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Have you considered podcasting as a way to tell your small business story to your target audience? If not, it’s something you might want to do. Citing results from Edison Research, the Pew Research Center reports that as of this year, 21% of Americans age 12 or older say they have listened to a podcast in the last month, representing steady incremental growth since 2013 when the share was 12%.

With everyone on the go, preferred devices for podcast listening are smartphones, tablets or other portable devices versus desktops. In 2016, 64% of Americans age 12 or older who have ever listened to a podcast said they were listening “most often” on a mobile device, compared to 55% in 2015, according to Pew.

Podcasting also presents small businesses with opportunities to build incremental revenue through commercial advertising.  You can place small, short advertisements within the podcasts.  Another recent survey from comScore commissioned by Wondery, an audio                 on-demand network, found that two-thirds of podcast listeners have engaged in various research and/or purchase related activity as a result of exposure to advertising from podcasts.

Use podcasts for brand building

Podcasts can help small business brand building by enabling you to showcase your expertise, products or services. Podcast content provides an opportunity to reinforce brand messages.

When it comes to the content of small business podcasts, there is a range of opportunities. Interviews with customers, partners or industry experts are one option to convey your product or service message and highlight industry trends that support your offerings. Podcasts can be instructional or educational about how to use your offerings. In fact, you can use the podcasts to address questions that come in through customer service channels.

Post podcasts on your website, blog and social media channels or send them out in an email marketing campaign.  You also can expand your small business podcast reach using iTunes and other services like Stitcher.

Quality counts

Creating a small business podcast doesn’t have to break the bank. All it takes to create one is a computer, microphone and speaker as well as a headset for optimal recording.  But just because they can be easy to create, doesn’t eliminate the need for a strategic plan to guide their content development and distribution. Keep the following in mind as you being your podcast marketing activity.

  • Be unique: Try to find an angle to your podcast content that is unique to you or your small business. Give you audience useful information or your opinion or perspective that they can’t find elsewhere.
  • Plan: Don’t try to improvise. If it’s an interview – with you or conducted by you – prepare questions in advance. Have a structure so that your podcast doesn’t get off track. If several people are involved, make sure they know the agenda and the goals.
  • Keep them short: Short is better especially while you are building up your following. People will be more included to give your podcast a try if its 20 to 30 minutes or even less, rather than an hour. If the audience likes your shorter podcasts, you’ll be in a better position to engage them for an hour later
  • Quality counts: Use a quality microphone, editing software to remove pauses and other unnecessary sounds, and record in an area that eliminates background sounds. You also can use Skype for recording your podcast if you want to record conversations with others. All you need is a headset.
  • Keep to a schedule: Be consistent about when you release your podcast whether it’s once a week or once a month. You set an expectation with your audience when you stay on a schedule. Having a regular schedule also helps you plan your features with enough time to make sure you get the content or guests you need.

Seeing maybe believing; but hearing is proving to be just as effective for marketing. Think about podcasts as a new way to get out the word loud and clear about your small business.