Have you ever listened to a podcast?
If your answer was yes, then you’ll understand how entertaining, informative, and hilarious they can be. More than 50% of US homes are podcast fans, and 24% of them listen weekly! It’s no wonder that marketers are embracing podcasting to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and achieve their business goals.
In today’s digital age, consumer trends and demands are moving quickly. With one-third of millennials listening to podcasts regularly, digital marketers must adapt their content strategies to include this popular media.
If you’re wondering how to integrate podcasting into your content strategy but aren’t sure where to start, don’t fear! You’re in the right place. In today’s article, we’ll discuss how you can engage your audience with podcasts to grow your business.
What is a podcast?
By definition, a podcast is a digital audio file that’s available on the internet for listening on a computer or mobile device. They’re created and shared by individuals, businesses, radio networks, TV networks, storytellers, comedians, and more. Any topic that comes to mind, there’s guaranteed to be a podcast about it.
What are the benefits of podcasting for businesses?
Companies are using podcasting as a valuable marketing avenue to drive engagement, build brand authority, and boost sales. Here are some key benefits:
Reach your audience on-the-go: 22% of podcast listeners listen to while driving. Your audience might not be able to read your blog posts or watch your video content while they’re working, commuting, or running, but they can listen to your podcasts.
Build personalized connections: Listening to a podcast is almost like sitting down to have a cup of coffee with a brand, facilitating a more authentic conversation. You can joke, laugh, and explain ideas as though your listeners were in the same room. This makes your brand more personable and trustworthy.
Gives your brand a personality: With written content, it can be difficult to get your intended tone across. Sometimes jokes or ironic statements just don’t work without the right verbal intonation. With a host, guests, and music you’re giving your brand a voice.
Drives engagement: There’s so much written content on the internet that it can be overwhelming. Audio content is a welcome break for many people suffering from information overload. Moreover, 80% of people listen to all or most of each episode, whereas the average reader spends just 37 seconds reading a blog post!
Builds brand authority: In the same way that well written and researched content can position your brand as an authority in its field, so too can podcasting. What’s more, the podcast industry is less saturated (for now!) than written and visual, so creating a podcast about specialized subjects can boost your brand authority.
Increase conversions: As your podcasts drive engagement, build brand authority, and help to nurture your customer relationships; your audience is more likely to purchase from a business they trust. What’s more, a whopping 65% of listeners are likely to buy a product or service after hearing about it from a podcast ad!
Now you know why you should use podcasting in your content marketing strategy, here are some best practices for engaging your audience with podcasts.
8 tips for engaging your audience with podcasts
First things first: come up with a catchy title
Do you know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Forget it! When it comes to podcasts, unfortunately, your audience is going to judge your book (podcast) by its cover (title and image).
Similar to blog posts and video content, a good title makes a huge difference to clickability. Here are some tips for writing a killer podcast title to pique listeners’ interest:
- Keep it short and sweet. Like that sentence.
- Use power words tailored to your topic and audience.
- Use numbers to provide listeners with actionable steps.
- Questions are a great way to engage the listener from the get-go as it gives the impression that you’re talking directly to them.
Create a unique eye-catching image cover for your podcast episodes too, as this will make your podcast more recognizable and increase brand awareness.
Discuss relevant topics and current trends
74% of podcast listeners say they listen to learn new things, and 71% say they listen for entertainment. With this in mind, podcasting is another vehicle through which you can address the pain points, challenges, and needs of your buyer personas with relevant and valuable content.
Podcasts are an accessible way to discuss hot topics and recent events with your audience. If there’s a current trend turning heads in your niche, then your audience probably wants to hear about it. Discuss relevant topics, share your thoughts, and keep your audience in the loop.
Consult your editorial calendar and pick podcast topics around themed months or key events to tie your content strategy together nicely. Remember that a great content strategy should offer content for each stage of the funnel, so be sure to keep this in mind when planning your podcast episodes.
Don’t beat around the bush
Most people listen to podcasts on the go. The last thing they want is to spend their valuable listening time on is a podcast that never quite seems to get the point.
Once you’ve grabbed their attention with a catchy intro, you mustn’t beat around the bush. Be direct and to the point to keep the listener engaged and curious about what the episode is going to cover.
Your audience is tuning in to listen to a particular topic; so don’t disappoint them by spending the first 10 minutes of the episode rambling on about what you had for breakfast!
Repurpose existing content
If you’ve published a compelling long-form article or blog post that drives lots of traffic, why not work with what you’ve already got? Create a podcast episode about a topic you’ve already researched and written about in-depth to make your content more accessible.
Also, consider repurposing your podcast episodes into blog posts, it works both ways! For instance, you might interview an industry expert in your latest podcast episode, and then write up the interview and publish it as a blog post.
Invite niche experts to your show
After a while, people are going to get sick of listening to you talk! Just kidding, but it is a good idea to invite guests onto the show to mix things up and keep your audience engaged. Invite experts in your niche to participate in an episode, and choose a topic that you think they’ll provide a fascinating insight into.
Remember to prepare well for your interview. Come up with challenging questions, or — even better — ask your audience to share questions they want answers to in the comments section or on social media. By featuring experts on your show, you position yourself as an authority in your niche area, build trust, and increase the reach of your podcast.
Be sure to offer your audience transcripts of guest interviews (and all of your podcasts!) to ensure they’re accessible to the hearing impaired.
Have a clear call to action (CTA)
Encourage your listeners to take further action with your business or organization by including a clear call to action. You don’t want to disrupt the flow of the episode, so make sure your CTA is relevant to the topic being discussed.
Whether you want your listeners to subscribe, listen to another episode, join an email list, read an article, or download a free resource; your call-to-action needs to be natural and transparent.
Promote your podcast on different platforms
Nowadays, consumers actively use a combination of email, business’ websites, social media, video, and audio to engage with their favorite brands. Promote your podcast across channels to ensure your audience won’t miss out on new content as soon as it’s released.
Roughly 64% of people learn about podcasts through social media, so be sure to schedule posts about your latest episodes on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Another good idea is to create a mailing list to engage with your audience outside of your podcast and keep them updated and hyped about upcoming episodes.
Sharing news about your podcasts is also a great way to encourage audience participation by asking for feedback or suggestions for what topics they’d like covered in future episodes.
Last but not least: Be consistent
Consistency is key. Use your editorial calendar to schedule podcast episodes consistently, whether it’s once a week or once a month. Ensuring that your posting follows a schedule means your listeners will know when to expect a new episode and when to tune in. The more they listen, the more trust they’ll have in you and your brand!
Implementing podcasting into your content strategy is an effective way to connect with your audience, nurture leads, and grow your business. If people listen to and engage with your podcasts, they’re more likely to become loyal customers as your relationship develops. This means better engagement levels, increased brand awareness, and —of course— more sales!
Be sure to do your research and construct a clear understanding of who your audience is and what they want before jumping into it. Consistently review website trends and shifts in consumer demands to keep your content strategy fresh and ensure you’re always giving the people what they want.
Are you ready to implement podcasting into your content strategy?
Download our editorial calendar today and start planning your podcasts!