Do you listen to podcasts on a regular basis? If the answer is no, you’re part of a shrinking minority. The majority of Americans (and listeners in developed countries around the world) listen to podcasts at least occasionally, with many listeners tuning into their favorite shows every day.
The sheer popularity of podcasting has led millions of savvy marketers to try and tap the channel for marketing opportunities. Sometimes, they start a podcast on behalf of their business, interviewing people connected to the industry and talking about new products. Other times, they use it as a content marketing channel to promote and popularize their brand’s archive of content.
Either way, the income potential is impressive, to say the least. Moreover, with a sizable podcast listening audience, you could get millions of additional visitors to your site – and new fans for your brand.
But here’s the thing – podcasting is an environment that’s already saturated with hosts and content creators. And there’s no guarantee podcasting will continue growing as it has in the past decade.
So is it too late to begin podcasting as a marketing strategy for your startup?
Why podcasting? What makes this strategy so unique and desirable in the first place?
- Ease of entry. The simplest podcasts are simply casual conversations between two people who know each other. Even more complex setups aren’t especially demanding. With any computer, a decent microphone, and a bit of free time on your hand, you can create and upload a podcast of your own. This makes the cost low and the barrier to entry basically nonexistent. Because the upside is so significant, this makes the return on investment (ROI) potential for a podcast ridiculously good.
- Potential audience size. There are hundreds of millions of people listening to podcasts on a regular basis. If you can manage to tap even a small sliver of that audience, you’ll have a robust listenership to whom you can market your business.
- Flexibility and topic possibilities. There aren’t really any rules about what you can and can’t podcast. Likewise, you’re not limited by any regulations or platform requirements (for the most part). That means you can talk and operate however you choose.
- Potential scale. If you have a successful podcast and a loyal audience, you can quickly scale up your efforts without spending more money. You have the potential to snowball your audience from very small to very large without fundamentally changing your core operations, meaning you can keep making more money indefinitely without spending more.
- Content diversification advantages. Podcasting is an excellent tool for content diversification. Content marketing strategies often center on written content; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to see better results and reach more people, it’s essential to incorporate mediums like video marketing, image development, and audio streams like podcasting.
- Podcast networking and interviews. Podcasts are also advantageous because they make it easy to connect with other podcasters. If your show starts getting attention, you might have the option to do interviews with other known podcasters in your niche; the cross-marketing potential is almost unlimited.
- Connection to other channels. Most people also don’t podcast in a vacuum. As a marketing channel, podcasting can connect to almost any other marketing or advertising channel you can think of; it has tremendous synergy with written content, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
Why “Too Late” Is a Concern
So why are people concerned that it might be “too late” to get into the podcast game? Are these advantages going to disappear?
Not exactly, but there are some serious threats:
- Podcasts as a fad. Podcasts have experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, growing from relatively obscure to a staple of modern existence. But, is this growth going to continue? Is it going to remain consistent from here on out? Or was this explosive growth just a temporary fad? If the latter case is true, podcasts could be in store for shrinking popularity in the near-term future.
- Early risers. Some podcasts benefitted from being ahead of the curve. Many of today’s most popular shows are ones that started before podcasts were a popular forum. Without the benefit of riding that initial wave of popularity, it could be harder to build a sufficient audience.
- Established competition. There are millions of successful podcasts out there, and millions more unsuccessful and struggling ones. So if you want to earn customer trust and new business, you’ll have your work cut out for you. In addition, you’ll be competing with people worldwide, many of whom will have more experience and bigger existing audiences. In this view, the podcasting world is too saturated to be a reasonable marketing opportunity.
- Marketing and consumer fatigue. Using podcasting for marketing and advertising could also be problematic. Because marketing is so common in podcasting, many listeners are growing fatigued of the dense and transparent promotional activity. Pushing your product or business too much could actively turn people away.
Uniquely Defining Your Podcast
You can get around some of the biggest problems with entering podcasting now by uniquely defining your podcast – creating something truly original that stands apart from your competitors.
Here are just some of the ways you can do it:
- Topic novelty. Choose to cover a topic that no one has covered before, or a topic that has been neglected by the most popular authorities in the space. It’s challenging to find something that’s not already been done to death, but if you can find something, you’ll have an easy way to stand out.
- Niche demographic targeting. You can also cover a topic for a niche demographic – one that isn’t being reached by current podcasters. For example, you could specialize in targeting teenagers or retirees, rather than middle-aged adults.
- Entertainment value. Using a unique tone of voice or adopting a sarcastic style could help you make your podcast as entertaining as it is informative. If there’s a unique character to the show or something entertaining about it that’s truly original, you’ll be in a much better position to attract new listeners.
- Genre innovation. You can also try experimenting with podcasting as a genre. Many people go into podcasting with interviews, monologues, or dramatic readings. But maybe you could try something else entirely – and tap into a market that’s been hitherto undiscovered.
Is It Truly Too Late?
So what’s the bottom line here. Is it really too late to start a podcast?
If you haven’t jumped into podcasting yet, you’ve missed the initial surge of the medium’s popularity. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about that. But it’s not truly too late to take advantage of podcasting as a marketing channel, as long as you:
- Know what you’re getting into. Make sure you know what you’re about to face. Who are the biggest competitors in this niche? Who are your target demographics, and what’s most important to them? How much will it cost to keep your podcast operational, and do you stand to make enough money to cover those costs?
- Find a way to be different. Making your podcast both valuable and unique can be tricky – especially when you’re facing literally millions of competitors. So you have to find a way to be different, whether it’s in the topics you’re covering or the way you’re covering the topics — if you want to be successful, change it up.
- Minimize your spending and reliance. Since you can create simple remote setups for voice recording, it shouldn’t be hard to minimize your spending in the early days of your podcast’s development. It’s also a good idea to diversify your marketing approaches, so you’re never too reliant on one channel or approach.
Podcasting remains one of the most accessible and cost-efficient content marketing strategies around. As long as you have a solid plan and a flexible mindset, you should be able to get it to work for your brand.
Image Credit: george milton; pexels; thank you!
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!