By Alex Chisnall.
Media is changing. TV has become Netflix. Newspapers have become newsfeeds. Radio has become podcasts. Audio is one of the most powerful forms of audio there is. As an entrepreneur, are you using audio as part of your strategy to engage with your audience as well as to find new customers?
Over 6 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week, making it the fastest growing new medium. Podcasts have the ability to tell a story, live through someone else’s experiences, & change the way we think. Its intimacy can often provoke the strongest of emotions as well as the deepest of connections for the listener. In terms of audience demographics, podcast listeners tend to be young – 44% are under 34 – & they’re also educated, wealthy & likely to be business influencers. Podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel, to follow companies and brands on social media and more likely to subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime (therefore less likely to be exposed to TV advertising)
Podcast listening continues to rise around the world also, a trend that has not been lost on key players in the field including Spotify, Apple and Google. Spotify has spent €358 million ($400 million) to acquire three podcast startups in 2019 alone and earmarked up to $500 million back in February for similar deals throughout 2019. Hot on the heels of that news comes Apple’s decision to dissolve iTunes into three apps, Apple Podcasting, Apple Music and Apple TV…
I believe that there is a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs to cut through the noisy online world and get their voices heard by having your own podcast. Twenty plus years ago business owners were all told to have a website, a virtual shop window, so they all got one. There are now over two billion websites online. They were then told to start blogging so those searching online could find their website, There are now over five hundred million blogs out there. Social media was next and they were told to set up profiles and start producing content on social media. Facebook now has over 2 billion users, Linkedin 500 million, Twitter 260 million, Instagram 111 million with 23 million YouTube channels. And don’t forget apps where there are currently over two million in the App Store and rising every day.
The challenge for all of us is that to cut through the noise online it’s increasingly becoming a ‘Pay to Play’ space e.g. to get your content seen and heard by more than 5% of your followers you need to invest in ads by Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Podcasting on the other hand is completely free – and there are only 550,000 podcasts out there. What is more, 100% of your subscribers will see ALL of your content. There’s a reason that successful B2B brands like Salesforce, Cisco, & HubSpot have launched their own podcasts…because it works. Businesses are embracing podcasts to establish thought leadership, feed their content engine, create strategic relationships with their guests, and recruit and retain talent. If you are looking to raise your profile or that of your business, to build credibility and become the go-to authority in your niche and ultimately have more sales then having a podcast is one sure-fire way to achieve that.
How do I know this? Because I launched my own podcast two years ago, Screw it, Just Do it, and it has ben one of the best things I have ever done in my life. I have just one regret – that I didn’t start sooner. Screw it, Just Do it is a business podcast that has been recognised by iTunes as a Top 3 show in the Business, Education and Technology classes. I have interviewed entrepreneurs such as Innocent’s Richard Reed, Notonthehighstreet’s Holly Tucker MBE, Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin CBE and Dragons Den star Piers Linney, along with hundreds of startup entrepreneurs looking to emulate them. Having a podcast is such a powerful tool to grow your brand and share your message. I never set out to conquer the iTunes chart but my podcast seemed to really engage with those who are looking for practical advice on starting and scaling their businesses – with a dose of inspiration and aspiration thrown in. The benefits of hosting my podcast have been immeasurable. I’ve been offered sponsorship opportunities since having my podcast, speaking gigs with blue-chip companies both here and abroad and have built my network exponentially. But the biggest benefit has been the entrepreneurs that I’ve met, some of whom I’ve gone on to become good friends with.
Getting started is actually easier than it looks. It really isn’t that difficult to get started. People often assume podcasts require expensive equipment but all you literally need to get started is your phone or laptop and a pair of headphones. They are tricky to produce on their own however, which is where I can come in. I launched my own podcast agency to help those who are time-poor but recognise the opportunity that podcasting offers. As a marketing and HR tool, podcasting is largely untapped. Brands that embrace podcasting today (instead of years from now) will be seen as trailblazers leading the way. I believe that just like every business now has a website and social media channels, the day is coming when every business has its own podcast.
If you’d like help creating and growing your own podcast then you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have.
About the Author:
Alex Chisnell is a successful entrepreneur and the founder and podcast host of iTunes Top 3 show “Screw it, Just do it”, Host of #screwitjustdoit ‘live’ events, Regional Delivery Partner for Virgin StartUpand a Virgin StartUp Mentor.