BUILDING MOMENTUM FOR YOUR BRAND
The Power Of Podcasting By Guest Blogger By Lara O’Keefe
With research pointing to a shift in visual over verbal intelligence, it seems almost counter intuitive that Podcasts have become such a popular platform for sharing and receiving content.
Especially when we consider the similarities to traditional radio.
Both are primarily verbal forms of communication, and easy to consume with no visuals or hosts in site. So, why the surge in popularity for podcasts when the popularity of radio essentially remains stagnant? Isn’t it pretty much the same thing?
Well, as the kids like to say these days, “same, same, but different”.
While podcasting has been around for more than a decade, it’s only been in the past few years that it’s really taken off as a preferred media platform.
Brilliantly engaging podcasts such as This American Life, Serial, and the ever informative, Smart Passive Income, have certainly helped to increase popularity and listenership, but more important to note is the fact that from a marketing and sales perspective, podcasts are inherently changing the way we do business.
WHAT IS A PODCAST?
Simply put, podcasts are a digital audio file that can be easily uploaded to the Internet and later downloaded to a device such as an iPhone or tablet.
There are a million reasons to use podcasts whether it’s for personal or commercial use, but below are my top five reasons you should be getting in on the podcast game:
(1) SIMPLICITY, MY DEAR WATSON
One of the best qualities of podcasts is that whether you’re looking to create or listen, it’s easy. There are very few limitations placed on how to create a podcast, what to talk about, or even where to listen to it (I’m looking at you, toilet dwellers).
Want to cook dinner while learning about content marketing?
No problem. Is your only free time during your commute to and from work? Then turn on the Bluetooth and listen away!
Where most platforms will have consumers typing in searches, reading online, downloading from a website, etc., iTunes makes it dead simple to gain access to the latest podcast content. Subscribers will be provided an instant download of the newest episode on their chosen device as soon as it’s available.
Think about it this way; if all you had to do was hit a button once and a new shirt (in your style, of course) would then show up in your closet every week, would you wear that shirt? You probably would. It’s something you like, it’s free, and the process of obtaining it was extremely easy.
The same can be said of podcasts. Listeners can subscribe to any podcast they choose and from there, the process of obtaining and listening to them is so simple, the question isn’t why would people listen, it’s why wouldn’t they.
The truth is, videos and blogs may be more visually engaging but they demand full attention, often preventing you from moving from one spot, which (and I personally find this to be the most distressing) removes the possibility of engaging in the ever-popular art of multi-tasking. Podcasts, on the other hand, allow subscribers to engage anytime, anywhere. Even while driving (Hooray for hands-free!).
(2) IT’S CHEAP & EASY (IN A GOOD WAY)
The ease of use also means not only is it a quick and simple process for content creators and consumers, it is also incredibly inexpensive. This is key for the many start-ups coming out of the woodworks these days.
If you’re not one of the lucky few who have angel investors lined up out the door, you’re probably wondering how to use your limited capital to gain the most traction for your business. Enter, podcasting.
If the idea of starting a podcast hasn’t peaked your interest yet, you might want to consider this: An article by the Washington Post stated that podcast subscriptions have surpassed more than 1 billion. And that was in 2014.
Additionally, RawVoice, a website that hosts and tracks the statistics of more than 30,000 podcasts claims that in only 5 years, the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has tripled from 25 to 75 million.
(3) TRUST IS EARNED, NOT BOUGHT
Now, numbers and statistics are one thing but the truth of the matter is the real power of podcasting does not lie in the numbers.
It lies in the loyalty and commitment of the audience. Of all mediums, podcast subscribers are some of the most engaged out there.
A recent study conducted by Edison research found that people who consume podcasts on a weekly basis listen to an average of five per week.
That’s a lot of content being consumed in a week.
Furthermore, because the nature of a podcast tends to be more casual and conversational, many subscribers have developed a level of trust with the host of the show.
The most popular podcasts often sound like they’re chatting with a friend (who in this case is the listener) over the phone, which has boosted consumer trust and loyalty overall.
(4) PODCAST LISTENERS + ADS = LIKE
This leads me to my next and very important point. One of the up and coming trends in marketing is called Advocate Marketing.
What marketers have caught on to (thanks in large part to the incredible rise of social media) is the increased likelihood that a consumer will buy something if recommended by a friend or someone they trust.
Being constantly inundated with ads on tv, the radio, Google, Facebook, etc. has led most of us to become almost immune to marketing efforts.
It turns out however, that podcast listeners are not particularly bothered by ads.
Why? It’s likely because they’re presented differently, and certainly more casually than other forms of advertising. Hosts will read ads in the same style as the rest of their podcast so the promotion flows nicely with the rest of the episode.
Typically, the ads or products being promoted are also aligned with the interests of the audience so information is welcomed as being educational, rather than a jarring hard sell.
Ads are so welcomed in fact, that a study by Midroll found that 80% of people were able to name a brand advertised in the episode they listened to, and 67% were able to drill down even further, naming a specific product feature or promotion. Midroll also found that 61% of subscribers reported buying something they heard about on a podcast ad.
If you didn’t already know, these are BIG numbers and a major win for marketers and businesses who struggle tirelessly with consumers’ short attention spans and seeming inability to retain information that has been provided to them.
(5) YOUR OTHER CONTENT WANTS TO BE FRIENDS WITH IT
With so many mediums intruding on our lives these days, it’s nice that podcasting is a relatively non-intrusive platform that can be seamlessly tied in with other content. Use it as an extension of your blog, white paper or discuss a new product coming out on the market.
Possibilities are endless with this platform and while it may take some time and energy to learn the ropes of it, I, among many others, would argue it’s a worthwhile investment.
Ready to start your own? Check out this post on lifehacker.com to find out how!!
MEET LARA O’KEEFE
Lara O’Keefe is a Blogger and Marketer specializing in de-coding the mysteries of the modern tech world.
With degrees in both journalism and marketing, Lara has taken her passion for the written word and combined it with a determination to understand and explain tech and marketing trends.
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PODCASTING 4 PERSONAL BRANDING
— Keith Keller (@KeithKeller) July 28, 2016