Podcasts have taken the world by storm. Introduced in the early 2000s, these sound clips are now a legitimate form of mainstream digital media. Anyone with a microphone and audio recording and editing software can create their own podcast content, making them even more accessible than videos on streaming platforms like YouTube.
But what exactly is a podcast? A podcast is primarily composed of dialogue in the form of discussions, presentations, acting, interviews, and the like. Typically, a podcast is presented as a series of episodic audio files. Each episode may stand alone or be part of a longer, cohesive story. The topics are as wide and varied as those found in the written word, and people are constantly pushing the boundaries of this medium to create new and engaging content.
Much like books, podcasts fall under two main categories: fiction and nonfiction. This means that listeners can turn to podcasts for information, news, and entertainment. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different shows within each of these genres. These are then further divided into individual topics and niche interests, such as technology, politics, medicine, gaming, poetry, and immersive fiction. The possibilities are virtually endless!
Here are four reasons why podcasts have not only become a major platform, but also a useful marketing tool.
Podcasts can be streamed or downloaded for offline use on a mobile device. This enables listeners to consume content practically anywhere, any time: while doing chores around the house, while driving in the car, while walking at the park, or while working out at the gym. Many podcasts are supported by sponsors, with specific messages often being read aloud by the podcast’s host. Thus, you have the opportunity to put your marketing message in front of listeners in all of the above circumstances.
All listeners need is an app (such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify) that allows them to search, browse, and play. With such a wide variety of information and entertainment available at their fingertips, it’s remarkable that often listeners don’t have to spend a dime to enjoy the content. This ease of access allows brief advertising messages to feel like an unobtrusive and seamless part of the podcast experience.
The purely auditory nature of podcasts makes them much easier to digest, especially when compared to videos or television. Even if the listener doesn’t catch everything that is being said, they may find themselves retaining some interesting facts and other tidbits of information. Plus, even passive listening gives an opportunity for brand impressions, which over time can create customer engagement, retention, and loyalty.
Rather than chaotic auditoriums or crowded lecture halls, the user can select their own content and listen at their own pace, rewinding and pausing as needed. Many podcast curation apps suggest shows that match the listener’s unique interests and preferences. It’s a deeply personal experience, and big companies have jumped at the chance to utilize the new format. Corporate mainstays such as McDonald’s, eBay, Microsoft, and General Electric have all published podcasts, using the platform to appeal to their audience and make their brand more personable. And so can you.
Podcasts are very different from the multi-sensory format of TV shows, movies, and internet videos. But even without the visual aspect, there’s no denying their rising popularity. Sound waves are now carrying news, information, entertainment, and advertising in bite-sized doses to millions of people all over the world.
Contact us today to discover more about how to make podcasts a key part of your marketing strategy.