Newer, more intimate means of content delivery are popping up in almost every medium. It’s no different for brands who want to reach their target audiences. The podcast space is growing at an explosive rate. According to data from Statista, the number of people listening to podcasts monthly has increased by 26% over the last two years.
Brands need to get on board before their competition does. To become an effective use of this trend, you must understand why, when, and how to use podcasts for your brand’s business objectives. Just like any medium, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for brands looking to integrate podcasts into their marketing mix. The right approach is contingent upon your company’s unique audience and brand story—as well as its resources and a host of other variables.
What is a podcast and how is it used for branding?
A podcast is a digital audio file that can be downloaded and played on computers and mobile devices. It can be distributed via a host of mediums — including Apple’s iTunes — and listened to at the user’s convenience. Podcasts allow brands to create ongoing content series that deliver consistent messages, attract new audiences and promote the long-term value of a product or service.
The format has evolved from audio and spoken word to include video, images, and other types of media. But at its core, it remains an intimate experience for the listener that can be tailored to individual interests and delivered in a personalized way. Podcasts are also a great tool for recording behind-the-scenes content and conversations between employees, executives, and other stakeholders.
Define your brand’s goals before creating podcasts
Like any other marketing medium, you must first determine the goals of your podcast program. If your company is new to podcasts, start with relatively simple content, such as a talk show. As you grow more comfortable, you can diversify and create multiple podcasts that appeal to specific segments of your audience. Before you even think about creating podcasts, make sure to determine the following: – Who do you want to reach? – What value does your brand bring to the table? – How do your podcasts contribute to these goals?
When should brands use podcasts?
Like any other marketing medium, the best times to use podcasts depend on your specific business objectives. One way to determine the best time to launch a podcast is to look at your calendar and find the periods in which you don’t have any other marketing events or activities planned. – If you want to reach the widest amount of people, consider launching your podcast around the end of the year. During this “dead period” of the year, many consumers are looking to consume more media as they take some time off. – If you want to target a niche group, then consider launching your podcast during a recognized period of significance to that group. For example, launching your podcast during National Engineers Week — February 15-21 — is a good way to appeal to engineers and engineering students.
Tips for effective podcast usage with branding in mind
There are many ways to approach podcasting, but all successful campaigns share one thing in common: the content is authentic. It must also be consistent with the brand’s existing identity and message. If you create a podcast, you’re committing to providing regular content for your listeners regularly. This means you must have the resources to make good on your promises. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare to launch your podcast: – First and foremost, be authentic. – Incorporate your brand’s core messages into the episodes. – Create a consistent podcast schedule and stick to it. – Be consistent with the length of your episodes. – Be consistent with the topics you discuss. – Be consistent with your hosting platform. – Make sure you have the resources to follow through on your promises.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, but…
Podcasting is a relatively new medium, so it’s a good idea to experiment with different forms and formats. This will help you find what works best for your brand and your audience. However, you must make sure your experiments don’t affect your ability to produce consistent content. You don’t want to end up like the podcast host with the shortest hosting run in the Guinness Book of World Records. This guy hosted a podcast for over 10 years without a break until he finally took an extended vacation on June 17, 2011 — almost 2 years after he hosted his last show. While this is an extreme example, it highlights the importance of consistently delivering your podcast on time every time. Otherwise, you risk losing the trust and loyalty of your audience members.
Don’t rely on audio alone for branding
Podcasts are a fantastic means of engaging with your audience, but they’re no substitute for other mediums — particularly visual ones. You’ll want to make sure you’re extending the reach of your podcast by creating related content, such as images, graphics, and website posts that tie in with your content. This will help you reach more people and maximize the impact of your podcasting efforts. Podcasts are a very intimate medium and some people may be hesitant to share personal information, even via audio. By visually complementing your audio content, you can increase the reach of your podcasts and make them more effective overall.
Podcasts are a fantastic means of engaging with your audience and building your brand, but you must approach them correctly. First and foremost, be authentic, and make sure you’re consistent with your messaging, length, and topics. You don’t want to commit to weekly shows if you can’t deliver on your promises. If you do these things, you will be well on your way to becoming an effective use of this trend.