As if it were a living organism in constant evolution, marketing continually changes to adapt to the needs of users at a hectic pace. It was only a short time ago when it was essential to have an infographic on your blog to stay up-to-date; today the same happens with podcasts, a tool that is gaining more relevance.
What is a podcast?
Let’s start with the basics. A podcast is a digital audio like a downloadable radio transmission on a website, blog, or even popular platforms like Spotify or iTunes. Although there are similarities with the radio concept, the main difference between podcasts and radio is the permanence in time because you can listen to them whenever you want!
And similar to radio, the podcast has a presenter and interviewees, who develop a specific topic to engage the audience and add valuable content.
What is the competitive advantage of the podcast?
The podcast format is its main advantage. Texts require special effort and attention, and although videos are popular and enjoy great acceptance, they require visual attention.
This fusion of the advantage of text and video in one format is the key to developing podcasts since you can consume the content anywhere at any time just by listening while you’re performing other tasks. It’s effortless and a great alternative to learn new topics or expand your knowledge.
A podcast is more than an audio recording, it is a pillar of the digital transformation and a differential factor for your brand. To understand how podcasts are affecting marketing, let's review some relevant figures:
- According to data from Apple Music, there are 700,000 active podcasts in more than 100 languages (BusinessInsider).
- 75% of Americans are familiar with podcasting (Convince&Convert).
- 37% of Americans listen to podcasts regularly.
- There are 850,000 active Podcasts on all platforms (Oberlo)
Why should you have a podcast?
The most important reasons to have a podcast are the following:
- Give life to words: Texts are a bit cold in comparison to voice, and with podcasts you have personal contact with your followers, breaking down these virtual barriers. Podcasts give you a voice and bring you closer to your audience and customers.
- Positions yourself as an expert: Personal branding and business branding are two fundamental disciplines to better position and differentiate yourself from the competition. And having a podcast will increase your recognition and position your expertise faster than other formats.
- Build your network: Interview podcasts are dynamic and popular and probably better than podcasts only conducted through text-only format. Besides, they will help you increase your network and contacts.
- Doesn't “get in the way”: Podcasts are a format that doesn't interfere with everyday life.
- It is inexpensive: Creating a podcast is more affordable than making content in many other formats. It is only necessary to have the correct sound equipment and the basic command of an audio editing tool.
- Less competition: There are countless blogs and YouTube channels, but podcasts are not so popular yet.
- It’s contemporary: It is a trend that allows you to develop content with better results and in a shorter time than blogs.
In short, having a podcast will help you reach more people and increase the awareness of your brand, and this strategy will position you as an expert in the medium and long term if you use it correctly.
How can you implement the use of podcasts in your marketing strategy?
To create your own podcast, you can follow these suggestions and define a strategy to start making your content:
1. Definition of the subject and target
What are you going to talk about? It is important to spend some time thinking about what valuable content you can bring to your audience. Be very clear about the content you want to generate. Is it an interview? If so, prepare your questions well and get to know the interviewee to be comfortable during the interview. Is it a narrative? Make sure you have a script before doing the podcast.
Without this exercise, completing the next stages is almost impossible and you’ll have subpar results.
2. Determine your buyer persona
Once you define your goals, it is necessary to define who you are creating it for, your buyer persona. The process of defining your buyer persona will support you in defining the format of your content, selection of topics, guests and mainly, the tone of your program.
Later, you'll be able to check if your podcasts are going in the right direction and deliver more customized and immersive content to your listeners. If people want to hear what you have to say, talk directly to them, hear their pains and offer great content to make successful podcasts.
3. Content creation
Once you define the subject, you have to think about what content you want to create. To do this, it is important that you are familiar with all the formats that you can find in a podcast. You can include Podcasts in several ways such as:
- Create special content. It is possible to convert an especially relevant post into a podcast and reach a bigger audience using both formats. In this case, you would speak on the podcast. Either commenting on information that you think is convenient or answering questions that users sent you.
- Complement texts. You can add supplemental information to your texts. Just make sure you’re not repeating the same content in the podcast.
- Making specific collaborations. It is one of the most used formats since it is only about conducting an interview with an expert person and it will multiply the quality of the content you offer, especially if you can get the point of view and experience of industry experts.
- Promote the Q&A (Questions and Answers). This methodology allows your followers to send you their doubts and you can explain or develop their needs in a podcast.
- Non-fiction narrative. Talk about your life experiences as long as it is not fiction.
- Hybrid. None of these formats convince you? Do you like them all? Mix it up and make one that suits your media and the demands of your listeners.
The creativity is limitless! So, you can adapt the podcast to the requirements of your industry and especially, to the needs of your audience because no matter what you do, you must give your audience what they are asking for.
Additionally, determine the duration and frequency of every episode considering questions like:
- Do you have the resources to record weekly episodes?
- Will you have interviewees for every week?
- Will you manage your time effectively?
- How will you make the edition available after the recording?
By the way, make sure you have a good quality sound. The difference in the quality of your audio begins with the choice of the recording location. However, if you don't have a recording studio, you can choose a location to ensure the environment is suitable.
Similarly, the microphone is a crucial factor. You can have a great podcast but without a good microphone, you will hardly get listeners. And, good audio starts with a good microphone.
4. Spread and share
Make it reach as many listeners as possible. If it’s going to be a recurring podcast, you should have all these tasks scheduled with a frequency that allows you to continue creating content with enough time and sharing it out to all your marketing channels.
How to make profit with your podcast?
Podcast ads will be at least 1 billion by 2021 according to Emarketer. And the exponential growth of podcasts will make this figure even bigger in the near future. So, it's a good market for you to try.
Advertisers are looking for other ways to connect with their target audience and are always looking for new platforms or media in which to advertise. If the content of your podcast is interesting and valued, surely, many advertisers will look for you to do business.
There is something that makes audio engaging and an audio ad aimed at a loyal audience is a credible way to create brand awareness, and listeners are more likely to take action this way. So, you can add to your podcasts the following strategies to start generating income:
- Sponsorship. This is a common way to generate income with your podcast. By offering ads in your Podcasts, you will maintain your business alive and as long as you know your buyer persona, the opportunity to get better results and make money will increase. The larger your audience, the greater your chances of landing a sponsor. So, before making a proposal for sponsorship, you must know very well your numbers because businesses are data-driven and you are responsible for reporting this relevant and eye-catching data to your potential sponsors.
- Product’s sale and affiliate sales. This is also a widely used strategy. First, get suppliers which make products on-demand, and analyze the production costs. Then, measure your results to assess if you should continue with this strategy or not. And don't forget to take into account shipping prices. Regarding selling affiliate products, this is a good strategy if you think that managing your own products is hard, or simply, you don't want to spend time on that. So, affiliate marketing is great to sell other people's products and get a commission. You make the sale of the product yourself in your podcast by leaving a code available for your listeners and when they buy from that code, you get a percentage of that sale.
- Premium access. If you already have a good and loyal audience, then a good option is to explore the sale of exclusive access to certain content such as ad-free episodes, Q&A with selected guests, exclusive access to recordings and more.
By understanding the behavior of your audience, you will be able to decide which option fits best for you.
How can you measure your results?
Measuring is key to knowing what we are doing well and what we are doing wrong. To do this, you can measure and track a series of variables such as:
● Number of subscribers and total listeners. This is the most basic indicator. You can measure the number of subscribers to check how your brand is evolving and what your target audience likes the most.
● Valuations. Pay attention to all the comments and likes you receive, both positive and negative, as they will help you grow and adapt to your audience quickly.
● Interaction on social networks. Don’t stay alone analyzing your data. We live in a world, in which social networks play a predominant role and you can ask your audience to share their opinions and leave comments.
Take it or leave it!
Podcasts make it easier to gain visibility since you can listen to them in situations in which it’s impossible to read a blog or watch a video. In addition, audio is a method that, within digital marketing, has the advantage of retaining listeners for longer. On the other hand, podcasts are a way to differentiate yourself from competitors that continue with a text-only strategy.
Podcasts are in fashion all over the world. It is an online means of communication and entertainment that we can listen to anywhere and at any time. And millions of people are joining this trend.