The rise and rise of podcasting

Podcasting is the wireless of the new millennia.  ‘Back in the day’ the radio was the family entertainment hub.  These days, we’ve swapped out the family ‘wireless’ for wireless earphones. Listeners now hang out for the latest episode of their fave poddy to drop each week, instead.
From comedy to celebrity gossip and education – there’s a podcast for everything.  This is part of the reason they are such a versatile tool in helping to grow your small business. There are no limits to what your podcast can cover!
In 2022, over 9 million Aussies listened to podcasts in 2022. This is a whopping 54% year-on-year increase from the previous year.  The pandemic helped with boosting listenership in the pod-world. But even with lockdown-listening spikes, popularity of podcasts is on the rise.

Why podcasting is so good for helping grow your small business

 Businesses have been tapping into the podcasting space for a while now – and with good reason!  Launching your own podcast is an impactful way to help market your small business.  They boost brand awareness and connect you with your ideal customers. Plus they build know, like and trust factor. All this goodness encourages listeners to become customers.

1. Builds a loyal following

Podcast content is a fabulous way to engage with your audience. They’re an avenue to build a loyal following for your brand.  You will attract new followers through your episode content. And when you add value, you’ll encourage them to keep returning, too.
Your podcast doesn’t have to be a direct reflection of your businesses’ product or service.  But; they will have more impact when your content aligns with your brand values and messaging.  For example Keep It Cleaner is an Aussie business. Their purpose is to help others build confidence and promoting body positivity.  They have a range of services and products including a fitness app, programs and products.  They have two podcasts, the first being KICPOD . This is their original podcast which has a story-telling format. The episodes centre around people with an interest in holistic wellness.
Creating a podcast helps build a loyal community of followers.  This presents an opportunity to launch a product or service to a ‘warm’ audience of people. People who already support you and are more likely to buy from you.   We see this sort of strategy time and time again with influencers. These are people who leverage their following to launch their own branded products. An example of a podcast that has done this is the Shameless Podcast. They collaborated with The Sweater Club. Their merch range sold out almost immediately after launching!

2. Positions you as an expert/thought leader in your industry

A podcast is another platform for you to use in thought leadership. They are a channel for you to amplify your knowledge and expertise.  When you focus on a particular niche it helps to position you as an expert in this area. Being a thought leader is proven to continue to build the know/like/trust factor. And this is the good stuff that helps convert your audience to paying customers.
An example close to home is Tracy Harris from Mums With Hustle.  Tracy started the Mums With Hustle Podcast back in 2016.  I remember following her at the beginning of my own business journey around the same time.  In her podcast she interviews women building business in motherhood. Tracy consistently produce podcasting episodes. At the same time she focused on Facebook and Instagram Ads to grow her following.  The strategies she learned in growing her own following she went on to teach her audience. These days Tracy runs a high-ticket mastermind. She has several digital courses and is a self-made million-dollar business owner!
Brainstorm all the different stories and topics you could share if you made a podcast. What would you speak about to affirm your place as an industry expert? What about your unique life experiences, qualifications and knowledge?    Remember, it doesn’t have to mean you’re the most qualified in your business field. Your life experience can be just as valuable to share with your listeners, too.

3. Increases brand visibility .

Successful marketing strategy often comes down to one thing: omnipresence.   Omnipresence means the state of being widespread or constantly encountered.  In marketing, this is having many touchpoints over a variety of channels.   Hosting your own podcast is one of these touchpoints for your target audience.
Successful small business branding is about communicating your your unique selling point (USP). What are the things that make you stand out from others in your industry?   Podcasting is an impactful way for your ideal customers to discover you and your brand.   Your podcast content doesn’t have to speak only to the products/services you offer. It can also cover topics aligned with your core values/interests.
Repurposing podcast episodes is an efficient, effective way to market your small business.  You don’t have to attract huge listener numbers from each episode either. It’s still valuable to be able to use the content across many other platforms, too. They boost omnipresence and brand consistency.

How to effectively promote your brand and attract new customers through a podcast

  • Speak to your core values
Being crystal clear on your core values is essential in building a stand out brand.  These values should be present throughout all your content, including your podcast. For example, one of your core business values could be fun. But imagine if all your podcast episodes were super-serious and formal in nature. This won’t amplify your brand values.  Instead, it will only confuse your audience and dilute the essence of your brand.
  • Tailor content to your target audience

Your podcast topics don’t have to be purely product or service focussed. You can include other topics that align with your brand values.  When planning, do a little research and discover what your audience likes.   For example,a podcast content about contemporary minimalist living. This isn’t going to align for gthe majority of toddler parents. You get my drift…

  • Be strategic
A podcast can play an impactful role in your sales funnel . It pays to be strategic about your customer journey.  Be clear on the next step your listeners can take after tuning in to your podcast. This will help to dictate the kinds of topics you cover and calls-to-action (CTA) you include.
For example, you may be a money mindset coach for small business owners.  Your podcast episodes could break down common money mindset blocks. Your CTA would be for listeners to download your freebie related to this topic.

4. Build valuable connections

Podcast interviews are a great way to strengthen connections with your wider network.  Building your business community increases word of mouth marketing (WOMM). And we know that WOMM is one of the most impactful marketing tools you can use in your business.
Collaborating with an aligned business in a podcast interview can also boost your content reach. This is because you’re cross promoting to their audience as well as your own.  Win/win for both parties!

Tips for fostering meaningful industry connections through podcasting

  • Make sure your guest’s values align with your business and brand
It’s great to have a podcast guest with a huge audience and reach. But if that person/brand has a business with values that misalign with yours, it’s wo’t have the right kind of impact.  In fact, it could confuse your audiences and dilute your branding.  You want to be consistent with your brand and what it stands for. Choose your guests intentionally and not only based on their following size.
  • Spend time researching and personalising podcast guest invitations
 If you’re going to send an invitation to a potential guest, it pays to do your research. Through digging a little deeper, you’ll discover:
a) Whether your guest will be a good fit for your brand
b) How to tailor your invitation to increase your chances of locking in an interview.  It’s important to convey that you know about the person/brand you’re pitching to. Also include a brief explanation of why you would love to have them on your podcast.  It’s the norm that a guest should receive a backlink to their site and/or socials information.  Plus, it’s good practice for a guest to be able to share a relevant service/product/freebie.
Higher reach and impact is about working smarter not harder. I’m a huge advocate for repurposing core content. You can turn a podcast into many pieces of content across various marketing channels.  One podcast can become a blog, email(s) and many social media posts. This not only will save you a buttload of time but will  help with brand omnipresence (a.k.a being everywhere).  
Don’t have a podcast? Consider being a guest instead.
Hosting your own podcast is a huge undertaking. Creating and maintaining a podcast requires dedication and work. If you’re in this camp – consider pitching to other podcasts to be a guest, instead. being a guest on a podcast can still be an impactful marketing move. The content you can use can be worth it, alone.
Experienced podcasters often produce lots of content per episode that you can use.  At a minimum, podcasters will send an email blast, many socials posts and have an episode webpage. This is invaluable for your brand awareness and reach. It’s also done-for-you content that you can re share across your own marketing channels.
Courteous pitching will see more success in becoming a podcast guest.  No one enjoys cold-pitches landing in their DM’s or inbox.  Do some research, take time to familiarise yourself with the podcast host & brand to ensure you’re a good fit. Choose podcasts where you genuinely believe you can add value to their listeners. Don’t send impersonal, generic emails.    Spend time crafting a personalised message to conveys you’re a real-life person, not a chatbot.

5. It’s a low-cost marketing option

Recording your own podcast is a cost effective (i.e. free) way to market your business. There’s no time like the present to start your own!   It’s free to publish your podcast to the major podcasting platforms like Apple and Spotify. You can also record podcasts with very little equipment needed.  I’ve known people to record decent podcasts using the voice memos app on their iPhones!  If you want professional quality recording, you’ll need to invest in better equipment.  However; don’t discount simple, budget-friendly options, especially when starting out.  All the other bits and pieces you’ll need to begin your own podcast you can also do for free, too.
Your headphone mic in a sound-friendly space like a walk-in robe, can work as well as a fancy recording studio.  Don’t complicate things.  Remember, imperfect action is better than taking no action at all!

Remember: Your podcast won’t be impactful without publishing it

Podcasting is a fairly saturated platform.  Don’t let this deter you from creating your own though.  Many listeners tune into multiple podcasts each week. The search technology available on podcasting platforms means it’s easier than ever to be found.  The only way your podcast can’t be consumed is if you don’t make one! So, what are you waiting for?