Meagan KellyCopywriter

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To Podcast or Not to Podcast? Here’s What to Consider.

It seems like everyone has a podcast these days – and why not? Aren’t they a great way to share your opinions on niche topics and connect with people via shared interests? Sure, but while they might seem like the hottest trend right now, the truth is, podcasts don’t make sense for everyone – especially not every business.

So, how do you know if a podcast is right for your business or brand? Here are a few things to consider.

Review your content strategy

Step one? Have a solid, thought-out content strategy for your organization. This will give you a clear picture of your objectives and overarching business goals. Within this strategy you should identify core content pillars to act as a map for every piece of content you create. They may lead you to a podcast, or they may not – and that’s okay. Sometimes, the most valuable part of considering a podcast is knowing when it won’t work.

Consider who listens to podcasts

The popularity of audio content, whether it’s live audio like Clubhouse or pre-recorded audio like podcasts, has continued to grow as more people embrace the medium. Last year, more than 11 million adult Canadians listened to a podcast, with eight million listening once a month. Nearly half of those monthly listeners are in what’s considered the “hard to reach” category, ages 18 to 34. 

Another interesting note is urban centres tend to have higher listening rates than other spots across the country, with British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario having the most listeners. Knowing the main audience of podcasts is crucial when deciding if it’s the right avenue for you. If your target audience is over 50, it may not be an effective tool for what you’re trying to accomplish. Alternatively, if your typical consumer is 25 to 35 and spends at least an hour a day commuting, then you may have a golden opportunity to take advantage of that time. 

Ask yourself a lot of questions. (Like, a lot.)

When we’re considering launching a podcast for one of our clients – or any content stream for that matter – it’s our job to be strategic about the choices we make. And that means asking ourselves some key questions upfront:

  • How will this new format allow our client to grow their relationship with their audience? 
  • Is the content they offer suitable for an audio platform? 
  • Is there strategic value in reaching their audience this way, or is another format better suited? 
  • And, most importantly, is the content valuable enough to bring listeners back for more? 

To answer these questions, we first identify the basics, like whether the audience even listens to podcasts, and what our foremost goal is. In other words, it always comes back to strategy.

If you’re flying blind and hoping your podcast lands in the right hands (or on the right ears), then it’s probably not worth your time and resources. Look at your strategy and see what types of content you can produce to match your pillars and goals. Maybe that leads you to publishing a year’s worth of episodes, or maybe it’s something more limited. As mentioned, it all starts with aligning your content to a singular purpose determined by your strategy. 

Our success with CREA REAL TIME

We helped the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) launch its REAL TIME podcast in March 2020, after the success of its national speaking series of the same name. CREA’s members showed a clear desire for more insightful content relating to the real estate industry. Knowing we had an already-eager and willing audience, we saw immense value in taking the next logical step and turning the speaking series into a podcast. 

For REAL TIME, we provide strategic recommendations within a detailed content strategy – suggesting the flow of content and monthly episodes – to create a podcast REALTORS® can use not only for themselves as industry professionals, but to share with clients as a resource for home buying, designing, and selling. Since launching REAL TIME 14 months ago, there have been more than 12,800 total downloads and listens, with more than 27,000 website sessions for https://www.crea.ca/podcast. We also won a Summit International Emerging Media Award for REAL TIME, which celebrates campaigns that leverage new media types and technologies for a return on investment.

So, to podcast or not to podcast?

We see audio content as an extremely valuable tool, especially as the number of podcast listeners steadily increases. While it takes a lot of planning, recording audio for a podcast can be done relatively easily compared to video, photoshoots, or any other type of visual media. Plus, depending on the nature of your podcast, it can be evergreen content your business can use for a long time, which is always a valuable asset to have in your pocket. 

So, should your business start a podcast? That’s an answer we can’t give you (well, not without knowing your goals). Podcasts need to be about more than just recording a conversation and posting it to the internet. They need to serve your content strategy, make sense given your audience, and ultimately accomplish a business goal. If a podcast can help you achieve all of that, then great! If not, don’t worry. There are plenty of content streams available, and with a little research and testing, we’re confident you can find the right fit.

Thinking about planning a podcast? We’d be happy to lend a hand. Get in touch and we’ll see how we can help.

Meagan KellyCopywriter