Podcasts are great examples for something old that manages to make a spectacular come-back and take everybody by surprise. While advertising via radio commercials is still a steady practice, developments in technology and consumer habits have led to the rise in popularity of podcasting. In the following years, up to 2021, podcasting advertising spending is expected to double.
Podcasts continue to gain popularity due to the rapid proliferation of smartphones – more and more people become gadget users each day. This type of device seems to have become essential to the modern individual and especially popular with the younger generations. It is not a coincidence that it is this particular demographic that makes up for 44% of the global podcasting audience.
If you are one of the people who have not yet adopted podcasting and are wondering when and how exactly do consumers listen to these audio episodes, note that Apple Car Play comes pre-bundled as a native app in 24 major car brands.
Perks of podcasting for marketing purposes
Using podcasting as a means of advertising holds the great advantage of being very specific in targeting your audience. Clearly, before setting out to market anything, a seller will do their homework as to what the right crowds to address might be.
It’s easy to do basic research and find the perfect venue for the podcast promoting your online course. Niches are a lot more accessible with the spread of high speed internet and online communities so podcasts can be present in virtual space right where they are most likely to be of interest.
Furthermore, podcasts can actually provide SEO benefits. iTunes, the most popular place for podcasts, is a Page Rank One website, and every episode is normally linked back to both the show’s website and the guest’s website. Becoming a partner with some of the popular shows and having a link to your website available with the appropriate keywords is a great way of attracting listeners and gaining visibility by ranking up in the preferences.
Mind the importance of variety
The rising popularity of podcasts also means that they are increasingly numerous out there. Ensuring your podcast catches the attention of its target audience is key in using it as a proficient marketing tool.
Even if they are mainly audio content, podcasts can include all types of digital mediums including documents and videos. If they are to be of interest, great variety is greatly needed. Each time you add something or do something different, it’s a good chance not only to engage the existing audience but also to expand it by enlarging your list of potential leads.
Some tips for keeping things varied are:
- Don’t do it all yourself, have different guest speakers;
- Change the style of the show using interview or game show formats when they fit;
- Include game elements, quizzes and contests – we do live in the golden age of gamification after all;
- Do the podcast in individual segments and expand or shorten them according to user reaction.
Keep engagement up
Another crucial aspect when it comes to the success of your podcast is the level of engagement manifested by those who follow it. There are a few things that can be done in order to boost participation as well:
- Build your social media strategy around the times when your audience is most active. For example, if your target are young professionals, it’s probable they will be on their phones during commute hours.
- Include a call to action in your podcasts – ask the listeners to respond, give an opinion, discuss or even disagree if that’s how they feel.
- Actually respond to requests from the audience; they need to see the podcast as a conversation, not a lecture. As long as you prove that you are listening and are able to adapt, they will stay on board.
Make sure your podcast is easily accessible
Podcasts are especially popular with and accessed by mobile users. Audio podcasts especially are designed for on-the-go use and can reach people even when they’re engaged in another activity. Many individuals have the habit of multitasking and listening to an engaging podcast while attending to another item on the checklist is both enjoyable and fulfilling to them. It makes them feel more productive.
With this in mind, the content of your podcast ought to be simple enough so that it doesn’t require full and undivided attention. And as accessibility pertains not only to the device and the lightness of content, the platform on which it is listed also weighs a lot. iTunes represents a great venue in which to harness the power of podcasts for marketing. By the simple act of listing it on iTunes, you make your podcast available to millions.
All in all
With competition being as fierce as it is and with markets changing with nauseating speeds, any marketer of online courses should try to use every small advantage there is. Podcasting shows great promise and the numbers also seem to favor it so… record!
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.