There are so many Internet tools that businesses can use today to increase their profit margins and convert web site visitors into actual customers. One powerful marketing tool that is great for converting web site visitors to customers is podcasting. There have recently been three studies done on podcasting. One is by Midroll Media , which conducted an internal survey of 300,000 podcast listeners. They found that …
Of the people who listened to podcasts,
63 percent bought the product or service!
You just cannot beat conversion rates like these!
What Is Podcasting?
The word itself is a play on the words ‘broadcasting’, which indicates communicating across the air waves (or Internet), and ‘iPod’, which was the once popular, go-to device to listen to music downloads.
Essentially, a podcast is an online radio interview. It can be done with or without a script, though without a script comes across as more natural, than using a script for non-actors. It always has a topic agenda with highlights of about which the interview will cover.
The average podcast is about 22 minutes long
That’s long enough to get your business information out to potential buyers, but short enough for them not to lose interest. Podcasts can range from 5 to 10 minutes or over an hour or so. There is no set time length. It is typically dependent on the topic discussed.
Shorter 5 to 10 minute podcasts are good only if you can sum up your product or service quickly and concisely. Longer over 30 minute podcasts work only if your topic will hold the listeners interest for that long. Remember, potential buyers who get bored will leave the podcast and likely not purchase your product or service. So, when planning your podcast and its length, keep these factors in mind.
One advantage of podcasting is that it gives your business the opportunity to educate your web site visitors on a product or service – its uses, benefits, method for using it, and so on. It can create interest, where perhaps before the listener was not quite sure what it is or why (or how) it is used. The more information potential buyers have that answer the “what’s in it for me?” question, the more apt they are to purchase that product or service. And they also are more apt to buy it from the business that created the podcast!
To listen to a sample podcast, check out one of Webmaster for Hire’s at: http://webmasterforhire.us/category/website-design-marketing-podcasts/
Video vs. Podcasting
Yes, video presents the web site user with a visual content along with audio; however, most businesses provide representatives who are uncomfortable being in front of the camera. How do I look? Am I using too many hand gestures? Are these clothes right for the audience? And so on. They are self-conscious. They also cannot just keep their notes in front of themselves to refer to throughout a video, where they must look as though they “know it all” off the top of their heads while on camera.
Additionally, they have to commute to a physical, real world studio to create the video, unless they have all the equipment, a business onsite location, and a videographer of their own.
One real advantage to using podcasts is that none of the above concerns exist.
Most podcasts are created over the phone with an interviewer – does not matter what you wear or if you are even dressed. You could make the podcast over the phone from your bed or anywhere that there are no noises on your end.
Also, you can have your notes right in front of you, as long as you quietly shuffle the pages to keep the background noise low.
It is no different than carrying on a conversation with a friend. The conversation is casual and comfortable. The interviewer takes care of the opening introductions and asks you prepared questions, which you have agreed upon beforehand, about the topic you have chosen to spotlight in the podcast.
And like videos, podcasts have different outlets where they can be uploaded to gain a wider audience than just at your web site, which also will host your podcasts. You would be surprised at just how many people on the World Wide Web go in search of podcasts!
Finally, podcasting gives listeners something video cannot – the ability to listen on-the-go or while doing other things.
So, Who Is Listening?
President George W. Bush began using podcasts in 2005 to deliver his weekly address to the nation. He was instrumental in pushing this Internet media into the consciousness of the general public.
Today, all types of people use podcasts to get their message across, whatever it may be, into cyberspace – and people are listening!
Edison Research, a global research company, does an annual study that analyzes consumption usage of media and technology. Its 2017 study discovered some interesting facts about podcasts:
- Momentum is rising for podcast listening, which grew 23 percent between 2015 and 2016.
- Now, 42 million Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. 67 Million listen on a monthly basis. That’s a lot of people!
- Podcast fans listen to at least 5 podcasts each week.
- 112 Million Americans, between the ages of preteen to adults, have listened to a podcast.
- The largest percentage of podcast listeners now are between the ages of 25 to 54 years – the main target market of most businesses!
- 85 Percent of listeners surveyed said they listen to all or most of the podcasts.
- 60 Percent of podcast listeners also frequent some form of social media, making them more apt to share links to the podcasts they find interesting.
- Of those who download podcasts, rather than listening to them online, 79 percent listen to them immediately.
- The majority of podcast listeners in the US are affluent and well-educated – again, the target audience of most businesses today!
A third study conducted by Pew Research in 2016, using the Libsyn podcast hosting service, showed:
- There were 1.2 billion download requests for podcasts by users in 2012. That number rose to 3 billion download requests in 2015. That’s a 275 percent increase in just 3 years!
- In 2013, Libsyn hosted only 16,000 podcasts for download by users. In 2015, they hosted 28,000 podcasts.
The more people become accustomed to listening to podcasts, the more they will go immediately to the web site of the podcast creator – your business! This makes podcasting a very powerful marketing tool.
Why Has Podcast Popularity Increased?
Originally, podcasts were popular mostly with the under 25 set. Today, podcasts can be listened to on so many different devices with easier Internet connectivity, such as Amazon’s Echo Dot®, tablets and smartphones, as well as the use of hotspot Internet connectivity and the increase of available, free Wi-Fi locations.
Being able to take the Internet on-the-go, especially with unlimited usage that many plans now offer, has made podcasts an interesting and informative technology. People listen in their cars while driving to work or running errands. They listen at home while doing other tasks or at the gym while working out. They can listen almost anywhere and at any time. The Edison Research study found that 64 percent of podcasts are listened to using a smartphone or tablet. It also is much easier to listen to a podcast for most potential customers than to take the time to read an article.
Direct Benefits to Your Business
There are so many benefits to using podcasting to market your business today. Here are a few
- Of course, the biggest benefit is the high listener-to-customer conversion rate.
- You can reach new target audiences through podcast hosting sites, expanding your business’ online presence.
- Listeners get to know your business:
- Feeling comfortable with your people,
- Trusting your business as an expert because you build authority in your field, and
- Feeling they know you – like having a brick and mortar relationship.
- Podcasts allows your listeners to market your products or services for you by sharing your podcast link on all the social media they frequent.
- It is easy to create engaging podcasts right from your own office over the phone.
- Costs are minimal to you, compared to creating videos.
Take Advantage of Podcasting
Webmaster for Hire can help you take advantage of this powerful marketing
tool. Though until recently, mostly large corporations, such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, used podcasting in their online marketing endeavors, small and medium-sized businesses of any industry now can use podcasts to their benefit.
Webmaster for Hire has been helping our clients create podcasts for some time now. We take the confusion and effort out of creating business podcasts for our clients:
- We use our own equipment,
- We put together talking points and act as the interviewer – just tell us what topic you would like to discuss,
- It is a casual, comfortable phone conversation for your representative, and
- Your time is minimal – 8 to 10 minutes, or up to 30 minutes for taping.