Let’s rewind to the year 2013. It’s Monday morning and your team is talking about their kids’ new favorite movie, Frozen. Everyone simultaneously starts singing the chorus of the song “Let it Go” and starts laughing (how naïve everyone was in this moment, knowing their kids would later drive them crazy by singing this song).
Fast forward to the year 2016 and your coworkers can’t stop talking about Netflix’s new hit show, Stranger Things. You all reminiscence over the synth-fueled ‘80s nostalgia and marvel at how amazing the young actors are in the show.
Fast forward to the present. While we’re still talking about the new movies and TV shows we’re watching, we’ve now thrown another form of entertainment into the mix: podcasts.
Podcasts have exploded onto the media scene over the last few years and their popularity continues to rise. From news to business to celebrity life to true crime, the categories of podcasts are endless.
This has likely prompted at least one person on your team to ask, “Should we make a company podcast?”
There are many avid podcast fans here at VMG Studios, and some of our current and former staff members have hosted podcasts of their own. From a strategic marketing perspective, too, we’ve identified many benefits of creating a company podcast. This article will dive further into those benefits and outline strategies for leveraging VMG’s capabilities to create a polished, successful podcast.
The Rise of Podcasts
Podcasting is a nod to one of the more traditional forms of media – radio. It might feel funny to compare podcasts, which are surging in popularity, to radio, which many see as a dying medium, but that’s where podcasting got its roots. In fact, one of the most popular podcasts is “This American Life,” which is also a radio program.
Podcasting can attribute much of its popularity to accessibility, thanks to smartphone usage, and the numbers continue to trend upwards.
The following statistics come from Podcast Insights, which rounded up the latest research from January of 2021.
- 55% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast
- 16 million people in the U.S. classify themselves as “avid podcast fans” (guilty)
Pair all of those podcast listeners with the survey that found that podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media, the opportunities for cross-promotion and building brand awareness increases significantly.
Demographics of Podcast Listeners
To further understand if a company podcast is right for your business, let’s break down the numbers even more and look at the demographics of podcast listeners in the U.S. Once again, all of these numbers are coming from Podcast Insights:
- 51% of podcast listeners are male
- Age of monthly podcast listeners
- 12 – 34: 48%
- 35 – 54: 32%
- 55+: 20%
- Race of monthly podcast listeners
- White: 63%
- Black: 11%
- Hispanic: 11%
- Asian: 5%
- Other: 9%
- 45% of monthly podcast listeners have a household income over $75,000
- 27% of monthly podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree
Identifying whether your target audience is interested in podcasts is a good first step in determining the value of a podcast for your company.
Benefits of a Business Podcast
There are both internal and external benefits of producing a podcast that companies can leverage. Engage your target audience and your employees through podcasting to build brand equity and loyalty.
1. Good for an On-The-Go Audience
If you’re a marketer, how many times have you heard a client, a lead, or even a team member utter the excuse, I didn’t have the time?
I didn’t have time to watch the video.
I didn’t have time to read that article or that memo.
I haven’t had any time to check my emails today.
Podcasts are built for those who are constantly on the go. Since it’s an audio medium (video is starting to play a role, but more on that later), people can virtually listen whenever and wherever.
They can listen in the car while driving to or from work. They can get an episode in while walking the dog or working out. They can even pop in the headphones and get caught up while completing some busy work throughout the day.
Research found that 22% of people listen while driving and 49% listen while at home.
2. Longer Format Allows for Deep Dives on Topics
As marketers, we’re constantly told that brevity is best. Here at VMG Studios, we often recommend shorter video content since studies and surveys show that they perform better amongst most demographic groups.
However, it can be hard to distill company initiatives into a video series, article, or email campaign. There might be a possibility of important messaging being lost in translation when it’s not executed properly.
Podcasts can help fill the gaps and communicate all of the necessary information.
I am an avid listener of Armchair Expert, which is hosted by actor Dax Shepard. He has interviewed dozens of celebrities, many of whom discuss why they prefer to do press through podcasts. They attribute their willingness to do podcasts over print or even TV interviews because of context. They’ll often explain how they value that their entire conversations are being published instead of just a soundbite that could be used for clickbait.
The same logic can be applied to businesses. Sometimes, you just need more time to properly discuss a specific topic, whether it’s an interview, product review, or breaking company news that affects the internal team as well as external shareholders.
On average, podcast episodes are 38 minutes long, meaning your company can discuss any desired topic at length.
3. Company Promotion
Just like any other marketing assets, podcasts help to build brand awareness and recognition, especially through consistent, weekly execution. Plus, since it’s your company podcast, you get to dictate the material!
Do you have a product launch coming up? Spend an episode diving into everything about it! How it works, what it does, the unique features, how much it costs, etc.
Are you offering a sales promotion? Use the podcast to announce the exclusive details to not only draw in more listeners but to promote your business.
4. Offer Behind-The-Scenes Insight to Humanize the Brand
Besides promoting your brand, it’s also important for many consumers to feel like they know the people behind the brand. To understand the mission and values of a company. A podcast is a great way to showcase this through behind-the-scenes insights.
Listeners can get to know individual people within the company through various interview series, or you can offer insights into how the company runs and the thought processes behind product or service decisions.
This can be beneficial for internal purposes, too, for larger organizations. Creating a series where you interview team members in various departments, for example, can help people across the company understand what other departments are up to. It can also humanize co-workers who might not have face-to-face contact with one another but possibly email back and forth regularly.
Humanizing the brand helps to build trust and transparency, which can in turn, build company loyalty, both internally and externally.
5. Amplify Voices Within the Organization
Reward and celebrate employees by featuring them on the podcast. Asking team members to speak to a wide audience on their expertise instills a positive company culture by uplifting them and recognizing them as the experts they are. It also offers external listeners a chance to, once again, get to know and relate to the people behind the brand.
If a product launch is extremely successful, for example, interview the team members who made it happen and allow them to outline their success story. If there are specific initiatives aimed at celebrating diversity and inclusion within the workplace, give those groups a platform. You could even have a modernized “employee of the month” spotlight.
When people are excited to share their work and they’re given the platform to do so, you can help forge a productive, inspiring, and loyal workforce that will radiate to your target audience.
6. Build Strong Relationships with Current Clients & Partners
Just like amplifying voices within the organization, amplify your clients’ voices as well. Instead of just singing your own praises, have your clients or strategic partners do it for you. It’s ultimately a win-win situation. The client can promote their business while talking about how your company’s products or services helped them along the way.
Testimonials can be a powerful way to convert new leads or encourage customers to return.
If you have strategic partners, asking them to be a guest on the podcast can show that you value their partnership, solidifying that working relationship.
The more your podcast grows, the more opportunity there is to sell paid advertising slots. Monetizing podcasts continues to increase. A survey found that ad revenues for podcasts in the U.S. alone neared $1 billion in 2020.
It can take a while for podcasts to gain the popularity and listenership to warrant advertisements, but once it does, it can be another avenue for revenue.
Strategies for a Successful Podcast
How to Leverage VMG Studios’ Expertise
If you’re leaning towards producing a company podcast, there is a lot to plan and build before launch. Hiring an agency like VMG Studios can help get it off the ground. Here’s how:
Since podcasting is primarily an audio format, this is essential. Bad audio can actually turn listeners away due to inconsistent audio levels, clipping, background noises, etc. Poor audio can be a combination of the equipment used and the environment in which the recording took place, as well as the editing.
VMG Studios has high-end recording equipment and even a recording booth to ensure the best capture. We’re also masters in sound mixing and editing.
Besides the recording, we also have access to music libraries that we use to source theme music and transitional music or sounds, all of which are an important part of a well-produced podcast.
READ: How to Record a Better Sounding Voice-over
As we’ve alluded to throughout this article, video podcasting is on the rise. A study found that 43% of monthly podcast listeners went to YouTube for podcast content. People do love video, and often, people like to put a face to a name (and a voice) making video podcasting an increasingly prevalent part of podcasting. Having a video element of your podcast is beneficial in numerous ways.
More deployment channels
Audio podcasts can be released on several platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher, but having video content allows your brand to leverage YouTube, one of the most popular media platforms out there.
Repurpose the content
You can cut video clips to promote the podcast on various social media channels such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Facebook. It’s great for teaser content!
Humanize the podcast
Like we said above, put a face to the voice! Many people like a visual of whom they’re listening to. It makes them feel more connected to you and the stories you’re telling.
VMG Studios is a full production studio, meaning we have the team members, equipment, and software to help record and edit video content, even remotely.
- Supporting graphics
While a podcast may not seem like a heavy hitter from the production side, there are still many branding elements to take into consideration. This includes the cover art, aka your logo, for your podcast. Here are some examples from popular podcasts.
Depending on the size of your podcast, it might also be beneficial to have a dedicated website where people can download episodes, get to know the hosts, and/or submit questions. A nicely designed website can elevate the podcast’s brand and reach. You can also repurpose assets from either the cover art or website design for promotional purposes on social media.
If you decide to include a video portion of the podcast, we recommend creating a YouTube channel. This channel will also need branded design elements including a logo, banner image, thumbnails, title cards, and end cards.
Branding and design is one of our core services, and our graphic designers and animators can bring your podcast brand to life from every angle.
- Content development & scripting
I’m sure you’ve heard people question why others enjoy podcasts. They might ask, “Aren’t you just listening to people talk for a really long time?” Yes, but the top-performing podcasts have a strategy behind “just talking.”
They have built-in segments for each episode. They likely have a specific way to begin and end the podcast. They have an outline they follow for each episode to help keep pace.
Creating a general outline with specific segments and some light scripting sets expectations for avid listeners. It’s also a great way to break up the podcast so that it doesn’t feel too long. These easily digestible segments can be separated by music or advertisements to create a seamless listening experience.
Both current and former staff members at VMG Studios have had their own podcasts, meaning we cumulatively have the experience to help map out a podcast outline. We can create a modular template to set your podcast up for success from the very beginning.
While it might be tempting to just hit the record button and start talking, most podcast listeners gravitate towards structure. Setting up a strategy from the beginning increases the likelihood of your podcast being a hit.
Implementing a Company Podcast to Your Marketing Strategy
If podcasting continues to trend upwards as it has in the last few years, it’ll likely become a more prominent part of any marketing strategy. It’s a unique offering that can help your brand reach your target audience, whether it’s your clients or your own employees.
When considering creating a company podcast, remember the following benefits:
- Good for an on-the-go audience
- Longer format allows for deep dives into topics
- Company promotion
- Humanize the brand through behind-the-scenes insights
- Amplify voices within your organization
- Build strong relationships with current clients & partners
- Monetize through paid advertisements
If you’re sold on starting a company podcast, we’d love to help get it off the ground! From audio to video to branded assets, the team at VMG Studios is equipped to be your creative partner from start to finish. To learn more about how we can support your podcast strategy, click here to set up an introductory planning conversation.
In the meantime, be sure to download our free trends eBook below to find inspiration for your next marketing initiative!