A podcast is a great addition to a content marketing strategy.

While podcasts aren’t exactly new, they have been surging in popularity over the last few years. What does a podcast listener look like? Here are some interesting demographic facts from Podcast Insights:

  • Podcast listeners are much more active on everysocial media channel (94% are active on at least one – vs 81% for the entire population)
  • Podcast listeners are more likely to follow companiesand brands on social media
  • 17% (48 million) listen to podcasts weekly – up from 15% in 2017
  • 56% of podcast listeners are male
  • 45% of monthlypodcast listeners have household income over $75K – vs 35% for the total population
  • 27% of US podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree – vs 19% for US population
  • 64% of the US population is familiar with the term “podcasting” – up from 60% in 2017 (Infinite Dial 18)
  • 50% of all US homesare podcast fans (Nielsen, Aug 2017)

Interesting, right? For those of you who are not familiar with a podcast, here is a brief backstory to how it got its name and what it is.

What is a Podcast?

According to International Podcast Day, the podcast was “First mentioned by Ben Hammersley in a 2004 Guardian newspaper article in which he rattled off possible names for this booming new medium, the “pod” of podcast is borrowed from Apple’s “iPod” digital media player; and the “cast” portion of podcast is taken from Radio’s “broadcast” term.” Though, listening to podcasts are not limited to iPods.

And the dictionary defines it as, “A digital audio file made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.”

Listenership is on the rise! What’s your favorite podcast to listen to?

My favorite podcast is one called My Favorite Murder. It retells different murders and true crimes that have occurred throughout history using humor and wit. In my opinion, what this podcast does well is use a very conversational tone for serious subject matters and get listeners involved by sending in their “Hometown Murders” for minisodes that are shorter in length of time (the average episode being about an hour and a half to two hours).

The beauty of a podcast is that you can talk about anything you’re interested in, which is perfect for businesses trying to reach customers. The top two podcasts of 2017 were completely different from one another yet drew in plenty of listeners. The second most popular podcast of 2017 was S-Town, a true story:

A man named John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian (This American Life producer) to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, and the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.

The most popular show was The Daily, a New York Times podcast that shares the news of the day in “about 20 minutes a day, five days a week, one major story, and a round-up of headlines at the finish,” according to The Atlantic.

Why Your Business Needs to Podcast

Podcasting is way past being a trend; it is where people go to be entertained, informed and educated, and with its growth each year, it’s clear podcasts aren’t going anywhere. Here are “5 Reasons Your Business Needs to be Podcasting” from Inc.

  1. Engaged Listeners

One of the great things about listeners who subscribe through services like iTunes is that your latest episode is instantly available to hear and they get a notification.

Inc. notes, “An Edison Research study on the audio habits of Americans found that podcast listeners are actually ‘super listeners,’ consuming more than one hour and 45 minutes of audio per day than the average American, and they spend more than 25 percent of their total audio time listening to podcasts.”

This will give your business an incredible opportunity to reach out to clients and customers and really connect with them.

  1. Starting is Easy

Like I mentioned above, there is a podcast for just about everything and the website notes, “People are podcasting from studios, but also from their home offices, garages, and in the streets,” and also that the software needed to podcast is inexpensive.

This is a marketing tactic where you really just need to make the leap and start doing it. Once you record a few episodes on interesting topics relating to your industry, you’ll find your rhythm and create fantastic content while establishing your expertise in the field.

  1. Ads are Effective

Unlike standard television, podcast listeners don’t seem to skip over and ignore advertisements. Inc. notes a study from Fast Company that reports, “A recent survey of 300,000 podcast listeners found that 63% of people bought something a host had promoted on their show. When asked if advertising within podcasts had affected their behavior, 71 percent said they’d visited a sponsor’s website, while 62 percent said they’d considered that new product or service.”

If your business is looking for a new avenue to invest in advertising, this is a great start.

  1. Great for Sharing Content

Along with blogging and writing social media updates, podcasts are a great addition to your marketing and social media strategies. Like the more common methods, you can still talk about your industry and company news in a new and interesting format.

  1. Listenership is Growing

Like I mentioned before, people are listening to podcasts at exciting rates. You can also encourage your current customer base to listen by sharing your thrilling new venture on social media and providing a link.

How to Create a Business Podcast

Should podcasts be treated like blogging? The answer is yes. Like we’ve mentioned before, blogging needs to be updated regularly and on a schedule so readers know when there is fantastic new content to devour; the same is for podcasts. Now that I’ve finally caught up listening to My Favorite Murder, I love seeing notifications for a new full episode or minisode.

Are you ready to get started on your own podcast?

3 Tips for Creating a Podcast

  1. Get the Equipment

There are many options to acquiring podcast equipment, the cheapest being to use your computer’s built in microphone. Or you can buy one; a decent model costs around $30. Next, you’ll need some kind of editing software. Again, you can get this for free by using Garage Band or Audacity, however for businesses, it’s worth paying a little more to use Adobe Audition.

  1. Create Interesting Content

Podcasts are a crowded market, but the best ones survive by knowing their audience and giving them relevant material. If you want to drive business to your company, focus more on issues related to your field than on yourself. If you’re a restaurant owner, talk about different recipes or food history. Podcasts allow you to delve deeper and connect to your audience in a way other forms of social media can’t.

  1. Advertise

Use social media sites to promote your podcast. Make sure to tag your podcasts and upload them to different directories like iTunes and visit different sites on the web that pertain to your topic. A groomer, for example, could visit pet forums and make an announcement. Finally, join a podcasting community to keep up with new and fresh ideas. A group of like-minded folks invested in podcasts will help inspire new ideas to get the word out about your podcast.

Participating in Podcasts

If you’re ever interviewed on a podcast, follow these tips to be prepared.

The flip side to running and hosting your own podcast is to be a guest on someone else’s. If you’re about to spread the word about your product, service or yourself via podcast interview, it’s important to be prepared. For those that aren’t used to a lot of live interviews, a chat via phone or Skype can throw them off guard. To connect well with your interviewer and listeners, brush up on these five tips before you begin.

5 Tips for Preparing for a Podcast Interview

  1. Read All the Fine PrintBefore conducting the podcast interview, you’ll want to read all the material provided by the show and make sure you know when the program will be aired, who owns the rights to marketing the content and who is expected to promote the show.
  2. Research Your HostYour interviewer has likely researched you and is preparing to ask engaging questions, so you should do the same! Visit the podcast’s website, listen to a prior show or two and do some research on who you’ll be speaking to. Try to find something in common just in case the interviewer’s questions fall flat.
  3. Guess the QuestionsYou know your story better than anyone, and chances are you can pre-empt the questions your host will ask. Determine what you want the takeaway message for your audience to be, and stay on that message. It helps to write down bullet points you want to cover so you can refer to them during the interview. If the host asks questions you aren’t comfortable with, it’s okay to politely decline to answer.
  4. Promote the ShowIt’s a great practice to promote the show you’re about to be featured on through all of your social media accounts and other online channels (like your blog and an e-newsletter). Spreading the word about when you’ll be interviewed will help your fans tune in when it’s live, and it’s a nice thing to do for the host who is likely promoting the show through their own channels.
  5. Eliminate Background NoiseToo often podcast interviews are derailed by faulty hardware, a quiet microphone or construction noise in the background. If you’ll be calling in from home, make sure to eliminate all background noise like the TV, radio, running of the dishwasher or a barking dog.

Reading up on the show and researching the host, trying to determine the questions in advance, promoting the show on your own channels and getting rid of background noise are all great tips to make your podcast appearance goes smoothly.

Start Podcasting

The only way to have a successful podcast is to start one. Podcasts are a niche heavy market and there is a group of people out there waiting to learn about your business and industry.

If you’re interested in other forms of unique content marketing, check out these other blog articles from Three Girls:

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