5 Ways Smart Business Owners Are Using Podcasts To Grow

From the introduction of the television, which revolutionized advertising, to the internet era that redefined commerce, history is filled with moments where innovation intertwined with business. Now, as we navigate the 21st century, it's clear that a new audio sensation is echoing through the halls of all industries: the podcast.

Podcasting, once the quaint realm of hobbyists and niche communities, has exploded into the mainstream, making a sonic impact through every corner of the digital world. With earbuds becoming just as ubiquitous as smartphones, an audial revolution is at hand…or in your ears.

The soundwaves of discussions, stories, and advice broadcasted via podcasts hold within them an unmatched power — the power to influence, engage, and convert. Whether navigating the first steps of their journey or steering a well-established empire, entrepreneurs have begun to recognize and harness this power.

But why? What potential does it unlock for companies looking for more ways to expand? This blog explores the unique opportunities podcasting offers, contributing to the success stories of many.

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Build Brand Authority

Simply having a product or service isn't enough in the digital age. The modern consumer values trust, expertise, and authenticity, often basing purchasing decisions on brand authority in the industry.

Depth Over Breadth

One of the significant advantages of podcasting is its capacity to delve deep into topics. Unlike a 30-second advertisement or even a 500-word blog post, a podcast episode, which can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, allows for a thorough exploration of subjects.

This depth enables brands to showcase their industry knowledge and understanding. A tech company, for instance, can elaborate on the latest cybersecurity scandals, while a medical brand might delve into the science behind nutritional supplements.

A Case In Point: The Masters of Scale

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder, launched the podcast "Masters of Scale," where he converses with iconic entrepreneurs about the secrets behind their successful ventures. Through these discussions, Hoffman doesn't merely entertain his audience; he further solidifies his position as an authority in the startup and tech industry.

Guest Appearances: A Two-Way Street

Having industry experts or well-known influencers on your podcast isn’t just a method of offering value or entertainment. It's also a strategic move to boost brand authority and host credibility. When a recognized leader in a field joins your podcast, their influence rubs off on your brand. Moreover, these guest appearances often lead to cross-promotion, and audiences will likely converge.

Real Conversations, Real Engagement

Unlike scripted commercials, podcasts are perceived as more organic and genuine. The conversational tone, the spontaneity of dialogues, and the unfiltered exchange of ideas foster an environment of trust.

When a brand opens up about its challenges, celebrates its milestones, or shares behind-the-scenes stories, it becomes more transparent and authentic, further establishing its authority in listeners' eyes.

Personalized Marketing & Storytelling

For businesses, storytelling is a tool and a pathway to forging deeper connections with their audiences. Podcasts, in their very essence, are today’s digital campfires around which stories unfold and where personalized marketing takes a front seat.


When Mailchimp decided to increase brand awareness, they didn't just pour money into conventional ads. Instead, they sponsored the wildly popular podcast Serial. While listeners came for the gripping true-crime stories, they stayed and subtly absorbed the repetitive “Mail...kimp?” mispronunciation in the show’s introduction. This marketing masterstroke was subtle and memorable, showcasing the company's understanding of the power of association.

Stories Over Sales Pitches

Gone are the days when aggressive sales tactics could guarantee conversion. Audiences seek value, entertainment, and authentic engagement in the podcast space.

Consider the podcast "How I Built This" by Guy Raz. Each episode takes listeners on a journey through the ups and downs faced by entrepreneurs while building their empires. These stories are not blatant advertisements but inherently promote the dedication, innovation, and resilience of the brands and founders featured. It's marketing without "marketing."

Engaging Niche Audiences

A significant advantage of podcasting is its capacity to cater to niche markets. For instance, Shopify's podcast "Vanguard" zeroes in on the world of fashion and e-commerce, presenting stories of brands that have impacted this space. Instead of casting a wide net, they focus on engaging a specific audience profoundly and meaningfully.

Diversifying Revenue Streams

As many financial gurus would affirm, diversification is the key to resilience and growth. And with their versatility, podcasts open doors to opportunities for businesses to diversify their revenue streams.

Sponsorships & Advertisements

One of the most straightforward ways podcasts monetize is through sponsorships and ads. Podcasts with a sizable listenership attract brands willing to pay a premium to get their message across to a dedicated audience. For instance, the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know often integrates sponsored segments into their episodes, allowing brands like Squarespace or Audible to reach millions of listeners.

Premium Content & Subscription Models

The idea of offering exclusive content for a price is no stranger to business podcasters. While Dave Ramsey provides invaluable financial insights for free on his podcast, he has a suite of courses, tools, and resources on his platform. These, such as "Financial Peace University," are premium offerings that dive deeper into the principles he advocates.

Live Shows & Events

Some podcasts transcend the digital realm, transforming into live events, workshops, or full-fledged tours. These events can be ticketed, offering another source of income. "My Favorite Murder," a true-crime comedy podcast, turned its success into live shows across the US, selling out venues and further expanding its brand reach.

Offering Courses or Consulting Services

There's an opportunity to monetize expertise directly for podcasts specializing in particular areas, like budgeting or personal development. They can offer courses, workshops, e-books, or consulting services. The $100 MBA Show is a podcast and an entire platform. Omar Zenhom, the host, offers listeners access to his complete business training and community, turning content consumers into paying customers.

Final Note

Podcasting, often seen as a passion project or a hobby, has evolved into a creative business tool. Its format, reach, and interactive nature make it indispensable for entrepreneurs. Whether at the dawn of your business journey or as a veteran CEO, podcasting has something invaluable to offer. Dive in, and let this audial wave amplify your business growth.