Should You Start a Podcast?

Every year, Edison Research creates a report called the Infinite Dial, covering the topic of podcasting.

Since 2006, there has been a steady increase in awareness of the term—60 percent of those surveyed—and consumption of podcasts: 40 percent of survey respondents have listened to a podcast.

In the modern business era, the most critical area of sales and marketing efforts to focus on is building an audience. Customers are moving away from wanting interaction with sales teams and toward self-served education for their purchase decisions.

You need to capture their attention, and a podcast might be the best, hardest way to do that. In the research from Edison, only 24 percent of those surveyed listened to podcasts monthly, leaving me to conclude most businesses will struggle to reach an audience through podcasting.

So should you start a podcast? The answer is probably no—podcasting is time-consuming, unforgiving and challenging to execute. But
if you have a strong interest in it, here are businesses that could benefit from having a podcast:

Your customers and prospects listen to podcasts regularly.

»  There are different groups of people who do listen to podcasts often. Fitness professionals, software developers, sales teams and many others in traditional B2B markets have very popular podcasts aimed at them. If your target market demonstrates a high consumption of this type of media, you are more likely to find a way to capture their attention and maybe even steal some of the audience from other podcasts.

Your customers and prospects listen to their radio or wear headphones for an extended portion of their day.

»  Do your customers travel a lot? Are they fitness fanatics? Do they sit at a desk in an open-concept office and need the ability to have peace? Are they sitting at home and enjoy consuming alternatives to primetime television? If so, you won’t have to construct a new habit for them by using audio as a way of entertainment or education.

Your customers and prospects want to learn something to better their life or their career while also being entertained.

»  For podcasting to be useful, you have to be able to capture and hold their attention. Because they desire results, whatever audio content you’re producing has to be considered valuable. Just like the price tag you put on your products and services, the value to a customer needs to be measured because they are purchasing it with their most precious currency: time.

Your customers and prospects can purchase something from you that is in line with the topic of your show.

»  Having a plumbing business and a podcast about fitness is a long stretch for taking prospects from “lead” to “customer.” If you are a doctor but your podcast is about how to be a better magician, you likely will gain an audience that has no idea what type of physician you are and only the super-fanatics will reach out for your services. Your topic should go hand-in-hand with what your business offers, and it should be content the majority of your customers would consume.

Whatever you decide, remember this key fact: Content marketing needs to drive value to the audience. So dig in your heels and create marketing that matters.