Podcasts are quickly becoming an important way that people choose to consume media—in addition to the internet, television, and radio.
According to Edison Research, 40% of Americans have listened to podcasts and 24% have listened to one in the past month.
That’s a lot of listening, which means it might be time to pay attention to podcasting as a marketing tool.
Think of podcasts as radio shows on demand. In fact, some of the most popular podcasts are originally produced as radio shows by networks such as National Public Radio.
But it’s not just big broadcasters that create podcasts. Much like blogs, anyone can start their own podcast and make it available to the world. Some podcasts feature just one person, others have a few co-hosts and many include guest interviews.
People can listen to podcasts in many ways. One of the most popular is to download podcast episodes on their phone. Both Apple and Android phones have podcast apps that let people subscribe to, download and listen to shows.
Since podcasts are audio only, people can consume podcasts while they are on a run, shopping at the grocery store or driving to work.
Benefits of Podcasting
Your small business is always looking to connect with existing customers and find new ones. A podcast can be a great way to do this. Here are some benefits to starting your own podcast:
- Stay on top of your customers’ minds. With a regular weekly podcast, your customers can get updates from you on a regular basis. This means they won’t forget about you when it’s time to use your services. Imagine being part of a customer’s commute once a week. That’s powerful!
- Make your customers feel special. Use your podcast as a way to feature your customers and make them customers for life. For example, a pet groomer can feature a different customer’s dog in each episode. The podcast can be about when they got the dog, why they chose the breed, and what makes their dog special. Not only will this earn a customer for life, but the customer is likely to share the podcast with all of their friends.
- Get connected to powerful people. Is there’s an important person in your industry that you’d really like to talk to? It might be difficult to convince them to schedule time to talk to you. But if you invite them to be a guest interview on your podcast, they will probably jump at the opportunity to be interviewed. It’s a win-win for both you and the other person.
- Go in-depth. So much of communication today is short: short tweets, a photo on Facebook. Podcasts are an opportunity for your customers to get to know you and your business on a much more intimate level.
Producing a podcast is not a walk in the park. It will take time. If you struggle to keep a blog up-to-date, then investing the time to run a podcast might be asking too much.
It also costs a little bit of money to get started. You’ll need a decent microphone and to hire a designer to create a podcast cover.
While it helps to have technical expertise, you may be able to outsource the technical aspects of podcasting to a freelance audio producer or other professionals.
A good way to test if you can commit to publishing a regular podcast is to try being a guest on other podcasts. You can use PodcastGuests.com to find relevant opportunities to be a guest.
What Could You Podcast About?
A weekly podcast that’s just about your company probably won’t interest many people. You want to create a podcast that will be valuable to listeners.
Take some time to get familiar with what podcasts other people are creating. Open the podcast app on your phone and enter keywords related to your industry to see what other people are doing.
Here are some podcast ideas for different types of businesses:
- Lawyer: Answer common legal questions. Explain current legal issues in the news.
- Dentist: Profile patients and provide simple dental health tips. Talk about the latest technology for dental procedures.
- Web developer: Discuss best practices with development and user interface specialists.
- Mechanic: Record different sounds a car makes when it needs repair and talk about what each sound could mean.
- Mortgage broker: Interview real estate agents about what home buyers are looking for.
- Marketing agency: Interview clients about their biggest marketing challenges. Showcase businesses with interesting marketing strategies.
Before you jump in head first, spend the next couple of weeks downloading and listening to podcasts. Think about which podcasts interest you and what makes you want to listen to more than one episode.
Do you have a favorite podcast? Let us know what inspires you in our comments.
And when you’re looking for a place to host a blog with all of your podcast episodes, Namecheap’s got your back with inexpensive shared hosting options.