Podcasting—you've probably heard of it, but you may not have heard just how big of an impact the trend is having for marketers across the country. According to Edison Research, it is estimated that 26 percent of U.S. consumers listen to podcasts monthly. That same study also found that familiarity with the term "podcasting" has jumped a staggering 42 percent in the last 12 years, and 17 percent of consumers have listened to a podcast within the last week. Armed with these statistics, we can begin to understand that podcasting has transformed from a pastime of basement hobbyists, akin to tinkering with a HAM radio, into a major industry with a significant level of reach across the country. So, how do you make it work for you?
Read on to learn why podcasting might be the right move for your brand.
Consumers today crave authenticity from their brands. Because of this, it's no longer enough to simply provide an adequate product and place it at the feet of your potential customers. Consumers want to spend money with brands that resonate with their values, brands with which they feel they can connect. Podcasting was practically tailor-made to give your brand a voice, because the platform inherently couples the voice playing over the airwaves with the brand that produced the content. If you're confident in your ability to provide useful information to consumers and relay your brand's values to them in the process, then you should seriously consider adding a podcast to your brand's online content offerings.
One of the key benefits of podcasting, aside from its unique value proposition as a method of establishing expertise, is the fact that it's a relatively easy form of content to provide to your potential and existing customers. If you have a computer (which you probably do) and an hour of spare time (which we hope you have), then you have the tools necessary to start a podcast. Add in a higher-quality microphone and some audio editing software, and you've taken your podcasting game up to a more professional level—without sacrificing excessive time or money.
If that's not enough, consider the ease of listening to a podcast for your customers. One of the reasons podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years is their ability to be consumed on the go. Whether you're in the car on a road trip or at home doing laundry, a podcast can travel with you. This makes it a particularly easy piece of content for listeners to consume and, consequently, has the potential to put you top of mind whenever they're looking to multitask.
While it's clear that producing your brand's own podcast can set you apart from the competition in terms of public knowledge of your industry expertise, you may not have the time or the resources necessary to generate such a production on a consistent basis. If this describes your situation, podcast advertising may serve as a valuable alternative that will enable you to reach a similar audience, while limiting the topic expertise attributed to your brand for its efforts. According to eMarketer, because listeners are generally incredibly engaged while listening to podcasts, trust and brand recall for podcast ads is notably higher than when compared to other audio advertising formats. The same study confirms that podcast listeners generally don't mind hearing ads while indulging in the latest episode of their favorite shows, because the ads are often read by the shows' hosts and relate to the topic of the shows themselves. With this in mind, it's important to think carefully about the shows you advertise on before making the jump to podcast advertising.
Podcasting is here to stay. As a brand wishing to capitalize on the platform, you can choose to either piggyback off of existing podcasts through strategic ad placements or forge your own path and begin offering valuable content to your target audience that builds their interest and trust in your brand. Regardless of which option you choose, the only way to lose is by not playing. There is a way to leverage podcasting in a way that works for your brand—it just might take some creativity to develop the perfect approach.