‘Video killed the radio star’ went the 1981 song; but of course, it didn’t. Not long ago there was a lot of talk about the death of podcasting. People said it was too niche. Too hard for audiences to find amid all the other digital clutter. Then in January, music streaming platform Spotify made a big podcasting play by buying podcasting platforms Gimlet and Anchor, and the conversation changed. Podcasts are back, and with better platforms and improved searchability, it looks like they’re finally here to stay.
If you’ve never listened to a podcast, it’s just like tuning into a favourite radio show, whenever you want to listen. Like radio, podcasting’s appeal lies in the immediacy of human conversation. People have an insatiable appetite for listening to intelligent conversation, especially since it’s a welcome break from all the screens that dominate our lives today.
Now that podcasting has a new lease on life, what can it do for you? If your industry lacks a quality podcast that discusses the issues of the day, perhaps it’s time to launch one. Think of the water cooler conversations you have at the office and imagine having a robust discussion about those topics, with experts who can bring real intelligence to the debate. Don’t think you’re the right person to do it? Find someone at your company who’s up for the challenge. The point is, becoming a thought leader in your industry is one of the best ways to build your brand and spread awareness among key influences.
Here are a handful of reasons why starting a podcast might be the best thing you do for your business this year:
Your prospects are listening, according to surveys. A survey by small business research firm Bredin showed that 40 per cent of small business owners listen to podcasts regularly, and 70-72 percent of owners of businesses with 100 to 500 employees tune in.
Reach more qualified prospects. Those who are interested will reach out to you on their own time. You can’t demonstrate your credibility without sharing your expertise, and when you share your expertise you’re creating value for your listeners. It’s more likely that you’ll develop a business relationship with a listener when you’ve established your credibility and that’s exactly what you’re doing in a podcast.
Produce it on your own schedule. While podcasting can be a lot of work, you can outsource much of the work to an agency. The main thing is determining the topic and booking the guests that you really want to speak with.
If you think it might be time to launch a podcast, commit to a schedule and a timeline that will give it enough time to thrive. Build a content calendar with special guests and topics clearly outlined and commit to making a certain number of them to give the idea a fighting chance. Boost it in industry publications and evangelize about it through your social media channels. A few controversial topics to kick off your schedule will ensure people will tune in to the early episodes. After you’ve created a series of weekly podcasts - at least 10 to get a feel for your audience - think about whether it’s worth continuing.