Podcasting—which was initially dismissed as the realm of “amateur radio”—has undoubtedly become big business. Year over year, podcasts continue to soar in popularity; according to recent statistics, weekly online audio listenership among Americans in 2021 was at an all-time high, topping out at 176 million people. This represents a whopping +800 percent increase compared to data from 2013. Even better, analysts estimate that the podcast advertising market will be worth nearly $3.5 billion by 2025, despite this ongoing (and seemingly never-ending) pandemic.
These points alone should be sufficient to convince entrepreneurs, business development execs, and marketers alike that podcasts are indeed worth the investment. But, if you’re still on the fence, here are another eight reasons why you and your business should seriously consider launching a branded podcast.
Accessing a Large Pool of Potential Consumers
As we mentioned earlier, podcasts are becoming increasingly mainstream. Up to 75 percent of the U.S. population is familiar with the concept of podcasting, with awareness of this media format increasing by 78.6 percent since 2009. According to Edison Research, there are approximately 80 million unique weekly podcast listeners—that represents a huge opportunity to drive potential leads and sales generation!
Targeting Niche Audiences
One of the best things about podcasts is the sheer, diverse range of shows out there, with an estimated 1,950,000 shows available on various hosting platforms. Launching a branded podcast allows companies to target specific audiences, no matter how niche. You can then work on ensuring your desired demographic becomes a dedicated listener base, although the caveat is that you must provide value by creating relevant, authentic, and impactful content.
Ensuring a High Level of Engagement
Podcast listeners demonstrate consistently high levels of engagement, with 80 percent of users listening to all or most of each episode. A 2019 study by the BBC found that podcast brand mentions resulted in 16 percent higher engagement and 12 percent memory encoding compared to other media formats. If that wasn’t enough, podcast listeners show greater levels of concentration and focus compared to those who watch TV or browse social media.
Fostering Consumer Trust and Loyalty
By virtue of its format, listening to a podcast fosters an atmosphere of intimacy and trust, much like having a conversation with a close friend. Podcasts offer an immersive experience and one-to-one connection because of their down-to-earth features which contribute to that infamous sense of loyalty among podcast users. As such, branded podcasts are a great option to lend credibility to your brand and build that much-desired “know-like-trust” factor with your ideal customers.
Avoiding Traditional Advertising Tactics
Let’s face it, most of us nowadays are sick of traditional advertising. And it shows—with millennials and Gen Z-ers, in particular, becoming progressively desensitized to old-school print and digital marketing tactics. In contrast, branded podcasts or sponsored episodes are an excellent tool for organic marketing purposes, allowing you to subtly pass on your message without sounding like you’re advertising. This form of branded content has a proven track record, with recent data demonstrating that podcast listeners have a 78 percent approval rating for sponsorships and 67 percent recall ability in terms of product and brand mentions in podcast adverts. Podcasts are also a fantastic method to generate that ever-elusive word-of-mouth buzz.
Building Brand Recognition
Speaking of credibility, podcasts have the power to raise brand awareness and recognition. After all, customers can’t help but remember your name if they’re listening to your show on a weekly basis. In particular, branded podcasts are perfect for sharing expertise by way of tips, guidance, industry secrets, and real-life stories, all of which can help illustrate your knowledge and position you as a thought leader in your specific industry. Some examples of branded podcasts that have successfully enhanced their reputation for industry authority in this way include For the Record by Spotify, Hackable? by McAfee, and Open for Business by eBay.
Shaping Trends and Starting a Conversation
Another excellent “side-effect” of creating a branded podcast is the ability it provides to drive trends, influence consumers, and start a conversation. Branded podcasts help boost your company’s visibility and quite literally provide a voice through which you can speak on important or relevant issues. This is a fantastic way in which you, as a brand, can help shape trends, and not just follow them.
Capturing Attention On the Go
The beauty of a podcast is your ability to tune in no matter what you’re doing or where you are. Whether you’re folding laundry, driving to work, commuting on the subway, working out on the treadmill, or walking the dog, listening to a podcast is almost always a viable (and informative or entertaining) option. This is great for brand marketing purposes because it means you can capture the attention of highly mobile listeners even at times when they are not receptive to other forms of media. It’s a win-win!