Your customer is always listening. Very often, they’re listening to the unspoken narrative that your brand produces through its marketing. Depending on how carefully you are crafting that narrative, you might just be telling your customer an unflattering story, but there is one way to ensure you get your brand voice right every time — podcasts.
The Rise of Podcasts in Marketing
Podcasts reach over 100 million Americans each month, and your ideal customer almost certainly can be found within that market.
There are multiple benefits to including podcasts in your marketing strategy, the foremost being that podcast audiences are constantly — and organically — growing. By using existing podcast platforms, you leverage their algorithms to reach listeners who have already shown an interest in your niche.
Not only do podcasts allow your brand to be represented in yet another digital arena, but they also provide you with an opportunity to get your authentic brand voice across to your audience and build relationships. When you are in the ear of your audience and telling them stories about your company and its products, they start to feel like they know you. You are no longer just a logo. Your company becomes a person and people buy from people.
If you’ve spent any significant time on a digital marketing campaign, you’ll know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key. Podcasts are another tool to help boost your results in those all-important rankings.
Finally, podcasts are almost guaranteed to achieve a higher consumption rate than most other forms of content because they can be consumed passively. There has been a huge push in the mental health space in recent years to reduce screen time and as many as 43% of people admit to only skimming through blogs and articles.
Ever notice how even media houses now give people the option to listen to articles rather than read them (including this website)? Spoken-word audio now accounts for 28% of digital listening.
Three Ways to Use Podcasts as Marketing Tools
It’s very clear that podcasts are a hugely beneficial component to include in your marketing campaign. Here are the top three ways you can use them:
- Advertise on other people’s podcasts. No matter your brand niche, there is going to be a podcast that matches. One of the easiest and quickest ways to dip your toe into the podcast pool is purchasing advert space on other podcasts. Being interviewed about your brand or product is also a great way to leverage the medium.
- Narrate your written content. Repurposing content allows you to spread your message across mediums. You could also include a link in the written content to an additional FAQ section in the audio version as a bonus
- Create your own podcast. Starting your own podcast is easier than ever and there are multiple free tools that give the medium a low barrier to entry. A brand-specific podcast can include interviews with team members, product information, discussions about campaigns and events, and even interviews with the best ambassadors for your brand — happy customers.
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Who Can Use Podcasts to Market?
Anyone can take advantage of the potential of podcasts but there are often more effective ways to use the medium depending on where you fit into the business spectrum.
This one is almost a no-brainer because creative entrepreneurs are always producing some type of content already. Developing a podcast in your niche adds to your authority and gives your customers a place to connect with you.
I create in the true-crime space and my podcast directly resulted in a large book-publishing house contracting me to write a true-crime book. By building a brand through high-quality podcast content, I was able to skip right through all the usual obstacles associated with getting published. The other offshoots from my podcast have been audiobook narration, influencer work, and research work in the television industry — all from one podcast series.
People love a good startup story, but we often only hear these stories months or years into the business’s journey. The finer details of what occurred in that initial growth period are then lost. Starting a podcast to document your startup journey can be a great way to connect with your customer base and to attract investors. Then when you’re flying high you can listen back and appreciate how far you’ve come.
Larger, Established Businesses
The options are almost endless for more established businesses. A brand-specific podcast in which you share company and product news with your customer base is one way. For companies in very technical niches, podcasts can be a great way to talk your customers through using your products — think audio-based manuals or how-to guides.
You could also increase employee engagement through podcasts. If you have a large team of salespeople, for instance, podcasts can be a great way to keep them up to date on products and preferred sales techniques.
What Does It Look Like in Practice?
If you are wondering if podcasts as a marketing tool really work, take a listen to ZipRecruiter’s Rise & Grind. Rather than being used as a blatant promotional tool, this podcast’s references to the brand are cleverly inserted around content that inspires and motivates job seekers and employers alike.
Another great example is the podcast, Why We Eat What We Eat, by meal delivery service Blue Apron. Again, the company uses the podcast to educate and entertain its existing customer base around the topics related to their business while also supporting the brand’s voice as a conscientious food supplier.
Podcasts are a valuable marketing tool and are so diverse in their offerings that almost everyone can use them in some way. So how are you going to leverage podcasts to boost your marketing campaigns?