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Bol.com, Red Bull, Achmea, KLMthe AIVDbut also Gijs Bakker, Cheryl Porcelain and Sanne Quint...they all have one or more podcasts.
But why do these entrepreneurs, companies and organisations podcast? What do they achieve and what exactly is the business case?
Good question! Let's dive in ;D
Table of Contents
My own story
Because just before I started Springcast, I started podcasting myself. I was already known in the marketing and coaching sector for my written content with my blog nico.nl, but I was missing a more personal marketing channel. One that gave a little more insight into who and how I am as a person.
I soon found myself on the path of podcasting. And for a couple of important reasons, namely;
In short... I saw it as a fantastic form of branding! Because let's face it... there is no more powerful tool for building a brand than storytelling.
Note: Due to the start of Springcast my podcast has been put on hold for a while. If you find it interesting to listen anyway, you can listen to my podcast here: Growth Minds podcast.
As for my own podcast, to be continued...
Why companies podcast
Below I will list the main reasons why companies podcast. Keep in mind that the business podcast is still in its infancy and many of the applications and business cases still need to be invented.
Also, to keep it clear, I have reduced the list to a few main categories. The possibilities are endless... what you can do with text and video, you can also do with a podcast.
The business podcast use cases:
Podcasts lend themselves better than any other channel to storytelling and background. And because podcasts are suitable for long-form content and are personal in nature, podcasts are a powerful tool for 'branding' and generating sympathy by sharing stories.
When it comes to communication, podcasts are known for the wide audience they can reach. It is complementary to text and video, so that you also reach the non-reader. Podcasts can be used for press conferences, communication about a merger, annual figures, etc. But they can also be used as a means of internal communication, for example for the annual report. But they can also be used as an internal communication tool for annual plans, major changes, etc.
A podcast fits very well into the inbound marketing philosophy and a content strategy. Because a podcast is a powerful medium if you want to become a thought leader in your field. You can do that by talking to experts in your field or for example by sharing knowledge. If you interview people, you also benefit from the reach of your guest. Milan from Pillowtalk podcast.
There is always a scarcity when it comes to 'good people'. It is no secret that attracting the right talent and the right experience is essential for success. That's why more and more companies and organisations are investing in employer branding. With a podcast you can give a glimpse into the organisation or even into a function, as the AIVD did with their podcast The Service.
Education & Onboarding
Podcasts are also used by companies for education and onboarding. You can introduce new employees to the culture and history of the company, but also to safety rules and other practical information. Think of podcasts in which jargon is explained or an explanation of the position in the market is given.
The 5 strengths of podcasts
Okay... now you have an idea of what companies are using podcasts for. But what makes podcasts so special? In this part of the article we dive into the 5 strengths of the podcast.
1. Long form content
Because listening is less intensive for our brain, we can listen to content for longer than we can watch and process text or video. On average, a blog is read for about 2 minutes, a video is watched for about 11 minutes, while a podcast is listened to for about 45 minutes. And 45 minutes of holding someone's attention in these times... that's insane 😉 .
2. Less screen time
More and more people want to spend less time behind a screen. More and more studies show that the light produced by those screens can have a negative impact on our biology, leading to insomnia and even hormonal problems. This is why more and more people are moving to audio for content consumption.  
Another development in the Western world is that we have increasingly full diaries. From work to sports, hobbies and social events. As a result, we have less and less time to read and watch. Things like magazines, professional literature, newsletters, etc. are lagging behind more and more, which is causing people to drop out. This is precisely why podcasts are on the rise. You can combine it with sports, walking, travel time and/or household chores.
4. Broader public
If, as an organisation, you are trying to reach a broad audience, you cannot make do with textual content alone. Not everyone can bring themselves to read. Especially when it comes to longer pieces of content and information, a large part of the population drops out. Video and audio are easier to consume for that target group. Considering points 2 and 3, podcasts are on the rise among that target group.
5. More personal
Text is a distant medium. It is difficult to convey emotion in text. Video is usually directed and the speakers often follow a script, which can make it seem distant. Podcasts, on the other hand, lend themselves well to 'one takers', which often makes the content seem more authentic.
Disclaimer: It is not my intention to portray podcasts as the ultimate medium. Both video and text have many advantages, even over podcasts. We believe in the combination of audio, video and text.
A personal note; the future
As founder and representative of Springcast, I speak to a lot of podcasting entrepreneurs, companies and governments and if there is one thing they all agree on, it is that podcasting will be an important part of marketing and communication strategy in the future.
The above list is based on all the podcasts we see at Springcast, but I also thought it would be interesting to ask my network. Read the comments on LinkedIn.
Previously, I wrote an article about podcasting and branding and about how to formulate a business podcast strategy.
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