Podcasts are finally getting the credit they deserve. They’re a powerful content marketing medium because they offer marketers the ability to build an active following from an already engaged audience. Also, while they may not be a new concept in content marketing, audio may be the next shift in content consumption if consumer technology continues on the path it’s on right now.
People look up blogs when they want answers to questions. They share videos because they are interesting, educational, funny, creative, or in any other way provoke a desired thought or emotion. But podcasts, this is where you build on your content from one episode to the next. It’s where you can easily use real-time engagement with industry leaders, influencers and your audience, both with call-ins and social media interaction.
This is the media that fosters discussions and allows for a cerebral experience that can go deeper because of its more off-script nature. Something you just aren’t going to see with thought-out, planned written and video content. Podcasts certainly need to be developed and organized beforehand, but there is more space for movement and a fluid train of thought.
Podcasts Are Where You Engage with the Most Engaged
There’s a distinctive potency in the spoken word, which is why live events, live video streaming and more ‘human’ content marketing experiences are so effective. While you’ll get bigger numbers reading your blog or viewing your Facebook videos, you’ll be able to connect with industry enthusiasts through podcasts. These are the people that are most likely to become lifelong customers and brand advocates, with the least amount of convincing and enticing from a brand.
Podcast listeners are hungry for the latest industry tips. They want to hear firsthand experiences and expert interviews. They will seek out this ‘depth’ content because they are already interested. Whether you are marketing for finance, technology, fashion, food, farming, design, education, health – there are always enthusiasts. You definitely want these people subscribed to your podcast, not your competitor’s.
Studies show that around 90 percent of podcast plays and downloads come from subscribers. Those consumers who are already podcast listeners will consume, on average, 1 hour and 45 minutes a day. If you can get even one-fifth of that time with your podcast, you have a platform to enthrall your audience for much longer than a 30-second marketing video or the five minutes it takes to read your blog.
Podcasts Are in Sync with the Future of Consumer Technology
Not only are podcasts an effective tool for reaching industry enthusiasts, they are also likely to continue to grow in popularity in the future with the current trajectory of consumer tech.
- Audio content is easier to digest for smartwatch users. As wearable devices become more popular, watching videos and reading text becomes less practical. Audio content is the hands-off, convenient content consumption experience that works better with wearables.
- Usage of virtual voice assistants is only going to increase. This tech is transforming the way consumers interact with technology, from computers and mobile devices to home appliances. We’re essentially heading in a more hands-off, eyes-off content consumption direction.
Podcasts are the media solution for our multi-tasking driven modern society and increasingly hands-off future. Your target audience can get a morning workout in, commute to work, or do any hands-on task (work or play) and at the same time, get their daily dose of thought-provoking content.
Building Your Audience
So, how can you engage your industry’s warmest leads and biggest fans with your podcast? Here are the tips and techniques you can apply to your audio content to get the most out of your podcast.
- Use SEO. Focus on the title so listeners can find your podcast on Google Play and iTunes. Also, utilize your show’s search description, using relevant search terms. Just make sure your title and description accurately describe your content.
- Invite customers to leave feedback. The more reviews and comments your show has, the stronger signal you send to Apple and Google that your podcast show is worthwhile, which means the easier they will make it for searchers to find.
- Aim for subscribers. The ratio of subscribers to casual downloaders matters. The more subscribers you have, the more valuable your content will be perceived as by the podcast platforms. High-value podcasts are going to move up in the rankings.
- Create a landing page. Use it on your website with a call to action for visitors to subscribe to your podcast. Where relevant, use your blog posts, social media channels and email newsletters to link back to your landing page and promote your podcast.
- Integrate with your overall content strategy. With a podcast show, you’re diversifying your content and utilizing another form of media in which you may engage a different segment of your audience. But you should also coordinate it with the rest of your content marketing strategy. Your podcast is a platform to mention your other channels and vice versa. You can also flow one into another, for example, running a social media contest where the winner will be interviewed on your podcast show (useful for B2B customers who would appreciate the exposure) or discussing subtopics that are brought up during your podcast shows in subsequent blog posts, encouraging listeners to subscribe to both.
- Aim for cream of the crop quality content. Every show should be riveting. Use interviews. Incorporate audience questions and feedback. Stay on top of industry trends with trade magazines and tools like Google Trends and Feedly. If you can wow with that one episode someone listens to, your subscriber numbers are going to keep climbing.
- Start now. The older podcasts are the ones that iTunes favors when it comes to rankings. Get started now developing a fascinating podcast and over time it will creep up the rankings.
42 million Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. The average listener consumes 5 shows a week. While almost everyone on the planet is watching YouTube videos and reading online content, not everyone is a podcast listener. Still, the people who do are more likely to be the people you want to engage with.
Podcast listeners are regularly engaging with content. They aren’t the occasional web searchers or the passive social media browsers. Podcast consumers are a captive audience. Keep giving them content that matters, that improve their lives and that offers them value, whether they want inspiration, knowledge, to keep up with current events, or provocative discussion. And, your podcast audience will keep growing.