One thing Mortgage Brokers always need to be on the lookout for new ways to get in front of more people in order to get the most leads possible. Keeping up to date with the latest and greatest marketing tactics is a great way to ensure people in your marketplace are constantly seeing your face and your services. One of the biggest shifts in digital marketing in the past few years is the move from written marketing (e.g. blogs, ebooks and PDF’s) to audio & video formats. Podcasts offer a tremendous opportunity for any mortgage broker that wants to be visible online to more people and get more leads in their pipeline.
Why You Should Add Podcasts To Your Mortgage Marketing Strategy
If you take a look at the statistics around podcasts, you can gain a lot of insight into consumer behavior as audio content continues to evolve. Recently, Edison Research released a study called The Podcast Consumer 2019. This report contains lots of great statistics that point to the continual growth of podcasts, year over year since 2015.
Here are some of the highlights from their report:
70% of Americans Have Heard of Podcasts
This is up 64% from 2018. In just the past 12 months alone, approximately 20 million Americans discovered what a podcast is.
51% of Americans (12 or older) Have Listened to a Podcast
144 million Americans have listened to a podcast. That is a massive amount of people in the Country and points to a tipping point in interest. Generally, when a tipping point in a platform happens, growth picks up more rapidly and the platform becomes more and more of a universal norm.
32% of Americans Listen to Podcasts Monthly
This is an increase of roughly 26 percent in the last year. That is the biggest increase in podcast listening in a one year period.
Nearly One-Quarter of Americans Listen to Podcasts Weekly
To be exact, 22 percent of Americans listen to a podcast each week. That equates to 62 million Americans. It’s important to note here that this is the largest increase in listening since this study was started in 2013.
Podcast Listeners Are Much More Likely to Earn $75,000+ per Year
Podcast listeners are also part of the most affluent segment in America. In the United States right now, roughly 29 percent of households earn $75,000 per year or more. If you look at podcast listeners, 41 percent of that group are podcast listeners.
More Than Half of Podcast Consumers Have Multi-tasked While Listening
One of the reasons podcast listener-ship has grown so much is because of the easy way they can be consumed. Whether you are on the treadmill at the gym, running errands in your car, or sitting at your desk working, you can listen to a podcast. You can’t do any of these things if you were reading a blog or watching a YouTube video.
Podcasts allow you to consume content while you’re working on other things. They fit perfectly into today’s busy lifestyle.
3 Great Mortgage Podcasts To Check Out
One great way to get acclimated with mortgage podcasts and to come up with ideas about what kinds of content you would like to feature in your episodes is to listen to what other great mortgage podcasters are out there doing. Here are some of our favorites:
Jo Garner’s podcast is once per week. She is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country. Jo’s mortgage team goes the extra mile for her customers, listening to the customer to make sure the mortgage product fits what they want today and what they need later.
Publishing two episodes per quarter, the Mortgage Guide discusses all things mortgage and real estate. From the basic first time home buyer scenario to the seasoned investor with a diverse portfolio of properties, you will get something out of every episode. Find out what lenders are looking for, and set yourself up for success for your next home purchase or real estate investment.
The SCL Mortgage Show is a weekly podcast that helps listeners navigate the uncertainties of the mortgage process. Sandy Clough hosts a live show every Saturday with co-host Larry Jaeger. They discuss a new topic weekly and take callers questions about traditional mortgages and Special Circumstance Mortgages. Often, Larry will invite industry leaders such as Realtors, Appraisers, etc. as guests to the show to explore areas related to residential mortgages.
Choosing The Right Equipment For Your Mortgage Podcast
When it comes to podcasting equipment, there is a ton of it to choose from. For this reason, if you are just starting out, it can be pretty confusing. At the end of the day, the thing you need to remember is that even though there is a lot of gear out there, you certainly don’t need it all when getting ready to launch your mortgage podcast. Start out with the basics and then over time you can add more equipment. Phones are actually good enough these days that they can handle almost any starting podcast.
To help narrow things down, here is a list of things you will absolutely need to get your mortgage podcast off the ground
This perhaps is very obvious, but in case you didn’t think about it, you absolutely need a computer to record and upload your podcast .mp3 files. It’s most likely that your existing computer can do this just fine, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing anything expensive to get started.
One of the biggest factors in whether or not a listener will stick with your podcast is the quality of the recording. For this reason, don’t use your computer’s built-in microphone. The easiest way to get started is to just use your phone or use a USB microphone. If you have multiple people you are planning on having on your podcast, or you want more flexibility, you will need one or more microphones with an XLR output.
Pop Filter / Windscreen
A pop filter or windscreen will greatly minimize pops or other noises as you talk into the microphone. If you would like to get an idea for how these work, simply put your hand in front of your mouth and say “Prepayment Penalty”. Do you feel the air hitting your hand? That’s what the pop filter protects from.
Headphones prevent many mistakes and retakes. They allow you to hear yourself as you talk, so you can make sure the audio you are recording is coming out okay. It might seem a little strange to listen to yourself as you are speaking, but once you get used to it, it will be an invaluable tool. You don’t want to waste time recording something for an hour only to find out afterward that something wasn’t turned on or there was a loud buzz in the audio the whole time.
For beginners, the podcast editing software we recommend is Audacity or Garageband. They’re both free and relatively easy to use and learn. The next level up is Adobe Audition. There is a monthly fee for Audition via their Creative Cloud Subscription, but that subscription also gives you access to tons of other great software you can use (e.g. photoshop for episode cover art), so you may consider getting a subscription to their software.
You need dedicated hosting for your podcast files. Many people don’t understand that iTunes doesn’t host your actual .mp3 files. They just read an RSS feed and allow people to play your files.
One of the largest audio hosting platforms out there is SoundCloud.
Podcast Section On Your Mortgage Website
You will want a spot you can give people to visit, learn more, or get additional resources after they listen to your podcast. For this, the best practice is to create a section of your mortgage website that is a dedicated podcast page.
Optional Additional Equipment
There are other pieces of equipment such as an audio interface or a mixer that you might consider getting to make your podcasts even better, but initially, they are not required to get your mortgage podcast off the ground.
Editing Your Mortgage Podcast
Podcast editing is a very important piece of the puzzle. Remember, in addition to great podcast content (of course), the quality of the sound of the podcast can be directly related to how long a listener is going to listen to your episode.
Many mortgage brokers draw the line here and claim they can’t do a podcast because they don’t know how to edit audio. The truth is that with today’s audio tools, editing audio has never been easier.
When it comes down to it, in fact, there is really no official reason you need to edit your podcast at all. It all depends on how you record your episodes. For instance, if you stay on the outline of what you want to accomplish in your podcast and are just having a natural conversation with a guest, such as a residential real estate agent, perhaps you want to keep things authentic and just upload the raw audio.
If you need to edit your audio but don’t want to attempt to learn how to use tools such as Audacity or Garage band, there are also podcast editing services online that you can send your audio files to. They will go through it, clean it up, edit it and give you a great finished product.
Distributing Your Podcast
So you’ve recorded your first podcast episode and it sounds great. The next critical step to getting exposure and leads is to distribute it to the world. Distribution is one of the most amazing things about podcasting. It used to be that making audio content was impractical as a marketing vehicle because it was so hard to distribute. Once the podcasting model was introduced, getting your content out to the world became very easy.
The easiest way to distribute your podcast is by using a podcast hosting service.
Podcast Hosting Services
Many podcasters choose to store their podcasts on Soundcloud. You’ll want a Soundcloud Pro account. You can upload all your episodes here so when people discover your podcast they can easily listen to earlier episodes. Soundcloud Pro gives you 6 hours, but the better solution for podcasting is Pro Unlimited. These are paid services, but not too expensive for what you get.
Soundcloud has a very simple way audio can be stored on its site. The platform also automatically generates an RSS feed into the service. This RSS feed is what you will use to post your podcast on services like iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and other podcasting platforms.
Soundcloud also offers additional ways to share your episodes, such as an embeddable player that makes it easy to place episodes on your website and to share them on social media.
Get Started With Podcasting Today
If you are looking to increase your exposure and add new, cutting edge tactics to your marketing campaigns to put more leads into your mortgage pipeline, podcasts offer a wealth of opportunities for you to do just that. Use these tips to get your podcast off the ground, making yourself a mortgage thought leader and putting leads in your pipeline today.