How many times in the last few months or so have you listened to a podcast? Or, perhaps, someone has recommended one to you? Chances are, it happens quite frequently.
The podcast industry has exploded in recent years. According to Edison Research, a company that tracks business trends, over 50% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, and one third of the population has listened to one in the last month, representing 90 million monthly listeners. Let that sink in: 90 million. And growing.
Not only can podcasts be informative, but they can also offer a great way to extend your brand’s message across multiple channels. They present a platform where a person or brand can share information about a company, a person or an industry. They’re a modern oral storytelling tool that allows you to connect with your audience through their earbuds.
I’ve learned this firsthand as the host of Tire Review’s “What’s Treading with Tire Review” podcast—and as an avid podcast listener. From hosting, I’ve been able to track which topics and podcast formats my audience latches onto and which ones fell short. As a listener and trained journalist, I’ve been able to identify which types of podcasts pique my interest, force me to “binge-listen” and why.
Based on my experience and other sources, consider these points when communicating your brand’s message on this audio platform.
Share relevant information.
When the coronavirus hit the U.S. in mid-March, I spoke with an investment banker that studies the tire industry to get a better understanding of how our industry would fare the pandemic. Personally, I wondered how this would impact tire dealers, and the industry, financially. It turns out, my audience did, too. This podcast reached thousands of listeners when they craved this information most. When sharing your message on a podcast, make sure it will resonate with the podcast’s subject matter, its audience and in a particular culture or industry.
Tell a story.
One of my all-time favorite podcasts is “How I Built This” by NPR. The show’s host, Guy Raz, introduces you to the names behind big brands, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Southwest Airlines and Airbnb to name a few. The way Raz tells their entrepreneurial tale with tribulations and triumphs along the way gets you invested in their story and shows you the real person and their motives for creating something new. What’s your company’s story? What has it gone through in the past to become what it is today? Humans communicate through stories, so tell yours.
Showcase your experts and authorities.
The most listened to episode of our “What’s Treading with Tire Review” podcast is an interview I did with Andrew Muerer, vice president of sales for Michelin North America. We spoke about how Michelin was starting to recover from historic lows due to COVID-19. It was a 15-minute interview, but in it, Meurer shared his perspective of how Michelin had navigated supply and demand challenges during a difficult time and how he thought the industry would bounce back rather quickly from the downturn. This person of authority sharing his expertise resonated with my audience. Your experts, too, will resonate with yours if you give them a platform to share their knowledge.
No matter who Joe Rogan has as guest on his podcast, he speaks to them like he’s casually having a conversation with a friend. He’s authentically himself on “The Joe Rogan Experience” and talks to his guests about anything under the sun. Some of the most engaging podcasts are a conversation between two people about an interesting topic. Plain and simple. Talk to your audience in a conversational manner, make the topic approachable and engage in witty banter to hold your audience’s interest along the way.
Whether you’re looking to spread your message on a podcast platform or have your story told on a podcast, remember these tips to make your airtime memorable.
Interested in sponsoring a Babcox brand podcast or creating your own series with the help of our podcast pros? Learn more >>
Madeleine Winer is managing editor of Tire Review magazine. Before joining the tire industry, she worked as a producer and reporter at the Louisville Courier Journal. She is a graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and speaks Spanish fluently.