Since the dawn of digital media, companies and businesses have been looking for ways to utilize new platforms in order to reach a wider market. From advertisements on social media to blogging, there is certainly no shortage in the ways companies can reach out to the global online market. In addition to these common media strategies, there is an emerging tool waiting to be utilized by entrepreneurs: podcasting.
Promising Audience Growth
This emerging media platform shows a lot of promise for entrepreneurs who wish to reach out to a more niche market. Originally introduced in the early 2000s to coincide with the release of the iPod, these (mostly) audio broadcasts have been undergoing a massive renaissance with a steady audience growth.
A study published by Edison Research in their annual journal The Infinite Dial shows that 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, up 14 percent in one year. Furthermore, an estimated 42 million listen to podcasts weekly. That represents 15 percent of the total US population. The research also shows that 16% of the participants in the study have an annual household of 150K or more and 30% of the respondents have a graduate school or an advance degree. This positive trend is very good news and entrepreneurs should pay attention.
Here are the top 3 reasons why entrepreneurs should explore podcasting as a marketing strategy for 2018:
1. Great Audience Connection
Podcasting is a great way to connect and interact with a targeted audience as well as with other entrepreneurs. Podcasting is an easy medium to use as it does not require much neither from the creator nor the audience. As Daniel Newman, president of the Broadsuite Media group and a business professor in North Central College in Illinois, describes it, “Podcasts are an easily consumable content format, which doesn’t require a person’s undivided attention like video or text-based content does.” The conversational format allows you to educate your audience about your brand without the pressure of being too formal.
Podcasts are a great way to share the story behind your business and with it, you can also share your personal story as an entrepreneur. This makes the podcast feel more personal and more immersive, allowing your audience to partake in your story while learning about your business.
2. Tailored To Your Needs
Podcasts are easily modified and you can fashion it to suit your business. Since podcasts rely mainly on conversations and speaking, you have to be different. You have to be able to convey the story of your business in a creative and fresh way so as to stay ahead of your competitors. This may come in the form of sponsorships from different brands, inviting special guests, and/or inviting experts in a particular field to talk about a topic in relation to your business. Having guests in your podcasts shows will greatly increase your reach as these people also have their own following who will be interested in hearing them speak.
You can promote your podcast show through social media in different ways. You can tweet quotes or behind-the-scene snippets from the show to encourage people to listen to your podcasts. You can also create quote images and use it as a social media promotion for your show. Giveaways are also an interesting way of promoting a podcast as the allure of free stuff never fails to get the attention of the audience. One example of this is what Buffer Social did to launch their podcast show. They hosted a giveaway on their Instagram account encouraging their followers to tag their friends in the comments section, and they picked a winner from the comments. In addition, they also asked these people to Direct Message them a review of their podcast as an entry requirement for the giveaway.
3. Hot Brand Booster
Podcasts are a great way to develop your brand as a business. Lewis Howes, host of the podcast show The School of Greatness, notes that before starting a podcast show and making money through podcasts, there is one thing you have to do: “Write down a clear vision of what you want to create and why…” Howes says that making money from podcasts “requires you to get extremely focused on your why.” Starting off with this allows you to put everything into perspective, and this will also help you in determining the guests and sponsors you want in your show; it strengthens the link between the message of your show and the message of your business. This will also help you surround yourself and your business with like-minded people and companies who support the same cause as you do. John Lee Dumas, creator and host of the award-winning business podcast “Entrepreneurs on Fire,” values the importance of focus so much that he created his own acronym for it: Follow One Course Until Successful. He says, “Instead of going a mile wide and an inch deep, it’s important to focus on one project that you can go into a mile deep and just an inch wide.”
Making money through podcasting is not automatic, even the most successful podcasters had to start somewhere. For Pat Flynn, entrepreneur and host of the leading business podcast on iTunes, The Smart Passive Income, income is just a by-product of one’s impact on the audience. In an interview for Forbes, Flynn said, “Whenever I’ve seen people do something just for the money, they’ve failed because their intentions aren’t driving them in the right direction. It should always be about helping people and about the passion of making others feel better. The byproduct of doing that is generating money.” Starting a podcast show and making money from it requires much effort and commitment from you, but as Lewis Howes says, “Do it because you love it, pay attention to the feedback, and stay true to your intention and the opportunities for making money from your podcast will appear.”
Whether you want to be the expert your audience rave about or have interesting conversations with change-makers and inspire others on the way, running your own podcast show is one of the most powerful PR tool you can use to position yourself and your company as an authority. Starting out can be simple, cheap and fun, it's a mystery why so few entrepreneurs actually do it! Podcasting is a golden opportunity, especially for starting entrepreneurs, to develop and give their businesses a voice. It lets you to speak directly into the ears of your audience.