According to statista, the number of U.S. consumers who ever listened to audio podcasts increased from just 11 percent in 2006 to 57% in 2021. With these kinds of numbers, it’s evident that podcasts are a medium people turn to for education, information, and entertainment. Every business assumes they need a blog, but today’s businesses should also consider a podcast as an essential communication tool.
Company branded podcasts: The power of the story
People learn from stories, not statistics. In a Harvard Business article, the author shares that “storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas.” They open up people to learning, convey complex ideas well, and solidify relationships. The data shows facts are up to 20x more likely to be remembered if they’re part of a story.
What this means for your business is that storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to get your message across. And, stories told via audio have an even greater “stickiness” and meaning. Tone of voice and audio cues help us understand much more than words alone. Plus, they provide a sense of connection we don’t get when reading someone’s words.
Branded podcasts share stories and help us connect with why the work a company does matters or what issues they’re solving. They give us a connection to the people, mission, and business vision. Podcasts are more about building connections and a long-term relationship, as well as reputation and a feeling about the company. While they may not be such a hard sell as an ad, they’re powerful when combined with other marketing efforts and call-to-action messages.
Branded podcasts can also serve to attract talent. They give future employees a sense of company culture, mission, and why they might want to work for this company. Podcasts give them that insight, but also make the company look accessible and modern.
Business podcasts for showcasing expertise
Another sort of business podcast is one in which the company directly features their expertise, often in an interview or talk show style. Perhaps internal experts, leaders, and team members from different departments come on to share their knowledge on various topics.
The audience might be other businesses in B2B companies, and the topics can be pretty niche in those cases. Just imagine the salespeople your company serves with its software tools listening to your podcast to gain knowledge while driving to visit customers. This positions you as the experts and builds word-of-mouth and loyalty.
For consumer-focused companies, it is basically the same, but with a broader consumer audience. Your company might be sharing trends, insights, and tips in your area of expertise. This helps consumers to see your company as a thought leader.
Developing your team and preparing for growth with internal podcasts
A business podcast isn’t always geared externally. As a business, you need a strong team to survive and grow. Your internal audience can also benefit from podcasts.
What are some of the ways companies are using podcasts for employee support?
- Learning, training, and giving advice on how the employees can develop their core business skills.
- Sales enablement.
- CEO updates or leadership chats.
- Employee, customer, or employee interviews/stories.
- Leadership development.
- Stories and insights from leaders and different departments, to give employees a sense of the larger organization, rationale for decisions, and company direction.
- Role play.
- Timely updates on products, services, and regulations.
- Preparation for a training session, and reinforcement of an eLearning course or in-person training.
- Subject matter knowledge: Interviews with experts in the field, and talks on key industry knowledge and trends.
- Repurposing existing content: Replays of meetings, webinars, and newsletters turned into audio form, whether entire pieces or selections.
- Internal communications on-the-go to save time and make information accessible.
Many of the benefits mentioned for public podcasts apply to internal podcasts. And, even more so, companies need ways to keep employees connected, informed, and engaged without them being further pulled away from their tasks or perceiving it as a hassle. Podcasts offer a way to provide convenient, on-demand content. This doesn’t mean podcasts will replace all other mediums, but they can be an efficient way to provide employee support in many areas. They’re often used in conjunction with other learning and communications tools.
Podcasts are particularly suited to getting information across with storytelling, helping employees gain a better understanding, and a connection, with what they do. Often, they enable the employee to communicate with customers more clearly.
Podcasts are ideal for supporting positions that have a lot of verbal interaction with customers. For example, role play podcasts enable support staff to improve their customer service interactions. Listening to verbal models does so much more than reading a script or written samples. They can hear ways to use tone of voice and pauses, for example, to create a positive experience or deal with conflict. This same concept works well for sales teams, too.
With the growth of multinational companies and remote work, companies need to be creative with keeping their people connected. Podcasts do this in a way emails cannot. Podcasts allow employees to listen and learn at their convenience. Audio podcasts, in particular, provide a break for the eyes in a world where we stare at screens much of the time.
Podcasts can help your business grow and thrive, addressing various business challenges and strengthening your messaging. Corporate podcasts are quickly becoming as essential as a blog or social media.