Audio is growing as a medium and podcasts are at the helm of this sonic revolution. This transformation has already begun impacting our daily lives. It is now turning towards the realm of marketing and beyond.
With the anti-screen time movement in full fledged motion, the presence of audio technology is slowly but steadily seeping in. From smart devices to Voice Assistants, voice technology is perhaps moving as fast as the role of AI into our lives.
Podcast streaming services are monetizing this growing popularity. Marketers and brand experts, looking for overcoming growth plateaus should definitely take this phenomenon seriously. To understand this increasing popularity of podcasts, it is essential that we look back at its historical background and psychological effect.
Let us begin with the genesis of Podcasts.
The Origin Story Podcast popularity can be traced back to yesteryear radio rage. Before the age of the Internet, Radio with its excellent interactive and engaging content, kept generations hooked to its power.
Podcasts can be called the radio of the internet age. However, oral traditions have been a part of our lives since the beginning of civilization. One of the first mediums used for spreading knowledge was through oration. This was long before writing and papyrus was discovered.
Before the onset of technology, before Guttenberg’s printing press, information and knowledge was passed from generation to generation and person to person, only through the oral medium.
There are philosophers like Rousseau, who believed that writing was inferior to oral language. In the Essay on the Origin of Languages, he claimed that speech was a more natural form of communication than writing, which he viewed as a somewhat parasitic and unhealthy derivation of speech.
This innate desire and tendency for the spoken language has permeated the psyche of modern consumers. Content, therefore, is turning towards the audio medium. From books to interviews, audio format has become the first choice for both Millenials and Gen Z population. It gives them the thing that we all want from technology, ie. convenience!
Table of Contents
1. The Sound of Marketing
2. The Prelude to Podcasting
3. The Rewards of Podcasting
4. The Art of Podcasting
1. The Sound of Marketing Almost every statistic on content will tell you that video is winning. But have paid attention to audio content lately? The figures are quite astonishing. According to Edison Research, 42 million Americans listened to podcasts on a weekly basis in 2017. This number has seen only growth this year.
With more and more people inside their houses, isolated and looking for more contact and interaction, this huge number will only steadily grow year-after-year. Join audio content with influencer marketing and you have another recipe for brand bonanza.
Everything from blogs to research articles can be turned into audio bytes with modern technology. The bonus to all this is that podcasts are actually more inclusive of people with sight problems and disabilities.
There is also a huge market for multilingual content or content in regional and ethnic languages. If you want to join in the conversation and control the flow of “earfluence”, podcasting is the way to go forward!
2. The Prelude to Podcasting If you are new to the creative world of podcasts, you must be asking yourself: “What is a podcast?”
While anyone on the face of Earth with access to the internet has heard the word, many don't know what it actually means. A podcast is simply a recording of an audio. It can be a discussion on a particular topic such as business or travel. It can also be in the format of interviews, formal speech or storytelling sessions. It can be listened to anytime by the consumers or listeners whenever they want.
Podcasts are usually found on streaming channels like iTunes and Spotify. They can also be hosted on personal or company websites. This is a dynamic medium that is not bound by time or space. Audiences can have access to their daily dose of inspirational, educative entertaining content whenever and wherever they want. Therefore, podcasts can be a perfect way for you to deliver quality content to your audiences.
For business owners and marketers, podcasts is a great way to develop an intimate connection with listeners and potential customers. When audiences hear you speak, on a one on one basis, it humanizes your relationship. This can never be achieved with written words on a screen.
On the same note, it is also a way to invite more people to your circle in a way that your written content can’t. If you still believe that there is nothing outside the text then think of it as offering different ways for your audience to engage with your content. Multi Channelizing your brand is never a bad thing.
3. The Rewards of Podcasting Always give your listeners what you have promised them. A great podcast, first and foremost, must contain relevant, well researched and thoroughly informed content. Instead of just advertising in a podcast, try to truly connect with your audience.
You can start from scratch and create your very own podcast, personalizing it your wants and needs and targeting it towards your niche base. When you create your own podcast it allows you to attract loyal audiences and give them another reason to celebrate your brand.
Let's finally get to the six major marketing advantages that appear when you invest in podcasting for brands.
Multiply website traffic: First of all, you have the potential to add to existing traffic for your website which will benefit your business. Driving more website traffic through podcasting obviously spreads brand awareness. On top of that marketers can add links back to the parent site on every distribution network being used.
Promote brand visibility: Once your podcast is up and running, you will also get greater brand visibility. This is natural since your company name is present in more places online and more people have access to it.
Optimize Search Results: With podcasts you have the opportunity for search saturation. This is a brilliant reward of podcasting which can help with digital marketing strategies from SEO to reputation management.
Inclusivity and Diversion: Once you diversify your content marketing strategy, your business becomes more accessible to people. This is done by adding an audio product one can showcase throughout the Internet. More people from different backgrounds mean more representation.
Increase Content Reach: This is a specialty of Podcasting, as now your users can passively consume the content you create on your podcast. Multi-taskers love audio content as it doesn’t require someone to focus directly on it. Without encumbering daily tasks, listeners can enjoy your podcast while driving, working, etc.
Manage Customer Loyalty: Last but not the least, marketers can earn and nurture a loyal following through podcasts. By creating regular, episodic content audiences once hooked keep coming back for more.
4. The Art of Podcasting Podcasting is no child’s play. It requires acute storytelling abilities, engaging content and a lot of creative energy to keep audiences coming back for more. This is similar to the concept behind a blog where you release new posts regularly. Therefore, people know when to expect new content from you and eagerly wait for its release. Customer loyalty is bound to your audience base. It is brand building at its edges and most fun.
While more cost-effective, than making high-budget and time consuming videos; Podcasting also needs a lot of high tech equipment and digital tools. It is not just the voice that matters but also the science behind the voice that is important.
While delving with the nitty gritties of podcasting, every marketer needs to make one crucial decision. Let us understand the two pathways to podcasting, which leads to marketing and brand success.
To sponsor or Not to Sponsor When it comes to podcasting, a marketer has two options. The two strategic choices include creating your own podcast or to sponsor an existing podcast.Therefore, before when it comes to integrating podcasts into your content plan keep a separate plan for either category.
● If you choose to create your own podcast, learn to have patience, dedication and loads of creative brain cells. Establishing a new podcast will take some long time investment. Therefore, judiciously put effort through time, energy and equipment.
● On the other hand, sponsoring a podcast is a shortcut to all the benefits of using podcasts for marketing. This way you will spend less time, it will be consuming and can provide quick wins. According to experts, most of the listeners of a podcast take action on a sponsored message.
At this point, you must have realized that your customers are more prone to listen to you when you talk to them. The best way to talk to consumers is through sonic branding and the best way to achieve that is podcasts.
It is time that your listeners choose your podcast and engage with your content. So, that you can rise with the growth in the podcast market. Aditya Kathotia Aditya is the founder of Digital Polo a unique design company that provides unlimited design work for a simple, affordable fee. He also heads a full-service digital agency called Nico Digital.