The Power of Podcasts as a Marketing Tool

Marketers love listening to podcasts, but did you know that starting a podcast of your own can be one of the best things you do for your brand in 2020?

And best of all, it’s not as complicated as you may believe to get a podcast up and running.

In this article, I’ll share the key reasons why podcasting is a fantastic opportunity for marketers to build brand awareness, become thought leaders, and increase leads and sales.

Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint

First, a quick backstory about my journey as a podcaster. I started my first business podcast way back in 2015. And for the last 5+ years, I’ve grown Growth Marketing Toolbox into one of the top-rated growth marketing podcasts in the world, having interviewed hundreds of guests (including Seth Godin), recorded over 200 episodes, and discussed thousands of marketing tools.

The show has a very loyal following of marketers (both in-house and agency), consultants, and entrepreneurs. And I continue to churn out one new episode every Monday.

Then, earlier this year I decided to launch a second show, called Learn Growth Marketing. This podcast series is meant to be shorter—every episode is under 20 minutes—and focuses more on strategy and less on tools. And most importantly, it’s beginner-friendly, for anyone who wants to learn what’s working in growth marketing today.

So far, the response to Learn Growth Marketing has exceeding my expectations. You can check out the latest weekly episode here.

Anyway, I shared all of this just to point out that I’ve been doing this whole “podcasting thing” for a while, and have picked up a number of helpful tips over the years. That’s what I want to share with you below.

Why podcasting as a marketing tool works

If you’re still on the fence about podcasting, maybe these stats from a recent study by Edison Research and Triton Digital will help you see the value in giving this unique channel a try:

Of Americans 12 years of age and older, 75% are now familiar with podcasting. That’s over 212 million people! And the number increased more than 10 million in just one year.

55% of Americans have listened to a podcast at least once. That stat is up from 51% in 2019 and continues to grow.

Furthermore, investments in the podcast ecosystem continue to pour in. You’ve probably heard about the $340 million that Spotify paid to acquire podcast networks Gimlet and Anchor. Or the $100 million licensing deal they made with Joe Rogan for his podcast.

Podcasting is on the rise, and this is the perfect time to jump on the bullet train.

People often ask me if it’s too late to get started podcasting. Of course not! Sure, we all could have had a stronger first-mover advantage if we started 10 years ago, but it’s certainly not too late by a long stretch.

In fact, you have many advantages today that you wouldn’t have had 5 or 10 years ago. As mentioned above, podcasting is more mainstream, and the podcast technology ecosystem is much stronger, which makes it easier to create and distribute your show to your listeners.

How to launch a podcast

Ready to explore podcasts as a marketing tool for your brand, but not sure where to start?

Here’s a super simple list of the steps that worked for me in launching Learn Growth Marketing with minimal effort:

  1. Create a simple cover photo in Canva. It should be 1400×1400 or larger. Look at other podcast art in your category on Apple Podcasts and see what stands out. Make sure people can read the text when scaled way down!
  2. Get someone to record a simple intro/outro on Fiverr. This makes things so much more professional. Give them a script, keep it short, and add in some background music that you get from a place like StoryBlocks when you get the voiceover finished. Boom, done. You just increased the professionalism of your podcast by 10x.
  3. You don’t need a fancy mic or a mixer. I started out with an ATR2100 from Audio Technica and no mixer. It’s just plugged it into my MacBook and recorded through a program called Audio Hijack. You can also use Audacity to record, which is free.
  4. I edit my episodes using Descript. It’s a visual editor for audio and has made life so much easier. You don’t want a word in there? Highlight it, hit delete, and bang, it’s gone! Like magic.
  5. I host my show on Buzzsprout because they keep things simple. Not much else to say here other than just pick a host and go with them. There are lots of choices. Most are good. Buzzsprout just works, so if you don’t want to do the research, you can’t go wrong with them. Pat Flynn uses them too, so yeah. And follow Buzzsprout’s (or your host’s) advice for getting your show submitted to Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.
  6. Instead of creating show note posts for each episode, I use a tool called PodcastPage.io and it automates all of this. I spent like 30 minutes setting up the colors and basic layout when I first got it, but now, it’s pretty much set-it-and-forget-it. They just pull the show notes and episodes in from Buzzsprout and it creates a beautiful, SEO-friendly podcast site with separate links for each episode all automatically. You can check out my site here.

My most important podcasting advice

I saved my best advice for the end. And it’s simple: don’t overcomplicate things. It is very easy to get lost down the podcasting technology rabbit hole trying to discover the perfect microphone or reviewing 20+ podcast hosting platforms before making a decision.

Guess what? None of that matters. You just need a good concept, a basic setup, and the willingness to be consistent. Consistent content production is the single best thing you can do to leverage podcasts as a marketing tool.

So go ahead and give it a shot if you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast in 2020. Or maybe you already have a podcast up and running and you’re just looking for some tips on how to optimize your process. Hopefully you found a tool or two in this article that can help you do just that.

Of course, I plan on covering much more on the topic of how growth marketers can leverage podcasting in future articles, newsletters, and also on the Learn Growth Marketing podcast. So check out all of those free resources and subscribe if you don’t want to miss a beat.

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