Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Anthony
Podcasts have been steadily increasing in use and popularity for the last decade or so. People have their favourite ones that they tune into religiously to avoid missing an episode. Around one in eight people listen to podcasts in the UK, almost ten million people. These are impressive numbers, and they continue to grow. So why are podcasts increasingly popular? What drives the demand, and what does this mean for marketers who have previously relied on visual cues? Read on to find out.
A Brief History of the Podcast
Podcasts began life as audio blogs in the 1980s, but without any way to quickly and easily distribute them, they didn’t last long. The newer iteration of podcasts began in the early 2000s. This is because, by this time, it was much easier to upload and download files. However, at this time, they were still largely known as audio blogs; it wasn’t until a Britsh journalist wrote a feature on them combining the words’ iPod’ and ‘broadcast’ to form the word podcast, and the name then stuck.
The next milestone for podcasts came a few years later, in 2005. Apple added a podcast section to the iTunes store, and it had over 3,000 free podcasts in it. It was after this that people began to realise that they could capitalise on podcasts by charging for the episodes. Although, paying to listen to them did put some people off, and so podcasts had to come up with another way to fund themselves. Thus, marketing via podcasts was born.
Why are Podcasts Popular Among Listeners?
We live in an increasingly digital culture. We want entertaining; there is no such thing as delayed gratification anymore. As a result, there is a huge demand for content in all forms. So what makes listeners want to tune into a podcast instead of watching something? Firstly, podcasts allow their audience to multi-task. They can fulfil their need to be entertained and consume content while performing other tasks that also require their attention. Most of the time, those who listen to podcasts are also doing something else, whether that be driving, cooking, doing housework or working out.
Podcasts are also a great way to keep up with current events. It allows users to consume their news from trusted sources who can break things down and explain them further while also injecting a little personality into the affair. In addition to keeping up with the latest news, people also choose podcasts that they find entertaining. There are a lot of different genres of podcasts to choose from, and there are also a lot of different formats too.
Why Market via Podcasts?
Marketing via a podcast is a form of digital PR. There are several reasons why marketing via a podcast makes sense. Firstly, it is an easy and effective way to reach your target audience. Podcasts are purpose-driven; their reach is deep as opposed to broad. The appeal of a podcast can easily line up with the demographics of your target audience, making it incredibly simple to reach them. By sponsoring a podcast, you can reiterate and remind the audience of your existence and pique their interest. It is a great way to reach a certain niche. This, in turn, can generate more leads and lead to more sales.
Podcasts also accompany listeners everywhere they go. They don’t have to be in any one place to witness your marketing. Their eyes don’t need to be directed to an advert. The audience doesn’t have to take the time out of their day to consume your ads; they fit in around them and their lifestyle. This can make it feel more natural and less invasive, which some consumers prefer. This availability also makes podcasts more sustainable. Depending on the genre, they often have an ongoing appeal, unlike other forms of marketing, which can feel as though they have an expiration date. For example, if a social media post doesn’t earn some engagement within a day or two of posting, it is unlikely that it will. Whereas a podcast can be referred back to time and time again as more and more people discover it.
When you choose to sponsor a podcast, you also benefit from borrowing some of the credibility from said podcast. Listeners tend to develop an attachment to a podcast and its host. There is a level of trust that is built from the transparency and authenticity given to podcasts. You can profit from this trust. The listeners take on the recommendations from the hosts and believe what they are told. If the hosts tell them to use your product or service, it immediately places your business in a position of trust which can also strengthen your brand.
The Bottom Line
Marketing through podcasts is an excellent way to increase the visibility of your brand with very little effort on your part. You can stand out from competitors and be protected by the trust and credibility of the podcast that you are marketing through. That being said, it is vital that you do the necessary research and choose the right podcast; otherwise, it is a wasted effort and, frankly, a wasted investment too.
Content Marketing Manager
A former journalist, Hannah Stevenson is now the Content Marketing Manager at UK Linkology, one of the UK’s highest-ranking link building agencies.