, an endless desire for content on our favourite topics, and a myriad of other factors proved this wrong.
Podcasts have continued to explode in popularity, and being late to the game isn’t necessarily a negative.
Starting a podcast for your business today enables you to learn from other people’s mistakes, build on proven successes, and target already-identified groups of consumers who listen to similar shows.
Here are a few stats from Statista to ease your concern about podcast generation being a waste of time:
- More than half the US population listens to podcasts
- Last year, driven by lockdowns, more than 155 million US citizens listened to at least one podcast every week!
- Around a quarter of the US listens to multiple shows each week
- 50% of podcast listeners are in the 25-44 year old bracket
So, are podcasts important for business? Yes, purely based on the number of active users. There is more of a deep dive to be sought into conversion rates, and of course this will differ with your demographic, product or service, and more.
But there is no question that businesses big and small have a lot to be gained from engaging one of the most active communities in the digital space.
Should I Start A Podcast For My Business?
This seems a redundant question following the previous section highlighting all of the positives to the podcast scene. But it is one you need to ask yourself as a digital marketer.
What works for one business in the digital space is not necessarily right for another.
When you are hired to lead the digital marketing for a company, they expect you to keep asking what your business will gain out of any action you take, as marketing departments often struggle with their own ROI-shaped problems.
So before starting a podcast for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I hope to gain from the podcast?
- Who is my target audience and do they listen to podcasts?
- What would my podcast sound like and focus on?
- How much time (i.e. money) would it take to consistently produce a high-quality show?
- How would I assess Return On Investment for this channel, and does it tie in with my other digital avenues?
A podcast has the ability to both build your brand’s authority and trust-level in an industry, and drive direct conversions for your product or service.
But as with all things marketing, the outcome should outplay the outgoings.
How Do I Start A Small Business Podcast
Let’s say you have done your due diligence; you know there is a market there for your business’s podcast, and you’re willing to put the time in to create one that will convert.
Your next step is to start your small business podcast!
There are many ways to get started in this booming industry, but let’s first cover your pre-recording steps.
Setting The Style
First, decide on the concept, style and type of podcast you want to create. Are you sitting in front of a mic and spilling all your thoughts for an hour (that sounds flippant, but for some companies this can work!), or will you interview a different guest each week?
Is your style going to be instructional and based on advice, or does your market show more interest in story-telling and narrative-based shows?
After you know the sort of podcast you want to build, and have settled on how that style will come through, it’s time to sort out the logistics: How do you actually record, edit and produce a podcast?
Again, this will change depending on your budget, expertise and aims.
How To Record And Edit A Podcast
Starting a podcast can be as simple as putting in your headphones (with mic), recording a voice memo and using a program like GarageBand or Audition Toolkit.
You can go the other extreme, which involves booking out a recording studio which usually includes a professional mixer sitting in the studio to handle all of the recording controls for you, and even pushing out the edited form.
Either of these work, and the primary deciding factor is likely your size.
If you can afford to commit to the professional set up in a studio, it’s worth it for the quality of audio you will get and the saving of your time in the editing process.
But if you sit somewhere in between these two, there are plenty of entry-level recording microphones you can buy to plug into your computer, and get higher-level audio than a headphone mic, but somewhere below a studio (in both quality and, importantly, cost).
Once you have recorded the first few episodes, to ensure you have ‘pillar shows’ which you can upload and encourage followers/customers to download, it’s time to work out how the whole scene operates…
What Do I Have To Do To Get My Podcast On Spotify?
Spotify isn’t the only platform from which users listen to podcasts, but it’s certainly the biggest and you’ll want your show to be on that app.
However, a common misconception with podcasts is that you ‘load’ your files onto a platform like Spotify or Apple Music – that’s not that case.
Platforms like Spotify draw the audio files for podcasts from RSS feeds, so you need to register with one of their approved hosts, like Anchor or Buzzsprout and then link this to your Spotify account.
This is a similar process for other podcast apps, and once you have registered with your host they will be able to help you along the way.
As a Digital Marketer looking for your next big role, it’s important you’re across the many different channels that make up the digital marketing ecosystem. Podcasts are a vital part of that scene, and well worth the time spent researching.
As with all online marketing, however, it will need to form one pillar of an integrated digital strategy to ensure the funnel from awareness to brand advocate is complete.