The digital media is a wonderful environment to spend time in as one thing leads to another in quick succession. Suddenly two wildly different industries or fields are tied together by one common thought or idea. I realized this when I was watching Conan O’Brien’s talk show the other day at TBS and was treated to a surprise announcement.
Not only the show was moving to a different format with its 30-hrs episodes, but there was a new podcast titled ‘Conan Needs a Friend’which would centre around just what the title implies. The podcast would be operational from a number of platforms including Apple (iTunes), Spotify, Stitcher, Google and Earwolf.
That was definitely a pleasant surprise since it appears as a breath of fresh air. But more to that, I couldn’t help but think what it would mean for the brand name itself. Now I know Conan is very popular and has been on air for almost forever, but are we going to ignore the fact that these podcasts have something to do with how the marketing and business aspect of the team behind Conan works?
Thinking about that, Podcast Marketing actually is a viable strategy that has seen a recent growth in the marketing sector for many global businesses, especially e-commerce platforms. This gave me the opportunity to put together a definitive guide detailing the importance of advertising a business via podcasts and exactly how effective the strategy would be in achieving that goal.
First, let’s take a look at some important statistics or numbers that reflect how far Podcast Marketing has come so we can quantify the strategy’s rising success:
The key figures
- Weekly podcasts American listeners have risen by six million from 2017 to 2018.
- Around 32% of all American podcast listeners in 2018 fall in the age group 25-54, or in the other words, ‘business-minded’ folks.
- Out of 300,000 podcast listeners, around 60% have purchased a product or service that was promoted in a podcast.
- 81% of these listeners pay attention to and stick around for the entirety of the podcast.
- Advertisers spent $90 million in 2014 to promote their products via podcast while in 2016, that investment rose to $190 million. As of the date of the survey, advertisers in 2018 are expected to spend $316 million.
- Mack Weldon, the brand for undergarments, saw an exception 100% rise in sales while the sock retailer, Bombas, were able to attract up to 40% more customers via podcast marketing.
Looking at the above data, some valuable insights can be obtained regarding businesses via podcasts.
First and foremost, there are lot of individuals engaged in podcasts these days, especially from the US. Moreover, the particular bounds of the age group mean your business will be targeting individuals who are more likely to spend or try out a service.
Since an astounding number of listeners will be fully engaged in the podcast as to not skip anything at all, there’s a healthy chance they’ll pay attention to any ads or marketing carried out as well during an episode.
Lastly, the majority of users have purchased a product that was advertised in such a manner, so it’s safe to see why advertisers are willing to spend more on podcast marketing in the years to come, not to mention what these advertisers can learn from the examples of huge success for some companies employing such a strategy.
All these numbers point out to the significance of podcast marketing and it’s no doubt that this strategy makes up a small part of live broadcasting which itself has been one of the rising digital marketing trends in 2018.
How advertising and marketing is incorporated in podcasts
We’ve already established why advertisements during podcasts make for an effective strategy thanks to the engagement and time-investment of listeners who’ll continue to remain loyal and make it through entire episodes of the podcast series.
The freedom of creative control in podcasts means that no restrictions apply on advertisements and they can be presented in any manner or tone a company would want.
Let’s talk about some principles and workings of an ad via a podcast.
There are four possible formats to promote products associated with a podcast. These are:
- Pre-Roll which pertains to advertisements commencing 15 seconds before the podcast stars.
- Mid-Roll for ads which commence for duration of up to a minute during the podcast.
- Outro which usually takes up a short amount of time (around half a second) to advertise the product right before the end of the podcast.
- Native ads, which are the most favourable for the listener and the advertising company. These involve the host of the podcast narrating whatever the script for the ad says.
The ads themselves always aim to attract new customers in. This is done in two ways: by creating awareness of the brand itself and offering an incentive or value for the user to rush in and browse the website.
For this purpose, 89% of time, brands will feature a discount coupon or voucher codes in their ads to attract the listeners. Other times, brands will utilize Call-to-Action (CTAs)to redirect users to their platform.
Going the extra mile- creating podcasts for marketing businesses
With such a keen emphasis on podcasts, some businesses are taking the bold move to venture into the podcast world themselves. This is done in various ways and for different outcomes.
Companies like eBay with their Open for Business utilize such a channel to give opportunities to entrepreneurs to talk about the challenges they faced in their particular commerce venture and what other starting businesses can learn from it.
Shopify aims for something similar with their Thank God It’s Monday (TGIM) podcast which serves as an educational series of podcasts for entrepreneurs and shop owners around the world to improve on their venture.
On the other hand, Spotify leans more on engagement and influencing music lovers around the world with their Unpacked podcast. It’s about music festivals, analyzing art in films, and interviews with the artists themselves, all in the lieu of letting people know what the brand stands for.
In this way not only the audience grow a loyal relationship with the brand, but realize the authority Spotify holds by having the audience listen to some of the most influential creative artists globally.
From a pure marketing point of view, your podcasts can talk about your products or services in more detail, inform consumers of recent updates and upcoming changes, and drive them to your brand’s social channels to keep them talking even when the podcast is over.
An effective branded podcasting for businesses
Branded podcasts should strive for valuable metrics like increased web traffic due to redirection to your webpage’s URL and appearance in saturated search results helping your site with SEO.
Furthermore, podcasting in a way diversifies your brand name since now your commerce venture has multiple varied channels which the community can access when they need to know more about your brand. Lastly, and what’s been the ultimate goal: a well-utilized podcast will create brand visibility and awareness, in turn attracting new visitors and potential consumers.
Thus when creating your own podcast, whether it’s about spreading influence, creating brand’s awareness or providing insights into a particular line of work, there are some useful tips, to be kept in mind to help your newly-created podcasts gain popularity among the masses.
- Title of the podcast series matters. If it’s not enticing or interesting enough to catch the viewer’s attention, then it probably won’t be such a long journey. A good practice for choosing a title is to decide on a keyword that your business or brand should be known for. Keep it concise yet informative enough to let listeners know what they can expect.
- Have a compelling, authoritative and engaging voice to accompany your podcast. At least, when hiring a host, the above qualities should be kept in mind. You’ll find it easier working with voice-over actors who already have some experience in the field.
- You’ll also require an effective cover-art in the background that isn’t too distracting but still acts like an introductory illustration before each episode. Whether you choose the thumbnail to be attractive or professional depends on your business platform, but either way keep it descriptive and simple.
- CTAs are essential when it comes to redirecting traffic to your base or creating a sort of urgency so to elicit a response from the listeners. Their placement also matters since not all the listeners will stick around till the end of the podcast. Therefore, it’s viable to have these CTAs near the beginning of the section. Also, emphasize on the value of having them use the CTA instead of just a blatant attempt at having them buy something so your business can profit.
- Guests including both famous individuals relevant to your business field and regular customers who have a story to share do a great deal to reel viewers in thanks to a shake-up of the usual podcast formula every now and then. Popular guests especially will add huge numbers to your subscribers and help boost the popularity of the show further.
- Marketing a podcast which in the first place exists to market your brand seems atrocious but just stick with us here. Getting your podcast’s name out there essentially gets your brand’s name known. In addition to utilizing the usual marketing channels including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LikedIn and Google, you can create an email list to further awareness of the existence of the podcast. Social media sites will especially help you obtain a lot of potential millennial subscribers.
It’s also interesting to note that ‘podcasts’ previously had a loose meaning which applied even to live video series for hosted by brand to promote their product. Sophie & Trey has been going out live every week for a while now. These videos showcase the new arrivals of clothing worn by models.
Furthermore, each time the viewer pauses the video, there’s a Call-to-Action (CTA) which will redirect to the website of the ecommerce brand.
In this way live video broadcasts were considered in the ballpark of podcasts but ever since their growing popularity, the two strategies have grown as different ‘concepts’ with podcasts now purely pertaining to ‘audio’ files.
Podcast marketing is the next game-changer when it comes to upping your marketing efforts for any business platform and the statistics are there to show for it. In addition to promoting your brand, you’re able to do it in a way that the listener is fully engaged to pay attention to each word that crosses his ears.
In the process of podcasting, your brand can tread bold new territories which helps diversify the brand and make it a name that resonates among users regardless of the channels they operate or websites they surf.