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Podcasts: Your next big marketing channel, or just a fad?

When it comes to reaching committed and relevant audiences, what marketing channels really shine? Social media? E-mail? Webinars?

What about podcasts?

"Podcasts?" I can hear you thinking, "You mean those radio shows that were popular in the early 2000s?" Of course, podcasts have reached critical mass thanks to Apple's iTunes and the iPod in 2004 shows that small businesses and brands take another look at the podcast as a great marketing tool.

Of course, the question is – why podcasts? And why did this technology suddenly restart? Let's take a closer look:

Increased popularity of podcasts

According to a recent report by Infinite Dial, 40% of respondents said they had listened to a podcast at least once, with 24% of them doing it every month and 15% doing it every week. Year after year, online radio and podcasts in particular, have shown growth that simply can not be ignored. What's more, according to a separate study by Triton Digital and Edison Research, Americans who listen to podcasts on a weekly basis have almost doubled since 2013:

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Auditors are more receptive to products and services

People listen – and advertisers too. Advertisers are very fond of podcasts, as nearly two-thirds of listeners are more likely to consider the products and services they've learned about a podcast. More than half of them believe that the podcasts presenters they listen to regularly are users of the products and services that they mention in their respective broadcasts. And these respondents reacted much more positively to the products and services mentioned in the host programs themselves rather than to a pre-recorded announcement from a company or sponsor.

Just look at the actions that the listeners took after hearing about a product or service in a podcast:

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In addition to the high levels of responsiveness, relevance, and engagement, the types of people who listen to podcasts are the ones that many advertisers want to reach: relatively young, high-income, and level-compliant. high education, according to a survey by Nielsen:

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Now the question becomes – how can brands and businesses benefit from this audience attraction?

Which brands see success with podcasts?

One of the most important points to keep in mind is that no one will listen to a 20 minute advertisement on your business. Take eBay, for example. Earlier this summer, the Brooklyn-based audio company, Gimlet Creative, completed a series of branded podcasts for the auction company called Open for Business. He became the number one business podcast in iTunes when it came out in June and the discussions to create a second season are already underway.

In appearance, Open for Business has very little in common with eBay itself. The topics include details on how to build a business from scratch, including: how to hire, how an immigrant can start a business in the United States, and so on.

The mentions of eBay itself are treated very lightly. The podcast, however, backs off by sharing the true story of a small business owner who has found success on eBay. The last episode of the first series focused on the economy of concerts, which consisted of getting short-term jobs and getting paid by platforms like Uber, Taskrabbit, Airbnb … and eBay.

The series was a hit – generating an average rating of 4.5 on iTunes and reaching 200% of its download goal.

And it's not just tutorial or tutorial podcasts that are noticed. GE leverages branded content using its own sound technology as part of a sci-fi series known as Message, where cryptographers are trying to decipher a foreign message. GE itself is not mentioned anywhere in the podcast, but its technology is an integral part of the storyline.

As part of their digital marketing, General Electric launched a podcast that works well with the audio format.

The message currently has 5 million subscribers.

You can read more about General Electric's foray into the digital marketing arena in our article.

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But before being too excited about the potential of podcasts, it is worth noting some disadvantages.

Measuring the scope: still in its infancy

Currently, the best way to measure the scope of a podcast is the number of downloads and the number of subscribers to a given channel. Podcasts do not yet have the ability to tell you things like how long people have been listening to or, for example, if someone has played a podcast in their car with a group of friends .

What's more, podcasts do not correlate the number of downloads to the number of subscribers, so hosts do not know what percentage of their listeners tune in each week, or download an episode. How many people listen once and never listen again? Nobody knows.

Even the Apple podcast app does not provide statistics or analyzes that show the type of scope of the podcast. So keep this in mind if you are looking for measurable marketing gains with podcasts – the information you get is pretty shallow compared to the deep and insightful insights you get with other marketing channels.

Podcasts define a bar of superior quality

If you plan to create your own podcast, you can see in the examples above, as well as the best podcasts for your area, that the quality and consistency are much higher than for creating others podcasts. types of content. Articles like this may take a few minutes to read, but with a podcast, you ask people to listen for about 20 minutes a week – the approximate length and timing of podcasts in general.

This means that you must commit to a quality standard and a publication schedule that is both dedicated and deeply involved. It's quite a challenge, of course, and many companies – even the largest – simply can not afford that kind of investment time with so many other digital irons in the fire .

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However, small and medium-sized businesses may consider podcasts as an opportunity to find better quality content that not only enchants and arouses listeners' interest, but also makes them want more. And while the bar of quality is higher, public receptiveness and eagerness to take the steps you want to give it after learning your product or service are well worth it.

And while podcasts have grown in popularity over the years, the proliferation of online radio, smartphones, and home devices such as Google Home and Amazon have made podcasts even more accessible. If all indications show growth and adoption by users, it can be said that podcasting is not just a fad, but like all marketing initiatives, the sooner you start, the faster you can reap the benefits. rather than looking at them. as an "as-run" by your potential customers.

Do you use podcasts in your own marketing campaigns? What were your results so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and let us know what advice you have for podcasters looking to get started! We can not wait to hear from you!

About the author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling writing, design user-friendly and intelligent analytical analysis. Learn more about and download today your free copy update and conversion checklist!