Three Reasons to Unlock the Power of Podcasts
In an age where marketers are dealing with dwindling attention spans, podcasts are bucking the trend and growing at a massive rate. When podcasting originated in 2004, on-demand audio provided an intimate way for savvy creators to connect with global audiences. Since then, their reach has been amplified by the incorporation of video, and their influence has expanded exponentially. Podcasts are a constant companion in people’s lives, with almost no topic off the table. From a promotional perspective, they are a powerful and accessible tool to build your profile and transform your business.
The global popularity of podcasts is reflected in the MENA on all fronts: the number being produced, revenue, investment and engagement. 67 percent of adults listen to more than one hour of podcasts per week in countries like the UAE, Saudi and Egypt compared to the USA, which has a penetration rate of 38 percent. More than 1.5 million people listen to podcasts in the UAE, while Spotify MENA saw a 190 percent growth in podcast consumption during 2022.
Not surprisingly, brands and businesses are taking notice. According to the Reuters Digital News Report 2023, podcast listeners are well-educated, young and have a high disposable income, making them an attractive customer demographic. ARN's NeuroLab found that podcasts command 44 percent more mental availability than other digital channels and are therefore perfect for leaving lasting impressions. To put it into context, when the US brand Mattress Firm started its Chasing Sleep podcast in 2022, it resulted in a 4x return on ad spend and a 45% increase in incremental sales.
Top 3 benefits for business owners
Finding effective and affordable ways to market yourself is a constant battle. But when you launch your own podcast, you can create a significant impact on multiple levels.
1. Design your ideal network
A podcast is one of the best networking tools. We know that a single new connection can change our lives, but meeting influential people isn’t always easy. Having a podcast lets you reach out to anyone of interest and invite them to be your guest. The bigger the show becomes, the more powerful it is and the higher calibre of people you can reach. There’s no limit. You can meet anyone you set your sights on if you develop right strategy.
"Not only have I had more enquiries for my agency, Digitalina, but my podcast also creates credibility around our brand. Even offline, it opens doors for more networking opportunities and helps people remember me. The cost of the podcast is minimal compared to all of these gains," pointed out Naeem Parvez, Co-Founder and Chief Lead Generator at Digitalina and Host of “My First Business” podcast.
2. Personal branding
Podcasting is fantastic for personal branding. You can introduce yourself to a vast audience, and by interviewing knowledgeable, high-profile people, you are associated with their success. Oprah is a great example from the world of TV. Before starting her show, she was just another journalist. However, by interviewing so many famous people over the years, the halo effect means she’s now more famous than many of them. If you want to be seen as a thought leader in architecture, start a podcast interviewing the most prominent architects. Gradually your influence will grow, and you will be considered an authority.
Arjun Vir Singh, Partner at Arthur D. Little and Host of “Couchonomics with Arjun” podcast has established himself in the fintech space. Singh claims that starting the podcast has been instrumental in creating meaningful thought leadership and establishing his voice as one of the leading commentators in the fintech and financial services sectors. “I've had the opportunity to speak at global events, and connect with some of the greatest minds in the industry. It has even acted as a springboard for launching other collaborative educational initiatives, whereby I can empower my broader professional community with exclusive publications and community-driven networking opportunities."
3. Content creation machine
Even when you have the expertise, creating good content takes a lot of time and energy. I certainly used to struggle with generating enough content regularly. Not with podcasts. From one 60-minute podcast episode you can generate around 100 unique pieces of content to share across channels that will last for months. There is no better ROI when it comes to content creation.
Jen Blandos, Founder of Female Fusion and host of “Women on the Rise” podcast agrees. She added, "Podcasting has been a game changer for Female Fusion. It's like an amazing door that swings open to connect with people who might not have stumbled upon us through our ads or usual outreach. There are around 5 million podcasts out there, but only around 156k of them stick to a weekly episode release. So, imagine the untapped territory, especially for us entrepreneurs wanting to chat and connect with our audience. It's a whole new world out there!"