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The Power of Podcasts for Small Businesses

Illustration of a podcasting microphone and headphones by Global Reach

Posted on 03/10/2021 at 03:03 PM

Why Your Small Business Should Add Podcasting to Your Strategy...

Did you know that, according to Edison Research, about 75% of people aged 12 and older are familiar with podcasts? This means that nearly every target demographic has the potential to be exposed to a podcast at some point in the near future. It could (and should) be yours! We know what you're thinking (because we have heard it before):

"I don't have (time/resources/insert relevant excuse here) to start a podcast, let alone maintain one!"

Do you have time to grow your business? You'd make time for it, right? Who wouldn't?!

Podcasts are among the best ways to enhance your digital marketing strategy, provide a wealth of content that can be repurposed, and organically grow your brand faster than ever before. Simply put, now is the time to stop making excuses why it can't work and start considering how it can. New tools are making it easier than ever to create, edit, post, and promote your podcast in less time than it takes to have dinner with the in-laws, but we'll get to that in a second. Here are the hard and fast facts about podcast growth:

Over 100 Million People Listen to Podcasts in the United States.

Podcasts are the real deal. Radio for the modern age, more than a trend, the number of audio media consumers is growing and does not look to slow any time soon. In fact, it is predicted that the number of people listening to podcasts in the US alone will grow to at least 132 million within the next two years! 

"According to a source that regularly monitors podcast consumption37% of Americans listen to podcasts in the last month and 63% of listeners bought something after hearing about it on a show they regularly listen to. I've found this to be especially true if the host or guest is talking about the product or service positively, but short ads in podcast pre-roll or post-roll have been similarly effective in terms of conversion. It's 'Social Proof' on a whole new level!"

- Steven J. Adelmund, Digital Stategy Manager with Global Reach

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Top 4 Reasons to Start a Podcast

Still not convinced? Here are some important reasons and ways that podcasts can help small businesses grow their bottom line.

1. Brand Building: People trust local people & want to Support Small Businesses

Google has an army of reviewers in every city in every state in the US called "Local Guides". These reviewers offer photos and "expert opinions" of locations and experiences in their local area. Why? Because they love the attention, they love to leave an impact, and because Google knows the value of Social Proof.

Most people want to be seen as an authority on something- an expert in their field- but few actually are. We're all passionate about something, but only the truly passionate, those who really want to solve problems and make money doing it start a business. These elite few see a need and start a business to fill it. Being a business owner is literally "The American Dream" but comes with huge risks and growing that business into something sustainable can be a serious challenge. It becomes about spreading your brand and gaining a reputation of being THE trustworthy expert at what you do. 

Many small business owners never know what to say when asked to create video or audio content, but if you get them talking about their passion, they could go on telling stories, insights, and bend your ear for hours! These same stories get passed on through word of mouth and soon, expertise is spread.

The funny thing is that you can stick a microphone in front of that same raconteur and you have an audio file full of podcast content that can spread the brand far beyond any radio, TV, or print ad!

2. Starting a Podcast is Much Easier Than You Think

Axios recently reported that Spotify (that's right, the music streaming company) is going all-in on podcasts. Likely because Spotify has tripled the number of podcasts to 2.2 million in just the past year, they have begun to roll out multiple tools to encourage and help podcast creators develop better and more interactive content. Partnership tools include a plug-in for WordPress that will allow written content to be directly turned into a podcast via its podcast platform Anchor. For those unfamiliar, Anchor is a free podcast platform that gives creators everything they need to start, edit, post, and promote a podcast, distributed across multiple platforms (including iTunes and Google Podcasts)... all from user's mobile devices. 

Spotify has also announced that they will soon be rolling out features that allow for video content to be added to a podcast as well as interactive features like Q&A and Polls. 

 

Image illustrating the rise of audio social platforms

3. Audio is on the Rise

As we mentioned in a past article, the future of social media is audio social. With apps like Clubhouse.app, Stereo, and the new Twitter Spaces quickly becoming more popular, consumers of audio content are hungry for more. Early adopters will be the most likely to reap the benefits of this growth! Even if you don't start a podcast, you would do well to research popular podcasts in your field or even geographic area and ask to be a guest or advertise!

4. Your Competitors Aren't Doing it!

Remember the days of "Keeping up with the Jones'?" We like to say you shouldn't do what others are doing, you should do it first or do it better. Be the trendsetter. Be the Jones'. By the time your competition discovers what you're doing, your audience will already be growing. By the time they start their own show and try to figure out how to do it and replicate your success, you'll have ironed out the kinks and be converting listeners to leads!

"Don't do what others are doing, do it first or do it better."

How to Start a Podcast & What to Do With the Content

Start small. It can be as simple as creating and featuring a client in a vlog and later extracting the audio of that video for use in a podcast segment. Perhaps you convert a popular blog post from your website into audio content. Either way, the easiest thing to do is to repurpose content you already have into digestible content in other forms. 

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Podcasts, when done correctly allow you to generate fantastic content that is ripe for organic growth that begs to be shared! For example, if you film a podcast you give yourself:

  • Three pieces of long-form content:

    • Audio content: The podcast for consumption on the go

    • Video content for your YouTube or Vimeo

    • (and if you transcribe the audio) Full blog content for a deep dive

  • Snippets for short-form content:

    • Outstanding, thought-provoking quotes make great social media posts

    • “Ah-ha!” moments from the video can be edited into smaller videos for Instagram stories and other posts guaranteed to grab attention and leave the audience wanting more

Image of two people playing chess

Click the image above for more great content creation tips!

Many businesses are blazing a trail for their industry like few before them. Take, for example, Beyond Juris, Iowa's first syndicated Legal Podcast, presented by Dickinson Law Firm. What better way to highlight legal innovation and law surrounding emerging technologies than to host a podcast? The show is smart, entertaining, and informative - all while creating brand awareness, demonstrating legal expertise, and featuring guests with stories that are captivating.

Any business can provide unique insights that people want to hear, they just need to know how to do it!


We're Here to Help!

If you're ready to add podcasting to your digital strategy, contact our experts for a free consultation!

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