Podcasting is a great form of content that a number of small business entrepreneurs, marketers, and content creators are starting to use. Why? Because podcasting for business can be extremely effective.
Podcasts are like a cooler, more up to date version of a radio show (think on demand radio). Users can subscribe to podcasts to receive digital files once they are available and consume them when and where ever they choose.
In case you were curious, here's a brief history of podcasting...
Podcasting was invented in 2004 by Adam Curry, a media personality, and Dave Winer, a software developer. Originally, RSS feed was only able to merge texts, so Winer decided to tweak it so it can also include larger media files like mp3s.
The term podcasting was first mentioned by Ben Hammersley in his 2004 article entitled Audible revolution. Meanwhile, Libsyn.com was the first company to offer podcasting services around the same time podcasting was invented.
The rest, as they say, is history!
In this article, I will discuss the different benefits of podcasting for business, how to use it to grow your business, and most importantly, how to start one.
Let's jump right in...
Businesses, big and small, are increasingly using podcasts to improve their digital marketing.
Podcasting is a powerful marketing tool because of its appeal to mobile device users. The importance of going mobile with your digital marketing can't be understated and podcasting is heavily consumed on mobile devices.
Given the increased usage of mobile devices, podcasting has become a great way to build credibility and add value to a target audience. Podcasting can help you get through the know, like, and trust phase of the customer journey.
Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of podcasting for business.
If creating video content isn't your forte or it scares the heck out of you, then podcasting could be for you. Don't get me wrong, video content is very engaging and can benefit your business in many ways.
However, not everyone has the skills, equipment, desire, or creativity to create video for their business.
Although podcasts lack the visual appeal of video content, they do offer the audio side of it. Having people hear your voice is still a very powerful way for them to get to know you.
Listeners usually subscribe to a podcast series and regularly listen. They will continue to listen as long as you provide valuable podcast content.
Listeners may recommend your podcast to others who might be interested which gradually increases your reach. Consistent podcasting will increase awareness and build credibility for your business over time.
Podcasts let you connect with listeners on a more personal level. They allow you to build better, longer-lasting relationships with your audience. In other words, podcasts help build trust.
Remember that trust is key to building your brand. It's one of the reasons why consumers buy from you.
Podcasts can be pretty easy to create and don't require a ton of extra equipment. Here's a list of what you'll need to get started:
These items will be enough to get you going, but as you get into it you might like to have these 10 podcasting tools.
Did you know that 44% of Americans ages 12 and above have listened to podcasts so far in 2018? That’s 124 million people overall.
Oh yes! These numbers don't lie.
There's no denying that podcasts engage listeners. A lot of people don't like to read or want to consume content when they can't read (ie driving in the car) and podcasts fill this void.
And, if you don't like writing all you have to do is speak to produce podcasts.
If you want to use podcasting to grow your business, there are really two ways to do it.
Let's start by covering the topic of guest podcasting.
The concept of guest podcasting is simple - get on a podcast as a guest. It's just like being interviewed for a TV show or an article.
Your goal as a guest in a podcast is to share your story, educate listeners, and build rapport.
The benefits of guest podcasting are significant.
Even a short 15-20-minute podcast interview gives you access to a ton of highly targeted listeners with very little preparation.
Guest blogging is a great form of content marketing but it's a lot of work. It takes far less time to be a guest on a podcast.
You will rarely find a podcast host who doesn't care about production value. This is why guest podcasting is a very good avenue because it's highly likely you will get top-notch production in terms of professional sound, editing, creating custom web graphics, and writing custom show notes.
Podcasting will yield great results for your business. Why? Because people love to consume audio content.
What does this mean? After your guest podcast session, you can transcribe the whole conversation into a blog post and get another piece of content from it.
Any credible podcast you guest on will also produce show notes that will appear as a page on their website. Show notes are full of relevant links from the show and links back to you and your business.
In other words, you just picked up some backlinks that will help with your SEO.
As you are being interviewed for a podcast you will develop a rapport with the host and you never know what might come from building a new connection.
You may end up doing business with the host or the host may connect you with a strategic partner. There are all kinds of opportunities that can come from making a new connection.
First of all, NEVER sell during your guest podcast session. Remember that your job as a guest is to inform and educate the listeners.
The host will give you an opportunity to let listeners know how to connect with you and sometimes present an offer to their listeners. If you do a great job in the interview listeners will reach out or take advantage of your offer.
No matter what industry you are in, there are tons of relevant industry podcasts you can be a guest on.
The key to your success will be YOUR HOOK. Why should the host want to interview you? Did you just write a book? Are you having success with a new approach in your industry? Will guests find it valuable to hear about your history/story?
I don't think it really matters what your hook is, as long as it will be interesting and valuable to the podcast audience you are targeting.
Here's a brief rundown of the steps you should consider taking to start guest podcasting.
For an in-depth look at this process, check out this article on how to get on podcasts as a guest.
Now let's take a look at what you'll need to do to create your own podcast...
The first thing you need to decide for your podcast is what type of podcast it will be.
Some podcasts will switch between the different types listed below and others will stick to the same format over and over again. Choose what you like best and are most comfortable doing.
The solo podcast is the host and nobody else. The goal of a solo podcast is to talk about topics that are industry specific that provide solutions to business problems or educate on different industry topics.
An interview-style podcast allows you to bring in a guest to provide expert advice or motivate your audience with their story. The great thing about an interview-style podcast is you don't have to be the only one talking!
The multiple host podcast might be just the hosts (like a solo podcast) or it could be the hosts interviewing someone (like an interview style podcast). This can give listeners a ton of variety with different voices throughout the podcast.
There are a few other types of podcasts, but most are really a variation of the 3 listed above. For a more in-depth look check out this article on popular podcast formats.
Now that you've decided your format, it's time to create your podcast...
Don't forget the podcasting tools I mentioned above because you'll need them as you jump through the following steps.
There are important things you must know when choosing your podcast topic. Choosing the right topic is crucial to the success of your podcast. You can't just talk about random topics that listeners won't relate to.
Be consistent in all your podcast topics to keep your listeners tuned in. Remember that listeners want to hear solutions to their problems and learn.
Why do you need a hosting service? A hosting service provides the RSS feed and file hosting for your podcast.
Top podcast hosting companies simplify and automate both the RSS feed and file hosting and delivering to your listeners.
Now that you have selected a topic and a hosting service, it's time to press that RECORD button and start recording your first podcast.
Now that you've recorded, it's time to edit your podcast to make sure it's polished. You'll also want to create awesome show notes to support your podcast.
It's LAUNCH time! After successfully recording your first podcast episode, the final step is to get it out to listeners.
Here are a few ways to promote your podcast:
There you go! That's how you can use podcasting to grow your small business.
Podcasting for business can be an awesome type of content marketing that can give you a really high return on investment.
What do you think, is podcasting right for your business? Are you ready to get started?
I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below and share.
Header image courtesy of Pexels.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Mobile Marketing. At Rialto Mobile Marketing we create marketing systems to help small businesses achieve simple, sustainable growth. We help small businesses differentiate themselves from the competition, work with more ideal clients, command a premium for their products and services, and make marketing easier with consistent, repeatable results.