Podcasting – the evolution of content marketing

Podcasts are an ideal addition to the content marketing mix – and here’s why.

Every current survey of podcast listenership shows that more people are downloading them every week. What was once the media of geeks serving a niche market mushroomed into the mainstream years ago.

Trouble is, not enough people in the advertising/marketing space have caught up yet.

According to Edison Research, 57 million Americans listened to a podcast last month. Yesterday 170,000 people in New Zealand listened to a podcast.

In short, podcasting is not a passing fad. People enjoy podcasts because they on on-demand, can be played repeatedly, and take almost no effort to consume. All you need is a smartphone, time to kill, and the desire to be better informed.

Content Marketing Institute

People love podcasts.  Including, unsurprisingly,  the founder of the Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi. He says podcasts offer “the best definition of ‘content’ I’ve seen”.

He describes content marketing as “creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience”.

That all seems pretty clear to me, so there is plenty of room for company owners to exploit the podcast genre.

There is no doubt that the written word, with good SEO of course, is king; but when one is driving, working out at the gym, relaxing, or simply not in a position to read, then a podcast is the ideal brain food.

In short, a podcast offers a level of convenience, reach and engagement that is unmatched by any other medium. Why do you think radio is still so popular?

Reasons for this include that your podcasts appear on platforms such as iTunes, TuneIn, Spreaker and Stitcher (among many others) and reach audiences who would never see or happen upon your written content on your website or printed publication.

Easy and cheap to make

The cost of producing a podcast is also low; compared say to a video. It is less time consuming to make and can provide an easy way for you to include other people in the recording. There’s also a level of trust that’s built up by people hearing your voice, getting to know you, and getting a feel for your personality.

For you and your company, a podcast can help establish you as an expert, an authority. It will expand your reach to people you could never hope to otherwise influence – it might even create more brand loyalty.

Inform, don’t sell

But the content has to be engaging. You can’t just say “buy from us because we are good”. That’s a commercial. You have to deliver much more than that.

An interesting story about how you helped someone else; about how you came up with the idea of your widget, the lessons learned in its development, the failures, the successes. Honest stories that build credibility and trust.

Use podcasts to tell your story and the stories behind your services and products, as well as share market information, along with your pick of future trends in your industry.

Do it once a week; build a following, and watch your brand grow.