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It is not surprising to see the exponential growth in podcast listening and the subsequent volume of podcasts available in every genre for us to enjoy. As a medium it is wonderfully easy to consume, be it on your commute, doing the housework, in the gym or any activity where you can metaphorically plug-in your headphones and just listen. So it stands to reason that businesses have jumped on this medium, beyond sponsoring or advertising, and are creating their own series to engage with their audience in new ways.
The newest phenomenon in business podcasting is internal business podcasting.
What is internal podcasting?
In essence, it is the creation of a podcast series to be enjoyed only by a defined and restricted audience e.g. members of a club, employees, or even segments from within the company (specific teams, like sales teams). The audience listens through a dedicated app on their phone and the company has complete control over who listens and more importantly who does not listen (i.e. the general public) to the podcast, so only your intended audience can securely access the business podcast series.
Whilst town-halls and departmental meetings are useful in sharing key updates it does mean the individuals need to take time out of their day to be present, which for some means stopping work to attend. But for international companies, the time zones can make it challenging for others to attend. Garnering staff feedback and questions can also be difficult, especially when there is no chance to be anonymous. Intranets can be graveyards for content and still require the individual to dedicate time to read the topics in hand.
If done right, internal business podcasts can be entertaining, uplifting and they offer a unique platform for two-way communication via comments and questions after each episode. Internal podcasts can literally bring people together and increase the feeling of belonging to the company or association.
Never before has this need for individuals to bond with their company been more important. Covid has forced employees all over the world to work from home and naturally become more isolated, which for some has been a tough and lonely experience.
Many organisations have since adopted more flexible working, so being able to reach and connect with remote workers will likely continue. The perfect storm of Covid and podcast maturity has seen an explosion in internal business podcasting.
Thinking outside the box
At Auddy, we are also seeing new innovative internal podcast strategies including organisations creating exclusive content for their members or franchisees. Podcasts deliver added value to members which can help retain them and attract new ones. Some companies are charging members to subscribe and listen to their content, or indeed including partners to sponsor the podcast to cover the costs or to create an additional revenue stream.
However, it is important to respect the medium. Not all communications are suitable for audio. For example, a motivational training podcast series is appropriate for podcasting but compliance or policy training, probably not.
Content, structure, tonality and most importantly, your communication objectives, will inform whether podcasting is the correct medium. While it can be extremely quick and cheap to throw up, say, a weekly CEO update, these often fail to engage listeners. Therefore, it is imperative that objectives are defined, metrics for success are detailed and resources either internal and/or external are allocated to achieve your communication objectives.
So with all that said, here are my 5 reasons why businesses should invest in an internal podcast.
- Poor internal communication continues to be one of the main complaints from employees. Internal business podcasting allows you to bond with remote workers to make them feel connected to your company.
- Managers are finding it more difficult to communicate with younger generations in their company and business podcasting can bridge the gap between generations.
- Sharing success stories or individuals’ achievements can be incredibly motivational, which makes people proud of who they work for and helps in recruiting and retaining staff.
- Podcasting is an incredibly efficient medium for internal communications. Allowing individuals to listen on their own time and not necessarily on company time, PLUS with the higher levels of engagement which podcasts receive, more of your content will land with your audience.
- They allow you to engage with business partners – to give them access to your audience to contribute or cover your costs, which builds a revenue stream from your podcast series.