Podcasts have soared in popularity in recent years, with around 25% of adults claiming to listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. There’s no wonder that more and more businesses are turning to podcasts as a digital marketing tactic to boost their customer base and increase their profits. But what are the benefits of starting a podcast, and how do you know if it’s the right step for your business?
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about podcasts for business, from how to start a podcast to the impact that this digital marketing tactic could have on your business. We’ll also explain how to find your target market and how to make money off the back of it.
What is a podcast?
Before we get started with explaining how to start your own podcast, it’s important to understand exactly what a podcast is and how this type of digital marketing is used by businesses.
Podcasts are essentially audio shows, often released on a regular basis. They can be downloaded by the listener and listened to whenever they want. Podcasts are usually presented by someone who has an interest in a specific subject or topic, with the conversation turned into a podcast for other people to enjoy.
Businesses use podcasts to attract their target customer to their business. By talking about things that their target customer is interested in, they then gain a captive audience to promote their products or services to.
Pros and cons of podcasts for businesses
Before making the decision to start your own podcast, it’s important to understand that there are both pros and cons of taking this step. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of starting your own podcast.
Advantages of starting a podcast for your business
Starting a podcast is a positive step for many businesses. Not only can it help to attract new customers to your business, but it can also help to present you as an authority in your industry.
Here are some of the top advantages of using podcasts to market your business.
- Becoming an authority within your industry. By having your own podcast, you can become the go-to person for people who have an interest in the subject you’re talking about. If someone is interested in a particular topic and wants to learn more, your podcast will be their first port of call. Your customers will see you as an expert in your subject area, and will begin to turn to you for advice in your field.
- Finding out what your customers want from your business. Through your podcast, you will be able to learn more about your target market, including their interests, likes and dislikes. Listening to your customers’ feedback will help you tailor your podcast for them, so they’re more likely to listen and engage with it.
- Gaining new business opportunities. Whether you set out to use your podcast as a way of finding new clients or simply remain an educational resource, businesses can find themselves making money off the back of a podcast. Whether you choose to promote your business in your show or let listeners support you through a donation, people will be more likely to buy from a company they feel invested in.
- Sharing your knowledge with others. If you’re an expert in a particular field, there’s nothing stopping you from sharing your knowledge with the world through a podcast. If you know everything about something, why not pass on your knowledge to others?
Disadvantages of starting a podcast for your business
Whilst there are many advantages of starting a podcast for your business, it’s also important to be aware that there are some disadvantages of choosing this digital marketing method.
Here are some of the disadvantages of starting a business podcast:
- Time and money. Before deciding whether or not to start your own podcast, it’s important to consider how much time this will require and how much money it will cost. This is not a cheap digital marketing tactic, so you’ll need to be willing to put the time and effort in to make it work. Podcasts are also only as good as your content, so you’ll need to spend time planning each show before putting it out there for the world to hear.
- Competition. If you’re going to start a podcast, you’ll have a lot of competition in the same subject area as you. Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, so it may be hard for your show to stand out from the crowd and gain a following. However, this is one of the main reasons that this form of digital marketing works – you’re breaking into a market that is already established and popular.
- Compatibility with other forms of marketing. The aim of any business is to make as many sales as possible, but not all digital marketing strategies work together. For example, podcasting will only be as successful as your content and your website/social media presence, so if these aren’t up to scratch it will be impossible for you to grow as a business.
What software do you need to start a podcast?
To create a podcast, you’ll need the appropriate software. There are many different options out there so it’s worth spending time researching what will suit your needs and budget. The following list is not exhaustive, but here are some of the most popular ones to get you started:
This app lets you record and publish your podcast to Apple or Android devices, as well as directly onto social media such as Facebook and Twitter. There’s also an option to record directly from other apps on your device, meaning you can spend less time recording and editing.
Podbean is a great all-in-one tool that allows you to create your podcast, upload it and then start promoting it right away. It’s another service that allows you to record directly from your smartphone or tablet and publish quickly and easily online.
Libsyn is a file hosting service for podcasts, helping you to build and grow an audience for your show. It’s a useful tool for recording, editing and hosting podcasts.
Buzzsprout is another great podcasting service that lets you focus on the creative side of things without having to worry about the technical aspects. There are lots of options when it comes to publishing your content with this service so you can upload your podcast wherever you like.
5. Recorder Plus
Recorder Plus is a simple, easy to use tool which lets you record directly onto your phone or tablet. It’s free and there are no ads in the app, so it’s worth checking out if you don’t fancy paying for recording software just yet.
Five steps to starting your business podcast
So, you think that a podcast is the right next step for your business, but how do you actually go about starting one?
Here are the five steps to creating the first episode of your business podcast.
1. Decide on your subject
Before you even think about starting a podcast for your business, it’s important to decide what you want to talk about. You need to know exactly what it is you’ll be discussing, so you can either find an interesting angle or establish your authority in that area.
2. Determine your target audience
Figure out who you want to target with your podcast. Who is going to be interested in the subject you’re talking about? Once you know your target audience, it will be easier for you to devise a plan of action and adapt your content to them.
3. Choose a name for your podcast
Once you’ve got a topic and audience in mind, it will be easier to choose the name of your podcast. You could come up with a witty or memorable name that people can easily search for, or simply give it a name that reflects what you do. You could even use your business name or a variation of it.
4. Write a script
Your podcast is only as good as your content, so it’s important to spend time writing a script for each show. If you don’t have much experience in this area, you could always brainstorm ideas with a friend before putting pen to paper.
5. Record and publish your first episode
Once you’ve written a script and had your first practice run, you’re ready to record an episode of your podcast. You could do this yourself or ask someone else to record it for you – just make sure that everything is up to standard before putting it out there.
How to promote your podcast
Now that you have a podcast up and running, you need to tell people about it! It’s important to promote yourself as early on as possible, so you can get the ball rolling and start attracting listeners.
Here are some ways to promote your podcast:
1. Social media
Social media is a great way to promote your podcast, so make sure you spend time posting on Facebook and Twitter as well as relevant business communities such as LinkedIn groups. You could also join relevant hangouts and Skype chats that focus on the subject of your podcast.
2. Blog posts
Blog posts are a great way of promoting your podcast, especially if you’re looking to build authority in your chosen area. They can also be shared around on social media and linked back to from podcasts, so they’re a good option if you don’t have much time.
3. YouTube videos
If you spend time creating videos for your business, you could use these as a promotional tool for your podcast. You can talk about the content of your podcasts in videos and direct people to where they can listen to them. You could even do video interviews with guests on your show, allowing you to reach out to an even bigger audience!
4. Audio on your website
If you have a blog that talks about the subject of your business podcast, why not include audio clips on it? You could use these as ‘teasers’ for upcoming podcasts and create an interest in them before releasing each episode. Alternatively, you could write some guest posts on related blogs and include the audio clips at the end of each one.
5. Email marketing
An email list is a great way to promote your podcast, letting people know when you release new content. You can encourage them to subscribe by offering something for free or telling them what they’ll get in return for signing up (such as exclusive bonus content).
6. Guest posts
If you’re looking to reach a new audience, guest posting is another great promotion tool. Setting up an interview with someone who has lots of subscribers and email list members will allow your content to be seen by like-minded people – and they might even share it too!
How much money does it take to start a podcast?
One of the best things about starting a podcast is that it is a relatively low cost form of marketing. Your only costs will be the software that you use to record and edit your podcasts, the hosting that you use to store your podcasts and any paid marketing techniques that you use to advertise it.
If you’re looking to keep costs down, it is possible to get your podcast up and running for virtually no cost. It just takes a little time and effort.
Podcasts are currently soaring in popularity, which is why many businesses are choosing to capitalise on this by launching a podcast. Creating a podcast is a great way to grow your business and to get your brand in front of new potential customers. This digital marketing technique can be as expensive or as low cost as you make it, making it an ideal option for a wide range of businesses across almost every industry.