The term ‘podcast’ is our favourite word sandwich here at Social Brighton. It hails the original iPod device that hosted these audio files of goodness back in 2004, whilst having an aura of sophistication coming from the term broadcast.
Why are podcasts so popular?
Despite iPods being a thing of the past and even the word ‘broadcast’ itself sounding a bit outdated, podcasts are bigger than ever. The first reason being the ubiquity of smartphones which makes them accessible to over 2.5BN iPhone, Android and (Windows?) phone users globally. Now more than ever, there is an enormous number of people in the world who, for the most part, can listen to who they want, at a time they want, about pretty much what they want.
Which leads us to the second reason that podcasts have gained such popularity in recent years. Ealier this month, Apple confirmed that there are over 550,000 shows available on their podcast roster, meaning that there is content suited to just about everyone. From comedy to technology, blogcasts to godcasts, progressive feminism to outright escapism; there is a podcast episode to fill any and every occasion.
29% of all podcasting hours are listened to whilst travelling
Not to mention their portability, which allows listeners to add a layer of productivity to their everyday lives with minimal sacrifice to their endeavours. It is these multitasking benefits that make podcasts a hit amongst commuters, with over a quarter (29%) of all podcasting hours listened to whilst travelling. When it comes to entertainment on the go, there is next to no competition that podcasts face besides music. And let’s be honest, it’s difficult to learn about ancient Egypt through BBC 1Xtra or Spotify’s ‘Top 20 Party Anthems’ playlist. Overall It’s fair to say that podcasts sit within a realm of their own, signifying the birth of a unique set of marketing opportunities in the commercial world.
Whether or not you like listening to them, you may have noticed that some podcasts start with sponsored advertising. This shows how podcasts tie in with the business sphere and proves that there’s a captive audience ready to be marketed to. Podcast listeners are engaged, connected and loyal and the vast majority will listen to new episodes within 24 hours of them being released! This means that businesses who wish to advertise a particular product or service can strategically provide content to their demographic through their own podcast or if preferred, by sponsoring podcasts that their target audience will already be following and engaging with.
For the most part, podcasts provide a no holds barred style of discussion that can allow those featured to inform, consider and debate freely without rules or time constraints. Podcast audiences build a connection and trust with their chosen channels. It’s not only because they are provided with hours of content about something they love or are interested in; the intimacy of hearing someone’s spontaneous thoughts and opinions makes the listening experience seem more genuine than other forms of media.
Podcast listeners are engaged, connected and loyal and the vast majority will listen to new episodes within 24 hours of them being released!
Which is where podcast advertising can be so powerful; people are there to listen, and the integrity of the podcaster and channel are, to a degree, passed on to the organisations that advertise through them. You can therefore see how podcast advertising can be effective in influencing your niche and that hefty marketing campaigns or scattergun approaches may not be necessary in getting to your customer base. But how about targeting other businesses?
B2B podcast marketing
There are definitely some untapped opportunities in the business to business world. To start, podcasting gives your organisation an ideal platform to showcase your clients raving about what you’ve done for them. According to research by Inc, 85% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations- implying that this form of B2B marketing could provide fruitful leads as long as the target demographic is captured on the receiving end.
If your business is able to offer a unique experience through sharing new ideas, insights and predictions then you have a definite shot at establishing yourself as a thought leader.
Should you start a podcast?
And that’s where the challenge lies, getting your target demographic engaged can be tricky, especially when other channels have been going for a few years. The best way a business can do so is by creating valuable content, a unique experience and ensuring the right podcasting practices are followed from the beginning. Podcasts don’t have to require much financial investment, however, if you’re looking to produce a quality listening experience then dedicating some time to planning and preparation is a must.
But is podcasting right for your business?
Well, there’s a good chance that if you are able to release killer material on a consistent basis that your company will benefit from building a loyal fan base over time. And if your business is able to offer a unique experience through sharing new ideas, insights and predictions then you have a definite shot at establishing yourself as a thought leader or key ‘person’ of influence within your sector.
Most successful podcasts have interesting, enjoyable or helpful content, a professional listening experience and a posting schedule which is strictly adhered to.
Whilst these outcomes may not automatically equal conversions, getting your business’s personality out there in a way that consolidates your existing clients’ perceptions whilst marketing your brand to new prospects is undeniably valuable. Podcast genres and styles vary drastically, however most successful podcasts have interesting, enjoyable or helpful content, a professional listening experience and a posting schedule which is strictly adhered to.
In my opinion, these consistencies are the key to success, and, as the year on year growth of listeners suggests, now is as good as any time to get your get your slice of the podcasting pie.
If you would like to learn more about what podcasting can do for your business, click here to see our podcasting course info.