The Benefits of a Podcast for your Business
So you've got a business. Maybe you've just started, maybe you're well established. Whichever it is, you have heard somewhere that businesses have podcasts now!
If you're here, then maybe that idea scares you a little. Maybe you're worried about the time it will take, or how difficult it will be, or whether it will actually bring you any leads.
And, look, I can't guarantee anything , but I can talk you through why I think business podcasts are a great idea.
But firstly, I want to tell you: the blog post is going to be just as much about marketing as it is about podcasting. But, well, having a podcast is marketing.
Talking about the benefits also means diving into the sales funnel a bit too, so firstly I'll talk about why podcasting is marketing, why you want it have it in funnel and where it belongs in said funnel, and then we'll go over a couple reasons why you might decide to start a podcast instead of, say, a YouTube channel.
Content marketing is basically what is says on the tin - marketing via content types like social media, blogs, infographics, videos, and, of course, podcasts.
The most effective way of engaging in content marketing is by telling a story. The story of you, of your business, of why somebody needs your product/service . . . the list in endless. But just make sure to tread the line between creating a connection because of your personality, and being completely off-topic. For example, nobody cares what you had for breakfast . . . unless you can connect it back to your business. Are you telling us because it relates to your business e.g. you're a health and wellness guru? Or just because you have no idea what to share so you're sharing anything?
There are a lot of pros and cons to all the different kinds of content, but, of course, we're here to talk about podcasting.
Establishing as an Authority
There are four pillars of content marketing (the four E's). These are entertainment, engagement, empathy, and education. Having a mix of all four is what will get you the most loyalty, but if you want to go for just one, education is it.
You can easily build a brand with just education (particularly if you're service-based), whereas the other three are a bit more difficult. Still doable, of course, and with the obvious caveat that some businesses are better suited to one rather than the other . . . but 95% of the time education is the way to go.
One of the ways that you can make yourself stand out from other businesses (again, particularly if you're selling a service), is to establish yourself as an authority. If you think through your own buying habits, your instinct will always be to go with the doctor who can answer a question off the top of their head, rather than the one that has to do research. It might not have anything to do with their actual ability, but if somebody is presenting - and proving - themselves to be knowledgeable, then you'll choose them.
So that's what you need to do, too.
If you're selling a product, it's still a good way to set yourself apart. I'm more likely to buy a candle from a business that taught me something I don't know, like how to burn a candle evenly, than one that just shows me a picture of a candle and calls it a day. Even if that's just because I'm more likely to remember who they are, or follow them on social media.
So what does all this have to do with podcasting?
Ultimately, education is about providing value to your potential clients or customers. Whether they know it or not, if they come across your social media or website, then they have a problem that needs solving. You want to be the one to solve that problem.
But . . . there's only so much solving you can in a 100-word caption, or a 1 minute TikTok video. The solution to this problem is long-form content: podcasts or videos.
Long-form provides more value to possible clients, which is what you want in such a competitive market.
(And in case you're worried about giving away too much information - there's no need. Think of it like hairdressing - even if you can learn about it at home, most people will still go to a professional. Anyone who doesn't, likely doesn't because they can't afford it, so they were never going to use you.)
If you offer a service, sharing relevant and useful information with potential clients will build trust with them, and make them wonder about the amazing value you must provide to paying clients.
So when we think about education, or when you're looking to be educated, you're looking for depth. Detail. Long-form is the only way to provide that.
So, before we get into why it's better to go with a podcast over, say, video, I want to talk about where this long-form content actually fits into your sales funnel . . . because the biggest con of long-form is that a) it takes much longer to make but b) it can take much longer to see the returns.
So firstly, let's think about a complete funnel. You'll start with your outreach, your social media channels. In some cases, your funnel could also begin with paid ads, but my specialty and focus is organic growth so organic is where our example starts.
Let's say you're selling cloth nappies.
You start with social media. With things like TikTok and IG Reels, you can reach an unlimited audience. You'd start small, with a 1 minute video where you might list the top three environmental benefits of transitioning to cloth nappies. But in 1 minute, or even 30 seconds, you're really just hitting the main points, which might be 'reduces landfill' etc. You could expand slightly, but not enough.
So at the end of your video, your CTA could be "go to my podcast x to get a detailed breakdown" or something along those lines.
A really important thing to note here, is that you won't get everybody. For a lot of people, a TikTok might be enough to get a sale. But there's a small portion that want more - they want to be convinced to buy a cloth nappy, and if they're convinced because of your podcast, then chances are that they'll buy it from you.
So, your long-form, educational content is the second rung in your funnel. And if someone is listening to your podcast, particularly if they're listening regularly, you can be damn sure that they're a hot lead.
At this point, you have two choices - at the end of your podcast, you could offer a lead magnet; something free, like a quiz or an e-book, which will get them on your email list. Or, you could even skip that step and go straight to a tripwire, which is a low-ticket item that you can sell in order to advance someone down your funnel. It could be a short course, or maybe a 20 minute call with you.
We could obviously get into a whole discussion about the funnel, but that's not really what we're here to talk about. You just need to knew where it sits, and what it directs to, because that directly relates to the benefits that it has in your marketing ecosystem.
So we've talk long-form content and what it does, which is establish you as an authority on your topic, but why should you choose podcasting over, say, video?
Podcast vs YouTube
There are two main reasons why you might pick a podcast over making a video.
First: even though video tends to convert more people, when we're thinking long-form, people don't tend to watch through a whole video. If your video is pushing the 20 minute mark, you'll really struggle to get people to consistently watch through the whole thing, because it means they have to sit down and spend spend 20 minutes actually watching.
But listening to podcasts can be done while multi-tasking. People listen while they're driving, exercising, even working, which they can't - or won't - do with a video.
Second: you don't need to show your face. This is more of a you benefit that a marketing benefit, but it will make it much easier for you to keep showing up if you can skip the whole step of having to, say, do your makeup or set up lighting.
As a bonus third reason: it is much, much easier to turn your podcast into a video than it is to turn you video into a podcast. This is entirely because of the audio quality - because podcasting is an entirely aural medium, you really need that crisp sound in order to maintain listeners, especially if you're a business and you want/need to maintain your professionalism.
You can choose to video your podcast too, then sync your video and audio, or just have your audio track, add stock footage and captions, and away you go.
I would also recommend that you turn your podcast - or video - into a blog post as well. This isn't necessarily because people will prefer to read, though some might. It's because it will help your website's SEO. And you can do this really easily: write out a script for your podcast, then use that script as your blog post.
Et voila: your podcast is now three pieces of content. Make it a bonus fourth by taking small pieces and posting them on social media.
Cons of Podcasting
It would be wrong of me to tell you all the amazing things about podcasts without telling you some of the negatives. I've already touched on them, but as I said - the biggest issues are that it takes more o our time to make, and it can take longer to get returns.
If you already have an audience, I genuinely recommend that you start a podcast next week. The hardest part is getting people to listen - because we all know how hard it is to push people down your funnel and spend money - but if you have an engaged audience already, you'll get some immediate conversions.
And even if that doesn't convert to outright sales, it can actually offer another potential income stream, because once you get enough listeners you can get paid for ad placements in your podcasts.
But if you don't already have an audience, this will take time. A lot of time. I would say you'd probably be lucky to be getting major returns within 6 months.
But if your business benefits from educating others, then you need long-form content.
So, with all of that in mind, I have something to help you out. I think the most daunting part of podcasting is wondering what the hell to talk about. The technical stuff can worked out with research - I actually have a podcast episode entirely about it, and you can book a session with me so I can help, too - but how do you come up with content when you're fresh to this whole concept?
Which is here I come in, with a 30 minute phone call where we can brainstorm some ideas for your podcast. We'll talk about your overall podcast, and come up with some episode ideas. We'll even talk about fitting it into your overall marketing strategy.
So, really, there's no reason to wait.