ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Naomi Mellor is the founder of The Skylark Collective, a global platform for women in podcasting, and the International Women’s Podcast Awards. She is a multi-faceted and multi-talented podcaster, presenter, entrepreneur and veterinary surgeon, and a passionate advocate of raising the voices of female podcasters. You can listen to her podcast, Smashing The Ceiling, telling the stories of women with unusual and interesting careers on Apple or Spotify.
These days, it seems every celebrity under the sun is starting a new podcast. Each week we’re hearing trailers for new shows being launched on a wide variety of subjects. As someone said to me last week with a mild dose of irony, “You’re nobody in 2021 if you haven’t got a podcast”.
So what’s the attraction, and if you’re not a celebrity with a passion project, why might a podcast work for you and your business?
Why should small business owners start a podcast?
Podcasting is the fastest growing form of media. Market analysis from Grand View Research predicts growth of the podcast industry of 27.5% year-on-year from 2022 to 2027. In 2020, 100 million people listened to a podcast each month. And if that’s not enough, it’s expected to rise to 125 million people per month in 2022.
Starting a podcast is a straightforward, achievable way to create an additional stream of content for your business. Another side benefit here is that this content can easily be re-packaged and re-purposed for use on social media, in written articles or blogs or for embedding into your website.
Simply put: a successful podcast will reach the ears of a lot of people, as will the adverts placed within it.
Here are 7 reasons to consider starting a podcast for your business:
1. To form connections
It’s often said that ‘people work with people they like’. A podcast is a warm and personal way of connecting with your customer. They allow you to authentically demonstrate your brand values and the personality of your business.
2. To fill the silence
In their busy daily lives, people consume media on the go, and often via their smartphone. Podcasts are the perfect companion when reading isn’t an option or when your customers want a break from the screen.
It provides a perfect way of reaching your audience more frequently, for example during their daily commute, in the gym or on a pre-work dog walk in the morning.
3. To mix it up
There are no hard and fast rules in podcasting. The podcast for your business might be a 2 minute daily round-up of the news in your sector, a light-hearted weekly look at what’s been going on in your company or an in-depth monthly interview with a guest. You can choose the format, length and style that best suits you and your company.
4. To gain authority
An interview-based podcast allows you to feature industry-leaders in your field. This provides your podcast and your brand with credibility and demonstrates thought leadership in your sector. Knowledgeable, high-profile guests will provide quality information and value to the listener, giving your podcast and your business a reputation for excellence.
5. To engage your audience
Encouraging listener feedback engagement via podcast reviews offers an additional way of engaging with your customer, and featuring feedback in episodes makes your audience feel heard and included in your business.
Cross promotion across multiple social media platforms will aid growth of your podcast and provide an excellent content pillar for marketing if done regularly.
6. To boost your SEO
Whatever the format of your podcast, transcribing your episodes and adding them to your website will boost your SEO and improve the visibility of your business online. The use of a podcast hosting service makes it easy to distribute episodes across all the major media providers including Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts and YouTube, increasing your presence across multiple platforms.
7. To win big
As podcasting is currently a growing industry, the opportunity to be nominated or shortlisted in one of the few podcast awards in the UK is a very achievable goal that will provide an opportunity for PR, as well as the kudos of having an award-winning podcast. The International Women’s Podcast Awards, the British Podcast Awards and the Publishers Podcast Awards are all supportive of the work of independent podcasts, and all have categories for business-related podcasts.
If you’re daunted about learning the in’s and out’s of podcast production, consider hiring an editor to help you out. However, don’t overlook members of your team who might already possess the skills you need!
Think about it. Does anyone in your business run their own YouTube channel or have their own podcast? Perhaps they’ve assisted with similar projects for a previous employer or friend. If so they might have hidden talents in video or audio editing that might be just what you need.
Hosting and producing a podcast could be an interesting project for one of your team, allowing them to develop their skills and increase their confidence in writing, presenting or interviewing.
Podcasting has a lot to offer business, whether that’s brand recognition, building connections or opportunity for advertising as part of your marketing strategy.
If you’re thinking about dipping your toe in the water, consider starting with a mini-series on a particular issue or topic, or to coincide with a launch of a product or service. You won’t regret it!