Podcasting has seen an exponential growth over the past year and is quickly becoming one of the most accessible and cost-effective marketing tools available to businesses.
The term ‘podcasting’ is a portmanteau of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcasting’, describing the increasing wave of audio and visual media files available for download via the internet.
According to the RAJAR Midas Winter report 2016, 4.7 million adults in the UK listen to podcasts compared from 3.7 in Autumn 2015. Whilst that’s a relatively low percentage of the population, a 27% increase in just over a year shows that the trend towards podcasts is set to continue growing – and fast.
So why the hype?
For businesses, podcasting offers a relatively cheap way to get their message out in a more dynamic, readily accessible format. The flexibility and freedom it provides is key; listeners and potential customers can tune in anytime and anywhere that suits them.
People don’t always have time to read articles, but by subscribing to your podcast series, they can automatically receive downloads and listen to them at a time that suits: on the commute to work, juggling chores, relaxing with a coffee.
Unsurprisingly, the RAJAR survey found the most popular way to listen to podcasts was via Smartphone (66%) with the most popular time of day being 8.15-8.30am.
If you’ve not considered podcasting before, here are some of the reasons you might want to give it a go:
Podcasting helps you raise your profile
Podcasts allow you to raise both your own profile and that of your organisation. By showing your personality and putting a face to the company, either your own or your employees, you will establish a better connection with your audience and position yourself as someone knowledgeable who they can trust.
If you’re not comfortable listening to your own voice (let’s be honest, who is?) you can always turn the focus onto a customer or another expert you’re working with by carrying out a podcast Q&A that listeners will find interesting or inspiring.
Podcasting can improve your reach
Podcasting is a great way to engage with prospective new customers as well as keeping you at the forefront of your current customers’ minds.
By providing an opportunity to reach a global audience through podcast directories, you can get your message out to a much larger number of people. And if you create quality podcasts that appeal to your target audience, the likelihood is that they’ll keep coming back for more.
Podcasting can drive sales
Whilst the primary aim of a podcast should be aimed at helping listeners, you can use your introductions and endings to share some information about who you are, what you specialise in, and provide contact details or calls to actions. You can also create specific product-related podcasts or ‘how to’ guides.
By assisting listeners in making a decision or teaching them something new, your podcasts might just turn a profit.
Podcasting helps you express yourself
One of the advantages podcasts have over written content is their ability to convey emotion – you can use this to your advantage and choose a tone and language that informs, enthuses or excites your audience.
The ability to share your passion and story can really help bring your brand to life, creating a more meaningful connection. Audio and visual content is often far more engaging because of this dimension. You could start by turning articles you’ve already written into podcasts and seeing if they generate more interest in that format.
Podcasting gets feedback
If you want to know whether your efforts are hitting the right notes, the download statistics will give you some good feedback. Some podcast directories will also let listeners vote or comment on your podcasts.
More in depth feedback is harder to come by though; RAJAR report that only 65% of downloads are listened to – as of yet, there’s no way of telling when people tune out or skip parts of a podcast and it’s difficult to garner any real audience demographics. However, proposals are already afoot to use pingbacks to request listeners return data.
Podcasting is cost effective
Podcasting provides a relatively inexpensive and easy way to market your business. It doesn’t require a huge investment and so is becoming far more viable for businesses; a simple desktop microphone may be all you need. It might take a bit of time to set up and get to grips with the technology, but it’s an investment that really can pay off.
Many businesses have yet to explore the potential of podcasts, so now is a great time to take the plunge if you want to stand out and get your voice heard. If last year’s growth is anything to go by, podcasts will continue to become more popular – getting involved sooner rather than later means you won’t get left behind.
One thing we do here at Clearly, is practice what we preach. And, later this month, we are launching two new podcast channels – PR Radio and Recruiter Radio. We’ll be posting the first podcasts for each channel very soon!