Originally published on newmediaeurope.com, the official website of the New Media Europe conference taking place in London on June 18th and 19th.

Making meaningful connections with customers is vital to growing your business, and it can also prove to be one of the toughest things to do. Podcasting is a great solution to building that bond and adding a deeper dimension and personality to your brand.

And who could resist when the tools to get a podcast up and running are so accessible and affordable? The barriers to expensive equipment and studios have long since disappeared. Without a computer and a decent microphone, this is nothing that cannot be achieved.

What is holding you back Here are 5 reasons why you should stop what you are doing and start your podcast now. The benefits are hard to deny:

1. Reach

Podcasting is crazy popular right now. In fact, the Pew Research Center released this little nugget last April: “The percentage of Americans who listened to a podcast in the past month has nearly doubled since 2008, from 9% to 17% by January 2015. The percentage of In 2015, it rose by two points (15%) compared to 2014. “Edison Research also told us that 33% of Americans 12 and older have heard at least one podcast. This means that there is already an audience ready to search and consume your content, and that might be ready to share it with their friends and colleagues. By hosting and distributing on social networks and podcatchers for next to nothing (it’s usually free), you can reach thousands of potential customers while spending zero dollars. It doesn’t take much more than submitting your RSS feed to iTunes or Stitcher or posting the link to your latest episode on Facebook or Twitter. Some services, like Spreaker, even automate this distribution for you through simple account integration.

2. Commitment

Podcasting has an intimate quality, more so than some of the other new media. Listeners feel connected to podcast hosts as if they are in the middle of a one-on-one conversation. Even Pat Flynn mentioned it, “I was able to make a much deeper connection with my audience.” This intimacy leads to a feeling of familiarity, trust, and even loyalty with you and your company. All of this leads to …

3. Higher conversions

Of course, a listener who feels connected and trusts you will be much more comfortable working with you and will be more likely to convert as a valuable customer. There is always a far more likely chance that you will get an audience that follows you and your content to buy. The results speak for themselves; Recently, Midroll, a podcast advertising company, reported that 61% of people who heard an ad converted and bought the item being advertised. That’s an incredibly high number!

4. Deep networking

One aspect that is sometimes taken for granted about podcasting is the ability to connect with influencers in your industry. Simply asking someone to come over to your podcast to be interviewed can help break the ice. If you come back to this contact later, it will also be much more convenient. Real estate podcaster Brandon Turner really gets to the point:

“Because of the podcast, I can call almost anyone to include them on our show, immerse themselves in their thoughts, and ask them any questions I had while reading their books. It’s not just famous authors. I am able to immerse myself in the business strategies of some of the smartest real estate entrepreneurs in the country and learn directly from them like I have never done before. Each week I learn something that will help me grow my own real estate business while making relationships that will help me reach their levels. “

5. Branding

After all, podcasting is a great way to enrich your brand. It’s a reference to refer to whenever you network or reach new customers. Most importantly, a well-produced podcast shows that you are invested in your work and passionate about it, which works well for your entire business. Note, however, that the opposite has (obvious) detrimental effects. Poor audio quality, episode formats that have no planning, and just poor production in general will not reflect you or your company very well.

Podcasting is a commitment, and listeners want to listen to good content – they need to subscribe to your show, download it, listen to it on the commute or while exercising at the gym. It may sound intimidating, but it shouldn’t. With a little preparation and passion (the same passion you have for your business) you can get a quality show going and if it really goes it’s great.

Now is the time to start a podcast. There’s no reason not to try it out for your business!
So do it. We want to hear you!

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