Podcasting is one of the single most popular and effective mediums to build brands today, if not the most effective. According to Gartner, over 155 million Americans listened to podcasts in 2020, with roughly 1 in 4 listening to them weekly. Podcasts allow creators the opportunity to produce content around virtually any topic, no matter how broad or niche, and build their audience of listeners into a loyal community of followers for their brand.
Although, whatever topic you choose to base your podcast on and create content for it, that underlying subject matter is only a small part of what will add value to your listeners. The best podcasts are able to reach the top of the charts not only because of their topic, but because of the quality of their content and their ability to effectively communicate a message to their audience. In this article, we’ll take a look at the other aspects of podcasting that make it such a valuable resource for listeners and why their topic is only a portion of that value.
Your Subject is Only a Portion of Your Podcast
Once you settle on the primary subject or topic you want your podcast to be based on, the next step is to decide on the message you want to convey to listeners, as well as how. Each podcast follows a different format, be it solo narration, multi-party conversations, interviews, journalistic-style reporting, or more theatrical entertainment. The subject of your podcast might influence whichever format you choose, but regardless of which format you decide to go with, the most important factor is to make it your own by being your most authentic self as its host.
Authenticity is hard to fake. Your listeners will immediately notice if you come off as ingenuine in your speaking style, or if it sounds as if you’re not truly an expert in the subject they’re tuning in to find out more about. In creating content for your podcast, always keep in mind how that content can add value to your audience. Do you want your message to be factual and informative? Perhaps you want to interview guest speakers and subject matter experts to bolster your credibility, or dive into a niche topic to unpack some lesser-known facts about it?
Whatever subject you choose, and whatever message or format you ultimately decide on, this is only the foundation of your podcast. To grow your audience of loyal listeners and climb the charts, you’ll need to consistently produce high-quality content those listeners find valuable.
The Importance of Quality Content
Just under a decade ago, Gary Vaynerchuck said, “Content is King, but context is God.” In today’s hyper-digital world, this adage could not ring more true. Evolutions in technology and social platforms have allowed brands to easily produce and distribute content in order to build meaningful relationships with their customers. However, with so many brands for customers to choose from, brand owners need to regularly create and produce content that their customers can engage with more meaningfully to rise above the noise in digital airwaves. Brands built around podcasts are no different.
The best way to capture and retain the attention of your listeners is to create high-quality content that engages them on a deeper level. Remember: listeners tune in to podcasts because they want to consume content that adds value to their lives. No matter what your podcast’s subject or format is, you need to understand why listeners would want to listen to your podcast over another by familiarizing yourself with the demographics of your target audience.
Once you have a clear understanding of who your podcast audience is, focus on creating high-quality audio content that answers their questions or addresses issues they might have. This may take a bit of trial-and-error to refine on your part, but by tracking your subscription numbers and weekly or monthly downloads, you’ll soon be able to find what types of content your listeners find the most value in. From there, you can repeatedly produce similar content to build your audience into a true community of followers for your podcast and brand.
Communicating Effectively to Build a Community
At their core, podcasts are an extremely effective avenue of digital marketing. By establishing yourself as an expert in your podcast’s subject matter, refining your content’s messaging, and communicating that message effectively to your audience, you can quickly establish trust in your brand from your listeners and propel your brand to a leader in its industry.
For any marketing to be successful, brands must first refine the message they’re attempting to convey to their target market in order to communicate it in the most effective way possible. No one will consume content from a brand with a message that they believe isn’t applicable to them or their needs, so clearly communicating your message to them through your podcast is crucial.
Podcasting is much more intimate than other, more traditional forms of marketing and B2C or B2B communication. Listeners who find value in your content will be far more likely to regularly engage with your brand than they would from email newsletters or social media posts. This, in turn, presents an opportunity to create a community of followers around your brand and the content you create for it. So long as your message adds value to your listeners and you remain authentic in delivering that message to them, listeners will view you, your podcast, and your brand as a reliable source of trustworthy information. Those feelings of trust and reliability make them more likely to rate your podcast higher, listen to your episodes longer, and share your podcast with others. Succeeding in these metrics will help your podcast climb the ranks and fuel your brand’s growth.
Overall, the subject or topic of your podcast is merely the first block in its foundation. Even if the target market for this subject is a heavily saturated one, your podcast can stand out from the crowd by refining its messaging into high-quality content that you deliver to your audience through authenticity and effective communication.