Is It Too Late to Start Podcasting as a Marketing Strategy?

Do you regularly listen to podcasts? If the answer is no, you are part of a declining minority. The majority of Americans (and listeners in developed countries around the world) listen to podcasts, at least occasionally, where many listeners tune in to their favorite shows every day.

The huge popularity of podcasting has led millions of savvy marketers to try to tap into the channel of marketing opportunities. Sometimes they start a podcast on behalf of their company, interview people associated with the industry and talk about new products. Other times, they use it as a content marketing channel to promote and popularize their brand’s content archive.

Either way, the income potential is impressive, to say the least. With a large podcast audience, you can also get millions of extra visitors to your site – and new fans to your brand.

But here’s the thing – podcasting is an environment already saturated with hosts and content creators. And there is no guarantee that podcasting will continue to grow, as it has in the last decade.

So is it too late to start podcasting as a marketing strategy for your startup?

Why Podcasting?

Why podcasting? What makes this strategy so unique and desirable in the first place?

  • Easy access. The simplest podcasts are simply casual conversations between two people who know each other. Even more complex setups are not particularly demanding. With any computer, a decent microphone and a little free time on hand, you can create and upload your own podcast. This makes costs low and the barrier to entry virtually non-existent. Because the upside is so significant, this makes the return on investment (ROI) potential of a podcast ridiculously good.
  • Potential audience size. There are hundreds of millions of people who regularly listen to podcasts. If you can manage to print even a small slice of that audience, you have a robust audience that you can market your business to.
  • Flexibility and subject options. There are not really any rules for what you can and cannot podcast. Similarly, you are not limited by any rules or platform requirements (for the most part). That means you can talk and operate no matter what you choose.
  • Potential scale. If you have a successful podcast and a loyal audience, you can quickly scale up your efforts without spending more money. You have the potential to snowball your audience from very small to very large without fundamentally changing your core operation, which means you can keep making more money indefinitely without spending more.
  • Benefits of content distribution. Podcasting is an excellent tool for content diversification. Content marketing strategies often focus on written content; This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to see better results and reach more people, it is important to incorporate media like video marketing, image development and audio streams like podcasting.
  • Podcast networks and interviews. Podcasts are also beneficial because they make it easy to connect with other podcasters. If your show is starting to get attention, you may have the opportunity to do interviews with other well-known podcasters in your niche; the cross-marketing potential is almost limitless.
  • Connection to other channels. Most people do not podcast in a vacuum either. As a marketing channel, podcasting can connect to just about any other marketing or advertising channel you can think of; It has a huge synergy with written content, email marketing, social media marketing and more.

Why “too late” is a concern

So why are people worried that it might be “too late” to get into the podcast game? Will these benefits disappear?

Not exactly, but there are some serious threats:

  • Podcasts like a dish. Podcasts have seen a meteoric rise in popularity, growing from relatively obscure to a fixed component of modern existence. But will this growth continue? Will it remain consistent from here on out? Or was this explosive growth just a temporary fashion phenomenon? If the latter case is true, podcasts can wait for a declining popularity in the near future.
  • Early rebels. Some podcasts benefited from being in front of the basket. Many of today’s most popular shows are the ones that started before podcasts were a popular forum. Without the benefit of driving the first wave of popularity, it could be harder to build a sufficient audience.
  • Established competition. There are millions of successful podcasts out there, and millions more successful and struggling. So if you want to earn customer trust and new business, you get your work cut. In addition, you compete with people all over the world, many of whom want more experience and larger existing audiences. In this view, the podcast world is too saturated to be a reasonable marketing opportunity.
  • Marketing and consumer fatigue. Using podcasts for marketing and advertising can also be problematic. Because marketing is so common in podcasting, many listeners get tired of the dense and transparent promotional activity. If you push your product or business too much, it can actively reject people.

Unique to define your podcast

You can work around some of the biggest problems getting into podcasting now by uniquely defining your podcast – creating something truly original that sets you apart from your competitors.

Here are just a few of the ways you can do this:

  • Topic news. Choose to cover a topic that no one has covered before, or a topic that has been neglected by the most popular authorities in space. It’s challenging to find something that has not already been killed, but if you can find something, you have an easy way to stand out.
  • Niche demographic targeting. You can also cover a topic for a demographic niche – a topic not reached by current podcasters. For example, you can specialize in targeting teens or retirees rather than middle-aged adults.
  • Entertainment value. Using a unique tone of voice or adopting a sarcastic style can help you make your podcast as entertaining as it is informative. If there is a unique character to the show or something entertaining about it that is truly original, you will be far better able to attract new listeners.
  • Genre innovation. You can also try experimenting with podcasting as a genre. Many people go into podcasting with interviews, monologues or dramatic readings. But maybe you could try something completely different – and enter a market that has so far been undiscovered.

Is it really too late?

So what’s the bottom line here. Is it really too late to start a podcast?

If you have not jumped into podcasting yet, you have missed the first increase in media popularity. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it. But it really is not too late to take advantage of podcasting as a marketing channel as long as you:

  • Know what you are getting into. Make sure you know what you are facing. Who are the biggest competitors in this niche? Who are your target demographics and what is most important to them? How much will it cost to keep your podcast running, and are you making enough money to cover those costs?
  • Find a way to be different. Making your podcast both valuable and unique can be difficult – especially when you are facing literally millions of competitors. So you have to find a way to be different, whether it’s in the topics you cover or the way you cover the topics – if you want to be successful, you have to change it.
  • Minimize your spending and your confidence. Since you can create simple remote settings for voice recording, it should not be difficult to minimize your expenses in the early days of your podcast development. It is also a good idea to diversify your marketing methods so that you are never too dependent on one channel or approach.

Podcasting is still one of the most accessible and cost effective content marketing strategies available. As long as you have a solid plan and a flexible mindset, you should be able to make it work for your brand.

Image credit: george milton; pexels; thank you!

Timothy Carter

Revenue Manager

Timothy Carter is the Chief Revenue Officer for Seattle Digital Marketing Agency SEO.co, DEV.co & PPC.co. He has spent more than 20 years in the SEO and digital marketing world leading, building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and driving growth from websites and sales teams. When he’s not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running and spending time with his wife and family on the beach – preferably in Hawaii with a cup of Kona coffee. Follow him on Twitter @TimothyCarter

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