I'm a big fan of podcasting as an effective communications channel. I saw the potential way back in 2005, empowering Humble and Fred to continue broadcasting without the support of radio, and I started my own podcast way back in 2012. To say I'm passionate about this medium would be an understatement. It's part of my daily life, both as a listener and as a creator.
I reference December 2015 as the tipping point for podcasts in terms of mass acceptance. That's when Serial dropped, and normies discovered how to subscribe and listen to podcasts. Part of the problem, in my humble opinion, is the name "podcast". It's intimidating for those who aren't particularly tech savvy. I spent many hours explaining to people how you subscribe and how the syndication functions. It's so simple, but that name makes it sound awfully technical.
If there is any message you wish to communicate to any group of people, I'm a huge proponent of podcasting. There are several reasons you should have a podcast.
There are typically three target audiences for business communication: employees, customers, and prospective customers. Yes, there can be more, but these are the big three.
Each of these audiences needs to be messaged to in a different way. Podcasting is a fantastic medium for accomplishing this!
For example, let's say there's a big Bay Street financial company with hundreds of clients. They could use podcasting as a way to discuss news and share industry changes relevant to clients. Because this is a podcast for clients only, this podcast wouldn't be indexed by Apple, Google, Stitcher, etc. The feed for this podcast would be shared privately via email.
Another example of a highly targeted podcast that wouldn't be publically available to subscribers is a podcast for employees. Communication with employees of larger companies can be very difficult, and let's face it, email and intranets don't make it much easier. Imagine a fun but informative 20 minute episode dropped once a week. It could be 5 minutes of fun, lighter news of relevance, and then 10 minutes on news and events affecting staff, and then product and/or service updates, tips for communicating with customers, birthday shoutouts, and more. If done properly, employees will begin anticipating new episodes and everyone will be reading from the same handbook.
And of course, there's communicating with prospective clients. This one is a little trickier, because your employees and customers will listen to your podcast, but who wants to listen to a salesy vendor podcast? The goal here is to create a podcast that adds value to those interested in your industry or space. If you were a real estate agent, for example, with a primary focus on The Junction, you'd create the best Junction podcast with valuable content for any resident of the Junction or anyone interested in The Junction. Then, in the final segment, there's a pivot to homes listed or sold in the neighbourhood that week and, of course, a reminder that you're the neighbourhood expert and all buyers and sellers should speak with you!
I can't tell you how much I've learned from podcasts. A podcast listener is paying attention, pausing when they can't listen and picking up where they left off when they can. Podcasting is a tremendous communications channel.
If you have a brand, or if you represent a business, you should have a podcast. There's no better way to stay top of mind and present yourself as an industry leader than by producing regular, professional sounding podcast episodes.
If you're an artist who specializes in Anime, start an Anime podcast in which a different comic book is reviewed and discussed in detail each week. Present yourself as the Anime expert you are! When people think Anime, they'll think of you. When people search Anime podcasts via Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts, they'll find you.
Back in the day, people would self-publish books and then use that book as evidence that they were a thought leader in the industry. Speaking engagements, consulting opportunities and even fame would follow. John Smith is a widget expert. Afterall, he wrote "The Art of Widget Creation"! The modern day equivalent is having a podcast on the subject. In theory, even if nobody listened to the podcast, it would have great value simply because it exists. Think about that!
Monetization via Sponsorship
If you have a good podcast, and make people aware of it, you will get subscribers. People love to tell their friends and family about that great podcast they discovered. You'll tell two friends, and they'll tell two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on...
With an attentive audience, there's an opportunity to monetize the podcast via sponsorship. If a business wants to target your podcast listeners, a partnership opportunity will present itself. Right now in the United States, podcast revenue is robust. Canada is lagging behind, but it's best to be there when we catch up!
Broadcasting a show is great fun, even if it's just for your friends and family. Heck, maybe it's just you and a friend who love to talk Leafs or review movies or share retail horror stories. Some call these vanity podcasts, because they aren't intended to generate revenue or become popular with the masses, but I prefer to think of them as good wholesome fun.
I will tell you this... I started podcasting because it was fun, and I continue to podcast because it's fun. I'm a big fan of fun.
You should have a podcast, and I'm here to hold your hand throughout the process. TMDS will handle the A-Z, you just have to bring the content. We can record at my studio, or I can bring my studio to your office. I've got great references, so ping me if you'd like to discuss further.