Podcasting is one of the fastest-growing media channels today, with podcast listeners having grown 37.5% in the past three years. According to a 2020 study by Edison Research, 55% of Americans have listened to a podcast. The immediate question is then: how can brands get in front of them? V2 helps our clients reach this exploding virtual audience by creating and managing their podcasts with our V2 Content Studio solution. Most recently, we helped our client ASG Technologies launch a podcast hosted by Paul Muller. Paul is the director of Denting the Universe, director and co-founder of ALV Productions, an audio, lighting and video production company, and a world-traveling MC—so, suffice to say, he knows how to brand-build across a host of mediums. We sat down with Paul to discuss why he believes podcasting is so valuable for today’s brands.
V2: What is the value of podcasting? Why should organizations consider starting one?
PM: My firm belief is that we live in an era where you need to give in order to receive—especially if you plan on establishing a dominant brand in your category. Inevitably, you must build trust and respect with your audience or prospective customers before asking for anything in return. There is no better way to learn about an organization’s priorities than by listening to their spokespeople and peers. Podcasting gives audiences a glimpse into the organization.
Podcasting is also a unique medium because of where and when it’s consumed—walking, on the train, driving to work. While audiences increasingly prefer rapidly–consumable written content, they are willing to listen to a long-form podcast. It allows organizations to dive into a topic in a way that may not otherwise hold consumers’ attention. Podcasting also caters to both types of content creators. While some spokespeople prefer to script out their thoughts ahead of time, others lack the time/discipline to do so. Podcasting—either via interview or monologue—makes it easier to extract that content. Spokespeople can speak into a microphone, answer open-ended questions, and within 30 minutes they have produced something that would have taken a month to write.
V2: If an organization wants to create a podcast, where should they start?
PM: Start listening before you start creating. There are many different styles of podcasting—find the one that works for you and your voice. It should be authentic. You’re not just starting a podcast, you’re starting a publication, so you must choose a meaningful topic—otherwise, you’ll run out of ideas by episode three. Define what you believe in and know your audience. This is my best advice. Who is your audience, why do they want to listen, and what is their ROI for listening? You must create a fair exchange of value for the audience’s time (they don’t owe you anything). If you don’t get that right, don’t start.
Also, get a producer. That’s my second-best piece of advice. Find a partner to take your organization’s unstructured idea and put a harness around it. A producer manages critical elements like an editorial calendar, cadence for publication, and understanding what the audience cares about.
V2: What is the best way to gain podcast followers?
PM: Hire me as the host, of course (laughs). Again, you must understand your audience. The guests you bring on should be part of your promotional strategy—your audience should be aware of them, or the people they hang out with. That way, you attract like-minded audience members. When it comes to advertising, take the message to where your audience is. This can become expensive or hit-or-miss if your understanding of your audience is scattered.
V2: Tell us about your journey with ASG Technologies so far.
PM: ASG understands that podcasting is all about the long game. Earning an audience’s trust takes time—you won’t gain 300,000 followers in the first six months. There is some trial-and-error in developing your voice, priorities and the audience’s interests as you learn about each other.
With ASG, we built a clear separation of church and state—or, editorial content versus sponsorship. Commitment to the listener has been an important part of our early success. It goes back to authenticity and clarity of purpose. Customers are smart and will quickly pick up whether you’re true to your intent. I commend ASG for taking the long view. They genuinely want to deliver value and thought leadership to their audience.
V2: What makes a good podcast, in three words?
PM: Love your audience.
V2: What qualities does a great podcast guest have?
PM: They know their stuff and have a clear POV.
Learn more about V2’s podcast solution here.