Let’s keep it simple. Podcasting is about getting attention. So when you have a podcasting industry that continues to grow dramatically year after year with a diverse assortment of shows ranging from the zany to the intellectual, it’s certainly hard to ignore.According to the communications and research firm, eMarketer, by 2013, 17 percent of U.S. Internet users, or 37.6 million people, will download a podcast at least once per month.While the industry is still maturing and coming into its own among other media formats, there is still some debate as to just how effective a business podcast really is? It seems the jury is still out for some, yet for other businesses it has already proven to be a valuable and cost-effective way to extend the reach of their messages and gain a larger target audience.For now, let’s take a look at five reasons why your business may want to consider using a podcast.1. You are able to establish a more intimate connection with prospective clientsI am sure there is a psychologist out there that can explain this with greater insight, but there is something about allowing people to listen to your voice that seems to build trust and loyalty. This of course, is usually an important first step in creating a working relationship. Also important to this initial “getting to know you” stage is the listener’s perception of you as being an expert with your particular product or service.2. Your ability to reach a target audience that’s ready to listen to your messagesPeople listen to podcasts by choice, so only those who are sincerely interested in what you have to say will listen. If you are successful in keeping their interest and attention, listeners may subscribe to your business podcast so they are immediately aware whenever you have something new to communicate. More importantly, the new subscriber now has become a warm to hot lead as a prospective client/customer. This leads to the next big reason:3. Your messages are convenient and easy to access for prospective client/customersBy now you have recognized new media is very much about portability-the idea of “listening anywhere.” Having your businesses communicate its messages as a podcast provides your audience the ultimate listening convenience as they can listen to you on their laptop, MP3 player, or downloading the program to play in their car while driving. Remember, if they do this, they want to listen to you.4. You have the ability create advertising revenueWith the continued growth of podcast audiences, advertisers have already taken notice and added the medium as a part of their marketing strategies. In fact, advertising experts predict spending on podcast advertising will grow nearly tenfold within the next five years.5. You add a valuable channel of communication to your marketing mixIf you remember anything about the most effective way to market your business online today, it is the integration of multiple communication tools that create new entry points to your information. The business podcast is one such communication tool that does a great job of setting you apart from your competition, building authority in your industry, and developing new relationships that you may not have had otherwise.