Podcasts: Should They Be a Part of Your Content Strategy?
Podcasts can get you off the crowded video playing field
The popularity of podcasts is exploding. Do you have a favorite one? Edison, a leader in digital media consumer study research, shows that an estimated 180 million Americans are familiar with podcasts, and 124 million say they’ve listened to one.
Currently 26% of the population over the age of 12 – or an estimated 73 million people – listened to a podcast in the last month. Podcast listeners pay attention. Edison reports that that 80% of them said they listen to most or all of each episode they download. Podcasts are very important in the current culture to get your content and brand message to your targeted audience.
How can you top video?
You’ve heard the sweet statistics about video. HubSpot tells us that 78% of people watch video every week, and Cisco has predicted that 85% of all consumer Internet traffic in the United States will be driven by video.
Take those statistics and extract a bit of commonsense perspective. Blue Corona reports that more video content was uploaded in the last month than all the video produced for television in the last three decades. No one can argue that video is a powerful communication medium, and crucial for marketing. But with more than 500 million hours of video being watched each day on YouTube alone, how much of it can we view, and how do we choose what we will view?
Here’s the thing about this king of all media. It requires your complete attention. That’s awesome news, if it happens to be your video being watched. You’ve just read stats about the competition, and video is a crowded field. Maybe it’s time to switch playing fields.
Podcasts: the Trojan horse
The biggest challenge for inbound marketing is getting prospect bandwidth. Learning more about their problem and how you can solve it competes with their ever-increasing thirst for video. How deep is that thirst? What do you reach for when there’s a television commercial break? You likely pick up a mobile device and check out your social media feeds.
We’re turning to other sources of video when our primary source of video is disrupted. Meanwhile, over on the audio/podcast spectrum:
- 22% are listening to podcasts in their vehicle
- 11% listen to podcasts while at work
- 4% listen to podcasts while riding public transportation
- 4% listen to podcasts while working out
- 3% listen to podcasts while just walking around
Cumulatively, 44% of this audience is not watching video – because they are doing something that doesn’t allow them to watch video (or shouldn’t). There’s your new playing field. Podcasts don’t compete with video.
What kind of a prospect is a podcast listener?
Nielsen’s current Marketer’s Guide to Podcasting paints an attractive portrait. Podcast consumers have a growing preference – up 157% since 2014 – for listening using their smartphone, which means they can act on information they learn about while listening to a podcast.
They’re also more likely to own a smart speaker, have a household income over $75,000, and a four-year college degree. Nielsen estimates that 48 million people listen to podcasts weekly, while 16 million describe themselves as “avid podcast fans.”
In addition to video
Podcasting is something you should add to your marketing mix. It integrates efficiently into inbound marketing, often helping to reinforce existing content. It’s a way, for example, to discuss the questions and reactions you received on a recent text-related article. Cision reports that we prefer podcasts to be about 16 minutes in length, noting that the average commute time in America is about 25 minutes. With the assumption that your podcast has an average delivery speed of three words per second, your 16-minute podcast would be the equivalent of a text-based article weighing at nearly 3,000 words. Add the transcript for an extra SEO boost.
One of the hallmarks of successful inbound marketing content is when prospects are made to feel as if the information they’re consuming was created just for them. Podcasts offer a way to speak directly to a listener. And podcasts imbue an on-demand aspect to your content. Prospects can decide when and where they want to listen, as well as giving them the ability to pause, rewind, and even change the delivery speed.
Up to 95% of podcasts are delivered through Apple’s iTunes, so make sure to submit yours to their directory to generate exposure. “It’s not a trend,” MobileMonkey CEO Larry Kim tells Inc., “but a super effective way to engage your audience.” Learn how we can help you add podcasts to your inbound marketing mix.
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