Sept./Oct. 2021 Edition

Business Strategies Column: Podcasts Pay Off

In the article “How Podcasts play an important role in your digital marketing strategy” written by Akriti Galav, he says that the popularity of Podcasts has been magnified in the last couple of years. A few years ago, if you asked about Podcasts, I would have told you not to pay any more attention to this outdated trend. However, things have changed now. Many celebrities and influencers have started their own Podcasts these days on various topics. Many people are listening to Podcasts, and it’s a significant opportunity for the brands to consider Podcasts in their digital marketing strategy. But before jumping to the reasons for considering Podcasts in the business digital marketing strategy, let us first understand a Podcast.

A Podcast can be understood as a series of episodes, digitally programmed and formatted, focusing on a specific theme or topics like technology, start-ups, or anything else. We can say that it is a radio in digital form. Podcasts are generally free and are available on a variety of platforms. You just need a device and an internet connection to listen to Podcasts.

Podcasting started in 2014 by Dave Winer (a Software Developer) and Adam Curry (MTV Video Jockey). The term Podcast was given by Ben Hammersley to make the concept popular. The journey started in 2004 gained some popularity in 2013 when Apple Inc. announced that they hit 1 billion podcast subscribers.

As of January 2020, more than 9,00,000 Podcasts were streaming, and millions of people listened to them at least once a month. Since then, the popularity of Podcasts has begun to grow tremendously.

In 2009, it was estimated that 9% of US adults aged between 18-49 listen to Podcasts which raised to more than 20% in 2016.

In 2014, BBC reported that its Podcast was downloaded more than 1.1 billion times in the United Kingdom itself.

55% of Americans know what Podcasts are, which is truly great! The convenience and intimacy shown by Podcasts are the reasons why they are too popular among people.

Podcasts are versatile, enlightening and overpowering. One single medium has so much potential which should not be ignored by any marketer out there. Around 3% of marketers make Podcasts.

In 2014, advertisers spent nearly $90 million on in-podcast ads, which became $190 billion in 2016, and now the Podcast ads are expected to take a giant leap in 2021.

Podcasting is a very effective way to promote the business, and here are the reasons explained to add a digital marketing podcast to your marketing strategy:

1. Podcasts are Engaging

Unlike the other content form, Podcasts are very engaging. The readers just have to play and listen, which can be done while cooking, walking, or driving. It’s not something that requires all your attention, and you can multitask while listening to a Podcast. Podcasts are very convenient for the audience to follow, and that is why it is becoming more popular among people.

The brands don’t have to keep trying to reach the target audience. The subscribers will get the latest episodes automatically downloaded upon the release on their favorite device. Podcasts also create active engagement as podcast listeners tend to spend more than 25% of their time listening to Podcasts. That is why Podcasts are more prominent than we ever think.

2. Low barriers to Entry

Podcasts can be made from anywhere. Some make Podcasts from studios; some prefer home, while many do it from the streets. Podcasting requires little money to invest, and anyone can do it on any topic/ theme. There is no specific need for a script as well, and if you are not prepared with a script, you can go ahead with the conversational Podcasts. Unlike photos and video content, the cost to create Podcasts is extremely low.

3. Drives Traffic on Website and boosts SEO strategy

Podcasts provide significant SEO benefits. Whenever you host a podcast, make sure that each episode of it has a transcript. Following this can let you use more keywords, and the opportunities to drive traffic to your website will be enhanced.  The links can be added back to the website, which will definitely drive traffic to the website. Keyword management can be done with the Podcast titles and descriptions. You can also publish the episode’s transcript on your written blogs so that it can direct people to your website.

4. Podcasts are more effective

Podcasts are more effective because the listeners get influenced by what they hear. In a survey of 3,00,000 podcast listeners, 63% affirmed that they bought the product, which was promoted by the show host. A question asked about if their buying behavior is affected by a Podcast, and 71% affirmed that they had visited the sponsor’s website after listening about it on the show.

5. Podcasts are more creative

Unlike radio shows, podcasts are more creative because they are not required to follow the federal law guidelines for their content. That is why they can be more creative with their content and commercials. Podcast ads are unique. The hosts read ads in the tone of the show, which does not sound like a regular promotional message.

6. Podcasts have more visibility for the brand

Nowadays, Podcasts are going mainstream, and since the brand name goes online with the Podcasts on many platforms, it increases the brand’s visibility. There are many tricks and hacks that you can use to enhance your brand’s visibility through Podcasts. One of the most important strategies is to have guests on the other Podcasts. You can also partner with another platform like a blog or Instagram Live options that align with your podcast topic. A podcast is a great medium to cover the key topics in your niche segment and to show the depth of your topic.  The listeners from across the world who have an interest in your topic can create a bond with you. Therefore, brand visibility and trust can be built better.

7. Reach new audience

Podcasts allow you to share knowledge with the relevant audience. The brand can place the Podcast on various platforms like Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and many other platforms. Like this, you can reach your target audience, who is interested in your content. This is how a new target market can be developed. The new potential audience will be listening to you and will be interested in your products.

8. Niche targeting

Podcasts are generally on a specific topic. A business can use podcasts to discuss its products, and in that way, it can target a specific audience. For example, Sephora, a beauty cosmetics brand, partnered with Girlboss Radio to create a podcast on a line of lipsticks and women. The Podcast was named #LIPSTORIES, and each episode of it featured an influential woman telling her #LIPSTORIES. It was done to encourage other female leaders. This Podcast is a very good example of how the brand has used Podcasts for its content marketing and targeted a niche segment, female leaders, with their strategy.

9. Develop deeper connections with the audience

Most of the Podcasts sound like a conversation. Most people listen to podcasts while driving, running, or walking. Also, a lot of people listen to the Podcast when they are alone. This means that Podcasts have a direct effect because it is broadcasted directly into someone’s ears. Podcasts have conversations, stories and experiences which make you familiar with them. That is why Podcasts can develop deeper connections with their audience.

10. Podcasts are versatile

After knowing so much about digital marketing podcast, it is clear that they are versatile. In order to remain fresh and constant with the audience, a digital marketing podcast often includes new topics and themes. They can be started with topics like sports, health, stories, reviews, news, etc. Moreover, Podcasts can be converted into blogs and vice versa. Videos can also be converted into podcasts. Every Podcast can be shared on social media channels to reach different segments of audiences to turn them into customers.

So, start podcasting today.