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Five ways for businesses to use podcasts

Head of digital, James Dixon uses #InternationalPodcastDay to give his top five tips for businesses on how to benefit from podcasting.

Happy International Podcast Day!

Is it really only 15 years since the term podcast was coined? Apparently, so.

What (let’s face it) began as a nerdy pastime in some obscure corner of the internet is forecast to be a billion dollar industry by 2021. We can thank Ricky Gervais, The Bugle and This American Life for being pioneers of the medium back when asking someone to be a guest on your podcast might have sounded like a coded phrase in a le Carre novel.

Then an explosion in smart phones, especially Apple devices and their ubiquitous ‘Podcasts’ app provided  the audience for podcast behemoths like My Dad Wrote a Porno, No Such Thing as Fish and Serial by the good folks at This American Life to succeed.

The podcast boom undoubtedly benefited from a democratisation in content creation. No longer did you need a suit at a TV channel or a magazine to deem your passions, creative skills or indeed product worthy, you could build that audience yourselves and many people did – out of bedrooms and boardrooms.

Podcasts connect people globally with common interests no matter how niche. I have yet to find the subculture that is too specific to support a podcast.

So on International Podcast Day here’s five ways for businesses to use podcasts to their advantage.

Listen

Some of your competitors are literally giving away their trade secrets for free because they believe they are only talking to their customers or contemporaries. Even if that is not the case for your particular sector there are business leaders and pioneers out there dishing out hours and hours of quality advice that you can benefit from.

Ask questions

Audience interactivity has been a key part of how podcasts have grown over the past decade plus. Presenters and producers crave listener participation because a) it’s social proof that people are listening and b) it’s easier than coming up with content themselves. Get some of the minds in your industry that you most respect to give you their perspective.

Advertise

Listeners are opting in to hear long form audio content on a subscription basis, relationships between presenters and audiences are formed inside the headphones. Consider sponsorships, competitions or presenter ad-reads for podcasts that have a high degree of overlap with your product or service. Dynamically inserted ads can also be used if you have a defined target audience but not sure what shows they listen to.

Appear

Offer yourself or a credible individual in your company as a guest. A lot of podcasts lean heavily on interviews either for segments or as the format of the show itself and sourcing good guests is hard. Just like pitching in PR, understand the audience of your target, explain succinctly what areas of expertise the interviewee has and why their perspective could add value.

Start podcasting

Brands can podcast too, even B2B businesses! Why wouldn’t you want to develop substantive win-win relationships with your customers or prospects?

Cartwright can help you, we’ve been supporting a number of our clients take the plunge into podcasting recently with great success. Talk to our podcast team about how you might get started.