There’s no doubt about it: content is king. Yes, we know you’ve heard that before, but it’s worth repeating, because these days, no matter what type of small business you’re running, you also have to be a content creator if you’re going to compete and grow. So what’s your content of choice? Are you blogging, blasting out email marketing, posting videos on social media – or all of the above? Those are all great ways to drive traffic to your website, and bring in more leads, but have you thought about a totally 2022 way to get more people interested in your business? Have you thought about trying your hand at podcasting? It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) than you might think, so you might want to take a look at the following compelling reasons to start a podcast to grow your business.
Before we get into some hard numbers, and some more reasons that a podcast is doable – and maybe even necessary – for your small business, let’s look at an overview of why podcasts are actually a great form of content for small business marketing purposes. With a podcast, you can:
- Build a strong following for your brand – If you can nail your podcast, and release episodes on a regular basis, you’ll find that you’ll get some loyal listeners, who can become loyal to your brand.
- Become an authority in your field – Regular podcasting with valuable information and creative ideas will help you establish your business as an authority in your industry. Just be sure to bring new ideas in your podcast: when asked to select the reasons why respondents listen to podcasts, 66% of respondents from a Nielsen survey selected “to learn something new.”
- Be everywhere with your audience – Podcasts allow your customers to passively consume your content, meaning they’re more likely to engage with your content than if they had to sit down and focus only on that one thing. With a podcast, you can be in their cars while they’re driving, or in their ears while they’re running or making dinner.
- Be everywhere for your audience – Your audience can take you with them everywhere, and you can also be found in multiple places: your website, social media, podcast-hosting sites, etc.
- Get an SEO boost – Looking for another way to show up in search engines? Your podcast can be another way to sneak into those search results, and maybe even to bump you up the list.
- Bring in more traffic – It’s never a bad thing to have more than one way for customers to find you! You can use your podcast to link back to your website and bring in more traffic.
Podcasting by the Numbers
The above are some excellent general reasons for getting your small business into the podcasting game, but who’s actually out there listening? You might be surprised by the following statistics:
- 55% of the US population (155 million people) has listened to a podcast – up from 51% in 2019.
- 50% of all US homes are podcast fans, and 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans.”
- 37% (104 million people) listened to a podcast in the last month – up from 32% in 2019, and 24% (68 million people) listen to podcasts weekly, up from 22% in 2019.
- 27.1% of listeners are subscribed to over 70 different podcasts.
- 45% of monthly podcast listeners have household income over $75K, versus 35% for the total population.
- 48% of listeners listen to podcasts more than they did last year.
- Small business owners are out there listening, too: more than one-third (39%) of owners of SMBs listen to podcasts, and 65% listen at least weekly.
Podcast listeners are out there, and they are pretty easy to find:
- Podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel (94% are active on at least one, versus 81% for the entire population).
- Podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media.
And not only are a lot of people out there listening, they are listening a lot:
- Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 different shows per week, up from 5 in 2017
- 82.4% of podcast fans listen to 7 or more hours of podcasts each week, compared with 76.8% in 2018. 22.4% of respondents listen to more than 22 hours each week – more than 3 hours per day.
- 59% of respondents spend more time listening to podcasts than they do on social media.
- 66% report they listen to podcasts more than they watch TV.
- When podcast listeners tune in to an episode, 80% of them stay tuned in for most or all of the episode (with 44% listening to most of it, and 42% listening to all of it), meaning a podcast could help you keep customers engaged with your brand for 20 minutes or more.
Finally, the icing on the cake: these listeners do get influenced by the podcasts they listen to:
- Last year, 48.8% of respondents said they purchased an item after hearing it advertised on a podcast, and this year that number grew to 55.6%.
- 76% of listeners say they’ve taken action after hearing a podcast ad, which could include visiting a site, making a purchase or taking out a subscription.
Why a Podcast Can Work for You
Podcasts are a great type of content to add into your arsenal, and they can reach a lot of potential customers, but when it comes down to creating one, can you actually fit it into your budget and your schedule? Well, creating a podcast:
- Doesn’t have to be time-consuming, or require a ton of technical knowledge – Podcasts are actually easier to create than you might think. You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge: you can create a podcast by using the free tools that are available on the web. And you don’t even need to have a lot of extra time on your hands. Depending on your time, interests, and the money you want to spend, you can outsource everything from booking guests, editing, publishing, transcription, show notes, and promotion. You can simply be the host of the podcast – and that’s the fun part!
- Doesn’t have to break the bank – If you do want to get some help with your podcast, professional services that take care of things other than hosting can start at just $500 a month, depending on how often you publish and how much assistance you need. But if you want to get all the benefits of podcasting on a shoestring budget, all you really need is a microphone (which can run under $100), and a podcast hosting service, which typically only costs around $20 a month.
Podcasting Hosting Services
If all of this sounds intriguing to you, we’ll leave you with a little technical help to get you started on your podcasting journey to growth. We mentioned podcast hosting services: a host acts like a middle person between the podcast and its subscribers. It also works as a centralized, online storage facility where you can keep all your audio files in the form of a single webpage, the RSS feed. Platforms like Apple Podcast and Spotify are great places to find new subscribers, but they do not let you store the podcasts on their servers. They use your podcast RSS feed links to display the content. A podcast host will create your RSS feed for you, so your podcast can be found on those popular platforms.
If you’re looking for some good podcast hosts, check these five out:
- Buzzsprout – Great for beginners, free to get started
- Spreaker – One-stop shop for podcast hosting
- Captivate – Created for independent podcasters
- Transistor – Refined podcast platform built for pros
- Podbean – Unlimited storage and bandwidth
You might not have gotten into business to get into the content game, but these days, some creative content with a well thought out strategy can really drive growth, so you’re going to need to just go with it. And you know what? You might as well have some fun creating it, by spending just a few extra minutes and a few extra dollars on a podcast that delivers valuable content to your customers.