Podcasting is one of the hottest media trends in the last several years. Almost everyone, it seems, has a podcast these days. Should e-commerce business owners jump on this bandwagon? Can podcasting really boost the bottom line?
If you do decide to make a podcast, do your best to make it exceptional. That means having good audio quality, excellent content, a unique voice, and a strong sense of audience and purpose.
“A podcast needs to truly entertain or provide very in-depth expert information,” said Andrew Youderian, founder of eCommerceFuel and host of the eCommerceFuel Podcast.
“If you’re not educating or entertaining, it’s hard to build a meaningful audience,” he told the E-Commerce Times.
If you are willing to put in the time and effort needed to create a truly entertaining or informative podcast, it can be a boon to your business.
Following are five things a great podcast can do.
1. Build Rapport and Trust
Podcasting is an intimate form of communication, and the fact that you’re right in someone’s ears can help build a sense of rapport and trust between you and your listeners.
“Audio podcasting creates a sense of intimacy: you’re coming right into their earbuds when they exercise, or their cars when they’re commuting,” noted Sallie Goetsch, a WordPress developer and podcast consultant.
“Your listeners come to feel they know you as a person, know your character and personality, which makes them more likely to work with or buy from you, or to refer others to you,” she told the E-Commerce Times.
Because of its intimacy, podcasting gives you a special type of access to your audience.
“Podcasting allows you to build rapport and trust at scale in a way that blogging, paid traffic and other online marketing can’t match,” said Youderian. “When someone gets used to hearing your voice in their car, ears or home week-in and week-out, that’s powerful.”
2. Tell Your Story
Storytelling is an important part of brand-building, and a podcast can help you get your story out there.
“A podcast allows you to tell your story, using your voice,” said podcasting consultant Mathew Passy, operator of ThePodcastConsultant.com.
“It means that potential customers and clients can hear you speak passionately about what you do,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “Sure, they could read about it, but your voice allows you to add certain inflections and pauses to the story that can really help to drive a point home and create a deeper connection.”
3. Communicate Your Expertise
When you have a podcast, you and your guests can offer your listeners information that they need and want. Becoming a trusted provider of this kind of information can in turn help to establish your credibility.
“After a while you build authority, either through the expertise you share or the people you interview,” Jeff Large, owner of Come Alive Creative, told the E-Commerce Times.
Your podcast can help with search rankings and reputation.
“It can make you an authority in your industry,” noted Passy. “If someone Googles the topic and your podcast results show up, it will give you a lot of credibility.”
4. Do Some Networking
It never hurts to get to know others in your field, and having guests on your podcast can help you to make those connections.
“It can be the ultimate networking vehicle,” said Passy. “I have a client who used his podcast just to talk to others in his industry who wouldn’t necessarily just take a phone call out of the blue but loved being interviewed for a podcast.”
5. Boost Your Business
All of the above benefits ultimately can boost sales and help your business succeed.
“People do business with those they know, like and trust,” said Goetsch.
Podcasting is not a quick fix for a flagging business, though, and it’s not likely to generate immediate sales.
“Podcasting is a long-term marketing play, but it can pay massive dividends,” said eCommerceFuel’s Youderian. “Currently, I generate close to 50 percent of my leads for my business from people who listen to my podcast.”