You’ve probably listened to some of the popular business-sponsored podcasts out there. Filled with valuable tips and insights, you might even give their company a try when in need of their products or services. But is creating a podcast worth the time and effort? Will it pay off in additional revenue for your company?
Edison Research released The Infinite Dial report, indicating around 78% of Americans are familiar with podcasting. The number represents a 10 million person increase in a short twelve-month window. Approximately 57% say they’ve listened to a podcast recently.
Benefits of a Branded Podcast
You’ll discover many benefits to starting a branded podcast and tying it into your business. You’ve likely heard a similar model on local radio stations on your AM dial. A garden center starts a show on Saturday mornings and answers questions about the best plants for the area. A real estate agent answers questions about buying and selling real estate.
Some of the benefits of a branded podcast include:
- Greater name recognition
- Free advertising
- Establishing yourself as an authority in your industry
- Reaching new listeners you otherwise wouldn’t have reached
- Engaging your current audience
Ready to dip your toes into the water of a broad listening audience? Here are some things to keep in mind as you create your branded podcast for your business.
1. Choose a Topic
First, you must select a topic related to your industry. You don’t want the focus to be too narrow or too broad. For example, if you run a plumbing company, you don’t want to choose a narrow subject like PVC pipe, but you also don’t want to choose water. Instead, you might go with an issue such as solving home plumbing problems.
See what other podcasts cover similar issues and find a unique angle for your show. What do you want to be known for? Whatever your specializations and areas of expertise, you can likely turn your knowledge into a show.
2. Invest in Equipment
Unless you want your show to sound like you recorded it in your mother’s basement, you need a few pieces of equipment. Find a small space where the sound doesn’t reverberate, such as an enclosed office or small utility room. Add coverings on the floors and walls to reduce the echo.
Acoustic panels can limit reverberation, and noise absorption materials improve overall sound quality and reduce background noise. You can take almost any space and boost the sound quality by 50% or more with the right mix of materials.
You’ll also need a high-quality microphone. There are numerous ones on the market. Choose the one you feel comfortable with, read reviews carefully and make the investment in something you can use long-term for your podcast.
3. Collect Great Stories
The last thing you want is a boring podcast. If you solely rely on callers, you may have a show where no one phones in. If you just share facts, people will quickly grow disinterested. Instead, think about stories that illustrate your main points for each show.
The plumbing company might share a particularly complex problem one of its customers faced. They’d explain the age of the home, the issue they dealt with and how they solved it. After sharing the story, the audience is ready to hear tips to solve their problems.
4. Research Your Audience
Your ideal audience is the same people who buy your product or services. Do some market research on them to see what their greatest needs might be. Once you fully understand their pain points, you can address them in your podcasts.
After you’ve gained a few listeners, you can survey them to find out what topics they want you to cover. Send out a survey and allow room for customized feedback. You’ll learn a lot by tapping into your audience.
5. Market Your Show
According to Podcast Insights, there are around two million podcasts. The number varies from year to year, but you have a ton of competition. People can choose to spend their time listening to any show they desire. Why should they listen to yours?
You must market your podcast. Announce it on social media, list it on podcast repositories, make sure it’s in enough formats to attract a wide audience. On your show, ask people to tell others about you. Building your audience won’t happen overnight, but you’ll start gaining momentum if you offer consistent quality.
6. Don’t Spam Your Listeners
When you think of a branded podcast, you might think you should mention your show as often as possible. Unfortunately, too much self-promotion is a real turn-off to listeners and may have the opposite effect of them feeling spammed.
Instead, keep your mentions of your business light. You can announce who you are and your company when you introduce yourself. It’s okay to share personal experiences throughout the show but word it generically.
For example, you might say, “We once had a customer who needed pipes run for a new build, but no one could get into the house due to a huge snake we were all scared of.” Such wording indicates you have experience and you own a business but isn’t as spammy as saying, “ABC Plumbing once had a customer…”
It is also appropriate to mention your company at the end of your podcast and let listeners know you’re there for all their needs in your industry. People don’t mind you doing some light advertising.
Invest in Your Podcast
Podcasting isn’t a fast way to build leads, but it is a steady method that adds to your authority in the field. Anything you invest in your efforts today pays off in the future. You may want to consult with experts on podcasting, hire someone to do editing and market more than you initially intended. A little effort on the front-end pays off in a bigger audience on the back-end.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.