When you think of digital marketing platforms, are podcasts one of the avenues that come to mind? I would guess the answer is no. Too often, podcasts are overlooked in digital marketing strategies in favor of blogging or social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Yet the numbers tell us it is a mistake to only market to our eyes. More businesses should consider either podcast advertising for their services or podcast creation as part of their marketing efforts.
While podcasts are one of the oldest forms of content on the internet, according to WebpageFX’s infographic on podcasts, interest in the medium has been steadily increasing. Podcasts were first mentioned in 2004 by Ben Hammersley, but popularity has been increasing steadily since 2012. The percentage of Americans twelve and over who listen to one podcast or more a month was at 24 percent as of 2016 and has risen to 26 percent in 2018. Numbers are only expected to rise in coming years. iTunes alone has 240 podcasts, making it a growing platform for businesses to utilize.
By appearing on a podcast, companies can gain loyal followers for years later. More businesses are starting to get on board with the idea of investing in podcasts as part of their digital marketing strategies, too; it’s estimated that $316 million was spent on podcast advertising in 2018.
Listeners Love Podcasts
There are reasons why listeners are falling in love with podcasts as an entertainment and educational medium. Edison Research on podcasts shows that 70 percent of listeners are attracted to them due to their in-demand nature, allowing individuals to intake their entertainment any time. 71 percent of listeners also enjoyed the flexibility in location as they could listen to their favorite podcasts on the train, in the car, while jogging and the list goes on. In 2018, 40 percent of audiences listened to podcasts on their smartphone. Podcasts are convenient, quick and accessible, making them perfect for busy people on the go. The same cannot be said about visual platforms most commonly used in digital marketing.
4 Reasons to Invest in Podcasts
If your business is new to the podcast craze, you may not see why they are a unique platform compared to that of social media. But there are some great reasons podcasts should be used alongside visual media to expand your company’s brand.
There are many reasons to consider podcasts in your marketing strategy.
1. Accessibility– As I explained above, listeners love the versatility of podcasts. They can be listened to anywhere at any time. But there is more to this than first meets the eye. Passive listening is the act of listening while multitasking. Podcasts allow audiences to passively listen to content while they perform other activities. Why is that a good thing?
Well, it means audiences can learn about your services and products without having to stop what they are doing or while they are doing everyday mundane tasks such as cleaning or driving. They do not need to take extra time out of their day to intake your content. The easier a platform makes it to get at content, the more likely a consumer will give your message a chance as they do not have to invest much on their part.
Additionally, not all people absorb information the same way. In other words, not everyone is a reader; some people are listeners. Companies ignore this demographic when they only focus on visual media.
2. Targeted Audience– 70 percent of listeners have noticed that products and services featured on their favorite podcasts tend to be relevant to their interests. Why is that?
Because podcasts are usually organized around a specific topic that audiences are interested in learning more about or discussing, it is easier than any other platform to curate advertising towards that group. Every single person listening is captivated with what you may be selling, as long as you are marketing on the right podcast. This is the reason company Mack Weldon saw an increase of 100 percent in sales from podcast marketing. They were able to match their product with a captive audience that was interested in things that directly related to that product.
3. Establishes Trust and Loyalty– Compared to reading, listening is simply more personal and intimate. Whether your business decides to create their own podcast or use podcasts as advertising, hearing a person excitedly tell you about a service or rave about a product adds emotion and depth that a Facebook or Twitter post may not be able to achieve.
The basic structure of podcasts also foster listening loyalty. Most people anticipate the release of each installment of their favorite podcasts, with each installment encouraging them to return for the next. Listeners become attached to the hosts, who in time earn their trust as curators of information. It is no wonder then that 65 percent of fans have stated they are more willing to buy services and products that they hear about on their regularly listened podcast. This loyalty can be extended to your brand if featured on podcasts where listeners see the hosts as experts in their field.
4. Brand Visibility– Those in marketing know that brand visibility is key. The more ways to get information about your product out into the world the better. Businesses should start using podcasts in their marketing strategies because, well, it is one more platform with an active audience to reach! Not everyone is on social media or has cable TV. Some of these people, however, might be listening to podcasts; this is just one more way you can ensure you are reaching them.
Creating a podcast or being featured can increase your website traffic as well. As listeners learn about your product they can be directed to your website for more information or to your social media if they have questions.
Goals For Podcasting
So now you know that podcasts are great. You are on board and want to try your hand at podcast marketing or, even more daring, you want to start a podcast for your business. But as a business, what goals should you have when using podcasts?
- You Can Advertise – Companies that have their own podcasts create a cheap and easy way to share their products and services. Podcast creation is best for businesses that have a diverse portfolio in what they offer to clients, giving them a lot of content to draw on for their episodes. For example, if a beer company wanted a place to advertise their product, a podcast would allow them to discuss their flavors, food pairings, at home beer making, local agriculture, etc. This type of company could create a strong podcast where it may not be conducive for other businesses.
But, remember, you do not have to create a podcast to advertise on one. Many podcasts sell advertising spots to companies. Businesses should carve out funds in their marketing budget to allow for podcast advertising. You will want to select podcasts that share a commonality with your product or service in order for your campaign to have the most impact.
Your business can create a podcast or advertise on one for your marketing strategy.
As advised by Three Girls Media’s CEO, Erika Montgomery, when determining if a podcast or online radio show is a good fit for your message, pay attention to:
- The show’s listener demographics
- The purpose and theme of the show
- The topic of the episode
- The show’s popularity and reach
Podcast advertisements commonly contain a few different features. 89 percent of commercials included a coupon code, 87 percent were designed to redirect customers online, and 80 percent used a call to action. Successful ads also interacted with the audience instead of just providing information.
- You Can Influence – A well liked podcast is a source of expert information for a listener. If a guest or product appears on that podcast it is receiving the stamp of approval by experts in the field. By marketing on podcasts you are establishing your businesses expertise by proxy.
When establishing your own podcast you are giving your business an opportunity to become experts as well. If you are successful then you may be invited to be on other podcasts which would allow you to expand your audience. Listeners become loyal to podcasts that prove they know what they are talking about. Whether you are appearing on one, advertising on one or creating one, you are giving your business the platform to be an influencer.
- You Can Educate – Many people listen to podcasts to learn more about their own passions and industries. These education segments can offer an amazing marketing opportunity. Instead of simply telling an audience to buy your product, you can get them interested in it by describing its functions and uses in detail. Consumers are more likely to buy a product they are interested in and understand.