It’s 2020 and podcasts are now an essential part of the business marketing mix. Why? I hear you ask… Well this blog is going to explore five reasons why your business should consider creating one for an upcoming campaign.
A podcast is a downloadable audio file which is akin to a radio show and can be downloaded via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or streamed online. In 2020, there are currently 850,000 different active podcast shows with over 30 million episodes. Sounds a lot but in comparison, Tubics who are an organisation helping companies with SEO on YouTube suggest, YouTube itself has 31 million channels with over 500 minutes of video being uploaded every minute of the day.
Podcasting awareness has been growing by 6% every year since 2014. Edison Research who are the leaders in statistical data around podcasting habits have suggested in their 2020 Infinite Dial report that 75% of Americans (212 million people) either knew what a podcast was or had listened to one themselves.
What makes podcasts popular is that by their very nature they tend to be niche covering all different types of content. As a result, you will never get millions, or even hundreds of thousands, listening to one podcast. It’s all about appealing to sections of your audience and giving them a reason to engage. I like to compare podcasts to bookstores. Yes, there are the Harry Potter’s but amongst them you have books which people love and feel very passionate about and they tell their friends about them. Podcasting is the same. It’s not broadcasting, it’s ‘niche casting’.
Here are five reasons for having a podcast for your campaign.
- A podcast is a top of funnel activity
It’s Sunday. You’ve just been to a countryside pub and now you are taking the long way home. You’ve been driving down that long winding road with fields both sides of you and no towns or villages in sight for miles. Eventually, you arrive at a crossroads with a signpost for each direction. That signpost is a real-world example of what a podcast is and how it can serve your audience as they navigate the busy online world.
It’s important to understand that it will be very difficult to gauge leads alone from a podcast. It is possible to try to, but you will not have the same results, in comparison to other types of campaigns. Due to a podcast’s low barriers of access and the simple ability to carry your voice right into the listeners ear, you have an opportunity to educate, inform and entertain the listener directly. Coming back to the signpost example, you can point them towards your latest white paper, case study, research or product, which may be gated. A podcast must be treated in this way and not measured by listener numbers but by the podcasts quality, how easy it directs the listener to that content and the reaction it gets from the listener who maybe has become more knowledgeable or motivated as a result of listening.
- Connecting with people in a different way
91% of all podcasts are listened to in a solitary manner. By that, I mean, most people who listen to podcasts listen themselves via headphones or car speakers on their commute or daily activities. Because it is such a solitary activity, people feel it’s a more personal and intimate experience. Therefore, a good lesson is to really understand the audience you are aiming for. Know what makes them tick. You also need to think about other areas of the podcast, such as presentation. . The late Terry Wogan, who presented the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show for years and had over 18 million listeners always said he had one listener. He spoke to that listener, checked in with them, knew what they wanted and together created something that listener needed in their lives. If you are thinking about creating a podcast, think about who within your audience are you looking to make this for, what makes them tick, what do they need to know… this is the recipe for good engaging content. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience.
- Podcasts are ‘sticky’
People often get confused when I say podcasts are sticky, but I mean sticky by its very nature. Think about that sticky bun in the baker shop window. It tastes so good you want to make sure you have another. Then perhaps another. Well, podcasts have the same effect. For example, my friend just recently started listening to podcasts. She discovered the QI podcast, ‘No Such Things as a Fish’, and enjoyed it so much that she listened to another episode and then another episode. Before long, she was dedicating every commute and lunch break to listening to the back catalogue of over 300 podcasts. This kind of behaviour is common amongst podcast listeners if they find something which really speaks to them.
These podcast stats really highlight how podcasts are sticky:
- 93% of people listen to a podcast episode until the end, Wired, 2018
- 98% of listeners will listen to another episode if they enjoyed the first, Edison Research, 2018
- 81% have researched or purchased something they’ve heard on a podcast, Spotify 2019
- 64% of B2B buyers prefer podcasts for early stage education, Demand Gen Report, 2018
- Repurpose content for your podcast
I forever meet people who, when making a new podcast, feel they need to be busting a gut to create new content. In truth, you probably have a lot of content already at your disposal which you can adapt for a podcast.
Perhaps you have a high performing blog post which is interesting and shared often. Well, what about turning it into a script and reading it with a colleague to make it different? What about lifting the audio from a speech your thought leader did at an event recently? Or, how about taking the audio from that interview you conducted for an editorial article or video and editing it differently for a podcast?
These simple ideas alone help breakdown the anxiety which you might have around creating new content.
- Podcasts are now not just for mobiles
Up until a few years ago, 99% of all podcast listening would come from people listening via Apple Podcasts on their smartphones. Luckily podcast hosting has now changed the game and hosts are pushing for new ways for podcasts to be shared.
If you have the right settings, in addition to listening to podcasts in Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, you can also embed episodes on your website and in relevant blog posts, social media, forums and interestingly email blasts… basically, anywhere your audience will go! The best bit is that no matter where someone clicks, your podcast host will capture the stats centrally.
I like to say to podcast creators that making your episode and throwing it out there isn’t enough anymore. Think about your listener and your ecosystem. Perhaps if you’ve created an episode all about cheese, you should create a blog post about the merits of eating cheese and embed the podcast episode midway in that post. Then share that post on social media alongside another post about your podcast episode. The opportunities are endless!
I hope these five reasons are enough to make you think differently about podcasts. They can be simple and fun to make so don’t be put off by the next steps.
If you are interested in having a conversation about creating one for your campaign, reach out to the TechComms team, a b2b tech marketing and communications agency on + 44 (0) 203 322 8928.