Podcasting is the New College Creating value for listeners also offers a number of unique benefits for businesses.

By Ginni Saraswati

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the advent of social media came entirely new ways for businesses to expand. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok and more allowed businesses to create and publish content. In the process, they were able to reach and convert entirely new demographics of consumers. Similarly, there has been rampant growth of the podcast industry over the past decade. This growth has granted businesses additional opportunities to expand their messaging and reach an even larger amount of potential customers.

Unlike other forms of content marketing, podcasting poses a number of unique benefits to businesses leveraging it. Topics like education and news are the second and third most popular genre of podcasts. 75 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from the brands they follow on social media platforms. This tells us that creating informative content and managing it through a podcast is crucial to your business's ongoing success.

Conducting podcasts will help increase the likelihood of improving customer loyalty and retention rates. Podcasts will also help distribute knowledge to those customers, helping them learn more about who you are and what your brand does. Successfully operating a podcast for your business is akin to running a series of university-level classes that engage with your customers and bestow them with the information they find valuable.

Related: Podcast As Marketing Tool: It Creates Value For Listeners

Podcasts are a more accessible means of information

Though equating a marketing medium like podcasting to the potential value obtained from a college-level education may spark criticism, allow me to clarify this. For starters, higher education has become increasingly unaffordable over the past decade. Accessing podcasts for the sake of remaining educated and informed on news, current events and other mainstream topics like business and technology remains completely free. Additionally, we have to consider the exponential growth the podcasting industry has experienced over the same approximate period of time. While hardly one in four Americans were familiar with the term podcasting in the late 2000s, this statistic jumped to roughly three in every four Americans by 2019.

Part of this growth experienced by the podcasting industry is directly tied to the factors that make podcasts such an attractive medium to consumers. Listeners can easily access podcasts from essentially anywhere and at any time to consume the content they contain. For businesses and brands seeking to grow, this means that they are able to provide consumers with educational, informative and engaging content virtually 24/7 and in near-perpetuity.

Consumers won't need to wait for your next social media post or newsletter to obtain information about your brand. They are able to access your entire library of podcast episodes as soon as they search for it. Your business's podcast content should be engaging and add value to your target consumer market. Leveraging that content can serve as a proverbial library of information about your business, brand and/or industry for consumers.

Related: Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Podcast

Podcasts keep your audience more engaged for longer periods

Consider the ways in which businesses can leverage podcasting as a new iteration of the traditional university setting. But also consider the ways through which their consumers learn and retain information. According to one recent study conducted by tech giant Microsoft, the average human attention span dropped to eight seconds by 2021, a near 25 percent decrease over a few short years.

Despite this drop in the average attention span, the vast majority of podcast listeners — approximately 80 percent according to one industry report from Nielson — claim to listen to all or most of every podcast episode they start. This exemplifies that, even as attention spans decrease, there remains a strong draw for consumers to engage with and consume quality content from brands. Especially when brands provide value to them, be it educational, informative or even for simple entertainment.

In today's hyper-digital world, your target audience is far more likely to consume content in the engaging and easily-digestible audio format podcasts provide. Even more so than they are going directly to your website or searching for your blog. By understanding this trend in consumer behavior, it becomes clear that publishing content through a podcast is a valuable resource to have in your business's toolkit. It is also vital for your business to deliver valuable information to its audience in order to remain relevant and competitive.

Related: How You Can Make Podcasts Your Secret Weapon for Promoting Your Business

Podcasts as the future of brand advertisement

Consider for a moment how much engagement your business or brand received on its latest monthly newsletter or social media post. Were the metrics where you wanted them to be, or could they have been higher? Chances are that your business falls into the latter category, which is another arena where leveraging your brand's content through podcasting can come into play.

Gone are the days when consumers relied on bombardments of advertisements from television or radio to influence their buying behavior and decision-making. Today, podcasting is able to fill this gap with roughly 60 percent of podcast listeners claiming to have purchased a product or service from a sponsored advertisement in a podcast. Furthermore, over 70 percent of listeners who have tuned in to a specific podcast for four years or longer made a purchase following a sponsored ad. Nearly the same amount of consumers stated these ads increased their brand awareness.

These statistics show us that podcasting is an effective content medium that more businesses should utilize with their marketing efforts. The stats also show how sponsoring advertisements for brands on podcasts can help leverage heightened consumer metrics for growth. By creating quality content that engages listeners, your business can more effectively convert those listeners into paying customers. As long as your brand continues to produce informative or educational content that your audience of consumers finds value in, this can be leveraged to the ultimate benefit of your business and help fuel its continued success.

Wavy Line
Ginni Saraswati

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor


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