Tomorrow (Wednesday 30th September) is International Podcast Day, a celebration of the power of podcasts. Although the first podcasts launched waaay back in 2004, it wasn’t really until the past few years that podcasts have taken off in popularity.
Let’s re-wind for a moment. What exactly is a podcast? Basically, a podcast is a pre-recorded audio program, published on the internet and available for downloading whenever and wherever the listener wishes. Podcasts are free and come in every genre thinkable! They are available from sites such as Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Spotify.
Podcasts are a rapidly growing medium. As of April 2020, there were over 1,000,000 podcasts available and over 30 million individual podcast episodes! To show podcasting’s exponential growth, an article published in April 2018 stated there were over 525,000 active shows and over 18.5 million episodes. So, you can see just how much podcasting has taken off in the past two years alone!
In the UK, 18% of British adults – over 10.1m people – now listen to podcasts every week. According to the study, which was commissioned by audio measurement company RAJAR, podcasts are now more popular than peoples’ own MP3 music collections!
There are a whole host of reasons as to why podcasts have now come of age. One reason is the convenience factor. As the world becomes increasingly busy and complex, podcasts are really convenient. Their audio nature allows listeners to multitask, so you can listen while you’re working out at the gym, driving your commute or cooking dinner. And if you only have 20 minutes to spare, you will be able to find a podcast in your niche for that duration. They are easily accessible, “snackable” forms of content and you are bound to find one that you love!
Due to this change in consumer behaviour, podcasts should now be viewed as a central part of the marketing and PR mix. Consumers have accepted the channel as a mainstream content platform and brands are taking advantage. Whilst one way is to support existing podcasts with advertising or sponsorships, where you put your brand in front of the audience of relevant podcasts. Another option is to create your own podcast. This is particularly great if you have noticed that there is a gap in the market for your area of expertise. There are a multitude of benefits to launching your own podcast as part of your marketing strategy:
- It allows you to tell your story, clearly establishing you as an authority in your industry and giving you the chance to create your own brand advocates along the way.
- The episode format allows for you to post regular content, keeping your audience closely connected with your brand.
- Your podcast audience may well turn into customers or vice-versa. Promote your podcast on your other channels (social media, website, blog etc) to increase your reach and deepen your connection with your community.
- With podcasts getting more and more niche, it really is the ideal way to showcase your business’s credibility in a non-sales environment, allowing potential customers to get to know you in an authentic way.
We’d love to know what you think about podcasting as a marketing activity? Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you enjoyed this blog, check out our Facebook Ad Guide for Beginners or our tips for working with influencers.
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