Podcasting has been growing in popularity over the past few years. Even if you don’t listen to podcasts regularly, you’ve probably heard someone mention a podcast. Many businesses have jumped on the podcasting bandwagon to either increase brand awareness or establish better PR (public relations) with their consumers.
Social media and YouTube have been popular tools in recent years, and podcasts are yet another great means of connecting with your audience. Recently, industry experts have also seen the rise of podcasting as a corporate PR tool.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what has caused this and whether or not your business should consider starting a corporate podcast.
Why is podcasting so popular?
According to a recent study by Edison Research, around 162 million Americans listened to a podcast in 2021, which is a steep increase from the 36 million listeners in 2016, only five years ago. But why is this?
The main reason for the podcast craze is convenience.
It’s the “work smarter, not harder” mentality. Rather than pulling out a newspaper or scrolling through an app on your phone, podcasts allow you to listen while you perform other tasks such as house chores, commuting or exercising. Similar to music, podcast listeners can download an episode and then play it whenever and wherever they want.
In the current age of information and technology, consumers have so many options for quick information and stimulation. Like a personalized playlist as opposed to the radio, podcasts allow consumers to choose the type of content they want to listen to.
Social psychology: how we think
In addition to convenience, the success of podcasts also has a lot to do with human psychology. Humans are social creatures. To feel included, we often join in on what others are doing. If our friends listen to podcasts, we’re more likely to check one out.
Podcasting also gives people a sense of community amongst those who enjoy the same niche. Like a favorite band or a TV show, podcast listeners fit into a particular demographic and can connect over shared experiences and beliefs.
Even though there may be several podcasts within a particular niche, every podcast is different. Each group of podcast listeners can connect with the host and each other. Podcasts are like personalized talk shows where the listeners not only tune in but are responded to by the host.
Corporate podcasting and PR: Should I consider a podcast for my business?
The rise in podcasting overall has also sparked the rise of podcasting as a corporate PR tool. Here are some ways podcasts are used as a tool for a corporate PR (public relations) strategy:
Maintaining a positive brand image
One of the worst things for a company is bad PR. A negative brand image is like a stubborn stain, everyone can see it, and it’s hard to reverse. With press releases, you have no control over how the media will interpret your words and present your brand.
Stakeholders, like customers and investors, don’t like to feel lied to or cheated. A minor error or misunderstanding in speech or deed can result in a public media blowup and loss of money. Podcasts can be used preventatively or reactively as a means of establishing credibility and making clarifications.
A company podcast show or interview is a way to establish your brand’s voice and keep it consistent.
Content strategy for customers
The only thing worse than bad PR is no PR.
Podcasts are a great tool as part of a content strategy for an existing client base. Podcasts can speak directly to your target audience and humanize your brand. Content should be consumer-focused, and like all good content, it should provide value to customers’ lives.
Transforming internal communications
Some companies have adopted an internal communications podcast to transform their internal comms.
Instead of numerous emails and crowded message boards, companies are personalizing communications for their employees. This is especially helpful as a means of uniting departments and developing a company culture for remote and hybrid workplaces.
What if I don’t want to start a podcast?
With the rise of podcasting as a corporate PR tool, many businesses are looking to start their own company podcasts. It is important to note that podcasting isn’t for everyone, nor is it for every corporation.
Podcasting is a great tool, but it requires a lot of planning and effort to keep it consistent. It could be a great way to build your brand image and voice if you have the resources, but not necessarily. Depending on your brand, a podcast may not be necessary.
But, if you don’t want to start a podcast, does that mean you can’t still use podcasting as a PR tool? Of course not! There are a few ways to avoid starting your own podcast and still reap the benefits of them.
Feature as a guest
Being featured as a guest on a few popular podcasts within your niche is a great way to capitalize on the benefits of podcasting without having to run one yourself. Depending on the size of your brand, a podcaster may reach out to you and ask to interview you. Otherwise, you can send a pitch to podcasters within your niche.
Hire a podcaster to run your podcast
The rise of podcasting in corporations provides both companies and podcasters with a unique opportunity for business relationships. This would require you to pay someone, so it’s not ideal for every business.
If you can afford it, you’ll have a professional podcast, and you won’t have to learn how to do it all yourself.
Become a sponsor
Becoming a podcast sponsor is a great way to use podcasting as a PR tool without having to hire someone. In sponsoring a podcast, you’re supporting another business while also developing a potential business partnership.
Create a pitch to a reputable podcaster within your niche. As a sponsor, you can get an interview more easily, and request a personalized review of your product or service.
If you’re interested in using podcasting as a PR tool but don’t want to start you’re own podcast, don’t worry; you don’t have to. If you’re interested in becoming a podcast sponsor but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered.
Podbean’s ads marketplace solution can help you find the best partnerships with podcasters and harness the power of podcast advertising.