Last updated 20th of June 2019
Author Lisa Hartwell
Starting a Small Business Podcast: Overcoming the Doubts & Fears
If you’ve ever considered starting a podcast for your small or medium-sized business, there may be a number of reasons you didn’t make that step: technicalities, cost of equipment, creating regular content, distribution. But, one of the primary barriers to businesses progressing further is because they don’t see how they can make an immediate return on their investment.
Starting a small business podcast, as with all content marketing, is not an instant cash cow.
What is Content Marketing?
If you look up content marketing, it’s defined as: “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.” This is very different from the print, radio and television advertising you might be used to, which seeks an instant response to a clear offer that encourages people to act quickly.
Brian Clark, copywriter and marketer says, “These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.” Your podcasts, along with blog posts and videos, should be resources that offer value to your listeners, readers and viewers, in order to connect with them, create trust, establish you as the expert and make you their first stop when they eventually need your products or services. It can be hard to see the return on investment in these cases but that doesn’t make it any less important.
With that in mind, you need to formulate your podcast and its subject matter accordingly.
Many small business owners believe their business doesn’t lend itself to a topic suitable for a podcast series. And I say series, because you need to think beyond a solitary podcast. You don’t need to produce a podcast every week, but a regular podcast will build that trust and expert-status.
I’m sure there are some businesses that might struggle with a topic but when I started to think of businesses we’d networked with recently, I was able to come up with something suitable for each one. I’ve even included a local slant, so when you promote your podcast there is an angle that will attract local interest.
Vets: How to choose the right pet for you, pet care and training, local success stories.
Waste Management/Recycling: Tips for businesses for recycling and reducing waste costs, industry news on topics such as changes in laws & innovations, strangest things found in waste/recycling, local recycling initiatives.
Website Development/Ecommerce: Tips for all aspects of websites and ecommerce such as how to make your website more visitor friendly, sales cart options, improving SEO, attracting more local visitors.
Property Sales and Lettings: Help on every aspect of the sales or lettings process from the view of both the seller and the buyer, such as preparing your home for viewing, how to choose your estate agent, the conveyancing process, tips for landlords, interviews with local buyers and sellers with their tips for a better experience.
Recruitment Agency: CV and interview tips, advice on training and upskilling for better job prospects, advice to businesses on how to recruit the best fit for their company, interviews with local business owners or HR professionals with their stories and advice.
Couriers: Stories from the road (perhaps voiced by the couriers themselves), interviews with local customers talking about their products and where they send them (this would offer good cross-promotion between businesses).
Still Not Convinced?
By all means, put us to the test and we’ll see if we can find a podcast angle for your business. But, more importantly, listen to your customers. What are their greatest challenges? They’re probably telling you this daily, either in person or on social media. Create podcasts and other content that helps them with those challenges.
What misconceptions about your products or services do you wish you could put straight? Who within your business or customer base has an interesting story or good advice to share? Who within your business has a winning personality that might contribute to your podcast?
Do you have a blog? If so, what topics are you writing about? These could just as easily be podcast topics.
Final Thoughts on Starting a Small Business Podcast
There are obviously more things to consider when starting a small business podcast as part of your content marketing, such as who will present it and conduct interviews, who will compile content, how will you deal with the technicalities of podcasting? All these can be overcome easily, especially by using a company such as ours to handle the logistics of creating and distributing a podcast. But, let me leave you with these final thoughts that might help with your decision:
- ROI may not be immediate, but it can still be tracked, as with most content marketing – just create processes to ask your customers where they heard about you.
- A regular podcast may seem daunting, but podcast listeners will know that some of the most popular podcasts will often create a series and then take a break – they simply let their audience know what to expect. So, instead of worrying about creating a podcast a month for the next 5 years, think in terms of 6 podcasts and calling it Series One (a lot less scary in terms of time and financial commitment).
- Podcasts and other content marketing can be re-purposed and used in multiple ways. Blog posts can provide the basis for a podcast; podcasts can be turned into simple videos or free reports or new blog posts or internal training material. Stop thinking in terms of spending once, reaping the benefits once – all that lovely content can be used to reach different consumers.
Content marketing is the present and future of marketing, and podcasting can be a key part of your own content marketing, whatever the size of your business. Put us to the test by calling 01752 229246 and asking about our SME podcast packages – we’d be happy to help you create something that will connect with your target audience and help you create trust and authority within your market.