The consistent rise in podcast listeners has led to a growing opportunity for high-quality, well-executed, impactful podcasts in the business space. But, even though the number of monthly podcast listeners is on track to reach 112 million by 2021, many brands are still wondering why podcasting should play a role in their marketing strategy.

Yet, as 17% of marketers implemented a podcast into their marketing strategy last year, there’s no time to wait around for your competitors to enter the space and lead the way. To help provide context into why an audio strategy should be a part of your marketing efforts, here are seven ways that a podcast can blend with, and bolster, your brand.

The Benefit of Brand Strength

An informative, engaging podcast opens the door for building your brand’s reputation and positioning your brand as an authority in the space. Your podcast can be a traditional interview style or take a more creative approach, but either way, you're building credibility with your audience by positioning your brand as a thought leader within your specific industry.

The Benefit of Powerful Audio

Audio is a long-standing avenue of communication for a reason — it’s the only form of content you can consume without staring at a screen. Your brand has a chance to engage your audience while they’re experiencing life: cooking dinner, driving to work or going on a run. And, if you’re worried that people are more likely to tune out when they aren’t visually engaged, don’t be! Eighty percent of people listen to all or most of the podcast episodes they consume. How many people will read your entire blog post?

The Benefit of Promoting Experts

Let’s face it, no one knows the value of your business better than your people. Through podcasting, your brand’s leaders and internal experts have an avenue to build their own presence in the space, which only adds credibility to your brand. Not to mention, the format of podcasts allows your host to deliver your brand’s message in a way that speaks to your audience better than any blog post ever could.

The Benefit of Reaching a New Audience

When it comes to connecting with your audience, traditional content marketing only gets you part of the way there. As much as we’d like to believe it’s true, not everyone will read your blog posts or download your whitepapers. Luckily, a whole new audience can consume that content through your podcast. As more people turn to podcasts as a way to consume valuable content, the opportunity to provide expertise is too large to leave on the table.

The Benefit of Better SEO

If you thought SEO only applied to written content, think again! Podcasts rank highly in Google — especially when that content is utilized across your other properties. Not to mention, by plugging the specific keywords already powering your overall content strategy into your podcast episodes, you can further capitalize on the search audience you’re already targeting.

The Benefit of Building a Community

Podcasting is a community-driven medium. As your audience grows, so do your opportunities to connect with them. A podcast allows you to start a two-way conversation with your target audience, inviting them to engage further with you and other listeners, helping you better understand what they like about your brand and what could be better. Through your community, you’ll also be able to identify evangelists that you can equip to share your message.

The Benefit of a Content Machine

Every marketer knows the value of evergreen content — and podcasts are a perfect fit because they allow listeners to download from a back-catalog of episodes. Better yet, as your podcast grows, the strong your brand looks to new listeners who have a selection of topics that relate to their specific needs.

But, don’t think of a podcast as standalone content. Podcasts have the power to be the engine of your entire content strategy. Aside from evergreen episodes, you can create clips to share on social media, video version to post on YouTube or even transcribe episodes to promote on your blog.

A podcast shouldn’t be another thing to add to your to-do list. Instead, it can be a way of doing everything differently while simultaneously building a community. Your brand’s show allows all of your marketing to be done more efficiently while creating opportunities to bridge connections and start conversations.