Are you looking for a way to share your content with the world? If you feel like traditional and online channels have gotten a bit stale, consider reaching your audience through a new frontier: audio podcasting. According to data reported by Entrepreneur magazine, about 24 percent of Americans older than 12 listen to at least one podcast every month, expected to skyrocket to more than 100 million podcast fans in 2021–just in the U.S.
Explore these eight reasons why podcasts are so successful as a content platform, then learn more about pushing your podcasting prowess to the next level with professional media training from the Media Schools in Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, and Miami.
Seamless Mobile Access
As we rely more on mobile devices to educate and entertain, traditional web pages become a less important aspect of marketing. Podcasts fit right into this surge to the mobile space since your content is literally in your audience’s pocket and available at the push of a button.
Because this form of media can be consumed so conveniently while commuting, exercising or running errands, it dovetails with the multitasking culture of busy modern life. The format of podcasts allows listeners to digest bite-sized chunks of interesting information when they wouldn’t necessarily have time to read a long-form article on the exact same topic.
While digital content marketing is one of the most competitive areas for a business who want to get their services and products noticed, the number of podcasts in most arenas pales in comparison to the number of websites. According to Search Engine Journal, about 700,000 active podcasts exist compared to 80 million Facebook sites for businesses. When you drill down by your specific topic area, you’ll likely see that you have limited competition if you decide to delve into podcasting within your niche.
Opportunity for Monetization
When you become a podcaster, you create a new opportunity to monetize your content. By the end of 2020, advertisers are expected to devote more resources to podcasts than ever before. If you are able to build a sizable listener base, you could theoretically take advantage of some of those ad dollars. The BBC reports that podcast ads are extremely effective for advertisers when it comes to return on investment, which means this area will continue to grow exponentially. This source notes that podcast revenue is expected to reach $659 million per year by 2020.
Many podcasts also offer premium content through a service like Patreon in exchange for donations from their audience. Search Engine Journal reports that podcast listeners tend to have more disposable income than consumers of other types of content. In fact, they make $10,000 more annually than average for their area and 15% of listeners top the $150,000 mark in yearly earnings.
Few Barriers to Entry
Creating a podcast requires few resources and a moderate amount of planning. When you first get started, you can record your content on a tablet or smartphone with an affordable microphone and free or low-cost audio editing software. Many of the most popular podcasts are unscripted, and audiences seem to prefer the intimacy of this lack of formality. However, having a basic outline will help you stay on track. As your podcast grows, you may want to seek professional audio training for a more polished product that appeals to investors and advertisers.
Expanded Audience Reach
With free podcast platforms like Stitcher and iTunes, you can reach thousands of new ears without spending time growing an audience (even though that is still an important activity). Anyone who searches for a topic you cover will be directed to your podcast feed, which provides the type of organic exposure to which you would otherwise devote a large portion of your budget. Once podcast listeners find a show that speaks to them, research shows they remain extremely loyal. For example, research published by Search Engine Journal indicates that fans of a podcast are 20% more likely to connect with that brand on social media than those who do not listen to an associated podcast.
You can also stretch your marketing budget and energy by repurposing creative, engaging podcast content into other formats so you can reach an even wider audience. Simply use your transcript to craft social media posts, infographics, blogs, white papers, and even videos. This type of cross-platform marketing diversifies the span of your brand. As of 2019, playable podcasts also appear in search results by Google. Using content this way also helps you create a consistent brand message, which increases audience trust and loyalty.
Rapid Audience Growth
In 2019, the New York Times reported that podcast audience growth shows no signs of slowing. In fact, two demographics who were slow to adopt this medium have shown a significant increase in podcast listening since 2018 data was collected. The number of listeners between the ages of 12 and 24 increased from 30% to 40% between 2018 and 2019, and the audience among those older than age 55 increased from 13% to 17% of that demographic over the same time period.
The survey, which was conducted by Edison Research, also found that:
- More than half of Americans have listened to at least one podcast.
- 32% of Americans were monthly podcast listeners in 2019, compared to 26% in 2018.
- Monetization of podcast content increased by 25% between 2018 and 2019.
- The number of weekly podcast listeners increased to 14 million individuals in 2019.
- The average mobile user reports listening to an average of 17 hours of podcasts and other types of streaming audio every week.
Build Audience Trust
Successful podcasting will position you as an expert in your field, whether that’s medicine or economics, fitness or fashion. Unlike with content marketing in which you want to appeal to the widest possible audience, covering niche topics as a podcaster will actually increase your chances of being noticed and spreading your audience.
You can also interview other experts and individuals with a message that appeals to your market, then return the favor (and further expand your reach) by appearing as a guest on other shows relevant to your content area. This also expands your professional network, always a boon for small business owners and marketing professionals. Publishing on a regular schedule means that your listeners will anticipate and look forward to your new episode showing up in their favorite podcast app, which helps keep your brand message at the forefront of their minds.
The more opportunities you give the audience to interact with your content, the “stickier” that content will be. That means it’s more likely to be shared to social media, sent to friends and bookmarked for later use. With podcasts, you can easily interact with your listeners in real-time, increasing their engagement in the show and boosting their loyalty in a way that’s difficult to do with other forms of content. Consider taking listener calls, experimenting with a question and answer format or creating audience polls.
If you want to learn more about delving into the red-hot world of podcasting, the Media Schools in Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, and Miami can help you get your footing. We offer a variety of multimedia programs including a dedicated course in audio production, which is the perfect choice for a new podcast host. These convenient classes cover studio recording, tracking, acoustics, mixing, mastering, audio components, recording equipment and much more. Get in touch today to learn more about how you can benefit from training at the Media Schools.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / By Dean Drobot