07.05.19 / Podcasting as a Marketing Tool — a case study in numbers

Can Podcasting help your business?

Prologue: There is more information in US publications and by US researchers about tech and its relationship to the US marketing industry than there is here in Australia, so I’m going to use information from the US in this case study. Break it down and both countries are anthropocentric, historically young (unlike countries with histories dating back thousands of years like Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Greece or China), capitalist-based, tech-consuming entities, so let’s just agree on the use of the US as a case study and allow for some minor variations in relation to the Australian market, ‘K?
Good.
Right! To begin, let’s roleplay.
Doubtful Cretin: “Podcasting as a marketing tool? What are you talking about, you muppet? That can’t be a thing. You can’t do that!”
Me: “Hold my pumpkin spiced latte.”

 

The Numbers
Let’s begin with some numbers. You’re designers, so I’m comfortable in the knowledge that you all love numbers and math.
Thirty-two percent of Americans between the ages of 25 to 54 listen to a podcast on at least once per month, slightly more than Americans aged 12–24 (30 percent), and quite a bit more than older Americans. Among people in the United States aged 55 and over, only 13 percent listen monthly — but there’s still a lot of growth potential within this older segment.
The US currently has a population of 331 million, so if we do some math, carry the 1 — that’s… many millions of people.

Sixty-nine percent of podcasts are consumed on mobile devices — you know, the thing attached to your hand now. The number of people currently hooked on podcasts coupled with the platform’s anticipated growth indicates that podcasts are quickly becoming a legitimately powerful marketing channel.

 

Why are podcasts gaining in popularity?

In the last few years, podcasts have rapidly gained popularity. One of the main reasons is our wholesale platform shift for our consumption of digital content away from using desktops toward the use of mobile devices.

Search engines are even changing their algorithms to give mobile the priority, making it more important than ever for businesses to focus on optimising for mobile platforms. As people rely more heavily on mobile devices, it has become easier than ever to access, download and listen to podcasts whenever and wherever we so desire.

Another factor driving the popularity of podcasts is our collective lack (if only a perceived lack) of time. It seems we're busier than ever and that perception has made it more difficult to allocate time to sit down to read a book or even watch GoT (this article is spoiler-free) without distraction. People want to get as much done as possible, and podcasts are consumable during your commute (whatever your preferred form of transport), while exercising, baking, building Lego unicorns, driving a forklift or whatever else you do to relax.

Podcasts also help to build brand recognition, authority, and trust among your audience. With so many people listening, they offer a brilliant opportunity for conversations related to specific industries; and, in the design-world context, they build credibility in the podcaster's community. Furthermore, they get the word out about your, the podcaster's, brand to listeners who may have never heard of you before.

As Seth Greene of Market Domination LLC.com told MartechToday, "For the next three to five years, [it will be] like the new ground floor of podcasting. There are a billion listeners and that's supposed to triple in the next few years.”

"There's a global proliferation of smartphones, and now the Podcast app is being installed in Apple Carplay." So, it seems, there's no time like the present to jump aboard the podcasting wagon and build your listenership (is that a word?) as the platform grows.

Your first Podcast may only have a few listeners. It might suck. It might be great. The only guaranteed way to fail, though, is to give up. So, the key to long-term success is the same as with everything you do; Just. Keep. Going.

So, podcasts can be a handy contributor to building your brand; however, having some sort of audience (even if it's a small one) in place to begin with. You might have a social media following or a mailing list to start. Work to build that list. Then invite the kind people on that list to listen to, and if they love it, subscribe to your podcast. Work to serve them in the most generous way you can, on a regular basis.

“Teach the youth to speak the truth, show them what peace can do” — Rakim

—QS

 

References

https://howtobuildabrand.org/branding/building-a-brand-with-podcasts/ — accessed 1/05/19

https://www.convinceandconvert.com/podcast-research/the-13-critical-podcast-statistics-of-2018/ — accessed 25/04/19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6Su5Vx3x5U — Pricing Creativity with Blair Enns, accessed 3/05/19

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/312537 — accessed 28/04/19

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297303 — accessed 5/05/19

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Heath Campbell

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