Podcasts reach people. A study by Edison Research found that 51 percent of Americans listened to a podcast in 2019, up from 44 percent in 2018. It’s an effective form of communication that people can access how they want, when they want. More and more, corporate podcasts are emerging as a new gadget in the content marketing tool belt.
With the right strategies in place, corporate podcasts have the power to connect with the right audiences in a way that is more direct and personal than any other kind of marketing content because it brings listeners into a real conversation about topics that matter to them.
So if your marketing team is asking, "Should we consider a podcast?" the simple answer is yes. And YES! But before researching microphones and audio editing software, here are some things to think about.
Understand your audience — Identifying who you want to influence and why should be your first action item. A podcast that isn’t aimed at the right decision makers — or those who influence them — probably won’t lead to the results you’re looking for, irrespective of the content's quality. The good news is that if you already have a successful content program in place, pinpointing audience personas should be a relatively light lift.
Go with what you know — It’s critical to gain credibility with listeners as a trusted thought leader early on, which means presenting content you know will appeal to the desired audience. If your content program is already yielding lead generation, lean in to blogs, whitepapers and other successful pieces of content as a source of subject matter. In time, the podcast may become the thematic guide for the program, but in the early stages, don't guess when you have existing content with a proven track record.
See what’s (not) out there — It’s also important to check out other corporate podcasts, especially those produced by your competitors, then identify whitespaces that your unique messaging can fill. Like written content, your podcast should either touch on relevant topics that others aren’t discussing or offer new, compelling takes on popular themes. It's hard to cut through the noise with commonly shared talking points.
Be patient — This is perhaps the hardest suggestion to digest. Getting a podcast program up and running requires a significant time and resource investment with little or no instant gratification. Building an audience, especially for B2B podcasts, is a process. Trial-and-error isn't something to be afraid of. The process will help you identify the format, length and cadence that resonates with your audience. Know this: If the content is compelling and you get it in front of the right people, the potential to elevate your content marketing program to new heights is there for the taking.
The time to get in the podcasting game is now, but it’s important to lay the groundwork for short-term and long-term success. In the coming weeks, we’ll take a closer look at podcast logistics and distribution. Stay tuned!