It seems like everyone has a podcast these days, doesn’t it? Your favorite chef, your favorite journalist, your favorite comedian, your favorite mom, for God’s sake. So the question is, should you be hopping on the bandwagon? Will it help your business to launch your own podcast? Or is it a waste of time and effort? Here are some things to keep in mind.
1) The built-in audience can be huge. So far this year, 24% of Americans — that’s 67 million people — report listening to podcasts on a monthly basis. That’s a pretty dang big built-in audience, ready and waiting to hear your voice. Or at least somebody’s voice.
2) You can reach an unprecedentedly diverse age demographic. Podcast listeners are typically between the ages of 18-54. That’s an unusually wide span, including Gen Z, Millennials, Gen Y and X, and whatever the generation is that came before Gen X but after Baby Boomers — no one knows.
3) The personal connection you achieve is invaluable. There’s something reassuring, and quite valuable, about customers getting to know you. The better they know you, the more they trust you; the more they trust you, the more they trust your product. Podcasting gives you a platform to be (somewhat) vulnerable and open, and connect on a deeper level than blogging or social media.
4) You can also get direct feedback. Just as you can reach your customers or audience directly, so too can they reach you. They can call you, tweet you, message you — hearing your voice makes you seem more accessible, and if they have feedback, they’re more likely to give it to you. Plus, if you include a call-in option, you can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, nearly live. Fewer emails to respond to! Win-win!
1) No matter what you think you think, it’s a lot more work than you think. As Podcast Websites points out, there are tons of aspects to setting up a podcast: What will the format be? How long will episodes be? Will you sing? Perform improv comedy. (Probably don’t.) And maybe most importantly, how will you carve out time to record it, edit it, and upload it with your already jam-packed schedule?
2) It’s an investment. You can buy a very basic podcasting set at Amazon for $99.99, but that’s no small chunk of change, and you’ll probably want to upgrade eventually. Digital recorders can run you a couple hundred dollars on their own, as can mixing boards and cables, all of which you’ll want if you’re looking for quality audio or if you’re doing any interviews outside your home.
3) “Slowly fading out of podcasting because you failed to realize how difficult it was going to be” is so common that it has a name. It’s called podfade, and it refers to that situation in which a podcast is set up … and the podcaster promptly loses interest. In this case, ‘tis not better to have podcasted and stopped than never to have podcasted at all. Customers will think you’re flakey and unreliable, regardless of your singing skills.
4) It’s not clear that listeners take action — or become customers — based on podcasts. That’s right – you might do all this work for little to no return. Certainly you’ll have branded yourself, and become a familiar voice and opinion to your listeners, but it seems as though there’s no solid evidence to suggest that it will increase your business.
Bottom line? If you’re going to start a podcast anyway, you better really want to do it. Otherwise, it’s podfade for you.
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