(From the October 2021 Edition of eFORUM)
By Erin Bury
Podcasts have become a mainstream medium with millions of listeners. According to a 2020 report from Edison Research, 25% of adults in Canada are weekly podcast listeners, and overall, 15 million Canadians listen to podcasts. These listeners are largely affluent, educated Millennials who now account for the majority of our workforce and have the most purchasing power.
“Podcasts fit in really well into our busy lives. We can be driving to work and listening to a podcast, but we can’t be watching a Netflix show. We can be washing our dishes and listening to a podcast, but we can’t be reading an article,” says Fatima Zaidi, the founder of podcasting agency and tech platform Quill. “It’s the only medium where being actively engaged in another activity increases engagement rather than hurts it.”
As they’ve become more popular, financial advisors and personal finance experts have launched podcasts to grow their audiences, and at some point, you’ve likely wondered whether you should dip your toe into podcasting. Let’s examine three reasons why you may want to add podcasting to your marketing mix.
You’re constantly looking for new ways to become a go-to for financial advice. You might build thought leadership in a variety of ways currently, from writing blog posts to sending out email newsletters to hosting webinars, and podcasts are just another tool that can help you showcase your expertise. The benefit of a podcast is that it gives you the ability to share longer-form content in your voice, and to dive deeper into topics of interest. You can do this by approaching other podcasts to have you on as an interviewee, or by launching your own podcast.
Take David O’Leary, an advisor at Kind Wealth in Toronto. He launched a podcast called The Kind Wealth Club that focuses on his firm’s commitment to social impact investing. In his hour-long episodes he shares his own personal story, which helps to build affinity with potential clients, and he dives deeper into topics like personal finances in an emergency. Being on a podcast — whether your own or someone else’s — not only positions you as an expert, but it also allows you to go deeper on topics you care about; to bring in experts for interviews; and to further build a brand around your niche expertise.
Podcasts are great for engaging your existing clients, but they’re also a fantastic way to find a new audience — whether you’re launching your own podcast; being interviewed on someone else’s podcast; or advertising on a podcast (or all three). Through the discovery tools on apps like Apple Podcasts, potential clients can find your show and easily subscribe to future episodes. You can also promote your podcasts, or episodes you’re featured on, via your other marketing channels, including social media, email, YouTube, and your website. For existing clients, this helps to showcase your expertise and educate them on topics of interest. For prospective clients, this helps them get to know you. Podcasts showcase your personality, and allow listeners to get a sense of who you really are. But make no mistake, they can also be excellent sales tools. “Podcasts have very high conversion rates,” says Quill’s Zaidi. “They’re a great tactic for sales lead generation, and a great way to build relationships with prospective companies or clients. Podcasts are not just a great marketing tool, but should also be used to help support your sales funnel.”
Launching a podcast is a lot of work and includes writing scripts, recording, editing, and promoting. For many advisors, it may be more feasible to start with advertising on other podcasts. For example, at my company Willful, we’ve placed ads on podcasts from personal finance experts, including the MoreMoney podcast, the MapleMoney podcast, and the Canadaland podcast. We’ve also focused on securing interviews on podcasts, including the Fintech Impact podcast, to share more about our story and the importance of estate planning. If you know that you don’t have the resources (time and/or money) to launch a podcast yourself, you can either hire an agency like Quill to outsource the work, or you can start small by advertising on a podcast and measuring the impact.
The bottom line is podcasts are here to stay. I’m a huge podcast fan, and I listen to at least an hour of episodes per day — and the stats show I’m not alone. As we begin to return to the office and spend more time commuting, it’s likely that podcasts will become even more ubiquitous — so don’t ignore them as a channel to increase your distribution and attract new clients.
Erin Bury is the CEO at Willful.co, an online will platform that empowers advisors to help clients with estate planning. She has more than a decade of experience building brands.