Podcasts: The next big opportunity for digital marketing managers?

PODCASTS have been around for more than a decade, but over the last 24 months or so, have become significantly popular — and as a result, attracted a lot of attention from digital marketing managers who have a finger on the pulse of the market.

According to the latest Ofcom report, one in eight adults in the UK listen to podcasts at least once every week. The report also pointed out that the average age of a weekly podcast listener in the country is 39.

While older podcast listeners in the UK access podcasts on the BBC iPlayer Radio, younger podcast listeners choose Spotify and Apple over BBC.

Although no comparable statistics are available for the APAC or Southeast Asian market, Reuters surveyed and published a global report which found that the rising popularity of smartphones been fueling the growth of podcasts, especially among young individuals.

More than a third of Reuter’s combined sample (36 percent) said they consumed at least one podcast over the last month but the number rose to half (50 percent) for those under 35. Of course, the mobile phone is the most used device (55 percent) for podcast listening, highlighted the report.

Demand for podcasts is definitely growing across the globe, with traditional publishers and new-age content creators working on grooming their own audience and following.

Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan were early to the podcast game and have become pioneers and champions of podcasting — but today, influencers, companies, and publishers are all creating podcasts of their own — and finding their own niche. Their efforts, of course, are being rewarded by forward-thinking digital marketers.

According to an IAB and PwC report published recently assessed self-reported podcast advertising revenues for 22 companies in the US, and found that:

  • Self-reported year-over-year revenue increased by 34 percent last year (US$344.7 million), from FY 2017’s self-reported revenue of US$257.4 million.
  • Total market year-over-year revenue estimate increased 53 percent last year, from FY 2017’s total market estimate of US$313.9 million.
  • Total market year-over-year revenue is estimated to grow by 42 percent this year, from FY 2018’s total market estimate of US$479.1 million.

What can digital marketing managers do with podcasts?

Podcasts create an opportunity for businesses to look past eyeballs and compete for attention in new and interesting ways. For digital marketing managers, their engagement with podcast creators is only limited by their creativity.

Sure, the most straightforward way for marketers to invest in a podcast is to become a title sponsor, series sponsor, or even a feature/episode sponsor — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some interesting ways for marketing managers to engage with podcasts:

#  1 | Brand mentions

Podcasts generally gain popularity among groups with a strong interest in a specific category or segment. As a result, listeners tend to hang onto every word uttered by the host.

When engaging with podcast creators, brands can, therefore, work with the host and producer to weave brand mentions into the show in a way that seems reasonable and natural.

Doing so not only makes an impact on the audience but also, according to experts, boosts brand recall significantly.

# 2 | Business and partner interviews

Digital marketing managers that represent brands that aren’t very well known to a market or segment can work with podcast creators, hosts, and producers to create a series that is centered on the business and the people associated with the brand.

Of course, it has to be of interest to the podcast and its audience.

However, if deemed suitable, such a show could make a significant impact on the audience, helping them hear from the company’s leadership as well as key clients and learn from honest discussions between them and the trusted podcast host.

# 3 | Series co-host opportunities

Digital marketing managers that want to invest in a podcast that has the right audience might decide to go all in and make time for a business leader to join the podcast as a co-host.

This is a difficult proposition and not only requires the brand’s digital marketing team to make significant efforts to find and groom the business leader for the show but also needs the podcast’s producer and host to make adjustments to their show to welcome the new co-host without turning-off the audience.

If successful, however, the rewards can be significant — boosting brand image, reputation, value, as well as brand recall.

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