3 reasons you need to make a podcast for your small business

Photo by  Bookblock  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bookblock on Unsplash

Imagine being able to have one-on-one conversations with your ideal clients any time of the day or night. That’s exactly what you can do with a podcast. 

Podcasts might be used as a butt of millennial jokes, but they’re an amazingly powerful platform for brands and small businesses to build a loyal, engaged following while positioning themselves as experts in their field. 

In this post I’m going to explain the three reasons podcasts can be a powerful component of your marketing plan. 

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PODCASTS HAVE BECOME MAINSTREAM

Podcasts are no longer just for hipster millennials. Traditional broadcasters have embraced the medium, along with new podcast production companies and individuals. 

In June 2019, there were over 30 million individual podcast episodes and over 750,000 shows. But just a year earlier? There were 550,000 shows.

Statistics from the Infinite Dial 2019 report into US podcast consumption found 144 million people have listened to a podcast. That’s 51% of the population. There were 62 million people listening to podcasts on a weekly basis; 22% of the population, up from 17% in 2018.

In the UK, Ofcom statistics show the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years from 3.2 million in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2018. That includes an increase in listeners of all ages, but there was huge growth in 15 to 24 category where about one in five people listen weekly. In fact, 49% of podcast listeners in the UK are under 35.

Podcasts are growing rapidly in Australia too, with one in four people aged 16 to 64 listening regularly. Of those people 21% are listening more than they were a year ago. 

Although podcasts are booming, there are still so many opportunities to capitalise on niche audiences. There is estimated to be at least 500 million blogs on the internet but we’re not yet at a million podcasts. 

You can see from these figures there’s still so many growth opportunities in podcasting and now is the perfect time to make the most of this incredibly engaging platform. 

But why should you create a podcast for your small business?

Reason #1 why podcasting can help your business: it’s personal and portable

Unlike radio, there’s no limit on listening to podcasts. You’re not constrained by live schedules and you have the power to pick and choose based on your mood. 

Take a minute to think about your own podcast listening habits.

Here’s some of the situations when I’ll listen to podcasts:

  • At the gym or on a walk

  • While I’m cooking or doing chores around the house

  • Driving or commuting

  • While I’m setting up bookstagram shots or editing photos

  • While I’m scheduling social media posts

  • In the bath or shower

  • When I can’t sleep

There’s so many more opportunities for listening to a podcast than, say, reading a blog post or scrolling Instagram. Just think about how great that could be for your brand. Now your ideal client has the ability to tune into your podcast at any time of the day, not just when they’ve got a few minutes to scroll your blog post on their lunch break. 

Podcasting is also incredibly personal, although this is changing with the growing popularity of smart speakers. Australian research from 2018 shows 60% of podcast consumption is through headphones. You’re basically having a conversation with your listeners. 

Obviously I’m a big fan of blog posts and I love writing, but it would be ridiculous to ignore the endless potential podcasting presents to connect with your people on a whole new level. 

3 reasons your small business needs a podcast

Reason #2 why podcasting can help your business: listeners are engaged and they want to learn

When I’m talking up podcasts, one of the stats I can never get over is how incredibly engaged listeners are. It outstrips any other medium for engagement. 

The Infinite Dial 2019 report found 80% of listeners made it through all or most of each podcast episode

Compare that to blog posts, where 80% of people won’t even read past the headline. The remaining 20% of people who do read on usually drop off as the scroll through the page. 

Podcast listeners are super engaged and they’re also eager to learn. Surveys have shown people start listening to podcasts as a break from reality and slowly become obsessed with finding shows which challenge them. 

Nothing is too niche for podcasts because people start to search our shows which will help them improve an area of their life, or just provide them with some new information.

What does this mean for your small business or brand? You can showcase your brand values through an entertainment-style show or creating a niche educational podcast. It doesn’t matter which format you choose, there are listeners out there for your show. 

Don’t forget to grab your FREE podcast planning workbook!

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Reason #3 why podcasting can help your business: it helps build your credibility

Time for some harsh truths: podcasting won’t make you millions and it won’t boost your sales overnight. 

You might be wondering why it’s even worth making a podcast if it’s not going to reflect in sales. 

But podcasting is a way to cultivate a long-term engaged following and position yourself as an expert in your field. 

Even if you’re creating an entertainment-based podcast, it should still reflect your brand values and will ultimately attract people who share the same beliefs. 

Including ‘advertisements’ for your brand services in these entertainment-based podcasts can still prove incredibly beneficial. 

Brands are starting to flock to podcasts as an advertising medium because it works (mostly for the reasons I’ve already talked about above). Australian surveys from 2018 found 61% of listeners took action after hearing a commercial message on a podcast and a further 76% looked for more information online. 

While this information is aimed at showing commercial advertisers the benefit of podcast advertising, it shows how powerful this medium can be for your small business. Including information about your services at the start or end of entertaining interviews will have a positive impact on your listeners and may encourage them to research your business further. 

This is exactly how I found my business coach Holly. I found the Blog It Boss It podcast through Instagram and added it to my huge list of shows. I kept following Holly online and listening to the weekly episodes, which convinced me she really knew her stuff. When I was looking to invest in my business, Holly was the first person on my mind. 

Podcasting is a slow burn, but building your credibility through audio will produce an incredibly engaged audience who are likely to have your brand front-of-mind when they’re ready to buy. 


A FINAL NOTE

Podcasts can be a creative new way to engage with your ideal clients. Podcasts are booming and still in their infancy compared to blogs. You haven’t ‘missed out’ on the podcast craze. There are still so many topics to be explored through audio.

Niche right down to really position yourself as an expert to your audience and treat it as a personal conversation with each listener. 

Remember, podcasting isn’t going to produce overnight results and it’s not going to make you huge chunks of money. But it is an entertaining and compelling way to communicate with a new audience, who’ll take you (and your podcast) everywhere from their commute to the gym.