There are unlimited ways to consume content, but podcasting has become a bit of a sensation. While there are many reasons for this, there are 5 forces in particular that are connected and working together to drive the growth of this medium more than all the rest. If you understand these 5 forces, you will understand why podcasting has become such a powerful play for businesses looking to connect with their consumers.
#1: Podcasts are On-Demand
On-Demand = Convenience
Listeners don’t have to tune in at a specific time of day. They get to listen when it’s most convenient for them – and at whatever pace is convenient for them. They can binge 20 episodes in a row, or listen to 1 really long episode over an extended period of time.
For me personally, I love to learn. If I hear an episode of a business podcast that I really like, I’ll save it for later and re-listen to it on double speed in an attempt to better retain the information being discussed.
An Even Playing Field for Small Businesses
Obviously, the fact that podcasts are on-demand is a huge benefit to listeners, but also think about how it evens the playing field for small business owners and entrepreneurs when it comes to reaching their audience. With traditional mediums like TV or Radio, you are competing with industry giants who have massive budgets and can pay premium prices to air their show or run their ads during the most popular time slots.
With podcasting, that doesn’t exist; you publish whenever you want at no extra cost and your consumers listen when it’s most convenient for them.
So, #1, podcasts are on-demand. On-demand = convenience for the listener. And convenience is what feeds reason #2; Intimacy.
#2: Podcasts are Intimate
Listeners Feel Personally Connected
Since podcasting is so convenient, people are hearing your voice everywhere; at the gym, in their car, while they work, while they eat, sometimes before they go to bed and while they’re sleeping. It creates this feeling like you’re with them all the time – because you are!
Not only that, but as a podcast host, you’re plugged directly into the ears of listeners. To them, it feels like they’re having a conversation with you directly in their living room.
Sales Made Easier
Imagine how powerful that can be when it comes time to sell something. Assuming you’re using your podcast as an extension of your business, your goal is likely to convert a listener into a lead and a lead into a client. With the intimacy factor in play, when you eventually have a conversation with a prospect to try and convince them to do business with you, they’re already sold.
So, #2 is that podcasting is an intimate experience. Your listeners actually feel like they know you on a personal level, before they even talk to you – which eliminates a lot of resistance when it comes to making a sale.
#3: Podcasts Are Global
Business is Being Done Differently
Think about how people are choosing a company to work with. Let’s say I’m looking for a financial advisor. Do you think I’m going to restrict myself to my local city? No. The future is not “I want to find the best advisor in my city,” it’s “I want to find the best advisor… period.”
Traditionally, brick and mortar services (e.g. lawyer, financial advisor, accountant, consultant, etc.) had to conduct business in-person. Today, their clients are
booking appointments from across the country and meeting virtually – all from the comfort of their own home. (no traffic, no hassle)
Increase Your Reach with Podcasting
So how does this feed into podcasting? Well, podcasts reach a global audience. They allow you to connect with people all over the world with the click of a button. So, during a time when customers aren’t restricting their purchasing decisions to their local area, you don’t have to restrict your marketing efforts to your local area. Through podcasting, you can open yourself up to a much larger geography and reach your ideal clients nationwide – or even internationally.
So, the 3rd force driving the growth of podcasting is that podcasts are global. Geography is no longer a limitation – which feeds into reason #4; Podcasts are niche.
#4: Podcasts Are Niche
In a local market, it can be challenging to niche your business, because you’re restricted by population. But when you start to do business outside your local region, you can niche down and become much more focused on helping a specific subset of your target market.
So, why would you want to niche down?
When you niche down and become more focused, it’s much easier for prospective customers to understand what you do and how you will help them.
As an example, imagine that you’re redoing the stairs in your home. Would you rather work with the carpenter who is a jack-of-all-trades OR the carpenter who specializes in stairs? I think you know the answer.
Niching down allows you to become the go-to person when it comes to solving a very specific problem – which also makes it much easier for people to recommend your services to others. (E.g. “Oh, you’re redoing your stairs? I know the perfect person for the job!”)
Podcasting Is Your Gateway to Niche Audiences
The point is, during a time when businesses are niching down because they are able to conduct business outside of their local market, podcasting is a medium that allows you to effectively tap into those sub groups of people – who are tuning in from every part of the world.
And this leads to the 5th force driving podcast growth; intention
#5. Podcasts are Intentional
Because podcasts are targeting specific niches, the content is hyper focused – which gives people more reason to want to listen.
Listeners are actively searching for, subscribing to, and tuning in because they’re fully interested in the content.
If you want to learn how to buy and sell residential properties, you can find a podcast for it. If you want to learn marketing tactics specifically for your online business, you can find a podcast for it.
Compare that to traditional forms of audio broadcasting, like radio, where listeners are passively tuning in to a much broader channel. They’re not committed or even listening to what’s on. It’s oftentimes background noise.
Podcasting is very intentional. I’m looking for something specific, and when I find it, I’m saying “give me more.”
Recap of The 5 United Forces Driving Podcast Growth
- Podcasts are On-Demand: Listeners don’t have to tune in at a specific time of day. They listen when, where, and however they want. Not only is this super convenient for listeners, but it evens the playing field for small businesses who no longer have to pay outrageous prices to air their shows or run ads during prime time slots.
- Podcasts are Intimate: Your listeners are hearing you everywhere they go. They actually feel like they know you on a personal level, before they even talk to you – which eliminates a lot of resistance when making a sale.
- Podcasts Reach a Global Audience: They allow you to connect with people all over the world with the click of a button. During a time when customers aren’t restricting their purchasing decisions to their local area, you don’t have to restrict your marketing efforts to your local area. Through podcasting, you can open yourself up to a much larger geography and reach your ideal clients nationwide – or even internationally.
- Podcasts are Niche: They allow you to effectively tap into sub groups of people – which is perfect for businesses who have niched down and are creating products & services that solve very specific problems for their consumers.
- Podcasts are Intentional: Listeners are actively searching for, subscribing to, and tuning in because they’re fully interested in the content.