Why Starting a Podcast Can Help You Grow Your Business

James Logie

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What is the best way to reach your audience?

Blogs seem pretty good. So does a YouTube channel. Social media has its ups and downs, but if you want to reach a broader audience — and grow your business — you need to look into a podcast.

The industry has grown from a niche hobby into a platform that generates hundreds of millions.

Podcasts have gone from people hosting shows in their mother’s basement, to being used by huge companies and celebrities.

Giant podcast networks like Podcast One and iHeartRADIO have invested millions into the platform.

Joe Rogan’s $100 million deal with Spotify shows you how serious this platform is — and businesses better get on board.

The Rapid Growth of Podcasts

Just five years ago, there were around 50,000 active podcasts. Today, there are around 1,000,000.

This may seem like it’s grown too fast, and it’s harder to stand out — but this isn’t the case.

There is much better reach with podcasts than with other platforms. In 2020, there are over 600 million blogs out there. 77.8 million blogs are published each month, and 2 billion are published each year.

The chances of standing out in the blogosphere — especially as a new blog — are slim to none.

Social media is always effective for a business, but the numbers aren't encouraging either. With 2.7 billion people using Facebook — and their constant algorithmic changes — it’s hard to make a dent.

Instagram is a great platform, but that’s another billion users right there. And the problem with social media is your post disappears in a single finger swipe — if the user is even paying attention in the first place and not mindlessly scrolling.

Podcasting emerges as not only a more effective medium to reach an audience but one with less competition.

The incredible engagement of podcast listeners

Podcast listeners are a very dedicated audience. No matter what type of business you are in, it’s all about engagement.

And that’s what podcasting offers better than any other platform.

If you want to grow your brand and business — consider these very significant stats:

  • 51% of people have listened to a podcast
  • 70% of Americans are now familiar with what a podcast is
  • 32% of the population listens to a podcast at least every month
  • Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes consuming podcasts each week
  • 80% of the listeners listen to the entire episode or most of the episode (At best, YouTube has an average 50–60% view of the total video length)
  • Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 different shows per week

No other medium can touch podcasts when it comes to engagement. This is because podcasts go wherever you go.

They can be listened to in the car, on your morning walk, at the gym, or before going to bed.

You are right there in their ear, and this builds better connection and engagement than those other platforms

So, where are the business opportunities?

Whether you’re a giant company — or a solopreneur — podcasts are the ideal way to connect with your audience.

I’ve run two different shows over the last 6 years and when I talk to listeners, they always say how they feel like they know me.

For a business, there is no better way to create a bond with potential customers.

Whether you have goods and services to sell — or to generate income through advertising — podcasts opens the doors to all of it.

Here are a few more significant stats for the financial opportunities that podcasts provide.

The first is the growth of podcast ad revenue. In 2015, ad revenue was around $70 million. Today, it’s reached $1.33 billion and climbing.

Here are the three other significant podcast stats businesses should know:

  1. Half of all podcast listeners are in the coveted 25–44 age demographic
  2. 45% of podcast listeners have a $250,000+ annual income
  3. 69% of listeners agreed that podcast ads made them aware of new products or services

You can see what an ideal platform this is with a targeted and engaged audience. With podcasts, you build up the ultimate rapport with your listeners.

There is greater intimacy since you are right in their ear with them. This makes listeners know, like, and trust you, which is the foundation for any successful business.

Advertising opportunities

Because of the direct connection to listeners, advertisers love podcasts. There are so many niche shows and targeted audiences that advertisers can promote to.

Your show doesn't have to be one of the big boys, either. Even if you pull in smaller numbers than NPR or iHeartRADIO, your show could still have the hyper-targeted audience advertisers clamor for.

Advertisers no longer have to go where the biggest audience is, and the new concept of “micro-influencer” has gained traction.

This approach has worked on Instagram but is tailor-made for podcasts.

Sponsorship on Instagram is fleeting as people can mindlessly scroll by, but the person who listens to a niche 45-minute show is much better tuned in.

Millennials are also big consumers of podcasts. If you can lock them in early — you can have long-lasting customers.

Millennials are considered the biggest ‘audio generation’ and studies from iHeart Media show they listen to more content than all others, more types of content, more times, and more places.

The daily incorporation of smart speakers and Apple CarPlay makes the podcast listening process seamless and easy.

Today, consumers like this are listening more and watching less. These podcast listeners are also more likely to follow companies and brands on social media.

Smartphones have made podcast listening easier, too. Apps like Spotify and Apple Podcasts have made podcasts a priority, and the apps have become part of the infrastructure of our phones.

Final thoughts

People crave human connections, and podcasts are one of the best ways to achieve this.

Whether a person feels like they have company on their morning walk, or through a smart speaker in the home — there’s a comfort that comes from listening to podcasts.

For businesses and brands, there is no better time than now to launch your show. It doesn’t matter how niche your business is, there is an audience for it — and they’re incredibly engaged.

It’s also easy to start a podcast. There’s a low barrier to entry, the equipment has become much more affordable, and you can be up and running very quickly.

If you’re a brand or business, it’s time to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

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Personal trainer, podcaster, Amazon best-selling author. Writing about some health, a little marketing, and a whole lot of 1980s.

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