Podcast Marketing is quickly becoming the hottest segment of marketing and for good reason!
To explain why podcast marketing is so hot, we first need to look into why podcasts are rising in popularity.
To start, let’s step back for a moment and analyze today’s society. People want things right now. They don’t want to wait. They don’t have time to wait. This is why Netflix and YouTube are so popular!
It’s media on demand and now the next big thing in media on demand has made a resurgence – Podcasts.
A decade ago, Podcasts were big on the scene – with its roots as far back in the early 2000’s when we saw newsfeed aggregators and blogs share audio files using RSS formats.
Although, it wasn’t until 2004 when the word podcasting emerged – with the launch of a weekly podcast show called The Daily Source Code by Adam Curry, considered by many as a pioneer in podcasting.
As beautifully outlined in this New York Magazine article, over the next few years, podcasting became a thriving mini-industry, with topics around politics, sports, talk shows, comedy and more.
But then, around 2009, the podcast scene began to fade away, downloads started to go down and overall interest in audio content seemed to dry out.
Users began moving to online videos and streaming music content to fulfill their needs.
So why exactly have Podcasts suddenly exploded onto the scene? Two main reasons.
1. Insane growth of smartphones
Everyone has one in their hands. In the early 2000s, you needed to connect your iPod to your Mac or PC and sync with iTunes to get your latest podcast episodes. Now it’s a matter of simply downloading or streaming an episode from any of your favorite podcast players straight into your phone and start listening.
2. The popularity of iTunes
Since 2005, when Apple updated iTunes with support for and the ability to publish and download podcasts; which then lead to Apple’s podcast app in 2012; it’s been quite a journey.
But we can safely say that the combination of an iPhone (or a smartphone for that matter), a 3G/4G connection along with an online media portal (iTunes, Google Podcasts and millions more) has given people the device and the channels to turn podcasts into such an effective medium – something that was a long shot from reality a decade ago.
Close to 700,000 podcasts exists online right now and this figure continues to grow at an astounding rate.
It’s not surprising to see why podcasts are so popular. As a listener, you get to choose what you want to listen to, when and where. You can pick the topic, format, and style you’re interested in.
Subscribe to a show, listen to it right now or save it for later.
You can listen to your favorite podcasts while driving to work every single day (and making your commute way more productive), while cooking in your kitchen, working out in the gym or in your bed late at night.
A 2019 Research by PodcastInsights.com tells us that 49% of podcast listening is done at home compared to 22% in the car.
Doesn’t matter where you are, your favorite podcast is right there with you at all times.
What does all of this mean for podcast marketing?
It definitely provides a fantastic opportunity for marketers – especially if the focus is on content marketing.
With the podcast boom, audio has sustained a solid foothold in the world of content. You’ll find dozens of categories to choose from with a wide range of interesting topics. Science fiction, business advice, educational, history, comedy, talk shows – you name it. Podcasts are the new TV-shows.
They provide a way of telling inspiring stories, real-life business advice all the while building a loyal audience along the way.
Take Mixergy, a podcast about startup stories, that brings experienced business mentors to talk about problems that plague business founders and entrepreneurs.
Then there’s Serial, the podcast about a true story of an unsolved murder of high school senior Hae Min Lee – now in its 3rd season with well over 350 million downloads.
There are also the funny ones, like Lovett Or Leave it, for anyone who wants to poke fun at current events, where every week, the show host is joined by journalists and comedians to talk about our “broken, insane political nightmare factory”.
Content marketing is changing as we take a step back and dive deep into the specifics and workings of search engines, we’ll quickly realize that the traditional “SEO Services” does not work as well anymore as they did in the past.
Google is now way smarter with its algorithm updates and SEO is now more of an integral part of a holistic approach to marketing – meaning SEO experts are now increasingly focusing their efforts on social media optimization, web design and of course, content marketing.
Adding a podcast to your content strategy gives you another foothold into better SEO positioning as you add show feeds and show notes on your website.
Podcast as a driving force of your content strategy?
To succeed, marketers must experiment in new ways to build audiences, work to gain authority and aim to become influencers in their niche.
If you’re on the fence about the whole podcast/content marketing bandwagon, it’s really essential to understand why Podcasts are being touted as the ideal tool to revitalize your overall marketing strategy alongside other content options such as social media content, blog posts and even the more direct communication forms like email and SMS marketing.
Podcasts are a way more effective in putting your brand out there. It’s much easier to access and consume for your audience – especially when you put it up against blogging.
Launching your own podcast is no longer a daunting task and is easier than you might think.
At a bare minimum, all you need is a device able to record and you’re set. It’s all about “audio content”. Your free time on a bus, plane or a train is an opportunity to make time for a 30-minute episode.
In a world where user-attention keeps on decreasing and brands continue to fight over every valuable second, podcasts offer a unique alternative.
We’re not saying a business should totally disregard social media, blogs, videos, newsletter or other forms of marketing platforms. They all have an important place and value within an integrated marketing plan.
A podcast offers unique advantages that other forms of content simply cannot provide.
Why consider podcast marketing in your content mix?
If done right, a well-thought-out podcast content plan can really boost your overall content strategy – and help amplify your brand’s unique voice.
Connect with your audience on a personal level
There’s no better way to communicate (apart from videos) online with your audience. With a podcast, you give your audience that sense of personal connection. With such a personal connection, they start building a relationship with you, begin to understand you and hopefully turn into a long-time faithful listener.
As Sarah Mitchell, Content Director at Lush Content Marketing Agency, while talking about the role of podcasting for online communities puts it, “When someone listens to your podcast, they’ve got your voice in their ear, that’s as personal as it gets”.
Develop evergreen content
When you publish a new episode of your podcast, it becomes a part of the internet forever. Just like blogs, podcast content can always be accessed and consumed. You can of course always repurpose a podcast episode into a blog post.
The difference, however, lies in the fact that the content in the form of audio, presents itself as much more trustworthy and valuable. It involves interviews, expert opinions, and discussions from real people, who are often well-known within their own communities.
Compared to blogs, podcasts help amplify your storytelling and ability to communicate with your audience in a way that’s not been possible before.
Helps bring in high-value customers
It’s increasingly becoming difficult to hold the attention of your audience. In fact, millennials have no patience for content that is too long. Podcasts can help offer a solution by allowing people to listen while doing something else.
What a podcast also does is bring in the deeply invested audience who have the potential to turn into high-value customers, brand ambassadors and repeat customers.
Podcasting, if done right, can help a business with:
- Appealing to the ideal audience based on niche themes – otherwise very hard to identify, attract and nurture
- Generating brand awareness within a community of listeners
- Enticing regular listeners to become brand advocates and increase positive word of mouth
- Be known as a thought-leader in your own niche or certain topics
It’s an exciting time to be marketing your podcasts – but only if you’re willing to have an open mindset and wanting to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.
To learn more about topics discussed in this post along with fundamentals of podcast marketing, how to go about launching your own podcast, building an audience for your podcast and much more, sign up for our newsletter below.
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