Why use podcasts for content marketing?
Podcasts are set to increase in significance for content marketers, don’t miss this opportunity.
Podcasts are a vital element of content marketing strategies and campaigns, offering businesses a unique channel to reach and engage with a highly engaged and ever-growing audience that in the UK is approaching six million weekly listeners. Can you afford to ignore the impact podcasting has as part of your content marketing?
Just as blogs transformed from a format reserved for hobbyists and enthusiasts, during the last 10 years podcasts have evolved from novelty to global phenomenon. The ease of production and access by hundreds of millions globally has led to a surge in the number of people creating and consuming this type of content.
Not surprisingly, an increasing number of businesses are including podcasts in their content marketing strategy with high return on investment (ROI). But while podcasting may appear to be a quick and effective way of diversifying your content as part of your marketing strategy, there are important factors to consider so you stay on brand and maximise your ROI in this new format.
What is a podcast?
For those who are unfamiliar with the format, podcasts can be simply thought of as on demand audio content. In the same way that the introduction of digital music and the birth of streaming transformed music consumption, podcasts are transforming the way in which we listen to audio content more broadly.
Podcasts are audio files that are available to be streamed or downloaded for free by anyone who has access to the internet. If you have a smartphone, you could access a podcast quickly and easily within two minutes. They come in a variety of formats including conversations, interviews, debates, case studies, chat shows, or stories. The length and style of the podcast can vary drastically and this flexibility is one reason they are such a versatile and popular format.
The most popular form of podcast is the simple conversation. Typically, between one to three people will sit down and discuss a topic. The recorded and edited conversation is then published online and becomes available for people to listen to on their smartphones or computers. People can choose to subscribe to certain shows or channels that they like and be notified when the next episode is available. This is how the best podcasts start to build an audience of people who stay up to date with the content they produce.
Initially reserved for enthusiasts and individuals, podcasts of this kind are now starting to be adopted by businesses all around the world. They utilise this new format to engage with an audience of their own. The question is, why should you?
Why use podcasts?
Podcasts offer a unique way for your business to directly reach a highly engaged and ever-growing audience. According to a 2018 Nielsen study over 50% of the US population have listened to a podcast, and in the UK huge growth amongst young adults has meant that 5.9 million people now listen to podcasts every week.
What makes these new audiences an even more attractive target is that they offer some of the highest levels of audience engagement of any format. An internal Midroll survey of 300,000 podcast listeners found that 61% of people had bought something that a host had promoted on their show and 71% said they had visited a sponsor’s website.
This high level of engagement arises because podcasts are a powerful method of building trust between the host and audience. By providing useful information in an informal and accessible manner, you can use podcasts as a means of developing a stronger relationship with your target market – while simultaneously distinguishing yourselves as thought leaders within a competitive marketplace.
Using podcasts to access a growing and engaged audience with a medium that allows you to define yourself as a trusted thought leader, incorporating podcasts into your content marketing strategy generates leads and nurtures existing customer relationships.
How to optimise the impact of your podcasts
What makes podcasts attractive is the ease of production. You could record, edit and release a podcast on your iPhone. But the ease with which they can be adopted leads to businesses making mistakes – preventing them from utilising the benefits available. To avoid these pitfalls, we recommend you consider these three areas when producing your podcast.
Theme and structure: This is particularly important if you are planning on using any recurring podcast format, whether it be anything from a weekly show right down to a three-part miniseries. Ensure your podcast has a clear focus and that the structure remains consistent in terms of length and format. You are more likely to retain an audience if they know what to expect from your podcast.
Production value and editing: While you can technically produce and release a podcast directly from your phone, this would damage one vital characteristic of all the best podcasts: production value. This in turn will almost certainly impact negatively on your brand, particularly if quality is one of your core values. Use high quality, preferably professional-grade recording equipment and edit properly so your podcast is of the same standard as the rest of your marketing. And on brand.
Integration into wider marketing strategy: Incorporate your podcast seamlessly into your wider content marketing strategy. That sounds like stating the obvious, but many brands bolt on podcasts without thinking about why. Ask yourself: how can I integrate this type of content and the audience it attracts with my overall content, social and blog strategy? How can I optimise my podcast to attract and drive traffic deeper into my website? What calls to action do I want to include in the audio?
Why use an agency to produce podcasts
The idea of the podcast is often sold on it being an incredibly easy format to utilise. However, think about podcasts in the same way that you approach other content, such as blogs. They are both easy and accessible mediums that you could just do from your phone. But to stay on brand and be consistent with the rest of your marketing content, producing podcasts requires the correct level of care and attention.
Unless you have the right capabilities within your organisation, your best course of action may be to use an agency to produce your podcast content. An agency that fully understands your marketing strategy and goals will seamlessly integrate podcasting into your marketing plan, to help you design the structure and theme, and to produce content with professional-level production values.
Overall, podcasts offer a hugely exciting opportunity for businesses to diversify your content marketing strategy. Contact us to find out how we can help you add podcasting to your content mix and benefit from this exciting medium.