The importance of podcasting as a medium has generated a variety of reactions when suggested as a marketing channel to the C-suite. But with the rise in DTC companies, it’s more critical than ever for a brand to have direct access to their consumers.
Traditionally, the criticism and red tape surrounding podcasting is some form of, “no one is going to listen” or “there’s already so many.” These are actually two opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to an answer, and often causes stalemates within departments trying to push for it.
Facts matter, so let’s discuss the importance of podcasting
Despite criticisms of why podcasting won’t work, the facts tell a different story. According to Edison Research, the number of Americans who listen to a podcast each week has grown 100% over the past four years. In fact, 67 million Americans listen to a podcast every month.
That’s millions of opportunities for your brand to become a household name. (Are you starting to understand the importance of podcasting now?)
When it comes to enterprise-level sales, there’s no medium better positioned than podcasts. Podcasting attracts educated and relatively wealthier audiences – it’s 45% more likely for a podcast listener to have a college degree, and 68% more likely to have a post-graduate degree.
Podcast listeners are also much more likely to be HNIs (high net-worth individuals), with a 45% more likelihood of having a net household income over $250,000 annually. Translation: Listeners have money.
4 business reasons for your brand to be podcasting
1. Podcasts are easy to consume
The low barrier to entry with podcast consumption is unprecedented. As we’ve seen with cord cutting and SVOD (streaming video on demand), people will choose content that puts them in the driver’s seat. Podcasts are no different.
In a recent study of podcast listeners, about two-fifths (42%) listen while in the car, and another 18% listen while traveling on airplanes. Some are also listening to podcasts while on vacation (16%) and at the gym (16%).
From YouTube and Google Podcasts to Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, quite literally everyone with a device can consume podcasts wherever, whenever.
2. Increased traffic generation
3 out of 5 podcast listeners say they’ve looked up products or services after hearing an ad on a podcast, and almost one quarter say they’ve made a purchase.
Listeners also note that ads are more engaging than on other formats, and 2 in 5 say they’re less intrusive. This could be due to the majority of ads being host-read, which aids in maintaining continuity within the podcast.
3. Podcasts create personal connections
Podcasts make the idea of your brand tangible.
Having someone talk directly to you is a much more unique learning proposition than say, reading a PDF file or white paper.
Podcasts are oftentimes a conversation, with your customer on the other end.
4. Podcasts are a great omnichannel strategy
Podcast subscribers are already a big part of your business community. Over time, they’ll become some of your best prospects because of the deep relationship you’ve been nurturing via podcasts.
And they’re loyal, so you’ll have a much better chance at engaging them across other platforms, both on- and off-line.
Getting started: How to begin podcasting
Here’s a list of questions to ask when starting an audio project:
1. What’s the name and what topics do you want to cover?
2. Who will create high quality artwork for the cover image?
3. What’s the cadence you’re willing to create? Weekly? Monthly? Remember, when you tell your audience you’re going to show up, you have to.
4. How long will episodes be? Statistics say the average commute is 22 minutes, so I’ve always had clients consider that when it comes to length.
5. If it’s an interview style show: Who is your ideal guest?
6. If it’s a solo show: What’s the ideal outcome at the end of each show?
7. Who is your ideal listener?
8. Scripted or outline with some free-styling?
9. Do you ever plan to allow advertisers?
10. What quality experience are you looking to provide?
– Scrappy with little equipment investment and editing
– Do it yourself with higher end gear
– Outsource to a media production company
11. Do you have backend follow through?
– Website, email list, tracking pixels
Priming for success
If you build it they will come, right?
If you build it, great, but if no one knows about it or wants to share it, you’ve got a problem.
When brainstorming topics, consider how you’re going to create value and address the needs of both your business niche and target audience.
Also remember Marketing 101. Calls to action are important – they tell your listener what you expect from them, and also give them a reason to do more. Once people listen, what do you want them to do? Subscribe? Contact you? Visit your website? Follow your brand on social media?
Help your audience in taking the next step – make it clear and don’t be afraid to ask.
Make sure you engage with the audience. Just like social media channels, respond to everyone commenting on podcast episodes, or commenting on your social channels about the podcast.
Answer questions, ask follow up questions, and nurture those who care about your content. Engagement like this shows that you care and are constantly surveying the audience to get insights for future episode topics.
Summing it up
Podcasting is easily consumed content that can serve as a powerful way to discover new audiences and nurture existing ones.
95% of the most loyal podcast fans recommend content to their friends, consuming twice the content of the average listener. They listen to about 13 podcasts per week and are loyalists – subscribing rather than downloading individual episodes.
Attract these listeners by providing:
- Easy ways to subscribe
- Easy access to content
- Shareable social buttons
- Supplemental, in-depth content via blog posts
Podcasting is growing quickly, but there’s still plenty of opportunity if you have a plan, customize for your audience, and invest in your branding, messaging, and network.
Give your audience a reason to talk about your brand other than when they’re buying from you and you’ll build the loyal evangelists you’ve been looking for.
Give your customers what they want.
Download the report today.