Today, many companies and organizations are exploring alternative forms of marketing that have only come into existence within the last 10–15 years. Broadly, this category is known as content marketing: creating content that is of interest and value to the company’s target market. Other forms of content marketing include blogging and video creation for social platforms.
Within content marketing, however, podcasting holds a unique place.
With the rise of visual media and the ready access to videos and photos, it would seem that a purely audio medium would face a decline in popularity, much as the advent of television caused some to expect a decline in radio’s popularity. However, despite expectations, podcasts have continued to grow in popularity. For example, the podcast “Serial,” which debuted its first season in 2014, received over 40 million downloads in less than three months, a number far beyond the audience numbers for the majority of television shows.
1. Easy to get started
One of the major reasons to consider podcasting is that the barrier of entry into this medium is comparatively low when compared to the costs of video creation. All that’s needed for the creation of a decent podcast is a good microphone and a quiet, relatively sound-proof space, along with a website and hosting for audio files online. Microphone prices vary widely, but excellent mid-range models are available at a very affordable price when compared to the costs of even an entry-level video setup.
2. A personal touch
Human beings react emotionally to the sound of a voice. When hearing someone speak on a podcast episode week after week, an audience develops a feeling associated with that voice, ideally, a feeling of trust, anticipation, and friendliness. With the best podcasts, the audience feels a personal connection with the podcaster (and the organization represented) and looks forward to hearing from them as new content is released.
One of the best reasons to produce a podcast is that it provides an opportunity for the business to speak directly to its audience, building a sense of emotional trust and confidence.
3. Valuable, interesting information
Podcasts can provide value to their audience: value in the form of information or ideas that the listeners enjoy and that are relevant to the company brand.
When an audience is receiving something exciting or informative regularly, they develop an expectation of receiving that content that will keep them engaged and listening to the podcasts. This reinforces the company brand each time they listen.
With the regular production of content for podcasts, listeners grow accustomed to hearing from the organization on a regular basis. This regular “touch” between company and market reinforces the brand with every episode. For this reason, podcast producers should carefully define the format and style of the podcast to ensure maximum brand-reinforcement and greatest value to listeners. Often, a central component of trust is simply regular contact. Podcasting allows any company or organization to be in contact with its customer base every time a new episode comes out.
4. A sense of expertise
Customers and clients want to know that the organization they’re trusting their money to is an expert in its field. Podcasts are an ideal way to convey this sense of expertise. A company or organization can regularly reinforce the trustworthiness and knowledge of its brand through podcasting. The podcaster can directly explain details and facts about the industry, facts that reinforce the brand in a very positive, personal way.
5. Directs traffic to the company
Central to any business is traffic, users, or customers. Whatever they’re called, there are potential customers available who have never received the brand message. Podcasting provides an opportunity to reach those people.
A valuable, entertaining, informative, well-produced podcast will gain traction among its target listeners through word of mouth and via social media. If relevant content and compelling data are being provided, then the podcast audience will increase, and with it, the customer base will increase as well.
6. Podcasts are popular, but there aren’t many
One of the best reasons to consider producing a podcast is that podcasts are a very popular form of media today, yet the pool of podcasts is relatively small. With a well produced, informative, regular podcast, there is an excellent potential to gain a share of the broad audience of listeners today.
7. It’s fun
Finally, remember that sharing what you care about and interacting with guests and a community can be fun and enjoyable.