What is podcast marketing, and is it right for your business?

Podcast listeners are not just passive audiences; they are more likely to buy products and services they learn about on podcasts. 

Carefully constructing the format of a podcast and determining the ideal listener, subject matter, and genre is a recipe for success.

The employment of marketing strategies across mediums has proven successful for the modernization of previously “dead” industries, like print news, which is enjoying peak popularity, thanks to podcast marketing. 

More people are listening to podcasts than ever, and the number of listeners is projected to boom to 100 million Americans by 2024. This unique exponential growth provides businesses with a marketing strategy and audience to target.

Podcasts are an industry that is growing with audiences who like to buy products and services. The combination of engaged audiences and growth potential is a win/win for podcast marketing. 

What is a podcast?

A podcast is a kind of audio content that users download on smartphones, computers, and tablets. Most successful podcasts feature episodes and series in a specific niche or topic of interest. Other podcast content is broad and far-reaching.

There are different types of podcasts that appeal to numerous podcast listeners, such as:

  • Conversational podcasts
  • Interview podcasts
  • Monologue podcasts
  • Storytelling/Nonfiction podcasts
  • Roundtable podcasts
  • Repurposed content podcasts
  • Design related podcasts 

Podcast marketing specialists engage in marketing research to determine which format is most successful with which genre. Additionally, different genres and formats are more successful with differing demographics. 

A deep understanding of the intricacies that allow some podcasts to flourish makes targeting audiences and specific podcasts easier to accomplish.

How to get your podcast noticed

Podcast SEO or search engine optimization is a form of digital marketing with the goal of attracting potential listeners to a podcast. 

SEO allows podcasts to appear on social media channels as potentials for interesting audio content.

SEO is important for podcast marketing because it allows potential listeners to discover your podcast. Every time someone searches for a subject relevant to your podcast, digital marketing will improve the chances your series is a recommendation. 

There are a few ways to increase SEO and take your podcast to the next level.

Podcast website

Although not necessary, a podcast website is an excellent tool to promote SEO. 

A podcast website might host the podcast episodes, information about when podcasts air, information on the podcast hosts, and any historical information that is relevant and interesting to the podcast. 

You can use graphic design tools such as Visme, Canva, and Vectornator to create beautiful and custom visuals to get your website noticed. 

Podcast blog

A podcast blog is another tool that improves SEO because it increases online presence. 

A podcast blog can contain relevant information about the subject matter discussed. Blogs can talk about any topic that is in any way related to the conversation on a podcast episode.

Podcast transcription

Podcast transcription is a great tool that creates a word file for an audio podcast. A transcription will receive appreciation from audio-impaired listeners who want access to a podcast.

Podcast description

A podcast description provides information to prospective listeners that browse podcasts. A catchy and engaging podcast description may inspire someone to become a new listener. 

Episode description

The episode description gives brief details about what a podcast episode will discuss. A podcast episode description should intrigue the reader and inspire the person to listen to the podcast episode.

Email list

An email list is a way to reach many potential listeners. Podcast listeners and potential podcast listeners will receive an email each time a new episode of a podcast airs. An email reminder is a highly effective way of driving traffic to a podcast episode. It’s also vital to manage your contacts properly, so your database is always up to date. 

Internal communications

An often untapped source of audience members to get a podcast noticed is the employees at a company. 

A mid-to-large-sized company already has a tool for obtaining a larger audience, and that is the employees that work there. 

Podcast cross promotion

Cross-promotion is a free way to promote two podcasts at once. Podcasts build relationships with other podcasts; this allows both audio experiences to receive promotion and publicity. 

Each podcast will promote the other podcast, exposing listeners to the untapped potential of another podcast. Factors to consider include podcast audience size: will both podcasts equally benefit from the exposure of cross-promotion?

What is podcast marketing?

Podcast marketing is a process that facilitates the sale of any podcast-related products and services.

As the developer and designer of a burgeoning podcast, the podcast-related services and products you can offer are vast and overarching. Ideally, podcast episodes and content marketing strategies pair to increase the likelihood of conversion.

Opportunity for the marketing of products and services 

For example, a health and wellness podcast can sell products, such as supplements, workout gear, and clothing decorated with the podcast’s logo. 

Services that a health and wellness podcast could sell include access to a fitness app, a nutrition tracker, or meal planning services. 

For every niche, there are products and services that can serve as marketing tools and brand awareness vehicles. 

Of course, an awareness of the target audience informs the content marketing strategy. A health and wellness podcast targeting women might employ Pinterest ads, whereas podcast ads targeting an older demographic may use more traditional routes like news and print content marketing. 

Knowledge of the audience will help shape the market strategy. Similarly, the content of an episode may appeal to different demographics, and subsequent podcast marketing strategies will reflect these demands.  

What are the benefits of podcast marketing?

The benefits of podcast marketing are seemingly never-ending, but here are a few.

Increased engagement

Podcasts are more engaging than text because the format between a podcast host and podcast listener promotes perceptions of intimacy. 

The personal nature and closeness result in a more engaged listener. The improved connection between podcast listeners and hosts means increased trust, especially when the podcast recommends a product or service.

Increases in traffic 

Increased traffic to a site means more opportunity for revenue; each click on a website is the chance at a sale.

Create brand awareness

A brand is considered an authority on a subject matter as brand awareness and recognition increase. Every time someone downloads a podcast, they look at the logo, cementing the brand into their mind. The intro and outro also promote brand awareness more subtly.

Create brand authority

As an authority, a brand is a trusted source of information and content. Increasing brand authority is a win-win for scaling and marketing purposes. People go to sources of information with heightened brand authority because of the implicit trust that occurs.

Improves conversion 

When people trust a brand, they are more likely to purchase products and services. A trusted name with brand authority and awareness has higher advertising revenue. Because the audience is engaged and connected with the podcast, they will be more inclined to purchase items and services.

The improved conversion that a podcast offers is a definite benefit. 

Advertising revenue

Podcast marketing efforts are more successful than traditional advertising because many people listen to podcasts. 

Advertising delivery from a podcast host is more successful than traditional, non-host-read advertisements. 

What types of businesses can benefit from podcast marketing?

The truth is that every business can benefit from podcast marketing. The key is determining how a company can benefit from podcast marketing. 

Podcast marketing is especially prominent in the news industry. The engagement and trust that podcasts foster provide a unique opportunity for digital news media to gain a voice. 

Podcasts provide an opportunity for content reuse and redistribution. The specialized format of a podcast offers a diverse way to reach new audiences.

Digital news media

The news industry enjoys success with repurposed content on podcasts. The news industry is a big business with old, respected names pivoting into digital news media and dominating. 

The news is a challenging market to join; a few select names monopolize the industry. The news and podcasts are a natural match because the business type has new content to choose from each day. As a rule of thumb, any industry with an influx of rapidly changing information is well-suited for podcasts.

NPR and The New York Times podcasts enjoy the listenership of millions. 

Image Source: Apple

The news is a perfect match for leisurely listeners, and because it changes daily, there is constantly new content to manufacture. Both the New York Times and NPR have effective podcast marketing strategies, as each tweet and website visit mentions the availability of podcast streaming. 

True crime podcasts

True crime is a popular genre with an emerging presence in the podcast industry. The true-crime genre is a medium-sized business that allows small entrepreneurs the opportunity for success. 

Crime Junkie and Morbid: A True Crime Podcast, are two of the top streamed podcasts. Each week, the podcasts dissect a true-crime case. 

Image Source: Apple

True crime is well-suited for podcast listeners because it allows the audience to envision the crime scene, adding a layer of suspense to the story. The true-crime presence is huge on Netflix and other streaming platforms. 

Female demographics are notable consumers of the true-crime genre. Businesses that advertise services or products associated with health, self-improvement, careers, and beauty discover an attentive market with true-crime listeners.

Comedy podcasts

Comedy is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the podcast world. The beauty of the comedy industry is that laughter does not need to come from visuals. 

SmartLess is a popular podcast with hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes. 

Image Source: Amazon Music

The three comedians launched the comedy podcast in 2020 and sold it to Amazon in June 2021. The comedy podcast features interviews with well-known celebrities and comedic anecdotes.

The comedy podcast’s target audience is listeners under the age of 55, as it is the most popular type of podcast in that demographic.

A key takeaway is that each demographic shows clear listening preferences, and the podcast industry is a fantastic opportunity for business owners to target a specific audience.

Call Her Daddy

An example of a podcast that brands and sells is Call Her Daddy. Listeners are part of a community known as the Daddy Gang and call host Alexandra Cooper “father.” The silly but ingenious marketing allows listeners to be a part of a community. 

Community membership also solidifies the likelihood of future listenership. 

Image Source: Spotify

Listeners of Call Her Daddy can also buy merchandise with logos and phrases that host Alexandra Cooper says on air. A noticeable YouTube presence adds a visual component to the highly successful podcast. 

Call Her Daddy is an example of integrating marketing strategies across various mediums to create a podcast juggernaut.

There’s clear room for growth in podcasting

Podcasts offer a unique chance for a podcast host to connect and engage with a podcast listener. 

A deeper connection between a podcast and podcast audience fosters trust promotes brand awareness, growth, and ultimately, revenue. It is no wonder business owners are researching advertising strategies, search engine optimization, and other marketing tools. 

​​Although podcasts are seemingly ubiquitous, the podcast industry is emerging because there is clear room for growth. As technology advances and people become more technologically literate, the podcast industry will continue to boom. 

Eagle-eyed entrepreneurs would be wise to check out current industry trends including, what podcasts are most streamed and which demographics enjoy each genre. As an estimated 2 in 5 podcast listeners purchase a product mentioned on a podcast, it is clear that marketing strategies involving podcasts are successful.  

Trends of 2021 show that advertisers are raking in billions of dollars annually and will earn more in upcoming years as more people listen to podcasts. Not only are consumers engulfed in podcasts, future consumers, particularly those under 18, listen to podcasts weekly.

There is still time to make your mark in the podcast advertising and marketing field because podcasts are an evolving industry. With a little research and content marketing, advertisers can experience a fruitful relationship with podcasts.

Photo by CoWomen