5 ways to determine if it’s time for your company to get started
Across the world, organizations of all sizes are looking at their marketing and public relations strategies, wondering how they can profoundly and authentically connect with their audiences. If this question is floating around your company, you’re not alone.
“At Open Conversation, we’re often approached by marketing, sales, PR, HR, and other departments, especially during budget season,” says Regina Revazova, the company’s founder. “They have heard the buzz around podcasts, they are familiar with them, and they listen to a few.
“But everyone wants to know: Should we launch our own podcast?”
5 Reasons to Start Podcasting
It’s no wonder that podcasts rank highly when brands are looking at platforms to drive up loyalty, awareness, and affinity – podcasts drive actual business results.
And podcast audiences are dedicated. In fact, 80 million Americans listen to podcasts every week. These listeners consume eight shows per week on average, according to The Infinite Dial 2021 by Edison Research. And in an earlier study, Edison discovered that 54 percent of Americans said they would be more likely to consider a brand being advertised on a podcast.
According to Revazova, there are a few indicators to pay attention to if you’re considering podcasting:
1. You are ready to boost brand loyalty
Podcasts offer incredible opportunities to share intimate or behind-the-scenes stories with your fans. From lively conversations and real-life tales about joyous or challenging moments to thoughtful breakdowns of your area of expertise, podcasts connect with listeners on deeply personal levels.
Listeners can also consume these stories whenever it’s convenient for them (commuting, working, relaxing, etc.), so they’re engaging with your content even if they aren’t engaging with your product or service. Simply put: Podcasts keep your connection strong.
Pro-tip to boost loyalty: According to Revazova, skip sales pitches or hard sells in your podcast. Authentic connections work harder for your brand than even the best campaign slogans!
2. You’re ready for a deeper dive
According to a 2019 study by Edison Research, here’s why most people listen to podcasts:
Note that none of these say “to be sold to.” Instead, podcasts empower deep, meaningful conversations (not infomercials!) that enrich listeners’ lives. When your brand has a story to tell, people will connect with you, listening from their kitchens, living rooms, cars, and workplaces, dedicating real time to you. Take advantage of this moment and consider what kind of benefit you can bring to them.
3. You know there’s a story not being told, and you are passionate about telling it
Your brand can create a new perspective on and for the world. If you know what is not being said, or have a unique point of view or original stories to share, it’s time to pitch in and shed light on them. Make the world a better place by informing your audience and driving action and change.
Remember: Podcasts are episodic content, so you’ll need a topic you can break down and discuss regularly. You can build your episodes around one main subject or an intersection of issues (for example, those who love beer and talking about real estate, baseball and entrepreneurship, or whiskey and web development).
Identify what engages your passion and what you’re interested in learning more about. This will help you create something that doesn’t exist, decide on a format and structure, and determine your guest line-up.
4. You’re ready to be vulnerable and transparent with your listeners
Podcasting is an intimate medium. You literally get inside listeners’ heads! This is why audio is more powerful than video because it inspires imagination. This intimacy is a gift, so start your podcast when your brand is not afraid to open up, relax, and be honest in front of the mic. It’s your own channel, straight out into the world – you might as well enjoy it!
5. You’re ready to listen
At their heart, podcasts are not broadcasts – they are conversations. Often, a host interviews an expert, a personality, a customer, or a fan. These are opportunities for listening, which can improve your brand’s insights into the market and perspectives on your customers.
Podcasts are produced in a plethora of genres, and some of them invite active participation from listeners. Some of the examples might be call-ins from the public (this might sound old-fashioned, but Dave Ramsey just hit his billionth download, and his show is built around call-ins!), shoutouts to people to submit a comment via a Voice Memo app, etc. Many podcasters use their platforms to promote in-person events and workshops where they strengthen their relationship with listeners. The point? You’re not only listening to your guest, but your audience, too.
When you’re ready to hear from the people that support you and buy your products and services, launch a podcast!
But First: Quality
No matter what your company’s podcast is about, first and foremost, make sure you create quality podcasts that are worth your audience’s time. There’s simply too much content already out there to listen to poorly produced segments. Stand out by what you have to say and how you say it.
If you’re looking for guidance on producing a stand-out podcast that drives loyalty, with inviting elements that strengthen the story and move the narrative forward in every episode, let’s have an (open) conversation about it. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see what you produce! Share your podcasts with us on Instagram or LinkedIn, or feel free to ask us a question about anything podcasting, anytime.