How do you communicate with your workforce? Emails, for sure. Maybe webinars. Lots of meetings and national conferences? All of these communication modes are predicated on the hope that emails are read, webinars are available at the right time of day, meetings and especially national conferences are not forgotten within days. And of course, all of these are needed, but shouldn’t you consider adding one more way for your employees to access all of the great and important things on your business? The answer should be a resounding yes! Because with podcasts, all of your business information and key company initiatives become part of a library of content for your employees and sales teams to access whenever and wherever on their mobile devices.
All of these modes of keeping employees informed, educated and motivated have had a role to play in building your culture, improving your sales, and beating your competitors. But they’re all about to be supercharged by the fastest-growing and I would argue much more compelling method of private business podcasts.
First, some statistics that tell the story.
In a study of more than 5,600 Americans—“The Podcast Consumer 2019”—conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital:
All of these numbers show a significant increase over the previous year, a trend that seems unstoppable – and it’s just now being adopted by innovative companies…perhaps one of your competitors.
What this means is that many of your employees, especially younger employees, are already fans of podcasts as a means of listening to business icons, sales experts, and a myriad of media and entertainment personalities. And trust me, they are listening on their commutes, over lunch, in-between sales calls, traveling… you get where this is going… they should be listening to compelling and important company podcasts. So, beyond that, why is it right for your company?
Meaningful messaging: Employees get information from the horse’s mouth—senior leaders who can deliver important news bulletins, motivational messages or training in a much more compelling manner than through the written word.
Relationship building: Executives are able to reveal their personalities, speak passionately about issues, and connect with their listeners, creating a “we’re all in this together” spirit. There’s no way to lead a company with hundreds or thousands of employees if they don’t believe and trust in your leadership. And while it’s not possible to meet with everyone in person, podcasts feel like a one-to-one discussion between senior leadership and the individual employee. Podcasts will help them feel they know you and your values.
Mobile: Remember the famous American Express advertising campaign “Don’t leave home without it?” Today no one today leaves home without their smart phone and two-thirds of podcast consumers listen on a mobile device. Because they can listen anywhere, any time. According to Nielsen there was a 157 percent increase in smartphone podcast listening in just three years. The Millennials and Gen Z’s are forcing companies to adapt to a new way of communication – make it easy for them, accessible 24/7, and in a bite-size format (15-25 minutes) that informs, with just enough creative audio elements to make them want to listen.
Multi-tasking: Jay Baer, author of six books including “Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth,” says that one of the great drivers of podcast consumption growth is that they are the ultimate multi-tasking content format. He puts it this way: “Ever try to mow your lawn while reading a blog post? Or while watching a YouTube video? Doable maybe, but not advisable. Podcasts, however, you can consume while you’re doing other stuff, making them perfect to fit into the same time window as other life activities.”
Results getting: Evidence that podcasts get results also came in the Edison survey with 54 percent of listeners reporting that they are more likely to buy a product or service that they hear advertised. The significance is that your employees are likely to be even more engaged with your message. And it’s well known that audio keeps hold of someone’s attention for a longer period of time.
Keeping it confidential: You probably have data or strategies that you don’t want to reveal to the world—especially your competitors. You can set up a secure private network for your podcasts that can only be accessed by the people you want to be able to access. And you can even review analytics on your podcasts (who is listening, how often, etc) and they can share feedback on episodes.
Culture building: What does your company stand for? Do you have a genuine purpose? Do you practice what you preach? Employees can get a much better feel for who you are and what you believe in when they listen to your heartfelt podcast communication.
All in all, I have come to the conclusion that private business podcasts are the future. The most powerful way for a company to communicate and build solid relationships with its employees.
Gary Reynolds is Founder of FieldCast, a company that produces podcasts for corporations with large distributed networks of employees. He founded experiential marketing agency GMR, which represented hundreds of global brands over his 40 years at the helm. Contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.626.3620.