In a world where we are starved for spare time, it’s a curiosity that the long-form medium of podcasting has become such a big part of our modern lives.
Then again, perhaps it makes sense.
Despite being up to three to four hours long, podcasts can be split up to be consumed at one’s own pace, filling the gaps in our day, whether it be during the average 52-minute commute to work or the trampling of the treadmill.
It goes beyond pure entertainment too, as many people are looking to educate themselves through podcasts, whether it be for academic or purchasing purposes. With the latter objective, forward-thinking businesses are finding legitimate success in using podcasting as a medium to enhance not just their brand, but their bottom line.
Given that 70% of Americans are familiar with podcasting, it could be argued that it’s as simple as putting a microphone on your desk and waxing lyrical about your products and services. But in reality, however, that would be doing yourself a disservice, as there are many simple ways to give yourself the best chance of attracting the right audience, keeping them as loyal listeners, and ultimately growing your business.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the key ways your podcast can legitimately grow your business.
1. Build a Supportive Community Around Your Business
There is a reason that the relatively ancient medium of radio is still so successful over 100 years after its first commercial broadcasts. When you listen to the DJ/announcer, you are inviting that person into your home (or car, garden, etc.) for a one on one conversation. Rather than them talking to a large audience, it feels like they are talking to you, and you alone.
So while it might be tempting to have a good old rant with your colleague or friend on your podcast, keep in mind your audience wants to feel included in the conversation too. Make sure that in every podcast you have your audience in mind. Is what you are talking about relevant to them? Does your topic matter to them, and will it make a difference for them?
Be authentic, attentive, and really, genuinely, care about your listeners.
I can’t stress that enough.
Once you create this relationship, you build a community. Despite our flashy technology, people are at heart, tribal in nature. This means when you build this relationship with your listeners, you are also building a small (or hopefully large) community of people that over time become familiar with you, and in turn, loyal to you and your business.
Given that people spend 43% more on brands they are loyal to, this could mean a big boost for your bottom line.
2. Build Authority Within Your Industry
As an extension of creating that loyal community, if you continue to provide relevant, helpful, and insightful knowledge for your audience, you should gain industry authority without too much extra work at all.
While being the go-to authority will have positive impacts on your business’s bottom line from the podcast alone, it will also open you up to opportunities in the wider world of your industry. With a little bit of networking, you can cross-promote with other aligned brands, take on industry speaking gigs, or be the contact for local media about your industry.
All of these activities cross-pollinate with each other to even further bolster your reputation for being the leader in your industry — and that sort of exposure will always be good for your bottom line. It sure beats paying for advertising!
3. Repurpose Your Podcasts for Content Marketing
Content marketing is all about giving people answers to their questions, that while not explicitly promoting your business, will stimulate interest for your product or service offerings. It’s big business too, with 70% of marketers investing in content marketing.
The good news is, you can jump on the content marketing bandwagon without much effort at all. So let’s say in one of your podcasts you find yourself talking about a really interesting topic that gets lots of interest from your audience.
The audio from that podcast can actually be repurposed into a written article, so you can add content to your website. From there, people googling that topic can find your website and be introduced to your offerings, but more importantly, be exposed to your brand being a helpful friend that provides good information.
Now I did promise it wouldn’t take much effort at all, so don’t worry you won’t be tapping the rewind button constantly as you furiously try to transcribe your own audio. There are many transcribing services available out there, and some actually come with your podcast hosting platform.
4. Making the Podcast Itself a Revenue Stream
While this might seem the most lucrative of the ways a podcast can improve your business’s bottom line, I’ve left this one for last for a good reason. Before you start monetizing your podcast, you should get all of the above strategies in place first.
When you are first building your podcast, don’t focus on how much money you are making — you must focus on the content, and creating something that is genuinely interesting for your audience. Once you are confident you have a solid and crucially, engaged audience, you can then start to look at j`nj“ monetization options.
With that in mind, there are plenty of ways your podcast can be a separate revenue stream for your business. You can include advertising (both in the podcast and on your website), get brand deals, join affiliate programs and share your promo code, or create paid/premium content.
Given that we’ve talked explicitly about making genuine connections with your audience, it might seem counterintuitive to blatantly put advertising into your content. However most podcast listeners are happy to listen to ads on their favourite podcast, and about half of listeners even found the advertising to be enjoyable.
So keep in mind, monetizing your podcast can indeed be lucrative (podcasting advertising revenue is expected to hit $1.36 billion in 2021), but focus on your content first, and make sure your monetization mechanisms actually help or serve your customers with relevant information.
At the End of the Podcast
In essence, the one take away I’d like you to leave with is this — always think about your listeners before you bottom line.
Yes, I know — that kind of goes against the grain of the title of this article, but it underlies the ethos of first focusing on providing excellent content that caters to the needs of the real human beings listening to you.
Once you have perfected that, the above bottom-line building strategies will fall into place.