Did you know that podcasting is a strong platform from which you can establish an authoritative presence and connect with a larger audience? It’s a valuable marketing tool that many small businesses are using to establish a stronger foothold within their market.

According to Edison Research, a market research and exit polling company, people who listen to podcasts are committed to this medium with the average “super listener” devoting upwards of an hour and 45 minutes a day to them. It’s no wonder then that more than 60 percent of listeners say they have purchased a product that has been promoted on a podcast, either during the podcast or in an advertisement (no, advertising does not turn off podcast listeners). Fortunately, the barriers to entry, unlike many other technologically oriented projects, are quite low.

1. Getting Started is Easy
To get started with putting together a podcast, all you need is a computer and a microphone. It’s an affordable and effective means of marketing your business by creating brand awareness.

While it’s not necessary to spend a large amount on the best microphone on the market, sound quality does matter. Pops, hisses, grainy tones and fuzzy noise can lead to listeners disengaging. USB microphones from Audio-Technica are available for less than $100. Samson makes a large condenser USB microphone for $60. Shop around and choose a trusted brand to ensure you’re getting the best quality for your money.

2. Focus on Quality Content
Of course, the best quality recordings don’t guarantee you’ll meet your goals that you establish with your podcast. You also need to focus on content and a clear delivery. Do some research and see what others in your industry are doing. Rather than address your company like you would in an advertisement, focus on the industry as a whole and touch on trends driving small businesses like yours. This will help to establish you as a brand leader.

3. Integrate Podcasting Into Current Marketing Processes
You’re likely already working other marketing angles for your small business. Fortunately, podcasting mixes in well with your other digital marketing efforts. For instance, if you’re publishing a regular blog on your website (and you should be), you can touch on that topic during your podcast – perhaps even expand on it by bringing in an expert in your industry to carry on a conversation with you.

6. Reach a Wider audience
With society increasingly on the go, and because the smartphone is in just about everyone’s pocket today, you have a greater chance of connecting with your target audience with podcasting. The majority of social media channels require your eyes and hands for consumption. A podcast requires only speakers or ear buds.

7. Success Stories
Podcasting has been around for a decade and it isn’t going away. In fact, Edison Research also found that around 15 percent of Americans listen to at least one podcast per month. Yours could be in the mix. Dan Danford, President and CEO of Family Investment Center, began podcasting a couple months ago on topics related to investing – but from a slightly unconventional approach. His podcast, “Money is Freedom,” can be found on iTunes and on Sound Cloud. Family Investment Center has enjoyed increased engagement rates on their website since beginning the podcast, and continues to grow an active listener base.

Dan Danford
Principal / Chief Executive Officer

Dan Danford is quoted for his investment expertise in financial articles from media sources like the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, and Medical Economics. He is also a member of The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors. In 2008 and 2009, he was named one of the “150 Best Financial Advisors for Doctors” from Medical Economics magazine.