For a while, podcasts were a big question mark. But today? They’re big business. Case in point: Audio giants like iHeartMedia, Spotify, SiriusXM, and Acast all reported serious jumps in ad revenue this past year, as a result of podcast success, with Spotify’s podcast ad revenue soaring 627% in Q2 alone. So, what’s driving these results? And can you get a piece of the pie by starting a business podcast? To help you get started, here’s a look at some podcast marketing tips.
First, let’s consider why podcasts are so well-loved. For many, it’s because of their format. There’s a significant number of folks who want to be educated or entertained, but don’t have time to sit down and read a book or watch TV. Podcasts provide a way to fill the gap, offering information, humor or whatever someone is searching for on the go. By being audio-only, you don’t have to wait for a strong network (like you would when streaming video), you can download episodes ahead of time, stick in your AirPods and lose yourself in the content while commuting, doing housework or going for a run.
Second, podcasts are diverse. There are broad categories, and then about a million niche options within each one. If you want advice about becoming a published fiction writer, for example, there’s a podcast (or 20) for that. If you want to escape from the stress of your day and listen to a meditation guru talk about practical ways to become more zen, yep – you can find that, too. Top categories include news, comedy, true crime, sports, and health, but there’s no limit to what’s out there. This is very appealing to a wide range of people with a wide range of tastes.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to figure out how to start with your own business podcast strategy:
- What is your goal?
- Who is your audience?
- What do they care about?
- Who is the host?
- What is their expertise?
- How much time can you commit?
The order of these questions matters, too. Always start by thinking through your goal, whenever you consider beginning something new in marketing. If your goal is to grow revenue by upselling current customers, a business podcast may not be the most direct path from Point A to Point B. But if you’re working to grow your business by gaining awareness and reaching new customers, it could be the best place to start.
Then, think through your audience. Who are your ideal buyers? What do they want to learn about? What do they like? If you’re not sure, do some research and conduct customer interviews. It’s worth taking the time to understand who you’re speaking to, or else your topics are likely to fall flat. If your ideal buyers are parents in their 40s and 50s with kids about to enter college, your topics should probably center on things like preparing young adults for college life, helping your children save money, dealing with your own empty nest – and so forth.
Choosing a host should be decided next. Is it your CEO? That might be the right choice, unless your CEO is already overloaded and also camera-shy (er, microphone-shy in this case). The person hosting the podcast should have expertise, personality, and time to commit to the project. Another idea is to name one person as the main host, and let other guests host occasionally, as well. If you want to check out some examples of great business podcasts, here’s one podcast and another in which our own CEO Jay Feitlinger was a guest, and here’s one where I was invited on as a guest, too.
Once you have all this mapped out, it’s time to come up with episode topics, invite guests and start recording. Of course, you’ll need to engage in podcast marketing, too – but that could be its own separate post. Throughout this entire process, StringCan can help you maximize your efforts. Just give us a call!