Podcasting has emerged as one of the most popular ways for brands to engage with their customers on a regular basis. While most people think of huge media companies – such as the New York Times or NPR – when it comes to podcasting, the reality is that any business or brand can very easily set up a podcast and make it possible for fans and consumers to download this content to their smartphones. With that in mind, here are four great reasons why it’s important to start podcasting for your business or personal brand.
What makes podcasting so fundamentally different from other forms of digital content is that most people consume this content when they are away from their computers. Once you’ve downloaded a podcast to your smartphone, you can listen to it as you work out, as you commute to work in the morning, or as you’re walking around town doing errands. That gives brands a great way to engage with customers on a 24/7 basis.
In many ways, podcasts are just like talk radio back in the old days. For that reason, the most popular podcasts are almost always headed up by a popular personality. So, if your business or personal brand is thinking of getting into the podcast game, you’ll definitely want to find one or more people within your company who can help to develop your overall brand personality.
The good news is that this personality doesn’t necessarily have to be a mega celebrity or top industry influencer. For example, Barstool Sports now has more podcast listeners than ESPN, thanks in large part to its unique (and often irreverent) approach to sports. In January 2019, the company had a cumulative reach of 7.9 million unique listeners, up from 4.3 million a year ago. Moreover, the company’s podcasts were downloaded 37.9 million times in January 2019, up from 19.9 million a year ago.
Just like you can monetize your YouTube video content, you can also monetize your podcast content. Podcast content is free, so the way that you monetize it is with ads. In 2018, total podcast revenue was $514.5 million. At Barstool Sports, for example, 50% of the company’s advertising revenue comes from podcasting. In 2018, the company brought in $15 million in podcasting revenue from 25 different shows.
While the most popular podcasts are general interest shows designed to appeal to large audiences, the reality is that the ease and convenience of creating podcast content makes it possible to go very deep in very specific niches or verticals. Barstool Sports, for example, has 25 different shows, while The Ringer has 28 shows and Vox Media has 75 shows.
If done right, podcasting can be more than a corporate vanity project – it can be a way to reach new customers; develop your overall brand personality, bring in new advertising revenue; and super-serve your best customers by going very deep in content areas that matter the most to them.
Podcasts are only one touchpoint in which you can engage customers. What other channels and platforms might you utilize? How do you intertwine them into one marketing strategy? Learn more about “Cross-Channel Fundamentals” in order to keep up with customers no matter what channel or platform they prefer.
As the Founder and CEO of Social Media Headquarters (HQ), Chris manages an online community of marketers, students, entrepreneurs and digital enthusiasts. One of his goals is to help others grow professionally with the help of the latest tips and trends in social and digital marketing. You can follow up on Twitter @SocialMediaHQ.