The power of podcasting: How it can get brands promoted online

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You don’t need much to foster a loyal clan of followers online. Some kind of audio recording equipment and interesting content will do. That’s the beauty of podcasting – the unique ability to nurture a vast amount of attention, credibility, interaction and followers, in a quick, cost-effective and straightforward manner. And for businesses wanting to communicate to a targeted audience and broaden their online persona and appeal in a fun, effective and credible way, podcasting should not be overlooked.

Effective FM, podcasting producers and marketers for businesses for more than ten years, explores the power of podcasting and how it can help businesses and individuals be promoted online.

The stats speak for themselves

What sceptics referred to as a “flash in the pan” when podcasting started around 2004, has now become a potent marketing tool for businesses and individuals wanting to heighten their reach, presence, credibility and appeal online.

The stats speak for themselves. In 2009 it was reported by eMarketer that the number of podcast listeners had risen from 17 million in 2008 to 21 million in the course of a year. The same report forecast that by 2013 the number of podcast listeners around the world would be propelled to 37.6 million, as Social Networking writes, “accounting for 17 percent of all Internet usage.”

And we have to admit that estimate was spectacularly topped, as in 2013 Apple said subscriptions of podcasts through iTines had reached 1 billion. As the Washington Post informs in an article titled ‘Podcasts are back – and making money’:

“RawVoice, which tracks 20,000 shows, said the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has tripled to 75 million from 25 million five years ago.”

Benefits of radio

Being an audio medium podcasts act similarly to radio, as subscribers listen to the content. Unlike blogs, you don’t have to read the content and unlike vlogs you don’t have to watch it. This means podcasting can be consumed in what’s regarded as “wasted time”, which can be extremely effective.

Being able to listen to podcasting when you are, for example, driving to work, preparing the lunch or even working, means savvy podcasters can get their message through to their audience at times when other mediums struggle. Consequently, podcasting boasts the same unique marketing capability as radio boasts, it can be consumed during wasted time, thus it reaches audiences during times other forms of marketing cannot manage.

What’s more, with the phenomenal rise of smartphone use and Bluetooth-enabled cars, it’s easier than ever before to load up our favourite podcasts and fill the empty hours when we’re stuck in a traffic jam on the M6 driving home from work!

A podcasting strategy

Similar to every marketing medium, with podcasting you’re unlikely to win over your audience overnight. This is why a well-planned podcasting strategy needs to be developed. For podcasting to be powerful and effective you will need to plan a release schedule.

There is a reason why ITV broadcasts Coronation Street on strategic days throughout the week. It coincides with the timeslots the show gets the highest viewer ratings. Your podcast might not spawn the same amount of viewers as Coronation Street, but in order to optimise the effectiveness of podcasting, you should take the time to generate an effective release schedule – will your podcasts be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? And how long will your podcasting ‘season’ last?

It stands to reason that a brand that is attempting to reach out to parents to sell products for their children would be foolish to air their podcast during the school run! When planning your podcasting schedule, think about the audience you are trying to attract and when they are most likely to be ‘tuned in’.

Reaching your niche audience

Podcasting effectively opens the doors to new audiences that businesses and individuals can niche target. What’s great about podcasting is that you can repurpose it so it can be shared on other mediums, such as webinars, videos and blog posts, helping it gain even further traction and reach broader yet still targeted audiences.

Podcast content can be shaped to your brand’s own personality and to what your audience expects. Take the popular podcast The Broad Experience as an example. This podcast is essentially a conversation about women, workplace and success. Combining interviews and panels the podcast examines the question – How can we combine work, life and success? As The Guardian writes about The Broad Experience in its evaluation of podcasts:

“Unsentimental and honest, it somehow leaves listeners, male and female, bolstered and positive, as opposed to wanting to bring sick toddlers to work just to see how their boss would cope.”

From globally-renowned media organisations like the BBC, to aspiring stand-up comedians in Edinburgh, outspoken political activists to international corporations, it seems nothing and nobody is void of benefitting from the unique brand-enhancing capabilities of the podcast.

If you would like to discuss how Effective.FM can assist you with effective podcast production, marketing or monetisation, get in touch with the Effective.FM team and take your podcast to greater heights.

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