In 2017, advertisers spent an estimated $220 million on podcasts alone. Many people incorrectly thought that the podcast’s popularity would be fleeting and that their acclaim would quickly wane. That has turned out not to be the case at all. Nowadays, big and small companies from coast to coast use a branded business podcast as part of their marketing campaigns.
You, too, can start a business podcast and use it to drive truckloads of customers directly to your door.
Every successful business person knows that the one way into their customer’s heart is by gaining
their trust. Now, according to The Podcast Consumer 2019 research, 197 million Americans have listened to podcasts. And approximately 20 million Americans have discovered what a podcast is in the last 12 months. So it’s easier than ever to earn that trust as well as new clients who happen to tune in.
Whether you are brand new to the idea of producing your own business podcast, or you have been mulling it over for a while, you’ll find all the inspiration you need available right here.
Let’s start, though, by talking about why getting into producing your business podcast should take priority on your to-do list.
There Are Many Good Reasons to Start Your Own Business Podcast
As we already mentioned, in 2017 advertisers spent $220 million on podcasts. What we didn’t say was that number is up a whopping 85 percent from 2016. And it increased to 320 million in 2018 and it is forecast to surpass half a billion dollars in 2020.Not only are podcasts not going anywhere, but the market is expanding. That is only one of a myriad of reasons why you should consider starting a business podcast of your own.
Research shows that the average audience for a podcast is affluent and educated. On top of that, 85 percent of those listeners who click on a show listen to all or most of it. There is an audience of people ready and waiting to tune into your business podcast and listen to it in its entirety.
Ultimately, what all this means is that podcasts have a reach unlike nearly every other form of media, and you don’t even need a camera.
Keys to a Successful Business Podcast
There are certain things you need to stay aware of if you are thinking of starting a podcast of your own. The most important of these is the content that you create. For example, if you are a recruiting agency, you can’t just make a podcast about how to find the best applicants for a job. The majority of the time, the content has to be more creative and engaging than that.
According to Lex Friedman, CRO of Midroll, the content has to talk about larger issues that affect everyone, no matter the business they are in. For example, book a show with someone respected to discuss being the most productive person around.
There are other considerations, as well, but we will dig into those as we review the top business podcasts in the industry.
The Top Five Business Podcasts of 2018
If you’re unsure of what to do for a podcast, the best way to get inspiration is to see what others are doing. We will cover what a few top companies are doing to fill the time on their podcasts as well as how to choose your strategy.
General Electric’s ‘The Message’
General Electric is not new to the art of entertainment, and the company proved it alongside Panopoly with a massively popular podcast called The Message. The podcast’s creators knew from the beginning that they had to do something to set themselves apart.
Levi Slavin, Creative Director for BBDO, an advertising agency in New York, knows that podcast listeners are discerning. His goal when he helped create The Message was to design something that would make listeners want to tune in week after week. On top of that, keeping GE technology at the heart of the podcast was key.
For this podcast, producers settled on a science fiction series much like Orson Well’s War of the Worlds.
Who doesn’t love a good soap opera? GE nailed it when they created a dramatic science fiction podcast with weekly cliffhangers. In the show, the main character decodes secret messages supposedly received from space 70 years ago.
When this podcast aired, it reached more than 1.2 million downloads. It also ranked in the top 100 within the first 24 hours. Even the podcast’s creators were shocked at its popularity. This example clearly shows that while what you decide to use as content should appeal to your customers on many different levels. It certainly doesn’t have to relate directly to your business to be beneficial in generating income.
McDonald’s ‘The Sauce’ Business Podcast
McDonald’s took a slightly different route than GE did and used its podcast as a way to soothe angry customers.
A while back, a cartoon called Rick and Morty started a craze surrounding a specific sauce that McDonald’s only carried for a short time decades ago. Fans of the show begged McDonald’s to bring back the famed Szechuan sauce. The company said it would bring it back in limited supply, but disappointed thousands of fans when only a few stores came out with a couple of packets of the sauce.
There were actually riots. So, the company decided to make it right using a podcast so they could do it creatively and entertainingly.
The podcast gave an insider’s look at the whole debacle and left nothing to the imagination. It discussed what went wrong, in minute detail, to soothe angry tempers and explain how it all happened. Remember when we talked about trust? Since McDonald’s was so open in this podcast, things were smoothed over. Fans got their sauce and their explanation. The podcast hit the top 100 on the charts in less than 24 hours.
Microsoft’s ‘The Future’
Microsoft went in another direction and created a podcast about “making the future happen,” called The Future. This series of podcasts is a little more on-the-nose than the one that GE put out. However, the creators keep it exciting by discussing things that affect all businesses and business owners.
For example, one episode called Work in the Future discussed how jobs continue to change in the modern world and the effect that technology has on the workplace. Other episodes talked about designs for products that disabled people need, Minecraft (yes, the game) and how it’s changing our physical world, as well as how best to collect data about your health in the modern age.
As you can see, Microsoft chose topics that weren’t only the concern of someone working at the company. Instead, Microsoft discussed things that are important to everyone, no matter what sort of company employs them.
ZipRecruiter’s ‘Rise and Grind with Daymond John’
Another way businesses keep potential customers tuning in is with special guests. If you book interesting people on your podcast, your listeners won’t be able to get enough. Find people that your listeners respect and look up to, and you can’t go wrong. Just take ZipRecruiter’s podcast called Rise and Grind with Daymond John, for example.
In this series of podcasts, Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank, handles the interviews for the show. He interviews people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Wendy Williams, Tyler the Creator, and Nely Galan. He speaks with successful entrepreneurs, athletes, as well as musicians to find out the secrets they used to “outperform, outwork, and outhustle their way to the top.”
The show has a recognizable host, and it’s packed full of people from every industry to keep it fresh. The information offered is beneficial to everyone, no matter what business they belong to — which is a good idea for any podcast, even if you can’t pull someone famous to host!
Netflix ‘You Can’t Make This Up’
Now and then, depending on the type of business you have, a podcast directly relates to what you’re selling. However, you must exist in a pretty specialized market, as Netflix does, to pull this one off. On its podcast called You Can’t Make This Up, Netflix goes behind the scenes and talks about what goes on behind closed doors for its ever-growing list of documentaries, series, and films.
You Can’t Make This Up will be hosted by a panel of “podcasters, comedians, journalists, and the people who made it,” according to the podcast’s website.
Considering Netflix’s popularity, it’s no surprise that the podcast was a hit. Who doesn’t want the inside scoop about what happened behind the scenes on Stranger Things, right?
Other businesses follow the same model. For example, it’s easy for Sephora to talk about make-up trends or Tinder to talk about dating. If you have the type of company where your podcast could be this direct, go for it. Just remember never to allow the content to grow stale.
What Type of Business Podcast Do You Want to Create?
And now we come to the end of the program. As you can see, a business podcast for your company isn’t such a stretch after all. Considering the millions of listeners waiting to tune in, and the fact that advertisers are throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at podcasts, the time to take that leap is right now.
There are millions of people potentially interested in what your business has to say. Not only that, you get to advertise while creating within a medium that most people thought was dying.
A full 197 million Americans beg to differ.
The next step for you is hitting the drawing board and finding out what sort of content you want to create. The best part is, that’s only the beginning of the fun stuff. Podcasts are an original and creative way to have some fun with your employees as well as your customers. Most of all, good luck and have fun.
Do you have a favorite business podcast? Let us know about it in the comments!
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