Earlier this month, Deadline did an article about how Podcasts – fiction and otherwise – are now becoming a gold mine for Hollywood producers to mine for new, original material that has a built in audience. If you’re not a listener, you may not be aware that Homecoming and Dirty John, for example, started as audio dramas.
But how does this affect you as an entrepreneur? Simply put, the continued rise of podcasting can benefit businesses that know how to take advantage of it, just as much as Hollywood does.
Numbers Don’t Lie
If you had any doubt, a recent report by Edison Research shows that interest in and listeners to podcasts are both continuing to rise, nearly exponentially. There’s a reason iHeart radio stations remind you once an hour that their app has podcasts (40% of people who don’t listen think they have to pay).
About 32% of the United States population listens to a podcast once a month. That’s about 90-million listeners to draw from. The breakdown of listeners by gender is almost perfectly 50/50. Ages 18-54 make up 75% of listeners. Podcast listeners are more highly educated and earn more. Some 41% of monthly listeners earn more than $75-thousand a year – almost twice the national income numbers. And the number of people who sample podcasts and convert to monthly or weekly listeners is increasing, while people leaving podcasts behind is sharply declining.
I’m not going to go into all the numbers, but I encourage you to check out the full Infinite Dial report. They didn’t do a follow-up survey this year. But if you consider the balance of people’s additional free time at home versus those who listened during their commute, I’d wager the numbers stayed the same.
Additionally, we know from other market research that in today’s world more than ever, consumers want to know and have a relationship with companies they do business with. And nothing builds relationship faster or more efficiently than story.
There’s a joke in my household that DJ Khaled’s only contribution to projects is coming in and shouting his name. But much like the Kardashians, he has built a brand just on being himself and people being drawn to his personality and transparency. He is his story – authentic and real. Whether you’re a fan or not, you know exactly who he is.
One undeniable key to success is to embrace and tell your story – just as consistently and authentically as DJ Khaled and others. It’s one of the reasons Tik Tok took off here. Instagram and Facebook may have started and branded “stories,” but Tik Tok defined the way people share their lives and stories.
But I’m not here to talk about social media. Hopefully, if you’ve been reading this blog or following our #StrategyStream, you know that content is king. Podcasting takes that content – those stories of you and your business – and jacks them up to the next level.
Blog posts are great, essential and can convey story brilliantly. But the human voice can convey much more meaning through tone and inflection than the printed word ever can. One of the other reasons Hollywood is drawn to podcasts over original screenplays is because they don’t have to read them. They can hear them. If they lack imagination, the written word might not convey the emotion of the story. But when they listen, it comes through without even trying.
The same thing is true for your content. Whether you’re working B2B and speaking to other business owners, or B2C and reaching consumers, most of them don’t have time to read. The exception being those who are looking for answers to specific questions, which is why we target them. But as listeners, they hear the emotion, inflection, passion in your voice. And that’s worth a month of posts – especially if you’re doing the podcast weekly or more frequently. Another bonus – podcasts also help build your search results.
You already know the stories to tell. You’ve been writing about them. You’ve built them into the DNA of your customer interactions. If you did our recommended strategic work, you’ve already found ways to integrate who you are and who you serve into the story of your company. So share it.
And no, it doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re repeating yourself. Many people who listen to podcasts do so because they lack time or interest in reading. And if your story is compelling, you can tell it many times over without boring anyone. In fact, doing it on a podcast, again allows your passion to bleed through into their ears. And little is more compelling and attractive than passion.
I have some good news for you. If you are one of our clients, or just have been following along and doing the strategic work on your own, you are ahead of the game. One of the biggest hurdles many new podcasters face is what to talk about and who their audience is. You already know that. And if you don’t, check out our past #StrategyStreams or drop us a line. We are here to help.
Technology is the other hurdle you may be facing. Both I and our fearless leader, David G Johnson, have a background in radio. So it’s easier for us to talk about and institute podcasting. While we aren’t recording new episodes, you can always check out the past episodes of The Grow The Dream Show. Or, if you’re like many entrepreneurs and suffer even a little ADHD, you can check out David’s current podcast, Kick Some ADHD.
But if you don’t have that background, you can check out these posts on Launching a Podcast for less than $200 and How to host your Podcasting files for low cost. For newcomers to the podcasting world, I recommend you sample a few. Listen to how they structure their podcast, figure out how you want to go, and dive in. The enemy of procrastination is action. Which is why I’m going to bring this article to a close and go work on my personal podcast.
However you slice it, storytelling is an essential for business success. And podcasts can be a part of that story telling strategy – and help hone your storytelling skills. Brevity is the soul of wit, as Shakespeare can tell you.
Podcasts can promote your business, and help establish your credibility and your value in the business world. The stories you tell give you a leg up on the competition. After all, even if there are 100 companies out there that do what you do, your story makes you unique. And people need your uniqueness.
If you’d like help getting your podcasting off the ground, or would like to improve your strategy and content game period, I hope you’ll reach out. Small businesses are the key to our success and we’d love to help you with yours!