Podcasts are (figuratively, in terms of popularity) hotter than the surface of the sun (10,000 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s why more and more brands, including many of our clients, have branched into recording and publishing their own podcasts. And when they do, the question they invariably ask us is: How do we build an audience for our podcast?
Great question, and we’ll share our answers shortly. But first let’s put the question into its present context. Podcasts have been around for a while, but they’ve only recently gone big time. As Entrepreneur describes: “For years, listeners have tuned into podcasts to hear crime anthologies and pop culture analysis, but podcasts are no longer a niche corner of the content market controlled by NPR; they’re going mainstream with the help of major brands.”
To see how popular and widespread podcasts have become, Edison Research’s 2018 Podcast Consumers report unearths a virtual treasure chest of information – including these gems:
- More than four out of 10 (44 percent) of Americans between the ages of 12 and 34 say they have listened to a podcast, up from 40 percent just a year ago
- Of the listeners in that 12-34 age group – estimated to total about 124 million — more than half (51 percent) have an annual household income of at least $75,000
- Five out of 10 (50 percent) of listeners dedicate between one hour and five hours of their time each week to listen to their favorite podcasts
With those numbers in mind, it’s no surprise that brands are doubling down on podcasts. As CNBC recently reported, ad spend by U.S. brands is predicted to jump from an estimated $314 million in 2017 to $659 million in 2020.
But as Forbes points out, there are now about 525,000 active podcasts and more than 18.5 million episodes. That’s a whole lot of content, and it’s only going to increase.
So how can brands stand apart and build an audience for their podcast? The number one piece of advice we give to our clients is this: Produce content that your audience will find valuable and make them look forward to tuning into your next show.
In other words, have a compelling story to tell. It’s OK to be a little more “salesy” than you might be in other forms of content, but don’t drown out your message with marketing speak. To create content that your audience wants to hear, tap the expertise of your company’s best thought leaders and noted experts in your industry.
After you’ve developed the content for your podcast, you can then focus on getting people to listen to it. To do that, we suggest:
- Promoting your podcasts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Google+, YouTube and Pinterest, especially those where you already have followers
- Getting the word out on your company’s blog(s)
- Crafting significant episodes – for example, your first show, an interview with a famous guest, a show focusing on a local area, and or milestone episodes — into a press release or media alert to pitch to media covering your company’s line of work
- Cross-promoting your podcast with other brands/podcasts
Getting started is easy. As Macworld puts it: “One big reason there are so many podcasts is that it’s never been easier to produce one. “
The hard part is getting noticed. Contact us today to see how we can help.