The Ins and Outs of Podcast Marketing
Podcasting is no longer a niche medium. By 2018 estimates, 17% of Americans listen to podcasts weekly. Podcast listeners have tons of buying power, as 45% of monthly podcast listeners have a household income of over $75K. Plus, podcast listeners are loyal; 80% listen to all or most of each episode, and the average listener is subscribed to 7 different shows.
Business is booming, which means your brand should consider jumping into the podcasting pool. But before you get your feet wet, let’s dive into the basics of the branded podcasting industry and where your brand can fit in.
Why do people love podcasts?
Here’s a simple truth about the media: people listen to people they like talk about things they love. Talk radio, political talk shows and late-night TV are all the proof you need. Now what if you could play all that content on your smart device — on demand? That’s why roughly 124 million Americans have listened to a podcast, and why podcast addicts are everywhere.
Why should you start a branded podcast?
Podcasting presents an opportunity to align your brand with an engaging piece of content that you completely control.
Many branded podcasts help their listeners understand the brand’s expertise. See Charles Schwab’s Choiceology podcast, which explores a different facet of human decision-making in each episode. The podcast serves up intriguing information while positioning Charles Schwab as an industry leader in helping people make smart decisions. It’s an advertisement, sure, but it’s an advertisement people will seek out because it’s interesting and engaging.
Podcasts are also one of the most intimate mediums. When someone plays it in their home or car, they’re inviting your brand into a personal space. It’s like having you over for a dinner party; if you impress the host, you’ll get invited back.
Plus, starting a podcast can be relatively cost efficient. For starters, it's owned media. You aren't paying for GRPs or frequency through media vendor. It's owned content. With a couple of decent microphones and some basic audio mixing software, anyone can produce a professional-sounding piece of content.
Compared to hundreds of rival content categories, podcasts have one of the lowest barriers to entry. And if your podcast sticks with your target audience, its potential is limitless. Your podcast has fluidity and can grow and evolve with your brand.
Of course, podcasting success isn't guaranteed and it's a marathon not a race to build your presence — just like building a social media following!
What makes a great branded podcast?
There are three essential elements:
1. Endearing hosts
2. A relatable tone
3. Engaging, brand-appropriate subject matter
The most popular podcasts have all three in spades. True-crime podcasts like Serial and Over My Dead Body tell gripping stories that keep listeners engaged. Dr. Phil’s Phil in the Blanks podcast rode name recognition to the top of the iTunes charts. And The Ringer Podcast Network made $15 million in revenue last year thanks to sports and pop culture shows that make listeners feel like a part of the conversation.
NPR dominates the iTunes charts by combining these elements with incredible sound quality. They sonically transport listeners, making NPR podcasts feel uniquely intimate compared to other mediums.
With the right elements, building an enjoyable podcast is possible. And with some smart writing and production, you can build a fruitful relationship with your target audience. In turn, you might even get some loyal customer out of the deal.
Read more about audio production.