There are many benefits that a podcast can provide. Since the beginning of digital, brands and businesses have been competing like wolves for the attention of their consumers. Whether it’s in paid search, organic SEO, social media, blogging, video, there are plenty of options to put out content. Think about this. If 5 years ago, I told you that Instagram and Facebook would have the amount of attention they do today, would you have invested in it sooner? The answer is yes.
Content marketing is the best way for brands to reach their consumers and tell their story directly from the source. The market has finally begun embracing the ROI of social media, but if you are just getting started on those platforms, you are already miles behind. If you were the first contractor on Instagram showing the ins and outs of your daily projects, you likely have huge traction and created a huge brand around your profession. Instead of spending all of your attention on how to catch up, I would recommend looking for the next attention arbitrage. I am not saying to ignore social media because we are still only at the tip of the iceberg there, instead, I am saying to invest time learning the next big thing in consumer marketing.
Podcasting didn’t just start, but it’s relevancy for small business has only just begun. We are all familiar with the success of viral podcasts like Serial, or the brands that have emerged from podcasting like Barstool Sports, but how can small businesses and brands use a podcast to grow their following? By creating interesting content around their brand. In today’s market, if you are not thinking of your business like a media company, you will ultimately fall short in the next wave of consumer attention. To use the contractor scenario, an interview style platform telling the horror stories of dos and dont’s would gain traction to those interested in home improvement. How about a call-in show where fans and potential customers can call in with their specific questions on their next home project? How about a solo show where you walk people through fun and challenging DIY projects? The options are endless if you just put a little thought into it.
Below are 5 reasons why your small business should start a podcast NOW:
1. Reach your audience where they are- If you are a local contractor trying to stand out from the 200 other options in your local market, you have to do something to separate yourself from the masses. You could certainly run AdWords and spend hundreds on qualified leads, but a podcast is free and simply requires effort and insight. If someone is deciding between few different options, they are far more likely to choose the guy or gal that referred them to their favorite new deck finisher instead of the guy that simply paid more money to be the first placement on google. Putting out valuable content that helps your audience, will always make them more likely to reciprocate when it comes time to choose who they want to do business with.
2. Less Competition– By less, I should say almost none. If you remember what instagram looked like in 2012, thats what podcasting looks like now. There are millions using the medium, but not yet hundreds of millions. This means if you can land grab first in the category of small business, your chances of making an impact are much higher. Create consistent content, answer your audience’s questions, bring on interesting guests and see where your business is 5 years from now. Remember, podcasting is passive consumption, meaning people typically listen to podcasts while doing other tasks like walking the dog or shaving in the morning. If you can become part of your audiences daily routine, you have a fan and a potential customer for life.
3. Endless Possibilities– In the opening paragraphs I discussed just a few options to create content. Most people don’t start a podcast because they feel as if they don’t have anything interesting to say. If you don’t like the idea of speaking yourself, turn your podcast into an expert interview where you bring on guests. Turn your show into a call in show where people can ask questions. Have a co-host that loves to talk and simply lead into the subjects before letting them shine. There are so many possibilities with podcasting that you don’t even need to love listening to yourself speak.
Easily Discoverable– If you run ads on Google, Facebook or Instagram, you are limited to people discovering you on those p4. latforms alone. Podcasting is the opposite, with so many distribution channels like Itunes, Stitches, Sound Cloud, there are so many places to have your content discovered. Add on top of that the ability to promote your episodes on social media, and a podcast might be the easiest way for a small business to find their next great customer.
5. Connect with others– Podcasts will not only help you connect with your customers, but also like-minded individuals in your field. Owning a business can be lonely at times. Finding others that are also putting out content will allow you to meet other experts in your industry. Looking to retain employees better? Use your podcasts for training purposes or giving shoutouts to employees that do a good job. As long as it doesn’t feel forced, employees will love that you took the time to recognize them on a national company platform and build more equity than you ever could by saying “good job” in the office.