On this episode, we are going to be discussing a topic near and dear to my heart, and a little bit meta, podcasting for Small Business; more specifically, the business case for podcasting. And, more importantly, why should you start a podcast for your business? And, to do that, I’m letting the cat out of the bag here with my co-author of our forthcoming book, Podcasting for Small Business, Steve Orr.
(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit http://webandbeyondcast.com/007 for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)
In this Cast | Business Case for Podcasting
Ray Sidney-Smith, Host
Steve Orr is the founder of Steve Orr Media, which helps clients create and produce podcasts, as well as become more effective speakers. He has worked with a variety of small and large clients, including self-employed professionals, neighborhood business improvement districts, and Fidelity Investments.
Steve launched his consulting business after an award-winning broadcasting career. As a business news anchor and feature reporter, his stories for the MarketWatch Radio Network were heard regularly on some of the country’s biggest news stations.
Steve has interviewed hundreds of people over the years, including CEOs, celebrities, athletes, and public officials. Ella Fitzgerald, Mickey Mantle, and then Israeli U.N. Ambassador Benjamin Netanyahu were among his most memorable.
In Steve’s free time, he writes screenplays and radio plays (and voices the characters). He’s also a big fan of comedy improv.
Show Notes | Business Case for Podcasting
Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
Sign up to learn about when Steve and I launch our book, Podcasting for Small Business.
Best Tool of the Week | Business Case for Podcasting
Podcast Advertising Resource: WhyPodcasts
Raw Text Transcript | Business Case for Podcasting
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases.
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Welcome to web and beyond cast were small business comes to learn about marketing and managing on the web and beyond with your host re Sydney Smith. Hello there small business owners, entrepreneurs and community Welcome to season one, Episode Seven it’s double oh seven Episode 007 of web and beyond cast I’m racing Smith on this show we are going to be discussing a topic near and dear to my heart and a little bit meta podcasting for small business and more importantly, why you should start a podcast for your business or at least get into the podcast game you could do more than just launched a podcast and to do that I’m letting the cat out of the bag here a little bit with my co author of our forthcoming book podcasting for small business. Steve or Steve is the founder of Steve or media which helps clients create and produce podcasts as well as become more effective speakers. He has worked with a variety of small and large clients, including self employed
professionals, neighborhood Business Improvement districts or what are called bids and Fidelity Investments. Steve launched his consulting business after an award winning broadcasting career as a business news anchor and feature. Reporter his stories for the Market Watch Radio Network were heard regularly on some of the country’s biggest news stations. Steve has interviewed hundreds of people over the years, including CEOs, celebrities, athletes and public officials and Steve’s free time. He writes screenplays and radio plays and voices, the characters he’s also a big fan of comedy improv. Welcome to web and beyond cast. Steve Ray, thanks so much. Pleasure to be here with you today. Pleasure to have you. And it’s really exciting to kind of let everybody know what we have been working on with regard to podcasting for small business. I’m looking forward to the book coming out for everybody very soon. And I thought it’d be really fun for us to talk about something that is really important, which is the business case for podcasting. I think a lot of businesses don’t understand what podcast
Are and also how to get in the game, right? It’s trending. It’s out there. People know that it’s important to get the word out about your business. And they think of it as a lot of work. And they don’t necessarily know what the return on investment is going to be for it. And so let’s start off with what a podcast really is. And then we’ll get into why businesses should podcast. So what’s a podcast coming from a radio background? I think the simplest description of a podcast is think of it as radio on demand. And what I mean by that is that you can listen to a podcast anytime from start to finish. You can listen to it at any place, you could listen to it on your PC, in your car on your smartphone. So that’s that’s what I mean. But and when I talk about the on demand factor, of course, it is slightly different than radio in that it is a digital
file as opposed to going out on the airwaves that you would for traditional radio, I would only add to it that people understand that podcasting can be streamed online, you know, via many different digital devices from your desktop computer, to mobile, you know, laptop to mobile devices, like your smartphone and tablets. And the the, the traditional benefit of a podcast over radio is that you can download it offline and take it with you. It’s a mobile digital radio platform if you want to think about it that way. But it’s capable of letting you create the programming of your audio life of your audio experience throughout your day. And I think that’s that’s the most powerful differentiator for podcasts over any other platform. You You can’t watch a video and go for a run or watch a video and drive or at least you shouldn’t.
In the case of podcasting, you could do that you can drive and listen to a podcast and its content that is tailored specifically to your needs.
And once because you get to choose the podcasts that you listen to. So with that, why should businesses really podcast or at least get in the podcast world? I want us to talk about four kind of big umbrella constructs. And we’ll go through these throughout the episode. Just so everybody listening has an idea. I want to talk about the marketing component marketing and branding for podcasting. I want to talk about its return on an investment in terms of dollars spent in marketing just as a general construct, not not in terms of specific numbers, the sales and and lead generation components of podcasting. And then finally, the business valuation, you know, podcast has a a number of value associated with it. That is a part of your business’s bottom line in some way shape or form whether during the businesses life or when you go to sell it I’ll talk a little bit about that as well. So Steve, let’s let’s start off with the the marketing component of it. What is the marketing value of a podcast? I think what a lot of people
trying to decide how valuable can the podcast be to your marketing. Now, I would first argue that when you’re thinking about starting a podcast for your business, sure you’re in the business to make money so it’s understandable you’re going to be asking whether a podcast is going to add to your bottom line but from a marketing and extending your marketing and branding look at it that way. Look at it as an extension of your marketing and your branding for your business. It gives you an opportunity to go out on so many different channels. You may have a blog your website you may have some video about your business out there you may be advertising via Facebook, Instagram, you may be doing some stuff via Snapchat you have so many different channels. So why not exploit podcasting as another channel to get your messages out about your business and give your customers and your clients and would be clients
Some value. So think of it from that perspective is that it just, it gives you another channel to get your messages out there. And another benefit of podcasting as an extension of your marketing and your branding, when you do a podcast episode, you can turn that into a blog, it’s very easy to turn that into a blog. And also that adds another channel to getting your messages out there about your business and the value you offer your customers and clients. One of the things that I I frequently don’t talk about, but I think it’s also important for us to to, to kind of note here is that you can advertise on other podcasts. And that’s an extension of your marketing. So if you have the budget for advertising, there are many different types of advertising and so you can put in a spot put in pre roll mid roll or enroll into another person’s podcast and you pay them for that and then that in essence becomes a part of your marketing you can advertise on the web.
site of the podcast because the podcasts and other person’s podcast has a website, you can have them write blog posts on their podcast about you. They can send email to their email listeners, all kinds of ways in which you can use advertising to be able to get out the marketing message for your business without you actually launching a podcast itself. So don’t don’t think that you have to necessarily launch a podcast just because, but you do need to be in the podcasting game. You know, this is really important for people to recognize the importance of it. So let’s let’s move on to the return on investment for dollars spent in marketing, not just from an ROI perspective, which is return on ad spend, how many how much money you’re spending on advertising. Steve, from your perspective, what do you think about the long term investment value of a podcast and we can have a little bit of discussion about that here in the immediate podcasts are an important factor in driving engagement for your business. We had a chance to talk to Dr. Robert pass it coffee is
The president and founder of the consulting firm brand keys, and they analyze brand customer loyalty and engagement. So what he told us is what I had said, you know, podcasts, they helped drive engagement because as consumers, we can look to alternate communications formats such as Facebook, Instagram, for instance before will visit a brand’s website. But they are entertaining and informative, they can help supercharge your engagement. So once you have that engagement, that’s the critical part to leading to your return on investment and ultimately your bottom line. So I think you have to start there before you even look at the long term benefit. Thinking with the end in mind is is always an important factor when it comes to small business marketing. If you think that you have a sustainable small business, I think it’s important for you to think about your marketing sustainability as well. If you’re thinking about your marketing sustainability, a podcast itself allows you to be able to set up and an ongoing consistent content
structure so that it fits within your content strategy. And now you have a platform on which you can consistently be speaking to your target audience. And I think that’s really important for being able to create loyalty, brand awareness and many other the components of marketing that really sets you up for long term success. And so, yeah, podcasting isn’t going to immediately start sales coming through the door. But if you set it up and you’re consistent about it, and you keep developing a better podcast which is what what I’m doing here you know, this is our seventh episode on weapon beyond cast. And I’m hoping that over time I get better at doing this podcast, which means that I’ll be able to share more and better content continue to bring great guests on and that over the long term is going to make me a better business owner. There’s a real value in that that I don’t think people can identify a specific dollar value to the
The importance of getting up to the microphone, whatever the frequency is that you need to, to be able to record a podcast and put it out there to the world. And you become a better business person, by the value of being a better communicator, being a better socialiser with your audience. All of those things are values that you need to really take into account when you’re launching a podcast. One of the other benefits that in addition to extending your branding and your marketing is that you can help create a thought leadership aspect of your business. Either you as the CEO or whomever you are within your business or, you know, to the outside world you can become the go to folks for that particular niche in the business world. And that can have you know that it’s hard. It is very hard to put $1 amount to your podcast. You could go on other podcast as an expert, you could be called in from the media. somebody knows that you have a podcast out there you are in
interviewed through the media that can help get your name out there. So it does have other impacts that again, don’t necessarily translate immediately to $1 amount, but could in the long term lead to your bottom line. That’s actually something that’s happened to me that people invite me to become a podcast. Guest because they know that I have a podcast, they know I’m ready.
I’m capable of being interviewed right now, today, you know, when someone needs to get somebody as a guest on a podcast in my, my other podcast, you know, they know that I’m,
I’m ready to go. So when the media calls I’m ready because they know having listened to me already that I’m capable of being set up for those. So I’m much more likely to be called by the media than someone who is not broadcast ready. Absolutely. You really do have to think about that because, you know, certainly from a media perspective, and as you mentioned up front, you know, I’m a long term media guy.
I the interviews that we did, if it was the first time we reached out to somebody, and that person wasn’t very good, that’s the last. That’s the last time. But if they’re good, you’re going to go back to that person repeatedly over the years. So it makes sense. So this takes us on to the discussion of sales. And I’m curious, before we started recording, we actually had a discussion about this, that I have a perspective that probably is a little bit more controversial than than the average supporter of podcasts. What, what do you say to the idea of sales in podcasting for a business podcast? You know, as a small business owner? I have a podcast, I’m putting it out there. How should we approach sales? One of my biggest pet peeves about podcasting right now are the podcasters who start out and they go through all their sales pitches. They go through all their commercials they go for
One podcast in particular, that was about 13 minutes before I got to the content of value to me as a listener, that to me just completely turns me off to listening to the podcast. I want my value up front. Now, if you are going to be sponsored, let’s say are you do you want to make a brief pitch, make it really brief. This podcast is brought to you by read, you know, something for five or 10 seconds. I believe that if you are going to do it, do it your call to action, which is how you want people to use your business. Let’s say for lack of a better phrase,
save that for the end and that be your call call for action at the end of your podcast. Don’t be so over and I think one of the interesting lines that Dr. Passive cough said to us from brand keys was that he believes a podcast can only help a company’s brand if it uses effective storytelling. It isn’t seen as to commercial or salesy business.
need to have not just a content strategy, a awareness of the content strategy and where the podcast fits into it, because that that is just up, it could be your platform for one type of content. But then you need to be able to know how to spread the message. Because then, you know, if a tree falls in the forest, nobody hears it kind of sits in that scenario. The reality is, is that you also have to have a sales strategy. And this is the importance of in my first book, so almost success. I talked about the idea that if a business doesn’t have a sales converting website, they’re going to fail in almost any other kind of outward facing marketing, whether that be social media, you know, marketing, mobile, marketing or otherwise, no difference with podcasting, your business needs to have a call to action from the podcast to your website or blog or whatever landing page you want to send people to but you need to be able to create value in the content such that people want to be able to check you out they want to be
Be able to learn more from you. That could mean you providing more value to them typically was what we call a lead magnet on your website. So if you’re doing those things, as long as you understand that your your website needs to be able to have an appropriate sales strategy and sales mechanism in place, then you’re left on your podcast to just producing substantive, fantastic quality content for your listeners. For me, the podcast is not the place to sell your business. The podcast can help your business if you direct people to the right channels to help your business rather than being so overt within the podcast for it. I wanted to move us along in the discussion as as we as we come up on our time together, Steve, which is to talk about business valuation. I think many times when we consider podcasting, we always think about the upfront costs and the ongoing costs of of producing a podcast but we actually don’t think about the back end value of the podcast.
itself. So we know that we are starting or running a business. And we now want to have a podcast. And so we launched a podcast. But at some point in the future, you’re going to end your podcast and probably end your business, or you’re leaving your business, whether it be in a casket or by sale, you’re going to leave your business,
not to be gloomy. But I hope you have a good run and you have a wonderful business, but then you are going to have to leave it is no question about it that you’re going to leave it at some point. So what is the value of a podcast when you do leave it and there’s some there’s an importance to starting a podcast if you know what it’s going to be worth if you’re consistent about about doing it. So who do we look to for that? Well, we did speak to Lucas stellick he’s the president of the consulting firm Jordan Crandall. And that firm focuses on mergers and acquisitions for for small to mid sized businesses, Ray and
loot did tell us that there’s no doubt there’s clear value for a business to have a podcast though right now he does say that figuring that out is
is difficult because it’s so new for the appraisal business but before we talk to the end result bottom line I did want to mention one thing that lewd told us that I think is critical when it comes to trying to get a sense of your return on investment from your podcast and one of the things that he did tell us is that it is imperative that you ask new customers what prompted their business and why do you do that and that’s to get a rich sense of your return on investment Lou says is is critical of course and to keep track of the business generated from those who say they listened to your podcast is critical. So in order for you to you know, go down the line and when we’re talking the end result you need to be in the present.
In the immediate and keeping track of that business generated from the podcast, and that will only help you by the time you get to that, that end point, especially if you have a business where you have walked in traffic for walking retail traffic, whether your service or product based business, you do really need to be asking people how they found you. And the great part about if you have any transactional business that happens on your website, you’re capable of usually tracking the connection between the two by either having some kind of modal survey that says How did you find us and in that in that survey question people can say well I I listened to your podcast or you know, I heard you on this particular episode, give people the opportunity to be able to tell you how they’re finding you and that will help you double down on the marketing efforts that are working and the ones that are not in terms of the of the end result and that’s if you are eventually going to sell your business or you have you know, you have an offer or whatnot. I think what was interesting
That Lou said to us Lucas delic said to us is that he thinks or any actually believes that a podcast can be a little icing on the cake for a buyer especially a strategic buyer. Now if that buyer let’s say is in your field or wants to get into your field loot told us that in existing podcasts could get the buyer more motivation to buy your business and that ultimately motivation is the you know, drives that ultimate offer that a buyer makes. So yes, bottom line
the bottom line of the bottom line it’s so to speak is that in the end, the podcast get there’s value. When we think about businesses, buying businesses and mergers and acquisitions, we we leave out the fact that these are humans doing the interaction and until until the robots are buying and selling businesses for us humans are still involved in that means human motivations really matter and so something like a podcast could be a real
motivator to someone who wants to enter a market so definitely consider that I wanted to just shift gears a little bit I know this this is probably a little bit up tues but I think it helps give some relative understanding about the value of podcast by looking at the podcast revenues of some of the top podcasts that exist now these are podcasts that they themselves are businesses they are in essence their own programs generating their own revenues from podcasting itself typically from advertising revenue so there’s an article and I’ll link to this in the show notes called How to value podcast and from micro cap CO and what they’ve done is they’ve given Smart Passive Income eo fire Entrepreneur on Fire and gimlet media as the three examples and so they have their average annual revenues set at 1.7 million 3,000,007 million dollars respectively. So that gives them an ultimate valuation of being $9.4 million, $5.5 million and
$30 million. Now, there’s a lot of math that went into how this all worked, assuming, you know, appropriate corporate tax rates, discounting and otherwise on advertising, broadcasting and entertainment. But the reality is, is that these top podcasts have solid businesses with solid revenues because they’re doing things correctly and you can to that doesn’t mean that your business is going to be solely based or valued on the podcast itself. But when we talk about the businesses value if you’re doing all the right things associated with a podcast, you can somewhat use the advertising revenue model for valuing the business podcast and to things as a part of the actual and and Lou when we talked to him talked about the fact that a podcast is a part of intellectual property in his eyes You know, I tend to think of it as marketing right and and so therefore you know, I I’m curious, we will be talking soon with an accountant and where where they kind of fall on these things when you think
About a podcast in terms of its actual revenue generation potential, then it has a real value. And so just give that some consideration as you as you make your way forward in terms of how, how much and how many clients will you convert from your podcast. And as you get to know that number better by podcasting, you get a better idea about its value to your business. And there are intangibles that you just you need to have in terms of your business that don’t necessarily translate to dollars. Absolutely, absolutely. So this brings us to the best tool of the week. Steve. So every week I have this short segment where we talk about the best tool of the week and I am offering up a tool called it’s actually a website so you know, go figure, but it’s a website called why podcast.org and you can find the link to it in the show notes and why podcast.org is a way in
You can learn about the various values of podcasting through advertising. And we talked about this at the top of the show. And there’s a bunch of research. So it gives you demographics about podcast audience. It gives you different types of podcast advertising categories, it gives you benefits. It shows you how podcasting advertising works. It just is a really great tool for being able to understand the different pieces of the puzzle when it comes to going out there and saying, okay, I want to do some advertising. How does this all work in the podcast space? So I just thought it would be a useful tool for some of you who might think that you’re not ready yet to launch a podcast but you may want to put some ad dollars into the into podcasts that already exist and you want to seek out those podcasters who are doing that so why podcasts.org alright Steve, this closes out our episode thank you so much for joining me here on
weapon beyond cast Ray Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure. So that’s Steve or of Steve or media and you can find his information again in the show notes and links to his website and so on so forth. Steve will be joining me here for other episodes of web and beyond Casper will be talking about executive communications, public speaking and so on, so forth. Other other kinds of areas on which Steve is my go to expert. And so again, thanks. Thank you, Steve, for joining me here on web and beyond cast. That brings us to the end of this episode of weapon beyond cast. What we hope you got from today’s episode is that there are different ways in how podcasting is really valued and valuable to your small business. Think about the different angles from which you should look at the value of podcasting and then you can decide whether podcasting is right for your business and we will talk to you next week when I have Reggie Holmes.
enthuse creative on the show to talk about branding. And we will cover small business branding as a general construct and what businesses should really think about when it comes to approaching branding and design professionals to market their businesses. Alright folks, thanks for listening to web and beyond cast where small business comes to learn about marketing and managing on the web and beyond. I’m your host re Sydney Smith. Until next week, here’s to your small business success on the web and beyond.
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