It’s a straightforward question. But, as is often the case when it comes to marketing, the answer’s not a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
The starting point for any podcast idea, whether it’s personal or professional, should always be: ‘Who is my ideal listener; what kind of content are they looking for, and what value can I offer to them?’.
Unfortunately, no matter how great you think your business is, no one is going to listen to a show if it feels like a marketing exercise rather than a source of great content - one that's full of information and ideas that they cannot readily come by elsewhere.
This means you need to think of a podcast content plan that is related to your product or service, highlighting your expertise and interest in the topic, without overtly selling your wares.
Importantly, your podcast also needs to fit in with your wider content strategy. If people listen to your podcast, they might start to follow (or already follow) your blog, or other social media channels. All need to be on brand and on message. If you take a stance on something in a podcast, make sure you’re not contradicting yourself elsewhere.
If you are prepared to think in this lateral way, then a podcast may be one of your most effective education and marketing tools.
Podcasts have seen a rapid rise in popularity
According to a recent study, 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week, and that number is only growing. To put that into perspective, that’s one in eight people regularly consuming podcasts. The most popular category currently is entertainment, but this is a strong indicator that your audience is likely an avid podcast listener, or will be in the future.
It can help with customer retention
Businesses frequently wrestle with ‘churn’ —clients who fail to stick around. A podcast is especially valuable in B2B industries where churn is expensive, and where the customer lifetime value is high, for example, in the legal and financial services sector.
|See how we helped a B2B SaaS startup launch with over 350 high quality leaders, here.|
If your content is pitched right, offering genuine insight into the issues your clients face, people will come back to the podcast again and again. While clients may not listen in every week (or month), over time the podcast will serve to deepen their relationship with your business.
It’s a great way to reach new prospects
A podcast is about sharing your expertise and experience, and by doing so you necessarily demonstrate your credibility and authority in your particular field. By offering information that is of value, you’ll reach new prospects who will subsequently approach your business better informed about what they need, and how you can help.
Time effective - if you’re prepared to outsource (if required)
A podcast can be a lot of work. If you’re going to build up a core audience you need to be consistent about the quantity and quality of your output. If you say it’s a weekly show - then you need to commit to that. And each show needs to offer something of value to the audience - the last thing you want to do is bore clients or prospects, or or even deter them away from your business.
Depending on the time you have available, interests, and technical know-how, you can outsource everything from booking guests, editing, publishing, transcription, show notes, and promotion. Also bear in mind that the best person for the role of host may not be the CEO - it needs to be someone who is comfortable with presenting and interviewing as well as personable.
So if you are serious about establishing a podcast, you need to give careful consideration to how you will resource the show. However, with the right resources in position, a podcast can pay dividends. For example, a client of ours, Vistage, launched their ‘Turning Point’ podcast this year which has proved to be very popular. The business is uniquely positioned that they have close relationships with a huge number of high profile thought leaders on a number of important business topics. Therefore, giving those subject matter experts a platform to share their knowledge in an easily accessible way to the Vistage audience made a lot of sense.
Potential new revenue stream
In addition to bringing in leads and sales—which can be reason enough to start one—a podcast that successfully builds up a core audience can become a source of additional revenue through sponsorships.
Interesting and educational
Hosting a podcast can be work you look forward to. You get to meet and interview interesting guests, and you can connect with listeners you may not have heard from any other way.
Having a podcast can be of huge benefit to your business, bringing in new prospects and strengthening bonds with existing clients. Just remember to follow these five golden rules:
- Understand your intended audience; their interests and pain points.
- Offer content that is of genuine value.
- Be consistent with the quantity and quality of your content.
- Ensure your podcast is on brand, fitting in with your wider content strategy.
- Do it properly, ensure that the podcast has good production values.
What’s your experience of business podcasts?
Does your business have a podcast, and how does it fit into your marketing mix? Do you regularly listen to any podcast shows? If so, what keeps you coming back to hear more?