To Podcast or Not To Podcast

If you’ve had your head under a rock for the past few years and have missed the podcast craze, it’s time to catch up with the rest of the world. Recent research has shown that there are currently over 700,000 podcasts out there, reaching about 144 million U.S. citizens annually. Better yet, once people start a podcast, 80% of them listen to it all or most of the way through. That is one heck of a captive audience.

Except that they’re not captive. The audience willingly tunes in to listen - and stays there until the end. And once you build an audience, they’re likely to remain loyal, tuning in as often as you produce new episodes. That means podcasts are a great magnet to find and retain people who are interested in YOU!

Our Brand Junkies hosts Dave & Kenn sat down together for a very meta episode to discuss the benefits of podcasting. Check out if it’s right for you (although, it probably is.)

Why podcast?

Dave: “If you look at the numbers in the U.S., people that listen to podcasts generally have more degrees than the overall U.S. population. They make more money and they read more books than the overall population. Essentially, if you're trying to reach a more affluent, business-like audience, podcasts are where it's at.”

Dave: “The power of podcasting for us is really in the fact that you get to create your own media channel. This is its own space. Think about podcasts that have so many downloads and they're selling advertising for $30,000, $50,000, $100,000 per episode. I personally know some guys who just hit record and all of a sudden, three years later they had a million downloads per episode and they can charge whatever they want. And it's unlike anything we've ever seen before that you can literally be your own TV or radio show and you can do it every day of the week. You can do it once a month, you can do it twice a week. I mean it's just unbelievable.”

Kenn: “You can build that community with people who are interested or have a commonality with what you're sharing, and when you use the podcast to get your message out there, people can hear and feel your message. It's very visceral form of communication. You then just have to know how to use the rest of the digital matrix to support getting that message out there. Podcasting and all the supplemental and supportive tactics that go along with it becomes incredibly powerful because you can shape opinions and give people incentive to move and take action.”

How to do it right:

Kenn: “You and I always talk about the fact that with marketing, you want to engage, educate or entertain. Somehow you've got to accomplish one of those things. And, it's easier to do that when you know you're speaking to an audience that is predisposed to the information or the subject matter you're talking about. And, what's so great about podcasting is unlike the radio in the old days where you were just subject to whatever was on the air at the time, people can now seek out what it is that you're talking about. So, the level of engagement is much higher because people are predisposed to the subject matter. They're seeking it out and they want it. And, so it makes a much better exchange of information at that point. Much more powerful.

Dave: “If you're trying to launch a podcast and want to hit really good targets or be featured on what's trending and upcoming on iTunes, the way to do that is to spend eight weeks getting as many reviews as possible. Reviews are really what drive it. So you can ask some friends, ‘Hey, I'm going to launch this. Go review it. Go rate it.’ It's making a simple ask, but it's actually one that bears fruit. We've seen that work for our clients, for ourselves and for other people where they just all of a sudden spin something up and it grows.”

Kenn: “It's about follow-through and consistency. A lot of people start podcasts and they'll do a couple of episodes, but for whatever reason, they just, they don't get enough downloads. They don't put any marketing effort behind it and they just quit. Like so many things, it's about consistency. You're not always going to get it right at the beginning. You’ve got to feel your way through it. When we started this podcast, even though we both have a lot of public speaking and broadcast experience, we actually did a couple of test trial runs. We came in, we recorded them, we did it just like we were doing it now. But, it wasn't for broadcast, it was so we could feel, "hey, what's working here? What's not working well? What can we change?"

Dave: “I don't think this can be overstated: consistency, consistency, consistency, consistency. If you do a podcast and then you drop off, you will not have those followers anymore. And if you do the podcast long enough, just like if you blog long enough, just like if you do social media long enough, you will eventually start to get a snowball effect where some somebody's going to find you and they're going to go, ‘you have to listen to this’ and they're going to get you five, six, 10, 12, 15, a hundred new followers for your podcast. And, then those followers are going to be like, ‘hey, you gotta listen to this.’ And, it grows. That's how this works. You have to be consistent in whatever you do.”

The Takeaways:

Podcasting is an excellent marketing tool for an interested audience, but only if you’re willing to commit. Half-assing a podcast won’t get you anywhere, but doing it right can get you an engaged audience and crazy amounts of ad dollars - not to mention brand recognition.

David Valentine