Podcasting has been growing in popularity over the last few years and especially with American audiences. Over 40% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast, and 24% of Americans listen to them regularly. By 2021, it’s projected that there will be over 100 million podcast listeners in the U.S. That’s great news for entrepreneurs already producing fantastic podcast content- and a huge motivator for anyone who hasn’t already begun.
In this page, we’ll explore this marketing phenomenon and how you can use podcasting as a compelling part of your marketing toolkit.
WHY PODCASTING AND WHY NOW?
Podcasting has been around since the early 2000s and has enjoyed an explosion in visibility over the last three years as people have realized the vast range of benefits producing podcasts can bring to their brand. The growth in podcasting has generally been steady since its inception, but then enjoyed a sharp uptick in the last three years – and the numbers reflect this.
65% of podcast listeners in 2018 only began listening in the previous three years, and listening amongst American women jumped 14% in the year 2017-2018. Podcasts are now extremely popular amongst Generation X’ers, Millennials, and Post-Millennials, with 30% of Americans aged 12-24 and 32% of Americans aged 25-54 listening to them.
The even better news is that according to research, podcast listeners tend to be very attentive. 85% of people who use podcasts saying they listen through to the end. This is remarkable considering how often marketers struggle to grab and keep attention in the busy digital sphere.
So why has podcasting become so popular? Well, there is a range of benefits that podcasting brings to busy consumers:
- The shift in recent years to mobile technology means that people are now choosing to listen to podcasts on their tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. This means that podcasts are very portable – so people listen to them when working out, doing chores around the house, cooking or when they are on public transport. Because Americans are busier than ever, the ability to listen to a podcast while multi-tasking is highly desirable.
- Podcasting is perfect for busy and discerning consumers who want on-demand and content binge style media as well as customized material. Podcasts are incredibly flexible – people can listen to what they want when they want it.
- The growth in voice recognition technology such as Alexa with the Amazon Echo and Siri on Apple devices means accessing podcasts is easier than ever.
- The comparative lack of adverts on podcasts (around four minutes in an hour compared to 16 on television) mean that listeners don’t get annoyed by adverts and disengage from content. It also means they are more likely to hear adverts they are interested in because of the personalization benefits of podcasting.
Tech producers are taking on board the popularity of podcasting and making it even easier for people to listen on the go. Apple has had the lion’s share of the podcast download market so far with 60% of podcast downloads occurring through iTunes. But Google has now introduced functions that make it easier for Android users to stream podcasts at the touch of a button rather than downloading or having to install an app.
This range of benefits means that there is a real opportunity for European Entrepreneurs to make a significant impact in the American market by using podcasts.
So now you know why you should podcast, let’s get to how. What makes for a great podcast and how can you use them to ramp up your marketing?
WHAT MAKES FOR A GREAT PODCAST?
Podcasts are a fresh way for people to connect to your brand. Oral storytelling is a tradition that spans back to our earliest days. Being part of a conversation can make many listeners feel much more engaged and interested than they might while reading about your product or service or even watching a video.
People who listen to podcasts enjoy a much more immediate connection to you and your business. Podcasts are like having personal 1-1 conversations that directly link you to your customers. They promote reflection and engagement in a different way to reading information or watching a video, with great podcasts provoking conversational responses in their listeners.
The importance of storytelling in marketing and adding real value to listener’s lives by offering high-quality content can’t be overstated. Consumers get weary of feeling as though they have marketing messages shoved down their throat day in and day out. An effective podcast will build brand awareness and develop your customer relationship without having to focus on using ever-increasingly shrill ways to try and get your message heard.
At Mount Bonnell Media, our ethos is to approach marketing from the position of adding real value via authentic and engaging storytelling and information sharing. We sponsor the podcast series “Move Your Business to the United States Podcast” so that we can share our knowledge and advice to international entrepreneurs who want to expand into the American market.
This approach is one of the key ways to create meaningful and high-value podcasting. And, it is also a vital approach to take because podcasts are not allowed on iTunes and other platforms if they are merely extended infomercials for your business.
Apple does not accept product placements on iTunes, and so it’s vital you create content that is about adding value to your listeners, not just pushing your product or service.
So, what can you do to ensure your podcast is high-value for your listeners? It really comes down to not only what you say but how it’s said. A great podcast should be:
- Produced to a high quality. This means that the audio is clear, accurate
and easy to listen to.
- Be well scripted.
- Be interesting and structured, with a clear narrative and objectives.
- Have high production values with excellent editing.
- Be regular and episodic- podcasts are series of content, rather than “one-offs.”
Excellent podcasts really come down to having a combination of a format and storytelling method that works well for your particular niche and business interests and are well-produced technically. They should be interesting, well-paced and give genuine value to the people who listen. If you can achieve that, then podcasting could become one of the most powerful features of your marketing strategy.
If all of that seems like a high bar – don’t panic! Read on to discover how Mount Bonnell Media can help you create great conversations with your customer.
WORK WITH MOUNT BONNELL MEDIA
TO CREATE COMPELLING PODCASTS
At Mount Bonnell Media we use the same methods for podcasting with our clients that we use for our own podcasts. The podcasts we do are professionally scripted, recorded and edited with industry-standard professionals who work for large broadcasting outlets (such as Channel 5 in the UK, for example.)
Our Move Your Business to the United States Podcast – is a series of high-quality interview-style podcasting sponsored by MBA that is recorded live on location across Europe and the U.S.
The series offers a deep dive into moving your business to America aimed at international entrepreneurs and is an example of how we really do walk our talk regarding our advice for producing podcasts. Because our team is made up of Europeans who have lived, worked and set up businesses in the U.S., we’re in a unique position to help you produce podcasts that will resonate with American listeners.
If you’re interested in developing podcasts we can help you with a range of styles:
This is the style we have chosen for the MBA podcast. It’s very popular with podcasters because interviews offer the opportunity to start a conversation and engender new ways of conveying information to the listener. You can be interviewed about your product or service or even create a series where you invite others to be interviewed. The key is to create a conversation that’s informative and offers value to the listener regarding key issues they want to discover more about.
This style of podcast chooses just one person to communicate an idea or concept. They can be useful if you want to explain something about your service or product or tell your story in an uninterrupted narrative way. They can help you position yourself as an expert as well as letting your customer get to know you.
Panel & Group Discussions.
These styles of podcasts bring together a group of people to have a facilitated discussion about a key issue relevant to your niche. They can work well if you would like to bring people together and create a group conversation.
There are also many other podcast styles that people use – and indeed the format will only be limited to your imagination. But for the purposes of business podcasts, we believe the above three formats are the most effective.
THE MOUNT BONNELL PODCASTING PROCESS
Once you’ve decided to invest in creating high-quality podcasts with us, get in touch to start the ball rolling. Our process will involve the following elements:
- We’ll meet with you to learn more about you and your business. We’ll discuss your business aims and how you would like to approach your podcast and which style will suit your needs best.
- We’ll then go onto developing your concept and help you to uncover your unique story and business voice. This will help to develop the angle you want to use, and we can work collaboratively to decide on the direction to take with your podcast.
- We’ll work together to get your podcast professionally scripted. This will include elements of how to tailor the messages in your podcast specifically for the American marketplace, using language and themes that will resonate with American audiences.
- Next, we move onto planning how and where we will record. We’ll help to source a great interviewer if needed or someone to facilitate conversations with you and/or your colleagues.
- We record the podcast and produce the final result using professionals experienced in sound and editing.
We believe this method is the most effective way to get a great podcast up and running. Choosing to work with Mount Bonnell Media gives you a professionally produced, and high-quality podcast, as well as being a way to facilitate the skills and qualities you have to offer uniquely and powerfully. When you have a team of professionals working with you, they can draw out all the positives your business has to provide – and maybe even help you to discover skills, talents and business benefits you didn’t know you had!
GET HELP TO TELL YOUR STORY WITH OUR EXCITING PODCASTING PACKAGE
Mount Bonnell Media have developed a brilliant podcasting package, designed especially to help European entrepreneurs tell their business story to an American audience.
Our Your Story on Air service forms part of our special series of support to uncover, embrace and tell your story in the US. We work with you to develop your unique business story and make a podcast series that will connect you to your fresh audience in the US.
Together, we’ll create a six episode podcast that will deliver high-impact information to help you develop great relationships with American listeners. This is a fantastic chance to show off your business in-depth and deliver useful, entertaining podcasts that can act like rocketfuel for your business.
You’ll work with a team of experienced industry professionals who will help you take advantage of this incredible marketing tool. To find out more , take a look at our page here!