Why You Should Be Podcasting to Grow Your Business
President /CEO at National Podcast Association
President of EDGE Marketing & Media & EDGE Podcast Network
Vice President of Marketing and Communications at EDGE Sportz / ShopFutsal.com
Director of Marketing at The Wisconsin Sports Group
After her college graduation, Allison Phillips found her way back to Milwaukee where she launched EDGE Sports and began building her media company, EDGE Marketing and Media which is home to the EDGE Podcast Network.
Her team has most recently launched the Wisconsin Podcast Association and the National Podcast Association.
As the landscape of the Podcasting world continues to grow and become more accepted in mass media, the Wisconsin Podcast Association was conceived to add a place for podcasters from Wisconsin and throughout to turn for resources, connections, ideas and networking.
Get In Touch:
Episode Show Notes
I really appreciate the time that we'll have here because I believe podcasting is such a broad term. Can you kind of just clarify for me and for the listeners, what that is?
It's interesting because podcasting can mean so many different things. And I think that that's kind of where people kind of get stuck on things. But, for me, the best way for me to explain it is podcasting is it's pretty much any topic that you want to do that you can listen to from five minutes to three hours. It's informative, its fun depending what kind of genre you want. I always kind of compare it to the Netflix of listening though. You can go on Netflix and you can find anything that you want and it's a series of it. And you always can start from the first podcast to get to the last podcast. So basically, for us, we started years ago, and no one even knew what podcasting was. And we always had to kind of explain it. But there's over millions of podcasts now.
And when we started, there was only 200,000. I mean, even though that sounds like a lot, three years, it's a big difference. It's kind of your escape. It's like a book. it's hearing people and you can find anything that you want to give you just a small of what podcasting is. It's like the Netflix of listening.
That's I think a great way to connect the dots. I mean, for me personally, it's only been a couple of years since I've actually took an active interest in it. It's it seems pretty simple to download an app on your phone and then from there you pretty much access any of these types of podcasts. Sometimes it's one person. Sometimes it's like us, sometimes it's a group. Do you see anyone that works better or is more engaging? Do you have any tips for anybody that might be thinking of starting a podcast?
Normally from what we see, it's people who have guests on. I listen to podcasts all day long. It's part of my job. But I also really enjoy them. And I always say to somebody that if I can't get through the first couple of minutes of it, then that's a problem because I enjoy them. I listened to them. But to me, sound quality. If you don't have good sound, figure it out in this day and age, you can do it really easy. Whereas a couple years ago was a lot harder. It was a lot more expensive than it is now. But then yeah, having guests on because everybody brings a different perspective and you have a host with the guests. We find that those numbers are about double as people who are just talking with themselves. I mean, let's say a sports podcast where they're giving you the scores and what happened. And those tend to kind of do good, but when people are just kind of talking by themselves, listeners get bored quicker. So, it's a podcast with guests. That would be number one. The second would be, if there's more than one host kind of going off of each other and the third would be somebody by themselves.
So, from a technical perspective, once I download something, I'm like, what am I downloading? What did I put on my iPhone?
What is so great now is iPhones come with a podcast app. iPhone make it so simple because it goes right on the podcast app. It's this little purple app that's on everybody's iPhone. And to be able to go through that, just like an iTunes store, but you go through podcasts, you can find anything you want from searching mystery or comedy or business. The next one that we find is probably Spotify and SoundCloud are our next two that just seemed to pull the most numbers. Soundcloud had just spent tons of money, and so did Spotify actually, to really amp up their podcasting. So those would be the other three that then you actually can actively download. So, if you have an Android, you have to download something. It doesn't come with a podcast app, but it's normally their Spotify SoundCloud or iHeart.
Then once I have it in my hand and I find the purple button that you're talking about going and finding for whatever topic I want?
iTunes does something that's really, really smart. They also do top 10, top hundred podcasts that you're able to kind of go in and you're able to see which ones are charting. And we do a lot with them and we work a lot with iHeart and iTunes to kind of help some of our podcasts chart as well. Because when you chart, you're automatically listed in the top hundred. And it's very interesting because I don't know if you've ever done this, but if you go into iHeart and let's say, you want to see the top hundred business, it changed constantly, but there's like a rhythm to kind of get to that. So, people utilize that. And I think that's one of the best cheapest ways of getting our podcasts listened to.
Is there like some secret sauce that can get you on that 100 list?
I want to say that I've cracked the code. The code changes every day. What I learned is if you have your podcast on Libsyn or anchor, you have it on there's keywords. So, it's basically if you're going on a website and you're building that changing your keywords weekly will help get you up there. You start to add words and you start to kind of get up there with the SEO. It's the same thing as a podcast. So just always making it fresh.
Well, so as long as you brought that up about the National Podcasts Association, tell me a little bit about what you guys are up to for somebody that might not have heard of that.
Well, it's exciting. Cause we started it out with me and my business partner, West McCain, who used to be on morning radio in Wisconsin, on West Rodney and on Kiss. We started Edge Podcast Network and Edge Marketing and Media. And at the time we wanted to get the Wisconsin broadcasters association to recognize podcasts and they didn't. So, West wrote this big thing and kind of said why? And unless you had an FCC license, they didn't recognize podcast. So, we decided to start the Wisconsin Podcasts Association. And when we did that, we kind of toured Wisconsin last year and did a podcast festival and worked very closely with iHeart. But we saw all of these people that wanted more knowledge of podcasting who loved to do it, but who just didn't know all the ins and outs. Whereas we're lucky because we have a very strong radio, a presence that taught us a lot.
And so we then all of a sudden expanded it to Iowa, expanded it to Ohio. And next thing, now we have all 50 States that now are on board. So, it's exciting because we have, let's say California podcasts association, they're jumping on board with us. So, we're not trying to take anything. Our biggest thing is there's not competition, there's enough podcasters and enough listeners for everybody. Let's everybody band together. So, we have individual States, and we kind of want to put it all together and make it like a big happy family.
Well you touched on something else and that I want to ask if you can maybe help the listeners a little bit in is the sponsorship piece. I'm sure that for again, people that have right now that have their own podcast, everybody does it for a different reason. Some people just love to talk. Some people have great information that they want to get out there on. Other people probably want to attract a following, might be an ego thing. I mean, there's just a wide myriad of reasons why people are doing it, but sponsorship usually probably rises to the top for a lot of people because they want to get more people to listen.
Yeah, to do a podcast can start to get a little costly and I don't think a lot of people realize that. But to keep it running, to then be able to put money behind it to kind of boost it on different platforms. We've kind of found that sponsorship money helps in a lot of different ways. One to get more listeners. And I think you hit it right on the head. Everybody does a for different reason. You know, but it kind of seems the people that are doing it that want it to be more successful rather than just hanging out with some buddies. Sponsorship has helped a lot of our podcasts, and it's funny, cause three years ago, when we were trying to pitch somebody to do some advertising, it was like, what's a podcast? And now, almost everyone listens to them and in some way, shape or form, that is easier for them to then say, yeah, it's cheaper than radio advertising. You do a morning commercial on a morning show, let's say a 62nd spot. That's $350. You're able to get somebody to spend that and be on 10 of your podcasts and place them in there and change the copy. And podcasts never die. You know, that's the biggest thing I say to everybody, they live on the platform. It's like Netflix, and I know I always go back to that, but you do, 10 podcasts, people still listen to the very first one and then continue through all 10 of yours. So, for an advertiser, it's just very smart. Your message isn't gone in 40 seconds because it’s there forever.
I'm assuming though they're probably their argument in their mind is there's not as many people listening to a podcast as the radio.
Let's say you have 200 listeners. Those are 200 listeners on a podcast that want to be there and will listen to your ad all the way through. You might have 2000 listening to the radio, but they will easily turn the station. So, it's like having 200 people in a room to give a speaking thing to what would you rather have? And that's kind of my argument to everybody is somebody who listens to a podcast. It's like a destination location. They want to be there; they go there, and they listen. You know, we've kind of seen good things with sponsors that we have. It's just kind of letting them know what they get from it. And once you get somebody, they tend to come back because they see it. They see that it was worth it.
But there's so many different businesses out there, especially right now that are trying to look for inexpensive way to advertise, but still giving people. And again, I go back to saying, even if you have 20 people in the room, those are 20 people listening. And I think its worth businesses to take a leap and try podcasting
So, does the National Podcast Association help your members with that if that's something of interest to them?
Yeah. And these sorts of things that we did in person. But we're kind of holding out cause podcasts, it's kind of fun to have everybody there talking, but now that we're realizing that that's not going to happen for a while, we're starting to do classes. So, it's free to members, and we have booklets, sponsorship packages that we hand out. So, we'll make that open for all members to have. Then we email it to them in a PDF file so they can change it to fit them.
And it's a template, but it seems to work for what we've been doing. And its different things besides just having advertising. Let's say in the podcast, if people have social media, now you can add the company's logo to your social media. And when you post that your guests are coming, there's so many different avenues to do it that people don't think of. That's just one example of what we do. We kind of help people who don't know how to get their podcast on iHeart or different kinds of forums. You know, we teach them that it's kind of every month we have two different kinds of classes and people can join if they want not to join, if they want different guest speakers, different things like that. So that will be starting next month. And again, it's free to members just to kind of call in on the zoom thing and listen. And then we email them after all the follow-up material and everything.
I see some people that if no one listens, no one listens. And some people care a lot about the numbers. Do you invest much time with people and work through that with them?
Yeah, of course. And I think you're right. There's a group of people that don't care. They do a bunch of buddies get in the room and they want to talk about jet skiing for four hours. They're going to do that. And they don't care.
You know, there's a huge group that really does care and don't know what to do. But I think that that's the main thing to it is it's like you could have the best podcast in the world out there that's getting lost because then people record it and put it out into podcast world, just thinking, everyone's going to find it. They're not going to find it. You know, it's how you market it. It's word of mouth, it's what you do.
So, we kind of help people to look at what their podcast is about and what their genre is and what it could do and how we can kind of place it in certain places to help them. You know, the people that don't care, we don't really try to help, and they don't ask for help. But it's, to me it's really the marketing and what you do with it. And I have found that business owners and people who do business, their podcasts do a lot better because they know how to market it. You know, they know what to say and what to do and how to get good guests on and talk and carry a conversation. We noticed that those kind of do a little bit better.
Yeah. Let's hang out and have a drink. Whoops. Push them over on the bus.
So, if there were people that were listening, could they like reach out to you? And could you guys pair people with podcasts if they want to try and experiment with it?
Yeah, absolutely. It's so funny because today alone, I've had a total of five or six emails that come by that say, Hey, I have a client that wrote a book or I'm somebody who just opened a business and it's health and wellness. And that's something we just kind of opened up, but it seems to really be working well because the more we open up to it, the more we have people then wanting to do stuff and we're pairing it.
It's easy to probably get all hung up on the numbers. And I know that for me, I just kind of, I looked the other way. I don't even want to know stuff like that. I mean, once in a while I asked Katie my producer and she's like, no, no, you're good. Because what's the right number? So I got to think when people come to you, is that like really a lot in their mind? How many people are going to listen?
That's the main concern of everybody. And I love where your attitude is. Cause I agree with you full heartedly. If you have a good product, if you're enjoying doing it and your message is good, what does it matter? You could have a thousand people or four people, as long as your message is getting across. But to most people it becomes a number game and how many countries are they in and how many States are there? And podcasting is hard. You know, I had someone today being like, well, how do we break it down to the age group? They haven't really figured out how to do that. You know, I can tell you if someone's listening all the way from the beginning to the end, but they haven't figured it out like the Nielsen ratings and whoever that nut to figure that out is going to make millions.
I wish I could figure it out, but it's just not that easy to do. You know? So, it's at that point that it is, it's like, okay, so someone in Belgium is listening to that's great. But I think if you get caught up so much in the numbers, it's taking away from you and from your product and what your message really is.
What would be a tip of the week that you would give somebody listening
I think not just listening to podcasts, but also sharing podcasts. You like the podcast, share it.
What does that mean? Just because I knew for clarification sharing it. What does that mean?
I mean, in any way or form. Tell all your friends, like I really liked this podcast. It can be sharing that you just listened to it on social media platforms, it can be putting it in an email group at the end of your email. I think that's something really important. It's if you enjoy something, share it because there's a lot of good podcasts out there that get lost because people don't know what's out there. So that would, that would be my tip of the week.