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Have you heard? The podcasting sector is booming! 🎧 And your mission is worthy of a prominent seat at the table.
Consider this: the number of monthly U.S. podcast listeners will increase by 10.1% year-over-year to 117.8 million in 2021 alone. In fact, our friends over at Edison Research found that both the listenership of podcasts and the number of podcasts are steadily growing. While popularity still skews slightly toward younger listeners, about 10% of Americans over the age of 55 listen to at least one podcast a month. The demographics also slightly favor men (56% to 44%) and people with higher levels of education.
Since launching our podcast just over a year ago, we’ve learned a lot about what works, how to leverage marketing to tell a compelling story, and how to build community around the microphone.
Podcasting blends a perfect mix of sharing expertise, attracting like-minded friends, sharing stories of impact, lifting important topics and issues, and (gosh darn it) having a lot of fun along the way.
Here are 5️⃣ quick reasons why the world’s podcasting community needs to hear from your nonprofit.
- It leverages the expertise and thought leadership existing right now in your organization. You already have your mission experts in-house: physicians, professors, social workers, climate experts, animal activists, etc. Whatever your mission—tap into the minds who know the problem best AND provide answers to solve it. Keep in mind: learners are podcast listeners. So give them great content and point them to action at the end.
- Storytelling is the key to human connection. Telling a compelling story connects people to purpose. Podcasting allows you to tell these stories rawly and transparently because vulnerability helps us tap into the empathy needed to influence action. Know those incredible stories unfolding within your Givebutter account right now? Harness them! Why did people give? Why did they choose to start this campaign? How do they feel changed by the experience? These are campaign stories begging to be told. And the profound ripple they create will build believers in your mission—and donors too.
- It’s affordable and the tech and equipment aren’t as scary as you think. You might be saying, “Becky, I’ve got no budget for this!” Then I’ll calmly pat your hand and say, “We can do this on a shoestring, my friend.” A good microphone 🎙 would likely be your largest expense. But music can be free, editing can be done on an open-source platform, and hosting costs are minimal. Stay with me because I’ve got a complete breakdown for low-cost options below👇
- Podcasting creates incredible long-form content that can be applied to multi-channel syndication. Oh, the places your content can go once recorded! Employing a transcript service (affordable!) creates instant long-form content of your conversations that can be applied to your website, social channels, impact reports, Gala scripts, brochure copy, year-end appeals—the possibilities are endless! Consider videotaping your interview (even on Zoom) to put a face with the conversation, and provide further exposure in other mediums (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram).
- You have the potential to change someone’s life for the better. You might feel like you’re tapping the same people in your same community to connect with your organization. Podcasting possesses the power to bring a global audience to your doorstep. And it unites us around the good we want to see in the world. We have seen podcasting unite strangers, bring awareness, and leverage the healing power of philanthropy to transform lives for the better. Your mission possesses the power to do the same.
Now that you’re convinced, let’s walk through 5️⃣ hacks to help you podcast smarter not harder.
- Batch your interviews. Trust me on this one - batching will save your time and your sanity. [insert heel kick] So what is it? Batching is grouping similar tasks and executing them together. For example, rather than interviewing a guest once a month, string four interviews together in one day, complete your outros for each, edit them at the same time, and sit back and enjoy the fact that you have a month’s worth of podcast episodes done in ¼ the time it would take you to individually complete them. Batching interviews maximizes your time and also cuts down on setup/takedown. We love a good process that’s smooth as butter. 🧈
- Stand up a landing page. Remember: your website is the front porch of your organization, and you want all communication running from its hub. A landing page on your site allows visitors to opt-in to emails, review show notes, and peek around to see what else is happening in your “house.”
- Build out your social media channels. Think about your customer avatar—the person you want to listen, engage, and (ultimately) become a donor in your nonprofit. Select a platform that appeals to that demographic. Millennials likely won’t congregate on Facebook while Boomers aren’t charging to join TikTok. Define your audience and move to the spaces they frequent.
- Start building up followers in advance of launch. When we started our podcast, we had to start from scratch. But not you, you lucky folks. You already have built-in believers in your mission. HOLLA! Dig into that database and extract those warmed email addresses. Tease your podcast launch on social channels and drive followers to sign up for podcast emails.
- Release a trailer! Let your soul and personality shine as you record your trailer, and keep in mind it doesn’t have to be long (we did a 1-minute trailer). Trailers help with initial listens, ranking, and downloads. Once it’s published, push it to your email list AND announce it on all your social media channels. It gives listeners a small feel of what you’re about. Plus, you have to submit before you can launch.
**BONUS** (because you inspired me to be charitable! 🥰)
- Email and social channels will drive listeners (then listeners will eventually drive social!). Email and social channels will become the Holy Grail for growing your reach and weekly downloads moving forward, so put a lot of effort into making your emails hold a lot of value-add for listeners, which provides a weekly cadence to share about the free content/stories coming out via the podcast that week.
**FREEBIE!! (because who doesn’t love a good starter toolkit? 🧰)
Still feeling overwhelmed? No problem. I got you covered, new friend. 👊 We built a podcasting resource page with the tools we use, equipment, music, where to find rankings, simple tools for booking guests, and more. It’s your one-stop shop to have a solid setup before you hit that record button.
I hope you’re convinced that the world is ready to hear what your organization has to say. Your mission is tackling society’s most prolific problems and delivering incredibly-needed services and information. Cast its story and vision into the world and await the ambassadors that come to learn and be inspired by your voice. Still doubtful? Then consider this: take the risk your mission deserves.
Now is the time for ingenuity and leveraging tech to create community. The world is bursting with a digital community awaiting your arrival.
You’ve got this, my friend. I’m rooting for you.
👊, Becky 💃
Givebutter made a $100 donation to Becky's charity of choice, Please help two Afghan families, for her guest blog contribution.
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