Podcasts, a long-established medium in the USA, are becoming an inevitable factor in the global world of media. Today is “International Podcast Day”. As of now, there are 700.000 active podcasts, in over 100 languages, out there. If you want to listen to all the episodes that were produced so far: Buckle up! Because at almost 30 million episodes, you are in for a veeeeery long ride.
Back in the early 2000’s the first “Podcasts” were mainly about music, entertainment and also erotic. In the following years, podcasts became more popular, but somehow never really had a massive breakthrough. This changed drastically over the last few years. You could blame it on smartphones, which made it super easy to consume them, or on the abundance of fake-news and nonsensical coverage of news-channels, that resulted in millions of people asking for a new way to stay informed. Howsoever, nowadays most people have at least a vague idea what a podcast is, and around 30% listen to one every now and then.
In case you don’t know: Originally the term „Podcast“ was related to the Apple iPod. Podcasts were broadcasted audio-files (recordings of discussions e.g.) that you could listen to on your iPod. Today podcasts are no longer bound to a specific brand or device. It simply refers to audio-recordings of episodes (and also video-recordings), that you can consume on your PC or mobile devices. Naturally, there have been audio-broadcasts before the iPod. But since there never was a prior definition of the process, it is easier to refer to it as podcasts.
Change of meaning
Even though, we just stated that podcasts are especially known and consumed in the USA, it is important to note, that the United States are only ranked Nr.5 when it comes to “% of population that listened to podcasts in the past month”. The first 4 are South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Australia. In the top 10, 6 countries are from Europe, which tells us that this topic is also relevant for our market.
Over time, podcasts turned into a format, where audiences and hosts interact in an active and sincere way. Shows about literally every topic you could ever think of were developed, and gave listeners the chance to exert influence on the content that they consumed. Entertainment, politics, comedy, history, science, no subject was ignored. This is a luxury, that common news or TV-stations simply can’t offer. One additional crucial aspect, is the possibility for the listener to choose the show or host that, in their opinion, is asking the right questions or providing neutral facts. No matter, if the podcasts is a series of episodes or a one-show thing, it is the perfect spot to discuss a topic for a couple of hours with experts or aggrieved parties. Just in case that you are intrigued now, but unsure where to look for new inspiring podcasts, here is a list of the most common podcast streaming services:
In a world, where new content needs to be either shocking, extravagant or controversial, many of us want our information to be neutral, unbiased and balanced. This is where podcasts can really shine. Even with a, broadly speaking, low budget setup, you can produce quality episodes. All you need is great, verified content and a decent microphone. With this attitude and independence, many podcasts became the place to go, when it comes to news, information and even public opinion.
Especially news and politics-based podcasts are on a rise in Europe. This trend started to attract attention in 2018, where the word podcast, for the first time ever, was searched more often than the word blog, according to Google Trends. Apparently, people love consuming information in a passive and auditory way, instead of sitting down and not being able to do anything else while reading. Multi-tasking gets more important by the day, so being able to get your daily dose of information and keep on working is the perfect compromise.
Rising marketing significance
Your way in
There are multiple ways, how you and your business could jump on the Podcast-train and start to benefit from it’s growing popularity.
The obvious project would be, to start your very own show. This presupposes of course, that you have the information and knowledge to actually entertain and educate your listeners. You need to consistently create informational and relevant content that arouses interest, which can be time-consuming. On the other side, hosting platforms like Simplecast make it super easy to publish your recordings to the world. Since most of these platforms offer free-trials, you don’t have to spend a lot of money in the beginning to test the waters. If you are thinking right now: ‘I am sure I would ask to much of myself by starting my own podcast’ – don’t worry. There are other ways to catch a glimpse of the podcast world, that don’t require you to fully commit right away.
Perhaps you could run a couple of test runs first, by participating as a guest in other podcasts. Guests are the lifeblood of almost every show. This way, you have the chance to reach a new audience and actively take part in their education, while experiencing first hand, if this channel is working for you.
“You just need one person to listen, get your message and pass it on to someone else. And, you’ve doubled your audience.” – Robert Gerrish
Alternatively, you could search your industry for existing podcasts and start a collaboration by providing knowledge, information or maybe even financial support. In return, they will place your adverts or shout-outs in their shows. This can work pretty well, as long as your product is relevant to said audience. Almost 80% of listeners actually approve sponsorship-commercials, because they know that it will support the podcast. In a time where pretty much every marketing channel is plagued by ad-blockers and ad-avoidance, a community that voluntarily consumes advertisements should be treated like the holy grail.
Also, if you are working in marketing, you’ve probably heard about the rule of 7. According to this widespread theory, consumers need to be confronted with your name (brand) at least 7 times before noticing it, and actually taking action. Since most fans listen to more than one episode, they hear about your brand or product on a regular basis, if you place your advertisement in the show. By listening to your message frequently, the chance of them remembering it, grows bigger and bigger each day. Use this fact to your own benefit and raise awareness for your products. Podcasts are a serious advertising channel and an opportunity that should not be ignored. The market took a flying leap in the past years, and apperently the high isn’t over yet. Global ad-revenues are expected to grow rapidly and surpass $1.6billion by 2022, according to IAB and PwC.
In 2017, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released a report, in which they indicated that 67% of the listeners were able to recall the products that were featured in the episodes. To make things even better, 61% already paid for services or products, they learned about on podcasts. Even though the numbers have declined in the last two years, podcast consumers can still be the dream-audience you were always looking for.
5 advertisement tips
Before you are going to invest in advertisement on podcasts though, make sure to consider the following little tips:
- Usually, adverts are presented 3 times during one episode. At the beginning, half-way through and at the end of each show. Statistically the midway offers the highest chance for you to be heard, since many people skip the beginning or turn off early.
- Make sure that the audience of the Podcast fits to your product or service.
- Track the perfomance, but give it some time. Consumers need to be confronted with your products a couple of times, before they buy in on you.
- Try to convince the host of the quality of your product. If he truly believes in your service, he will advertise it more effectively.
- If possible, resign from prepared scripts and let the host present your ad in his unique way.
Whichever direction you decide to take, this medium is perfect to get your name around and improve your overall brand recognition. The listeners usually have some kind of relationship to the broadcasters and trust their advice and suggestions. You would act carelessly, if you don’t consider this at all in your marketing strategy. Even though it seems scary, it can be rather easy to enter the world of podcasts, once you decided to really commit to it.
To finish things off, we would like to list a few interesting marketing podcasts, that will help you to improve, in an entertaining way:
– Gary Vee Audio Experience – GaryVee offers a lot of content around pretty much every marketing (and even some non-marketing) topic. You’ll find links to the common podcast streaming-services on his website.
– Copyblogger FM – A series of podcasts about content creation and marketing in general. Especially helpful for bloggers and copywriters.
– Marketing School – In this podcast series, by Neil Patel and Eric Siu, you’ll find over 1100 episodes, that are filled with helpful marketing content.
– Geek Out – They are all about providing a fun podcast that covers topics like cosplayers, streamers, local businesses and more!
– The six pixels of separation – A weekly conversation with business leaders, thinkers, innovators and cultural icons discussing insights and provocations on brands, consumers, technology, business and how connected we’ve all become.
– Emphazise it – This podcast aims to put empathy back in the boardroom by hearing from the best entrepreneurs around the world and learning how they’ve learned to “empathize it”.
– Marketing Companion – Listen to Mark Schaefer and Brooke Sellas delivering insightful, creative commentary on the world of digital business.
– Marketing Scoop – Join David Bain and Judith Lewis as they interview the leading minds in digital marketing.
– Marketing made easy – Expert interviews, mini execution plans, and intimate behind-the-scenes secrets from my biggest launches with Amy Porterfield.
– Social Minds – This weekly podcast is about the global impact social media is having on every corner of the business world and tries to explain marketing for everyday people.
– Marketing Smarts – Marketing Smarts is a weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with smart marketers from all walks of life.
Moreover, we are going to mention one additional podcast, that we are listening to regularly: The Joe Rogan Experience. The JRE hosts guests from all over the world and tries to stay open to literally every topic possible. You never know what is going to be the subject tomorrow, which is why we love going back to this one.
2 recent episodes that we enjoyed a lot:
(Nick Bostrom is a Swedish philosopher at the University of Oxford known for his work on existential risk, the anthropic principle, human enhancement ethics, superintelligence risks, and the reversal test.)
(John Carmack is a computer programmer, video game developer and engineer. He co-founded id Software and was the lead programmer of its video games Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Rage and their sequels. Currently he is the CTO at Oculus.)