Over the last decade, podcasts have seen a steady rise in popularity. As of June 2019, there was a reported 750,000 podcasts globally with over 30 million episodes. The number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years – from 3.2 million in 2013 to 5.9m in 2018. That’s an increase from 7% to 11% of adults in the UK.
But when PR and marketing professionals think about campaigns, it is often social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram that take centre stage. As a medium, podcasts are sometimes overlooked.
But podcasts are certainly not new. In fact, the word “podcast” actually predates Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. A democratic medium, podcasts present a huge opportunity for PR professionals. Here are a few reasons why you should be making them a priority in your next comms strategy…
With so many podcasts, there is literally something for everyone. With content designed for specific, niche audiences, it immediately makes it a targeted medium that can cater to individual tastes – whether that’s running, crime stories, business leadership or even astrology. Likewise, when it comes to podcasts, it stands to reason that if you’ve downloaded or subscribed to a certain podcast, you have a particular interest in the subject. Listeners are already engaged and more likely to listen. There’s no need for click-bait or freebies to grab attention!
So, if you have a niche brand you need to drive awareness for, look for a podcast with a similar subject matter. Approach podcast hosts the same way you would approach a journalist or editor because there is likely an opportunity to feature a relevant spokesperson as a guest. Remember: don’t use podcasts as a sales tool. Podcast listeners want a good story so be sure to make what you have to say worth listening to.
We recently had our client miha bodytec, makers of Electro-Muscular-Stimulation (EMS) training equipment featured on the Fitness Business Podcast talking about the growth of this type of training in the UK and US.
Borderless and Timeless
Podcasts are a global platform. This level of accessibility makes audio incredibly appealing to a mass audience. Now, your content can extend far beyond the market in which it was recorded. And, one of the best parts of a podcast is that people can find the content weeks, months or even years after it was first published. That means, as a piece of content, it continues working for you/your client long after the campaign has wrapped up. It can referenced over and over, easily linked to, and used to secure other opportunities, like speaking spots at events.
Engagement Guaranteed (well, almost)
Here’s a fun fact: There are more podcast listening hours in a day than video watching hours. PR professionals can take advantage of the fact that podcasts are a “secondary medium” meaning you can listen to them while doing other things (like commuting, running, walking the dog, etc.). A video (which takes more time and usually money to create) requires a person’s full and dedicated attention which, let’s face it, is harder to get.
Secondly, the maths is in your favour. 80% of podcast listeners listen to ALL of every episode they are subscribed to! (Compare that to YouTube video watching drop-off rates!) The average podcast is 40 minutes long, which means people are dedicating quite a bit of their time to listen to them.
The Podcast Audience is Changing
What about millennials and Gen Z, I hear you say? Well, you may be interested to know that the average age of a podcast listener is 38.5, but stats are showing that the age is slowly getting younger. The podcasting space is developing and becoming more diverse. (Hello, Love Island podcast!) As it grows, it is presenting an amazing marketing opportunity for brands across all target audiences. You just need to find your niche.
So, with International Podcast Day coming up on 30th September, think about how a podcast might be the perfect platform for your story.
And, if you need help, get in touch!