Public demand for and increased consumption of branded podcasts has motivated businesses to get behind the mic. Corporations like Mcdonald’s, LinkedIn and eBay are now producing entertaining and informative shows to connect deeper with listeners–and it’s definitely working.
Podcasts are a fantastic marketing tool that can change how your audience views your business. Not only are they a direct way to engage with and talk to your target market, but they’re also a channel where you have free reign to talk about your products and services while keeping listeners entertained. You get to address their concerns in real-time, making your impact more immediate and your brand more trustworthy and authoritative.
With the number of podcasts out there, however, you might be concerned. Since December 2021, there have been more than two million active podcasts. In fact, a new one may just be on the rise as we speak. It may be daunting to think of how much competition is out there and how saturated the market is. However, as long as you’ve got a unique idea, excellent content and a strategy around it, you still stand a fighting chance at podcast success.
Putting together a branded podcast for your business will help you establish authority and spread awareness about your business to specific audiences that are interested in and aligned with your topics.
Why are there so many podcasts now?
Podcasts have been around since the 80s as “audio blogs” and had their rebirth in the early 2000s. Since then, podcasts have been growing popular over the years and spiked significantly in the 2010s with over 150,000 new podcasts per year by the decade’s end.
Photo credit: Insider Radio
Technology and the internet played a big part in podcast growth because new gadgets and software made it more convenient to record and upload them. Distributing and promoting podcasts became much easier over the years, as well, because of free streaming platforms and dedicated websites, as well as the growing popularity of social media.
Podcast popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic. During an uncertain and trying time, it became a source of comfort and reliable information.
Some listened to podcasts as a substitute for human interaction during the lockdown while others tuned in because they had more free time and wanted to consume media passively. Podcasts were the perfect thing to listen to because people were still free to do other chores or take on other tasks because the medium isn’t as demanding of their full attention, unlike videos and articles.
Though the numbers can be discouraging, they do not entirely mean it’s too late to start your podcast. There’s always more room for fresh podcast ideas because more people are turning in and are looking for more content to consume.
What does the future of podcasting look like?
Podcast growth will continue upwards and become a $94.88 billion industry in 2028 based on predictions from current data. There will be more publishers and technology that will make the recording and editing processes easier.
Podcasts are predicted to improve in audio quality because of new recording equipment and gadgets. Experimenting with audio formats to enhance sound quality and storytelling experience will also become more popular.
The competition will also grow as listeners compare and contrast streaming services and the variety of podcasts they have. More apps will emerge, meaning more channels and more content overall that will want to reach your audience.
According to Exploding Topics, monetisation will also improve along the way, and there will be new strategies and trends for businesses and creators that will go beyond subscription-based methods.
Because you’ll need to stand out from your competitors now and in the future, you need to start investing in podcast research and different marketing strategies to get ahead.
3 strategies to turn your branded podcast into an epic success
Don’t wait until 2023 to start your podcast, you can start now. Here are three strategies you can use to jumpstart the process
1. Find your podcast theme and niche demographic
Podcasts are an effective way to build thought leadership for your business, so you need to take the time to think about the themes you want to discuss. Finding success with your podcasts will be easier if you clearly understand and define what you want to explore and your target demographic.
A good podcast theme is something that will generate tons of future content. You can start by identifying genres you’re passionate about, then list at least five potential episodes that will fit those genres. Brainstorming for future episodes is essential early on in your process to establish a consistent roadmap or content calendar that will make your content sound deliberate and well-thought-out.
Businesses usually thrive in the education, news, career and technology genres because they’re the most relevant to brands. The business genre itself is also rising in popularity, something many have been capitalising on.
2. Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Like any other business strategy, planning a successful podcast requires identifying your strengths and weaknesses. This indicates your unique selling point and the challenges you need to address in your podcast. Maximising your strengths and working on your weaknesses will improve your show’s quality.
Podcasting needs to be consistent, so you need to find strengths that will keep you going and your listeners tuned in, as well as weaknesses you need to trump to minimise frustration and difficulty.
Identifying your brand’s strength depends on your current performance. Revenue is a strong indicator but you will have to dig deeper and learn what causes its growth—it could be having consistent episode uploads and unique topic ideas.
Some common weaknesses include trouble with topic generation, lack of suitable equipment or even flimsy marketing strategies. Addressing these weaknesses requires solutions such as collaborations and cross-promotion to improve your marketing strategy.
Inviting another industry expert to your show will add more valuable insights for your listeners. Guesting on another show that shares the same niche demographic is beneficial for your brand because it boosts your show’s SEO ranking and generates traffic to your website.
3. Optimise your podcast for SEO
SEO is an integral part of marketing because it strengthens organic traffic from search engines. Optimising your podcast for SEO helps your potential customers discover you when searching for specific topics that match your used keywords.
Keywords are not the only thing you should focus on when maximising SEO: You can also create a website for your podcast or include it on your company website. Write a web copy for your podcast using keywords for descriptions, titles, tags and liner notes but remember to avoid keyword stuffing and only use relevant SEO keywords.
The best keywords will always depend on your research using analysis tools and keyword data you can gather from podcast networks. Aside from that, building links will also help generate attention for your podcast—especially when you’re just starting out.
Businesses should definitely consider starting a podcast. Its stable growth in listenership and revenue will benefit your brand because it helps establish authority and reach more audiences. Don’t be afraid to jump in despite the numbers, with a good strategy in place, you can make your content stand out.
Are you starting a podcast for your business? Have a chat with us and we’ll help you get your voice heard.