Podcasts: How Brands Benefit and How to Get Started

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black bear design podcasts

As long as there is the internet, there will be trends. The podcast is rapidly becoming one of the largest trends dominating not only history fanatics, storytellers, and pundits, but it’s rapidly becoming one of the most useful marketing tools of the last twelve months.

Edison Research released a report stating that podcast listeners increased 23% between 2015 and 2016 and that there are currently 56 million listeners worldwide… that’s 21% of the global population! Another report from RawVoice, a data tracking firm that tracks over 20,000 podcasts, has shown that there are 75 million monthly global users, up from 25 million users five years ago on the exact same channels.

It’s obvious this trend is on track to become the next radio, especially with the rise of smartphones and permanent internet connection. More people are on the move, have long commutes, or generally like to listen to something at their desk. The power to break into this market is a useful tool brands should tap into.

So how should podcasts be used to increase a brand’s marketing power? What are the benefits of doing so? And how can one get started?

How Brands Should Use Podcasts

While advertising on podcasts is obviously a great marketing tool, utilized by platforms like Squarespace, MailChimp, and Blue Apron, it’s unlikely that commercial advertising is going to be an effective tool for this medium.

Instead, marketers will get the most value out of partnering with a podcaster to create brand new content. This creates engagement higher than speaking at one’s audience and allows them to speak with them. It’s the golden egg for the ever-lingering engagement strategy.

Think of it like this: Instagram connects a brand to its consumer visually, podcasts connect a brand to their consumer audibly.

Imagine if you were a real estate agency wanting to engage with your audience. In addition to posting photos of your listings and perhaps community events, you can prove your knowledge and expertise by hosting a weekly roundup of mortgage news and host discussions on the same. It builds your credibility while growing your audience numbers.

So, once you realize your brand needs to be on the air, how do you get started?

How to Do It Yourself

First things first, let’s briefly go over the technical equipment you’ll need. You’ll need to invest in a quality microphone; find a quiet location, and download a recording app, we use Audacity. Once your “recording studio” is set up (this doesn’t have to be a huge production), you can focus on the important stuff: how to disseminate your message. You can find more information about the technical aspect of podcasts here.

Pick a site to host your podcast. Black Bear Design chooses to host our podcast on SoundCloud. We like the usability, the share quality, the quality of the upload, and the extremely minimal advertisements on the platform already. But you can choose anything from Blubrry (the world’s largest directory of podcasts) to PodBean, to Buzzsprout. There are lots of options out there, many of them are free to use, you just need to find what works best for you!

Once It’s Live

Next, you’ll want to spread your message far and wide. Get your episode out to everyone you can for maximum reach. Upload it to iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn…these are all free directories where you can directly upload your newest podcast episodes. They all benefit from the free advert you bring to their site, so it pays for you both to have a mutually beneficial relationship, like most free platforms.

Next, you’ll want to share it with your email lists, social media followers, and anyone who will listen. Host guest speakers to up your ratings and get more people listening. Podcasts are a great tool to veer slightly into the farther reaches of your niche without changing your brand’s identity, so take advantage of that. Cover all the bases. Make your content interesting, informative, and above all, authoritative. Podcasts are your chance to have your brand heard so don’t take that lightly.

For more information about Black Bear Design’s own podcast, Beyond the Cave, or for any questions you might have about getting started, contact us! We’re happy to answer any questions or help get you started. If you’re interested in being on our podcast, send us a shout out!

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