It may feel as though your marketing options are ever-expanding, which forces you to know and evaluate every new social platform and digital option available to see if it fits with your marketing goals, specifically if it reaches your customer or prospects well. Multiple types of content demand your attention, including blog posts, webinars, e-books, videos and podcasts.
Podcasts? If you’re a certain age, you probably remember the early, heady days near and around 2005 when the mash-up of iPod and broadcast created podcast as a term and Steve Jobs showed how to create one using Apple’s GarageBand software. You remember podcasts limping along for the 10 years before they kicked into another gear with the NPR show “This American Life” and its 2014 investigative journalism series “Serial.”
Here is where we insert the sound of rockets blasting off and add these statistics:
- In 2022, for the first time in history, more than half of all digital audio listeners in the U.S. were podcast listeners.
- Podcast advertising revenue is expected to reach $3.2B by 2026 from $1.73B in 2022. Podcasts take up 36.20% of audio ad spending and 0.85% of total digital spending.
- Podcast ads are the most memorable, according to the Super Listeners 2021 survey, with 86% of respondents recalling hearing one. Websites have 79% and social media has 80%.
Podcasts are clearly among the most powerful platforms a business can use to reinforce its message. Still, many companies shy away from the opportunity because they doubt the strength of podcasts as a promotional tool in their marketing mix, don’t understand how to bring the elements together, or don’t get how B2B benefits from podcasting.
So, let’s talk podcasts and five reasons why you should add them to your current marketing mix.
1. Convenience and Accessibility
Audio content is more accessible to users compared to text and video content. Listeners don’t need to shift their focus from what they are doing to focus exclusively on your audio content. People listen to podcasts as they drive or work, which is the beauty of audio—it allows for PDOT: People Doing Other Things.
Podcasts don’t take them away from activities, they often enrich the experience and help weave a memory trail to the content. It’s active listening, which seeks to understand rather than reply, just as in conversation. Podcasts are also downloadable, which enables users to listen and absorb them on their timetable.
2. A Brand Loyalty Boost
Humans want to connect with people and not brands and do business with those they trust know what they’re talking about. Listeners can detect expertise and enthusiasm when you discuss relevant topics in a podcast. The more invested your customers and prospects perceive you to be, the higher your credibility climbs and the more likely you are to have influence in an industry and among prospects.
Podcasts offer a platform where those who are talking can organically humanize their image. The human voice has the power to reach an audience in ways that video and written words cannot.
According to those who study it, the human voice has power because “it is finely tuned by the emotions and conveys the slightest change of feeling. It broadcasts the intention of a speaker and can load the simplest words with complicated meanings.” It also allows listeners to mentally construct an imaginary scene, which comes from audio performances of early radio and the phrase “The Theater of the Mind.” Podcasts, like radio, can engage listeners’ imagination and memory more actively than visuals.
3. Stands out from the competition
Depending on your niche and expertise, you have the added advantage of facing little competition. Unlike social media channels and blogs, podcasts are a comparatively untapped B2B marketing tactic. If your brand is capable of successfully implementing an engaging and targeted strategy within a specialty, you have a high chance of gaining a competitive edge. To ensure success, be about something.
Consider how a strong tagline or introduction serves as a guidepost and memory hook. Also, to stand out, make your first few episodes a declaration of focus. Give listeners a clear idea of episode length, recurring segments, tone, and scope of subject matter they should expect from your podcast.
4. Inexpensive to produce
Recording a podcast is less time consuming compared to recording a video or writing an article. You need a good microphone (sorry, Steve Jobs and GarageBand) and a program to edit your episodes. Of course, a soundproof space is great, or at least one that doesn’t sound like you’re talking inside a can.
You also must decide whether your podcast will be scripted or not. Even though good podcasts seem like they flow effortlessly, you will have to edit them ruthlessly. Audio can be punishing in its linearity, and your audience is PDOT. You must earn their attention minute by minute, and that means good editing.
Also, be choosy about the material you include in the final product, and don’t fall in love with your own voice. Edit as you compile each episode. Everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone’s good at telling it. Few people can talk about things in a way that’s ready to air as an audio story. They ramble, interrupt, repeat themselves, double back, jump around and go off on tangents. Those kinds of natural speech patterns are killers in audio and should be taken out in the edit.
5. Rich with cross-promotional opportunities
Podcasts are a valuable tool not just for promoting your brand and services but also those of your clients, corporate partners, and prospects. According to a survey podcast, listeners do not seem to mind commercial breaks in podcasts. They also offer an opportunity to have an expert guest on the show. The expert guest gets to showcase their skills and expertise in an area while your company benefits from diversified content, fresh material, and credible sources.
Because adding unexpected tips is always fun, here are two bonus tips on podcasting:
- If you do have guests, choose them sensibly, particularly when considering people who talk a lot as part of their job. Thought leaders and corporate executives might be more practiced and direct, but they often provide cringe-worthy podcast content because they’ve recycled the same talking points so many times that all traces of authenticity or human emotion are long gone.
- Alex Blumberg, of Gimlet Media (an award-winning narrative podcasting company), often talks about the importance of frequently introducing reasons for your audience to keep listening, saying, “Something new has to happen. Music has to come in, there has to be a new voice. There has to be a new idea. There has to be a punchline. Something new should be happening every forty, fifty, sixty seconds.” Keep it moving.
Podcasts are still refreshingly unexpected in the B2B space, so if you’re game to put your ideas out among your colleagues and industry peers, podcasting may be the perfect complement to your current content marketing mix.
Frequently Asked Questions
Podcasts offer several benefits, including convenience and accessibility for listeners, the ability to humanize your brand and boost brand loyalty, standing out from the competition, cost-effectiveness in production, and rich cross-promotional opportunities.
Audio content is easily accessible as it can be consumed while people engage in other activities like driving or working. Podcasts can be downloaded, allowing users to listen to them on their own schedule.
Podcasts provide a platform to showcase expertise and enthusiasm, allowing listeners to connect with your brand on a more personal level. The human voice has a powerful impact and can build trust and credibility among your audience.
Yes, podcasts are still relatively untapped in the B2B marketing space, offering a chance to gain a competitive edge, especially within a specific niche. By delivering engaging and targeted content, your brand can stand out.
No, podcast production can be relatively inexpensive compared to video or written content. A good microphone and editing software are the main requirements. However, it’s important to invest time in editing and carefully selecting material for the best results.
Podcasts can promote not only your brand but also those of your clients, partners, and prospects. You can feature guest experts who benefit from showcasing their skills, while you gain fresh content and credibility.
Yes, podcasts are still relatively unexpected in the B2B space, making them a valuable addition to your content marketing mix. They provide an opportunity to share your ideas with colleagues and industry peers in a unique and engaging format.