Podcasting has gotten significantly more competitive over the last couple of years, and it begs the question: how will your podcast stand out from the competition and is it even worth starting one anymore?
In the fall of 2016, when we launched The GoGedders Podcast, there were less than 80,000 active podcasts, and only 57 million Americans listened to podcasts every month. Today, that number is up to more than 850,000 active podcasts with 140 million active listeners. Though the growing listener base is encouraging, that’s still only 2.5x more listeners compared to the 10x more podcasts. According to ListenNotes, nearly 197,000 new podcasts were released in 2018, then in 2019, that figure jumped to 316,000; however, 2020 was a record-breaking year with more than 954,000 new podcast shows(!). Which brings us back to the question: Is it still worth it to try to start and grow a podcast in 2022? Absolutely, it just needs to be done right.
The media landscape has also changed dramatically and it is tougher than ever to stand out.
The GoGedders started with a recorder mic in a wide open room shooting social videos on a camcorder. Those very mediocre videos were posted to Facebook, typically boosted for $20, and would get 10,000+ views and a lot of engagement. Episode downloads, despite the quality, would still perform well because of the time invested into researching interesting and relevant topics and focusing on strategies that worked at that point in time. The show has evolved significantly and has since had over 220k downloads since 2019 and served as the main tool to grow our business.
With that said I do believe there is still a big opportunity for brands to use podcasting to grow their business and build relationships with their audience even as a maturing platform.
Below are a few general rules of thumb to help your business stand out and be a catalyst to growing your business when starting your podcast:
- Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. If you are going to create your own podcast as a brand, make sure you have the time and resources to develop a consistent and engaging show (or a batched series). Podcasting is time-consuming especially if you are hosting it internally, and if you can’t dedicate the time and effort to it, you could be wasting time and money. If you are still interested in podcasting but don’t want to go all-in, consider placing your brand on other shows or hire an external personality to host your show (to learn more about GGMM’s hosting, click here).
- Find your niche. Since the podcast landscape is more crowded, it’s crucial to do something unique to you and your brand. Tell stories your audience wants to hear that only you can tell. As a brand, you likely have unique relationships you can leverage to provide one-of-a-kind stories, viewpoints, and thought-leader content. Remember, your main job is to educate or entertain your target audience, and if you can combine both of those, you’ll be better off.
- Go in with clear success metrics. Success doesn’t always mean a ton of downloads; as a brand, there are several other benefits to podcasting. Recognize that your show can be used for multiple facets within your business: content for your sales funnel, building relationships with guests that could turn into clients/strategic partners, highlighting customers, and building powerful relationships with your audience.
- Create a launch plan. Don’t just shoot your show out there and hope that people engage with it. Utilize your resources, such as paid media. If your goal is to drive leads and get more exposure to your brand, a paid media strategy is vital for your podcast to gain traction if you are launching in 2022. Serving someone in your sales funnel podcast content can be a compelling tactic to build that relationship and help push them over the edge.
These are just a few basic rules to follow when creating and distributing your podcast; however, if you’d like to learn more or need any help growing your brand through podcasting in 2022, reach out!