There's an old adage that says you can't stop a train when it's barreling down the tracks at full speed. I feel that saying (and the subsequent visual it brings to mind) applies perfectly to the way podcasting has made its mark on society.
Now, many pundits will extol the virtues of short-form video as the current ruler of the content world and far be it from me to argue. Video is unquestionably powerful and it's hard to imagine a world without it. In my lifetime, video has always been prevalent in one way, shape, or form and I've stated numerous times I've been watching TikTok videos since I was a kid...
If you're in the unofficial, non-certified Age 40 & Over Club like me, you may remember a popular TV program known as America's Funniest Home Videos. Was that show nothing more than TikToks/Reels/Shorts before TikToks/Reels/Shorts were cool?
My point is this: there's room on the throne for many styles of content because humans will consume all forms of content based on the time they have to invest. And, beyond a shadow of a doubt, humans are consuming podcasts in mass quantities - for information, for wisdom, for education, for new insights, for entertainment.
What does this mean for professionals looking to make a significant impact on their niche? One word: opportunity.
Podcasts represent the ultimate PR initiative for leaders and professionals in all fields, at all skill levels. Most podcasts are built featuring a host-guest dynamic, meaning hosts and producers of podcasts are constantly seeking knowledgeable, insightful thought leaders to join them to create content that will impact listeners in a compelling way.
In return, the guest is given a stage through which to tell their story, communicate with potential clients and customers, and position themselves as THE go-to resource in their industry.
Many PR firms have grabbed a first-class seat on the podcasting bandwagon for their clients and their firm as a whole. And if you're in the PR industry and haven't hopped on board just yet, I'm about to share some reasons why you need to make this move today.
The following are 9 reasons your PR agency needs to leverage the podcast medium immediately:
1. Popular Form of Earned Media
Podcasts are the most powerful form of earned media available today. They're created by a third party and the vast majority of these shows rely on the knowledge, expertise, and personality of guests to get listeners through the door. Most podcasts are formatted with a host-guest dynamic and feature back-and-forth conversation as the catalyst to exceptional content that captivates listeners.
Due to the fact that so many listeners turn to podcasts for information, education, and entertainment, a strategic podcast guesting campaign presents the opportunity for your client to tell their story, initiate new connections, and attract new people into their circle. Much like any media appearance, podcasts provide a pulpit for your client to convey messages and reach more of their target audience.
In addition, most (not all, but most) guest appearances are free.
2. Authority & Thought Leadership
Think about the last time you had a problem to solve. More than likely, you turned to the Internet and looked for a resource who could provide the best possible solution. And, just as likely, that resource had established a positive reputation and had a line of people thanking them for solving the same problem you had on your plate.
This resource is known as a thought leader - engaging leaders, professionals, or brands who make things easier by providing valuable solutions and delivering life-changing transformations. Over time, people develop a strong level of trust with thought leaders...consuming the expertise they share, investing in their products, services, and solutions, and telling others why they need to do the same.
Podcasts are the best medium to establish authority and elevate thought leadership - for your brand and the clients you represent. When executed effectively, you become THE go-to resource in you niche. The more content you produce and/or guest appearances you make on established podcasts, the more authority you gain in your space.
3. Reputation Management (The Know/Like/Trust Factor)
One of the fundamental offerings of any PR agency is effective reputation management. Podcast guest appearances present a great way for your client to present themselves as a quality resource for their target customers, as well as a person/company those customers can trust.
When you cut through all of the social platforms, CRMs, and grandiose technology that helps us operate and get down to the core basics of our world, humans do business with other humans. More importantly, humans do business with other humans they like.
Podcasts are a great stage for you (and your clients) to tell stories, thus giving listeners an opportunity to know, like, and trust you. As they learn more about who you are, what you do, where you want to take people, and how you plan to do it, they get to know you on a more intimate level.
Once know, like, and trust is established, the sky's the limit!
4. High-Level Networking
Let's take a quick moment to pay homage to a couple of the unsung heroes of podcasting. These next two items can take a brand to new heights, but often get overlooked by creators not maximizing the platform effectively.
The first is the built-in component of networking. Hosts and guests who connect to produce podcast content often share the same passions, interests, and knowledge. Naturally, this will lead to engaging conversation that results in a polished final product for podcast listeners to consume.
But before that final product goes live, you have golden opportunities to network with like-minded professionals sitting right in front of you. The recording session itself is a great opportunity to forge a new relationship that could lead to numerous gains going forward!
The podcast medium is the most efficient form of digital networking going today. No one should overlook this.
5. SEO Benefits
Another enormous benefit of podcasting are the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits. When new content is properly optimized or a new guest appearance goes live that features a link back to your website, you now have an impactful asset that's helping people discover who you are and how you can help them achieve a transformation in their life.
As these backlinks and pieces of content continue to accumulate, search engine algorithms will take notice, thus enhancing overall organic visibility and generating more website traffic.
In addition, as guest appearances continue to ascend, more visibility comes from podcast listening apps. If a listener hears you or your client on one of their favorite podcasts, resonates with what they hear, and decides they want more, that listener can search on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. and discover ALL of the shows you've been featured on.
SEO deserves a huge mention when it comes to the value of creating podcast content.
6. Passive Listening = Increased Influence Time
One of the best components of podcasts are the fact that listeners can consume while multitasking. Many listeners listen to podcasts at the gym, walking the dog, in the car, on public transit, and doing chores around the house (just to name a few).
This packs plenty of punch because other consumable content, like videos and blogs, requires much more focused attention.
When a listener consumes a podcast, they take in your message for the length of that episode. Regardless of how long that episode runs, that type of intimate time spent in someone's ear is impossible to duplicate anywhere else.
When you consider how rapidly Instagram Reels, TikTok videos, YouTube Shorts, and other pieces of short-form content are consumed (and often forgotten), the extended length of time podcasts give to tell stories, share information, and make meaningful connections cannot be overlooked.
7. Sell Without Selling
Many aspiring podcast hosts AND guests feel they need to spend time spent on podcasts in sales mode, doing everything in their power to close new business. This couldn't be further from the truth and will be more harmful than beneficial.
Think of your own consumption habits. Do you appreciate non-stop ads or someone selling to you without taking a breath?
Of course not. No one tunes into a podcast hoping to hear an infomercial.
The better approach is to bring value to the microphone and go over and above to create the most compelling piece of content possible. When this happens, powerful, organic conversations can break out between host and guest, thus giving listeners something to become invested in.
8. Evergreen Content That Serves Multiple Purposes
Another glorious aspect of podcasts are the fact that the majority of them are evergreen. This means podcast content created today will serve your brand for months, even years down the road (as long as the content doesn't get taken down).
In addition, the content produced can be repurposed and used elsewhere to enhance visibility. Video clips, full video productions, blogs, social media, even webinars are all in play when you maximize your podcast content!
9. It's FUN!
Without question, the podcast medium has grown by leaps and bounds and there's no evidence of this train slowing down anytime soon. As podcasting continues to evolve, more professionals will be leaning into this medium for communication, connection, and collaboration. The sooner you start to implement podcasting for your brand and the clients you represent, the sooner you'll be able to reap the benefits so many are experiencing as we speak.
There's no time like today to get the ball rolling.
What are you waiting for?
If you own or work for a PR agency in Pittsburgh and want to leverage podcasting for your brand and/or for your clients, Bombtrack Media is here to help you out. Click below to see what we have to offer.