It seems like everyone’s starting a podcast these days – from businesses, to schools, to individuals and teams. As a result, many new and developing businesses wonder whether they too should be joining the craze. At the same time, with the number of podcasts already available and the effort it takes to produce them, it’s hard to know if they’re a smart and effective marketing strategy.
Interestingly, marketing experts seem to overwhelmingly believe that podcasts are a good marketing tool based on the increasing numbers of podcast listeners, the number of benefits that they bring to your business and, surprisingly, the relative ease with which they can be produced.
The number of people listening to podcasts is rapidly growing.
For the last few years, there has been steady growth in the number of people listening to podcasts, but from 2018 to 2019 there was a dramatic jump in listeners. Not surprisingly, there was also a significant increase in the number of podcasts made during this time period – from 550,000 active podcasts in 2018 to over 700,000 in 2019.
The statistics surrounding the number of people listening to podcasts in 2019 are compelling:
- 51% of the US population has listened to at least one podcast (that’s about 165 million people).
- 32% of the US population listens to podcasts at least once a month (that’s up from around 25% in 2018).
- 22% of the US population listens to podcasts weekly.
In 2018, Seth Greene of Market Domination, LLC said, “For the next three to five years, [it will be] like the new ground floor of podcasting. There are a billion listeners and that’s supposed to triple in the next few years.” If his predictions are right, then we should expect to see continued and consistent growth in coming years.
There are many factors that account for the rise in podcast popularity, from the increase in smart phone usage to the quality and quantity of podcasts available to the ease with which people can multi-task while listening to podcasts (during a commute, while working out, cleaning, or cooking, etc.). Whatever the factors, however, podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular medium and, as a result, they can be an effective way for businesses to reach an ever-growing audience.
Podcasts help your business achieve its marketing goals.
Marketing experts argue that a well-produced podcast can help to grow your business in a variety of ways. Podcasts can increase brand visibility, help you build a loyal following, help you build credibility in your industry, increase website traffic, and help your brand or business show up in more web searches.
In addition, podcasts offer some unique benefits over other marketing strategies. First, since most listeners come from subscribed apps such as iTunes, new episodes of podcasts are immediately downloaded when they’re released. This means that rather than having to work to get new content to your target audience, your content automatically gets delivered to a portion of your audience as soon as it’s released. Second, podcasts integrate particularly well with other components of your marketing strategy. For example, they’re a good platform to discuss recent blog posts, promote your social media accounts, and build your email or subscriber list.
Ultimately, when done well, podcasts are entertaining and informative. As such, they are an effective platform to enable you to connect with your audience, promote your brand, and sell your products or services.
Podcasts are surprisingly easy to produce.
One thing that accounts for the increase in the number of podcasts made in the last few years is increased accessibility to the necessary tools to produce a quality podcast. You no longer need to be an especially technical person, nor do you need to invest much money to start making a podcast. There are actually just a few – relatively simple – steps.
The first step for creating a podcast is having a concept – i.e., topic, name, format, length. Once you have created that, you’ll want to write a compelling description and create some catchy artwork. With those foundations in place, you’re ready to start creating, recording, and editing your content. Here’s where you’ll need some equipment and software. Experts argue that no matter how good the content is, if the sound quality is not good, people will not listen. However, these tools are now widely available and affordable. Finally, once your content is ready, you’ll need a hosting service such as Libsyn, SoundCloud, or PodBean.
This process might seem complicated and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. In a step-by-step guide, Shopify tells listeners everything they need to know to start a podcast for less than $100. This thorough introduction includes the technical aspects necessary to ensure everything from good sound quality to syndicating your audio files so they can be distributed, downloaded, and streamed.
If you’re considering starting a podcast to promote your brand and business, now might be the perfect time to do it. With more and more engaged listeners, it’s a great way to reach a large audience. Plus, podcasts are becoming increasingly easy to make. When produced with quality content and as part of a targeted marketing strategy, podcasts can be an effective and smart way to grow your business and develop your brand.