The Case For Creating A Podcast For Your E-Commerce Or Software Company

The Case For Creating A Podcast For Your E-Commerce Or Software Company

According to an Edison Research and Arbitron report in 2012, podcasting is becoming one of the more viable methods for acquiring and retaining customers.

Originally, the study found podcasting awareness had remained rather flat for several years, dating back to about 2006 when the percentage of those surveyed who said they were familiar with the term podcasting sat at only 22%.

However, in 2007, “familiarity” jumped to 37%, and in 2012, it was 45% – that’s a 105% difference!!

podcasting awareness

That’s not all: the percentage of American’s surveyed who said they’d ever listened to a podcast took on the same trajectory. In 2006 it was a mere 11%, and in 2012 it hit 29%.

That’s a 163% difference if you’re still counting…

audio podcast listeners

To be fair, “familiarity” and “Ever listened to” aren’t really great metrics that translate to consumption.

But when you consider Pew’s State of The Media Report finding over 32% of Americans also report “Liking” audio podcasts, and Apple reporting over 1 billion combined subscriptions, something becomes apparent…

am fm radio

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…podcasting is definitely worth considering throwing into the marketing mix.

What Does This Mean For Me?

Here’s where a doubtful, cautious attitude might come into play.

Questions like, “What about the demographics of those listening?” and “How do you know that your audience wants to hear a podcast?” might circulate, making business owners and advertisers alike wary of diving into uncharted waters.

However, the research shows that Podcast listeners are a pretty attractive crew for businesses looking to talk to a captive, engaged audience.

Take for instance this joint study by the Association for Downloadable Media and Edison that found 72% of listeners reporting finding mentions of products or services in a podcast “interesting” and “useful”.

On top of that, nearly 80% of consumers say “when price and quality are equal, they prefer to buy products from companies that advertise or sponsor podcasts they regularly enjoy”.

mentions of products

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In contrast, television and commercial radio only reached 6% positive sentiment from viewers and listeners.

Why the difference?

I’m guessing the combination of listeners being very selective about what podcasts they listen to, sponsors being very selective of who they spend money with, and hosts being very selective about what they advertise might have a lot to do with it.

So What Do Podcast Listener Demographics Look Like?

When it comes to male vs. female listeners, there’s an almost-even split of 54% to 46% (favoring males).

male female consumers

What about their age?

  • 12-24 (26%)
  • 25-24 (24%)
  • 35-44 (18%)
  • 45-54 (17%)
  • 55+ (15%)

Over half of Podcast listeners are age 12 – 34; the largest piece of the pie? 26% are ages 12 – 24.

But that doesn’t mean Podcasts are off limits – there are still very healthy numbers for each age demographic.

podcast consumers age

Want to talk income?

Based on 2011 household income, four in ten Podcast consumers have a household income of at least $75k, and that’s on the rise.

podcast consumers income

Reaching Your Target Audience

Podcast consumers also reported spending more time on the Internet than non-consumers, to the tune of over 60% longer every single day.

This gives you ample opportunity to follow up with your podcast listeners using extremely focused ad retargeting strategies and smart email autoresponders.

Podcast consumers also spend a significantly larger portion of their time using Social Media. By integrating podcasting into your full media mix (vs. it being a standalone effort) you gain multiple touch points to interact with (potentially) affluent consumers.

more likely to use social networks

Want to reach your customers even when they’re not online?

Up to 23% of Podcast listeners say that they plug their mp3 or smartphone device into their car stereo to listen to Podcasts nearly every single day.

And another 35% report plugging in at least a few times per month.

taking audio out of home

Apparently, this data was compelling enough for car manufacturers to start taking podcasting more seriously.

In 2013 Mazda started installing Stitcher – the second most popular podcast aggregator – in the actual dashboards of their cars. Chevy, Buick, GMC, Ford, BMW & Mini are just a few of the others who plan on doing the same.

The reason for including Stitcher? Over 40% of Stitchers 12 million mobile listeners use the app in the car.

stitcher and mazda

image credit

The survey concludes, “Podcasts continue to be effective ways to reach affluent consumers who exhibit ad avoidance behaviors.”

How Does This Data Translate To Opportunity?

1 billion podcast subscriptions

Imagine this: with the push of a button, your show instantly syndicates to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, and a number of other directories where they can be downloaded by eager listeners around the world.

Eager, because in many ways “podcasting” has become the alternative to mainstream entertainment, and I believe continues to grow because for many hosts – the focus is on quality, not ratings.

In an interview with with Dan Carlin, host of “Hardcore History” – a podcast that sometimes runs up to 4 hours in length with more than a million downloads per episode – Mr. Carlin argues that consumers are looking for more intellectually stimulating and personalized content.

Look at the history channel, they’re doing shows like Ice Road Truckers and Monster Quest because they’re convinced nobody wants to watch even half-hour history shows.

People who would be our competition are running scared because they just “don’t think people care.”

Podcasting gives you, the host, control of the message and allows you to connect with customers in a way that suggests you care about their interests and personalities, not just the contents of their wallet.

Listening to Urban Outfitters podcast on street art, or music playlists on Spotify is just a small taste of what this might feel like for a target market.

Podcasting opens up a new, powerful medium for business owners – just like you – to share your discoveries, insights, and “tips” with an ever-growing population of engaged, active listeners.

The Opportunity Podcasting Provides – My Story

john lee dumas story

I know this to be true because a year and half ago I launched a business podcast called EntrepreneurOnFire.

Without the EntrepreneurOnFire podcast, a lot of things in my world would be very different today.

As a result of my own podcast, I’ve been able to – from nothing:

I’ve also been able to connect with hundreds of influencers from all over the world, building a professional network that’s proven to be incredibly valuable to the development of my business.

Why LeadPages Cares About Podcasting

leadpages

LeadPages, which provides SaaS for building conversion optimized and mobile responsive landing pages, decided in late 2013 that it was time.

When asked why they decided to start the LeadPages podcast, ConversionCast, still in its pre-launch phase, Host Tim Paige stated,

“We recognized that there was this incredible medium for sharing content and providing a ton of value that we wanted to be a part of. The idea behind it all being that we wanted to be a really incredible source of helpful content, add value, and knew that karma would take care of itself.”

While LeadPages’ main goal with the podcast is to increase interaction with their audience, they also hope to increase exposure to their brand by providing even further value to their listeners – an incredible business-building strategy.

eCommerceFuel: Their Growth Six Months Post-Launch

ecommercefuel

 

image credit

Andrew  Youderian, Founder of eCommerceFuel, an online business that helps others build their own profitable eCommerce stores, says that starting the podcast was twofold: First, he wanted to better connect with his existing readers and build a stronger rapport with them, and second, he knew that podcasting was a great way to grow his audience.

Andrew launched the eCommerceFuel podcast six months ago and publishes a weekly episode. The podcast launched when his business had already been at it in the online space for over a year.

Six months after launch, the Podcast has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

When comparing the five-month period before launching the Podcast to the five months after its debut, Andrew saw:

  • 50% increase in traffic to his blog.
  • more than 188,000 new visits.
  • 3,500 email subscriber added.

While every visitor and every email subscriber can’t be tied directly to the podcast, Andrew is certain that the Podcast has helped these numbers become a reality, and that it has also helped him strengthen his connection with his audience.

Terry Lin Saw An Opening & Decided to Take It

buildmyonlinestore

Terry Lin, Founder of BuildMyOnlineStore, said that he simply saw a great opportunity and decided to take it:

“In early 2012 there were no podcasts dedicated to solo eCommerce entrepreneurs in the market. With eCommerce being only 6% of total retail sales at that time, I knew there was a large potential for this industry to keep growing. Nobody was sharing the success stories and best practices, so I decided to start [a podcast] myself.”

For BuildMyOnlineStore, Terry reports an average of:

  • about 15% growth every month from the Podcast.
  • 30,000-40,000 downloads every month.

For a weekly podcast that has been live since 2012, these are incredible numbers.

Terry says the biggest aspect of the Podcast is “being able to speak with industry leaders and connect people to add value towards their eCommerce stores.”

The Smartphone Gives “Easy Access” A Whole New Meaning For Podcast Listeners

stitcher app

Tom Martin of Converse Digital, along with many other experts, attribute the explosion of podcasting to the ease with which consumers can now access this free content.

After smartphones took over as many consumers’ #1 most important possession, and Apple and Stitcher Radio started creating apps that left podcasts just 1-click away, the amount of podcast listeners grew from less than 15% to over 25% in just 5 years.

podcast audience growth

What’s more is that with podcasting you have an established platform to distribute your podcast to the world.

On iTunes alone, over 45 million visitors are actively searching for targeted, on-demand, free content.

So, How Do You Start A Podcast?

how to start a podcast

image source

I’m so glad you ask.

Like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income says:

“Setting up a podcast is not push-button easy, but it’s not rocket science either, and once you set things up the first time you’ll have done most of the work. Then, all you have to worry about is producing more audio content and just posting it onto your blog. Everything else happens automatically.”

Because Pat has created such an excellent step-by-step tutorial on how to start a podcast, I’m going to recommend you check that out.

But the basics are:

Pre-recording

  • Establish your podcast topic
  • Determine the format of your show
  • Name your podcast
  • Create your artwork
  • Purchase your equipment
  • Determine which software you’ll use to record/edit your podcast

Podcast Workflow

If you need more hands on advice, I’ve compiled this resource library dedicated to podcasting and host a live podcasting workshop every week. You can sign up here.

Will Your Customers Enjoy A Podcast?

Looking back at all the data, it looks like people listening to podcasts have pretty much leveled out.

So you have to wonder, is this a medium worth pursuing?

use of podcasting

I believe the answer is yes – or at the very least, it’s worth gauging their interest.

Reason being, these are people opting-in to be closer to you.

You don’t have to trick them with catchy headlines, or “compelling” photographs. When they subscribe to your podcast, there’s already an understanding that the content will be deeper, more personal, and most likely long form.

Conclusion

I think Tim, Andrew and Terry would all agree: podcasting has exploded, and if you’re looking to add a powerful medium to your marketing mix that will help grow your audience, create a stronger connection with your audience, and spread your brand, then it’s time to jump on board.

featured image source

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Join the Conversation Add Your Comment

  1. Every time I turn around there is more compelling info about why I need to get my podcast going again. It’s on my short-list at the moment, so it’s time to kick planning in to high gear.

    Reply
  2. John Lee Dumas

    Honored to have this great opportunity XL!

    Rob, it IS time to kick your Podcasting plans into high gear :-)

    http://PodcastersParadise.com is where you can join our free weekly Podcast Workshop and kick your Podcast planning into high gear!

    We talk about Podcasting’s explosion, how it can help your business, and of course how you can Create ~ Grow ~ Monetize your podcast!

    See you there!

    Reply
  3. Tim Paige

    As always, John, spot on! More and more, it’s becoming crystal clear that podcasting is a platform that can’t be ignored for businesses.

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      Thanks for sharing the beginnings of your podcasting journey with LeadPages @Tim! You’re right: podcasting cannot be ignored!

      Reply
  4. Alex Harris

    Was like this is right up my alley. Great different content related to my favorite subjects, then see that JLD is the author, boom. Win! Great post.

    Reply
    1. Tommy Walker

      Awesome! That makes me really happy to hear :-)

      Reply
    2. John Lee Dumas

      Thanks @Alex! Glad you enjoyed the post and that it was right up your alley!

      Reply
  5. Zac Johnson

    Insane resource post! Bookmarking, saving, emailing this myself so I never lose it. I’m a huge fan of the podcast too! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      Zac, thanks much my man! Glad you enjoyed the packed post – lots of great support out there in favor of podcasting and its explosion, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

      Reply
  6. James Schramko

    Podcasting is HUGE. It will get bigger and bigger just watch!

    Reply
  7. Esther Kiss

    Thanks for sharing all these stats! Just what I’ve been looking for. Perfect timing! :)

    Reply
  8. Paul Colaianni

    What? This post is amazing! I’m going to link to this from my own podcasting site. Love all the data and facts here. I agree that podcasting is just an amazing way to grow a dedicated audience. Awesome, awesome content here.

    Reply
  9. Maritza Parra

    Brilliant post!! I’ve been hearing so much about podcasting and seeing this info cements why it’s a great idea for businesses.

    So excited to begin my podcast here AND to be getting expert inspiration and guidance from the best podcasting community (and it is really a community… lifelong friends and colleagues for sure!) – John Lee’s Podcasters Paradise & FNE has been an amazing resource for me. Thanks JLD

    Reply
  10. Melinda Yeaman

    Once again, John and Kate deliver the goods down to the detail. GREAT info! I have people calling me on a daily basis asking questions about how to get their podcast started and how to integrate this channel into their business. The opportunity is wide open and Podcasters’ Paradise really is THE internet resource for this. If anyone needs first-hand help or has questions about the launching experience using these tools, don’t be afraid to reach out. @melindayeaman

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      Sounds like you should become an affiliate Melinda ;-) Way to build a powerful audience that looks to you for resources!

      Reply
  11. Celest Horton

    Wonderful Post! Love all the statistics, which provides hope for continued growth of my podcast despite its narrow niche.

    I am a proud member of John’s FNE, which has been an amazing resource to help me build my podcast and grow as a budding entrepreneur. Thanks JLD for all that you do for our community!

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      Celest, it is an honor to create a mastermind that attracts Entrepreneurs like you!

      Reply
  12. Jeff Brown

    John,

    You and Kate are quickly becoming the guest post King/Queen. Keep up the great work guys.

    Reply
  13. DG Gregory

    If only there was a daily podcast featuring interviews with today’s most successful entrepreneurs….oh wait!

    Great post with a ton of useful and persuasive stats. A great reminder that I need to buckle down and get my podcast launched!

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      hahahah DG, buckle down and drink this kool aid :-)

      Reply
  14. Mike Simmons

    GREAT RESOURCE! I love the data you have complied here. As someone who has his own podcast, this excites and motivates me!! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      MS, you have a killer podcast my friend, glad I can still provide some insights :-)

      Reply
  15. John Dennis

    John & Kate,

    Excellent post – very informative and a fun read. Everyone: Their wildfire strategy is worth taking notes on. ;)

    Reply
  16. Martin Tokar

    John and Kate: This post is very informative. It was especially interesting to read because I have been consuming countless podcasts over the last five years but only recently thought about having my own podcast. Lots of great thoughts here. You made me “refine” my own podcasting concept :) thank you, Martin Tokar

    Reply
  17. Arturo Nava

    Fantastic article that shows very clearly why podcasting is the most effective and highest potential media and marketing medium out there ! Well done Kate and John !

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      Arturo…Podcasting is effective no doubt…thanks for the kind words!

      Reply
  18. Frank Gustafson

    Wealth of great information! Love this post if is chocked full of GREAT data. Love all of the resource links! Well done John and Kate!

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      Frank…thank you for your service my friend…IGNITE!

      Reply
  19. Dean Patino

    Love this article! Not only does John explain how podcasting has been booming, but also how to go about it to take your business to the next level. Completely inspiring! John and Entrepreneur on Fire are the real deal, there’s no surprise why John has been able to take his business into orbit though his podcast and others do too!

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      Dean, you are in the top 5% of my world! Rock on!

      Reply
  20. Justin Williams

    Amazing Post guys! I have been fortunate enough to learn from John and now have my own podcast! We just started monetizing a few weeks ago and launched an online community and made just over $5,000 our first month. Although I started my site first, I am pretty sure just about all of them found me through my podcast!

    Reply
    1. John Lee Dumas

      JW, keep killing it and remember, 2014 is the year of the Podcast AND the live webinar!

      Reply
  21. Brian Schmitt

    Great case for podcasting! Something I’ve found works really well for the busy entrepreneur is to use something like ShortCutBlogging.com’s approach. It’s a great way to get a podcast and blog going with less time than most people spend on making a podcast, let alone writing a blog post. They also have a great (free) tool for determining what kind of material you should cover.

    Reply
  22. Paul Clifford

    Great post John.. I’m already a fan and started podcasting. Continually inspired by Entrepreneur on Fire.

    Reply
  23. Carey Green

    My clients are increasingly finding that podcasting is ramping up their exposure, client-base, and business profits exponentially. And it doesn’t have to be a DIY thing, either. I’m finding a niche of business owners our there who want to have the podcast, but need someone else to do it for them. I think these folks should have the option to maximize the power of a podcast too. Just like I need someone else to fix my car (because I don’t know how to do it), there’s a huge opportunity for everyone who wants a podcast to have a podcast, because there are those who know how to create it and help them get it out to the world. Great post!

    Reply
  24. Las Vegas GE Appliance Service

    It’s very easy to find out any matter on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this
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    Reply

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The Case For Creating A Podcast For Your E-Commerce Or Software Company