The world has changed, and so has podcasting. Today, virtually every aspect of our lives has gone digital. Online activity was already at a record high, but since COVID-19, almost everything has shifted to the digital marketplace.
Numerous consumer surveys indicate there will be no reverting to pre-COVID behavior when it comes to online activity. These paradigm shifts are permanent, and the previous way of doing business is not going to return.
Why You Should Consider Hosting a Podcast
Podcasting is beginning to play an essential role in the evolving story of brand awareness. If you’re not already, you might want to add this tool to your SEO and content marketing strategy. Consider these facts:
- Google is making podcast audio searchable within their search engine. Zach Reneau-Weeden, a member of Google’s podcast team, said,
“With all the amazing work podcasters are publishing each day, there’s no good reason why audio isn’t a first-class citizen in the same way…it has the potential to help people find the best content for them at the moment…”
- The number of active podcasts in 2020 is double what it was in 2018. There are currently more than one million podcasts and more than 30 million episodes. (Podcasts Insights, 2020)
- According to podcast platforms such as Spotify and Deezer, roughly 10 million consumers routinely tune into podcasts. Forecasters predict that the number of podcast listeners will be more than 160 million by the year 2023.
- How listeners are connecting to podcasts has changed. Consumption spikes were typically in the morning and evening. However, networks are reporting a flattening out of this curve. Today it appears that people are listening to podcasts during all times of the day.
- Podcasts are consumer-friendly. They can be listened to while driving, jogging, making dinner, or relaxing around the house. The format feels authentic, building not only brand awareness but trust in your company.
- You can reach new segments of your potential consumer audience. Some of the listeners you attract may never see the written content on your website or social media channels.
- Production is low-cost relative to video marketing. Equipment needs are minimal, and you don’t require special training to create a professional-sounding podcast.
Podcasting is not only for Entertainers and Politicians
Podcasting has moved way beyond its humble beginnings as an audio blog. A quick online search will bring you to millions of podcast programs hosted by executives, entrepreneurs, high-tech developers, product reviewers, and, yes, of course, politicians and entertainers. The medium offers fantastic opportunities that can’t be matched by other marketing strategies:
- Achieve massive growth in your audience
- Generate backlinks, which will help you secure a higher ranking in search engines
- Expand your reach into new audiences by co-hosting or guest appearing on other podcasts.
Ready to Get Started Podcasting?
Identify and Target Your Audience
Like with all forms of content, you need to know your audience. Trying to appeal to everyone is a recipe for failure. Identifying a niche and creating content that will resonate with your targeted audience will maximize your marketing efforts.
Focusing on a niche audience will improve your performance, increase audience size and brand loyalty, and turn your audience into customers. Furthermore, when listeners search for podcasts on platforms such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify, they search by topic or subject categories. By narrowing your content, you’ll become a recognized expert in that topic area. You’ll build a loyal audience waiting to hear the next podcast.
Create an engaging experience for your listeners
According to podcasters Reilly Anspaugh and Geoffrey James, hosts of Review Revue, your podcast should entertain. Podcasting allows you to engage your audience through conversation. You can convert some of the more salient aspects of your podcast conversation into future marketing content.
Focus less on direct marketing and more on engaging your listening audience. Use your podcast to build relationships. Once you’ve established a connection, your listeners will naturally seek to learn more about you, your company, and the products or services you offer.
.Anspaugh and James say to infuse your podcasts with passion and leave out the self-promotion.
Be Prepared Before Podcasting
When preparing your podcast content, think about your consumers. What will be useful for them? What are other podcasters in your niche talking about? What’s missing from the conversation? Be sure you are knowledgeable in the subject you intend to address and can speak passionately about it.
You’ll need a script or at least notes to help you stay on track. It will take a few episodes before you feel comfortable in your conversational groove. Stay focused and maintain a professional atmosphere. Relax and have fun.
Don’t Forget About SEO
To reap your podcast’s full rewards, be sure to employ your typical strategies for achieving optimum SEO results.
- Link or embed your podcast on your website and social media channels.
- Consistent production is crucial. Weekly is best if you have the time, but maintain a reliable schedule, so your audience knows when to look for you, whether it be weekly or bi-weekly.
- Provide a transcript of each podcast episode, using use keywords likely to rank high on Google.
- Include meta title and meta descriptions for each episode.
- Talk about exciting and engaging content.
- Finish with a strong CTA, such as subscribing, joining your email list, leaving a review, or submitting questions via your email address.
You Need a Distribution Platform
Check out hosting companies that meet your budget and needs. These platforms will help you market your podcast to a broader audience than you would acquire through organic traffic to your website. Spotify is the largest podcast platform, but Apple Podcasts is gaining ground. Buzzsprout, Anchor, and Libsyn are some potential hosting platforms to explore.
If you co-host or do guest gigs on other podcasts, be sure to ask them to link the episode to their website blog, with backlinks to your website.
SEO your podcasts for podcast search engines too. Consumers typically scan lists of available podcasts from distribution networks, searching by topic. You’ll want to be sure you optimize for those keywords and networks. Pay attention to the name you choose for your podcast channel. It should incorporate your brand identity.
If you love to interact with people, podcasting can be not only an effective weapon in your marketing arsenal, but it can be fun too.
You’ll learn from your listeners what information, opinions, and topics are important to them. It’s a fantastic opportunity to have an authentic conversation with hundreds or thousands of listeners at the same time and build a community around your brand.