Back in 2004, when I started podcasting, I saw a wide-open future for what was then a cutting edge opportunity. The saying is that “the pioneers get the arrows,” and that couldn’t be more true.

For the early birds to the world of podcasting, it was a time of great excitement, possibilities and growth. The tools were primitive. The work required to produce a quality show was difficult. The growth of podcasting was explosive but the business use of “being your own media” took a long time to happen. But, it DID happen.

Fast forward to now and YOU are the recipient of all the groundwork laid before you. Now, it is so much easier to create, distribute, promote and benefit from podcasting. And frankly, it is the most cost-effective tool that any business can use to reach an audience.

Turning that audience into something that benefits your company is still 50% science and 50% magic, but even the magic portion has step-by-step instructions you can follow. The only real question is, why? What is your goal?

Do you want to make more money? Do you want to strengthen the relationship with your customers? Do you want to grow an email list? Do you want more name recognition? Do you want to educate a group? Once, you decide that goal… you are on your way.

Here are some facts about listeners and podcasts:

  • Over 75 million people listen to podcasts regularly.
  • 65% of those listeners began in the last three years – and it is growing.
  • Audio has proven to be one of the most intimate forms of media.
  • Listeners develop an emotional bond to the show host if that broadcaster shares personal experiences.
  • By making a personal connection with the show’s host, listeners become loyal and open to future ideas/products.
  • Listeners can relate to the host’s beliefs and interests because those topics become like personal communications from a trusted friend
  • Regular listeners become emotionally connected and invested in the friendship between listener and host(s) .
  • When listeners hear something they find interesting, they want to share what they discovered with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Where do your listeners consume your content?
    • 52% – while driving
    • 42% – other commuting
    • 40% – while exercising
  • Education level of podcast listeners
    • 30% graduate degree
    • 27% bachelors degree
    • 27% some college
    • 15% high school or less

Podcasting is now mainstream. Your shows are easily accessible across many platforms – iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, and many more.

Ignore this audience at your own peril. Your competitors are (or will be) podcasting. Get out there and share your story.

by Chris Doelle