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Why your business should start a podcast

Businesses are using podcasts to be more accessible and gain new customers

Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing content mediums and smart companies are using podcasts to make their brands more accessible, reach a new audience, and grow their business.

From Serial to 2 Guys 1 Cup AFL, podcasting is to audio what Netflix is to TV and businesses are getting in on the act with great success. Here’s why your business needs to start a podcast too:

Enhance your messaging

Every traditional method you use to connect with your customers has something in common. Social media, blogs, emails and even direct mail, if you’re going old-school, all lack one crucial thing… a voice.

I’m not talking about your style; I mean an actual human voice. Text lacks emotion and we’ve all had to deal with the fallout of someone misinterpreting the tone of an email.

The human brain is programmed to be receptive to the sound of a human voice and the tone in which words are expressed more than the words themselves. It’s this that makes podcasting such a powerful communication tool – and as an added bonus it feels more natural and authentic than a video.

Slack’s branded podcast Slack Variety Pack was a great example of this. They showed precisely how well they understood their audience: tech-savvy, light-hearted, young, professional. Slack catered to their audience with a great but short-lived podcast series that was quirky, interesting and accessible, and this really enhanced their brand message.

It’s really popular

According to research from Reuters, Nielsen and Edison Research an average of 33% of Australians listen to podcasts, and those people tend to be more engaged on social media platforms too.

Most podcast fans aren’t casual listeners either, almost 80% tune in religiously to the their favourite podcasts and, considering podcasts last as long as 60 minutes and usually at least 15, your podcast audience will be engaged with you for longer than they would spend on a week’s worth of blogs – and that’s if they didn’t lose interest halfway through.

General Electric understood that podcast fans aren’t casual listeners and smartly created something different. The Message was a sci-fi show part created by GE who don’t see it as advertising but more of an opportunity to connect their audience with what their brand stands for.

Reach the unreachable

Reading takes almost all of our powers of concentration because reading is a memory exercise and our brains have to recall the letters in front of us and process them into something comprehendible. This means reaching extremely busy people is almost impossible.

Sure, they might scan the subject of your email, but they don’t have time to read it. They might even save your interesting looking blog for later reading but later never comes.

Audio is different, though. Our brains process audio differently which is why we can multitask while listening to music or watching a show. Which is why podcasts are perfect for reaching busy people who maximise their day by combining as many tasks as possible – listening to your podcast could be one of those things.

You’re more likely to engage those hard-to-reach customers with a podcast than with a blog, no matter how well it is written.

Grow your audience

Podcasts are great for connecting with your existing audience and creating new advocates who will take your message to other social media platforms to tell all their followers how great your show is.

It’s also great for boosting traffic to your website as, when you record a new episode, new backlinks will be generated which will improve your Google rankings. You could also publish transcripts which not only make your podcast and brand more accessible but will give search engines more to index.

You can write exclusive follow-up content that can only be read on your website, which will increase the time your audience spends on your site.

Podcasts are so easy and inexpensive to set up you could have started enhancing your brand with your own before you’ve finished your morning coffee.

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