The Why & Why Not of Starting a Small Business Podcast

woman sitting in car listening to podcast

There’s never been a better time to hop on the podcast bandwagon. 44% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, most do so on a consistent basis, and this number is constantly climbing upwards. While the audience base is growing, competition is still relatively low compared to other forms of content marketing—which is good news for marketers who need to cut through the clutter.

With the potential to power-up a stagnant content strategy, the siren call of podcasts is a powerful thing. But they’re not for everyone.

Podcasts require a significant amount of resources, planning, and production time. But despite their higher barrier to entry than an average blog post, podcasts are unique in their ability to both entice and engage a high-quality audience.

Want to know if a podcast is right for your business? Need some help making the decision?  

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of podcasting for your biz, and how you can get started!  

Or, jump ahead to the section that’s right for you:

  • Is a podcast right for me?
  • When is a podcast not the right move?
  • How can I get started?
  • What if people don’t listen to my podcast?

Is a podcast right for me?

headphones resting on desk

Are podcasts actually worth it? Will they do anything to help your business? What are the benefits of hosting a podcast?

Let’s talk about the top 10 reasons that a podcast might be right for your business.

1. Listener loyalty

Podcast listeners tend to be uniquely loyal, in fact, 80% of listeners will listen to all or most of each episode, and tune in every week to their favorite podcasts. Approximately 80% of listeners also listen to an average of seven different podcast shows per week.

In general, podcasts tend to attract an affluent, educated, and ambitious audience interested in continuous education—often, a marketer’s dream.  

Hosting a podcast is a great way to tap into an audience that already has the qualities you need to build a strong fan base.

2. Brand voice

A podcast puts a voice and personality on your brand. The host becomes the literal voice of your brand. Listeners can hear the passion and excitement in your voice when discussing topics. This passion can translate to your customers, so they’ll feel the same level of engagement with your business or niche.

If you host call-ins or interviews, your customers have the opportunity to directly interact with your brand, generating an even deeper engagement and relationship.

Keep in mind that people are loyal to brands, not products. So establishing a strong brand voice with a podcast is a great way to instill long-term loyalty and convert listeners to purchasers.

Learn how to build a brand identity that stands out and converts.  

3. Credibility

Podcasts are a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your sphere. Taking time each week or month to get in on the industry conversation shows your audience that you are knowledgeable and credible. It demonstrates that you are profoundly engrained with the industry and you care about their needs on a deep level.

With professional production and well-crafted podcasts, your business’s reliability and authority will see an instant boost.

4. Trust

Podcasts are also perceived as more unfiltered than videos, which can create a more transparent brand. This transparency paired with greater credibility builds trust with your listener. And trust is essential to building brand loyalty. A brand-consumer interaction is like any good relationship: there needs to be a foundation of trust, and your podcast can help facilitate this.

Discover why brand credibility and trust is so important to long-term growth and success here.

5. Investment

When someone listens to your podcast, they’re investing a portion of their time in your business. They can’t just skim it like they can a blog (unless you use podcast notes, which should be used to intrigue the audience, not give them all the info). Even if they’re listening in the car or on the go, they’re investing time they could be listening to something else (like Lady Gaga).

People have limited time, so they want to be sure they use it wisely. If they’re spending their time listening to you, you’ve already got them hooked to some degree.

This time investment bodes well for your business. It shows that they’re interested in your business, and it builds a connection in the listener’s mind that your business is worth tuning in to. This engagement builds a deeper connection with your brand, so they’re more likely to keep listening and purchase from your brand.  

6. Repeat touchpoints

Marketers are constantly looking for ways to create multiple impressions with their audience, especially since it takes an average of seven touchpoints before a customer will make a purchase.

Podcasts are a great way to make several impressions on a single listener through one channel (which is rare in today’s digital world). You know that loyal podcasters are listening each week, so you’re automatically getting multiple impressions without even searching for them. If you assume seven touchpoints, you can expect a purchase in less than two months!

That’s why landing page links work so well through podcasts. If you direct your customers to an online landing page while they listen, you’re likely to make a conversion because you’ve had multiple impressions and you’re already holding their attention. Don’t be afraid to market on your podcast!

7. Partnerships

You can use your podcast to support your partners, which is a great way to deepen your professional relationships. You can bring partners on the show as guests or mention their brand and services. This gives them a boost of marketing, and it’s no skin off your nose! In return, they can then share your podcast with their customers, which boosts exposure while giving you credibility in the eyes of their audience.

8. Exposure

Speaking of exposure, podcasts are a great way to gain brand awareness. They’re easy to share on a variety of platforms, like social media and blogs. You’ll also gain exposure on your podcast platforms, like Apple or Spotify, when listeners are looking for new content. You could start attracting new consumers just by talking about topics that interest them.

The more you share your podcast, the greater your reach to new and unique potential audience members.

9. Revenue

You can even use your podcast as an additional revenue stream and there are numerous ways to monetize your efforts by including ads, sponsored products, or affiliate partnerships.

You can also easily direct listeners to landing pages where you can encourage conversions for lead generation or sales. This is a great way to “capture” your listeners and make your podcast profitable for your ultimate business and sales goals.

10. Easy & Fun

Podcasts aren’t complicated to set up and they’re typically a small upfront investment. You just need a quality microphone, research methods, a jingle to open, and an engaged host. It takes some time and work, but most podcasters have a blast with the process. Podcasts are a great way for you to delve deeper into your industry and passions while connecting with your audience—and have a lot of fun with it!

Still not convinced about podcasts? Check out this podcast marketing strategy that got MeetEdgar 1.25 million visitors!

When is a podcast not the right move?

man at desk looking at laptop

1. If you don’t have time

Podcasts aren’t right for every business. Podcasts can be a heavy time investment, so you want to make sure you have the resources available to devote to building a quality podcast. You’ll need to do research, find guest speakers, and market your podcast like a product (even if it’s free). You can’t throw together a podcast, put it on a platform, and hope it will make an impact. Although it’s a lower investment than other strategies, it’s still an investment nevertheless.  

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be consistent with your podcast. It is an ongoing time commitment, whether weekly or monthly. You need to be able to invest time as well as resources on a regular basis.

2. If you don’t have newsworthy info

If you don’t have something new to say, don’t say anything at all. Podcasts are places customers look for novel, in-depth information. If you’re iterating information they can find on blogs or through other avenues, they won’t be engaged or loyal to your brand. You’ll end up wasting their time—and yours.

There won’t always be “new” things to talk about in every niche. If you don’t typically do a lot of research to stay updated in your industry, there may not be a lot left to share. And that’s okay! It just means you may need a different marketing strategy and sales funnel.

3. If you don’t like to talk

A fear of talking on the radio usually isn’t a good excuse not to do a podcast. You can find another host to do the podcast and represent your brand voice if you really don’t want to do it yourself. Don’t let your fear stop you from connecting with your audience in the way they want.

But if you really hate public speaking and you’re the only one in your business (or no one else is willing), then a podcast may not be worth it. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is important for business success, but not if it’s going to result in a half-hearted podcast anyway. If you think you’d get better benefits from other marketing strategies, then a podcast may not be right for you.

How can I get started?

But if you’ve decided to start a podcast, great! You’re bound to see a lot of positive benefits come from it.

Still, while podcasts are a minimal upfront cost investment, they require a lot of time and resources. So how do you best use these resources to get a high return on investment?

Here’s our basic list to get started creating and launching a successful podcast.

Identify your niche.
What will make your podcast unique from your competitors? Specific podcast topics tend to attract more loyal listeners than broad, unplanned ones.

Know your goals.
Why are you hosting a podcast? Your reasons should be clear and specific, so you know you’re investing resources for some financial end. What would your ideal ROI look like? You should define clear goals any time you add content to your marketing plan.

Select a podcast name.
Your podcast name becomes your signature. Your podcast’s name should be descriptive and pique your listener’s interest right off the bat. Think of it like a landing page headline that grabs attention and engages your audience.

Choose a platform to host your podcast.
SoundCloud is inexpensive and widely used, and it gives your listeners the ability to engage through comments and shares. This is also a great place to get quality feedback about your podcast and brand. Apple’s iTunes and Spotify are also popular platforms. See Podcast.co’s top five recommendations for podcast platforms here.  

Get the gear.
You want to have a professional podcast, so you’ll want to invest in a microphone, microphone stand, compressor, headphones, and a mixer. You may want two microphones if you plan on having co-hosts or guests on the show. Start researching podcast gear here. You’ll also need to look into audio creation software, like Adobe Audition.

Create a format and strategy.
How many hosts will you have? Will you focus on interviews or guest speakers? Will you take guest calls or keep it personal? Creating a detailed, consistent format for the show will help you schedule and plan your strategy accordingly.

Choose the host.
You’ll want your host to represent and embody your brand voice. Select the host based on personality as well as ability to converse and engage an audience. They should also have the availability and flexibility in their schedule to fully devote time to the podcast. Keep in mind that your podcast’s host will likely also be the go-to as a guest host on others’ podcasts (which is also a great marketing strategy).

Focus on the details.
There are a few “details” you’ll want to hammer out—and have fun with while you do it. You’ll want to create a “cover art” thumbnail, get a professional music intro, start researching, and create show notes. Go in-depth with the details of creating a podcast with The Podcast Host.

Getting your podcast heard is the most challenging part of the launch, so we’re going to focus on it in the section below.

What if people don’t listen to my podcast?

People will listen to your podcast if you know how to market and share it. You need to direct an audience to your podcast, but you also don’t want to “lose” them to SoundCloud, iTunes, or wherever you’ve posted it.

The goal is to retain your listeners as your clients. You could end up having loyal podcast listeners, but you have no way of reaching out if you don’t capture their information. Podcast listeners aren’t leads unless you know who they are and can contact them.

Podcast landing pages retain your loyal listeners.

To capture those leads, you want to send people to a landing page focused on your podcast. The landing page’s goal is twofold: to capture your prospect’s email address while encouraging them to listen to your podcast.

Landing pages are designed with a single call to action in mind, so this is the perfect place to emphasize your podcast’s benefits and get your listeners to hit “play.” Landing pages create a direct funnel, so you can attract relevant audience members and keep them on your lead list for the future.

Think of a podcast like any other lead magnet you might use on a landing page. You want to provide value (the podcast) in exchange for their contact info. (link to Lead Magnets 101 from Silo)

A podcast landing page also allows you to use your typical landing page traffic sources. You don’t have to start changing around your entire marketing campaign to attract people to your podcast. You’ve worked hard to build a sales funnel that takes the cake, so leverage that for your podcast as well.

So how do you create a podcast landing page?

Start with any of the pre-designed, high-converting Lead Page templates inside our template gallery.  Be sure to include content that (1) introduces people to your podcast and (2) encourages them to take a meaningful next action such as:

  • Subscribe to your podcast (which allows them to stay updated with your podcast while giving you a list of subscribers/customers)

  • Share and review your podcast on social media (which drives traffic to your podcast and landing page)

  • Download bonus material (provide additional value in exchange for an email address)

Did you know that Leadpages has its very own podcast? It’s true! We call it The Lead Generation Podcast and it’s full of conversations with today’s entrepreneurs willing to tell the truth about what it takes to be your own boss and transform the lives of your audience.

Listen in or take a look at how we’ve built and promoted it so you can inspire your own podcast marketing campaign!