Podcasts here, podcasts there, podcasts are everywhere.
Or at least it seems they are.
Want to know just how prevalent podcasts are becoming? Here are some recent podcast statistics published by Edison Research:
- 26 percent of Americans listen to podcasts monthly — that’s 73 million people
- One-third of Americans ages 25 to 54 listen to podcasts every month
- Six million more Americans are listening to podcasts weekly in 2018 than last year
- Female podcast listenership has jumped 14 percent in the last year
Those are compelling numbers (and there are many more), which is likely why so many businesses are flocking to the podcast market. And as more people are producing podcasts, more of us listeners have content to choose from that aligns with our interests.
It’s a win-win.
How to decide whether to produce a podcast
“Should we do a podcast?”
I get that question frequently from clients who, rightly, don’t want to miss out on a fast-growing and effective way to communicate with their target customer base.
As is the case quite often, I answer that question with a series of questions aimed at helping us decipher which way we should go.
I start with these five:
- How would a podcast align with your current marketing and overall business objectives?
- What unique angle can you bring to the ever-growing podcast universe?
- Can you be committed to a regular production cadence?
- Will your team be able to see the value in a smaller audience, so long as it’s target-rich?
- How do you plan on measuring return-on-investment (ROI)?
If after answering these questions you feel like a podcast could still be a worthy endeavor, then it might make sense to start thinking about how you would pull off a podcast production.
Here’s how one Chattanooga business approaches their podcasts.
How InfoSystems uses podcasts to help various customers appreciate their value proposition
InfoSystems, a Chattanooga-based information technology firm with a regional footprint, provides a great example of how to approach podcasting.
Information technology is a vast, ever-changing terrain, and the list of services that InfoSystems offers is extensive. That means what they do for Company A may be different than what they do for Company B.
So, when approaching the concept of podcasting, Director of Marketing Josh Davis says they opted to produce three separate podcasts instead of trying to do one end-all-be-all show.
“When I decided to start podcasting, I wanted to be sure to deliver value to our audiences. The reason I chose to produce three different podcasts was that I saw three clear gaps with unique audiences,” Davis says. “Small business is a good example because they don't have easy access to solid IT guidance. I wanted to do our locally-focused podcast as a community service, and since Chattanooga has a ton of great technology stories and very few of them get included in media coverage, I'm trying to get their stories out in a different way.”
And it’s worked. Rather than trying to have one show cover all IT topics and risk alienating listeners confused by what to expect from one episode to the next, each of the respective podcast shows has a more dedicated theme that listeners come to trust and identify with.
Imagine if you landed on a radio station playing Lynyrd Skynyrd that played Bruno Mars next followed by Mozart. To some listeners that might be appealing, but most listeners have genres they prefer to stick to. And let’s be real, if you’re a making a business podcast, your listeners are coming to you for a very specific reason. Be sure to deliver on that.
Over at InfoSystems, they regularly produce:
The Business of Enterprise IT: Explores ways IT and non-IT executives at large businesses can use technology to propel major wins
IT Coach for Business Leaders: An information resource for leaders at small and mid-sized companies to help them make crucial technology decisions
Business and Technology in Tennessee: As Tennessee’s economy thrives, this podcast shares business stories and provides perspective about IT skills needed for business success
Whether a listener is associated with a mega-company, a smaller one or is just getting off the ground, they each have a podcast with beneficial insights on how InfoSystems could be valuable to them (read: presenting their value proposition).
So…should you make a podcast?
Developing a regular podcast is a serious commitment. But if you approach it thoughtfully with your business objectives and client needs in mind (please don’t make podcasts just to hear your own voice), it could be a valuable tool in your marketing and PR plan.
David Martin is a co-founder of Heed Public Relations.