Podcasts are exploding as a digital medium, with over 100 million Americans listening to at least one podcast every month. Currently, there are over 1,000,000 active podcasts covering current events, music, sports, politics, business, investing, real estate, and more. As podcasting becomes more popular, entrepreneurs and professionals are looking to use podcasts for business growth.
According to Magellan AI, 10 advertisers spent more than $1 million on podcast advertising in July 2020 alone. This spending will continue to grow. That is one of the reasons Spotify signed exclusive deals with Kim Kardashian West, Michelle Obama, and Joe Rogan, reportedly paying $100 million for exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience. Podcasts can serve as entertainment, but the real benefit comes through the education and insights of more complex topics.
How to Use Podcasts for Business Growth
When I launched the Target Market Insights: Multifamily + Marketing Podcast, I was hoping to learn how successful multifamily investors were finding the best places to invest. I was able to answer that question, not just for me but also for others seeking the same insights. Since then, I’ve expanded the show to highlight the marketing challenges people face as real estate investors, entrepreneurs, and business professionals.
Some shows appeal to a broad audience, covering a wide range of interests. This approach is often to garner more subscriptions and downloads. However, downloads and plays will not determine success. The ability to build trust with potential customers will drive success.
For this reason, you should consider using podcasts for business growth and reaching new customers. Unlike other mediums, there are multiple opportunities to grow your business through podcasts. Below are four ways you can leverage podcasts to nurture skills, implement strategies, drive awareness, and attract more business.
Listen to Business Podcasts
The easiest way to leverage podcasts is to listen to them. The audio quality of top-rated shows rivals the production found on mainstream radio. Unlike reading a book, you can listen to shows during your morning routine, commute, or workout. And you can listen across different devices like your computer, tablet, smartphone, or smart speaker. Start with specific episodes that address specific questions or challenges. Subscribe to shows geared toward relevant topics.
Many business podcasts attract top entrepreneurs, professionals, and investors who openly share their insights to help you grow your business. These shows are both educational and entertaining. Find shows and episodes that will help you attract new clients, improve your operations, and improve your profitability. It should be noted that the real value is implementing the tips, not just listening to the episodes. Make it a point to identify and implement key insights that will have a positive impact on your business.
Advertise on Podcasts
While major brands are spending on podcast advertising, there is plenty of room for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. If you have a clearly defined target audience, it is easy to find shows that appeal to that demographic. For example, say you make accounting software; you can find top accounting podcasts like Cloud Accounting Podcast and get in front of a dedicated audience of people who are likely interested in using accounting software. Running an ad campaign on these shows will allow you to put a message in front of a highly targeted audience. And because those listeners are listening to podcasts, you know they are looking to learn or grow and will be open to products or services that can aid them on their journey.
Podcast advertising rates can vary widely, but most shows are flexible and can work within your budget. When exploring costs, you will want to know the CPM (or cost per thousand). CPM is a standard rate used to measure the cost to reach 1,000 people. The average CPM for podcasts is $18 for a 30-second ad and $25 for a 60-second ad, according to AdvertiseCast. Note that these costs will vary greatly based on the show and the perceived value of the targeted audience.
Become a Podcast Guest
Many podcasts are interview-based and accept qualified guests. Being a guest on a podcast is an excellent way to generate awareness of your brand, service, or product. To start, make a list of the top-rated shows for your category or industry. Some firms assist with booking guests, but you can also reach out directly. In most cases, all you have to do is find the show’s website link on Apple Podcast or Spotify, then contact them via email if you do not see a guest application form. It helps to put together a media kit or pitch sheet to highlight your expertise and topics you can cover. This makes it easy for a host to know if you are a fit to book for the show.
When preparing to be a guest on a podcast, be sure to listen to a few episodes ahead of time to get a sense of the show’s format and the host’s personality. Prepare a few talking points to help you stand out and deliver value to the listener. Think about what your ideal audience is struggling with and share a few tips to help them. Remember, the audience wants to get value from the discussion, not hear an extended sales pitch for your business. If you deliver enough value, listeners will want to get in touch with you so make it easy to capture these new leads by sharing the best contact method.
Launch Your Own Podcast
The most impactful way to leverage podcasts for business growth is to launch your own show. Granted, it requires a commitment and some equipment to get a show off the ground. Audiences crave content and the best podcasts deliver. Top-rated podcasts know who they help, the content they seek, and have a unique perspective to share. It helps to be genuinely curious about a topic and develop interviewing skills that will capture the interest of your followers.
I’ve interviewed over 200 guests and have seen the benefits in our business as I established more credibility in the industry. The benefits of having your own show include building awareness for your personal brand or business, attracting new clients, learning and networking with guests, invitations to speak or write for larger events and publications, and adding an additional revenue stream.
If you are considering launching a show, it’s worth noting that most podcasts don’t make it to 20 episodes. Many podcasters underestimate the time commitment needed to develop and produce a quality show consistently. It may be better to start with one of the other options before deciding to launch your own show so you can get a good feel for the impact the platforms can have on your business.
Of the 100 million monthly podcast listeners, your ideal client is listening and waiting to hear how you and your product or service can solve their needs. Now is the time to tap into podcasts to grow your business.