“Content is king.” We’ve all heard the saying. Whether you love it or hate it, when Bill Gates made this declaration in 1996, he was predicting the impact of the internet. For the most part, his prediction was correct.
Digital content is as important as ever. Consumers are increasingly digital in light of the pandemic. In 2020, consumers spent 44% more money online than in 2019. To reach current and new customers, brands must likewise expand their digital presence. A podcast community can keep your loyalists and prospective customers engaged with your brand.
The Importance of a Digital Content Community
Reaching consumers online is key to growth for every business type, but this can be a challenge. Modern consumers are increasingly brand agnostic and less loyal. However, when consumers do establish a connection with a particular brand, studies show they will often spend more money with that brand. Therefore, building a digital community that fosters authentic connections with your customers is vital.
Content like video and podcasts can help build a personal connection with consumers. Podcasts in particular are seeing increasing listenership and offer businesses a number of benefits over other forms of digital content.
Podcast Growth Trends
Despite the podcast medium existing for over a decade, it’s still growing. Over the previous three years, the podcast market experienced dynamic growth:
- In 2018, Google launched Google Podcasts.
- That same year, Spotify also moved into the podcast market.
- In 2020, Amazon Music started offering podcasts to customers.
As a result, the podcast audience has consistently expanded. As of 2019, 55% of the adult U.S. population reported listening to a podcast. In 2020, 24% (68 million) of individuals report listening to podcasts weekly – up from 22% in 2019. It’s estimated the podcast audience will grow to approximately 78 million people in 2021.
How Podcasts Build Community
In today’s digital age, multimedia is an important part of any marketing strategy. There are a lot of different content options available for brands and marketers. Podcasts are a great way to build an online community for your brand. There are many benefits that they offer over other mediums, like blogs and video.
Engage With Your Customer
In today’s highly digital, fast-paced world, keeping the attention of an audience is challenging. Yet, podcasts offer a way to not only reach your customer, but keep them engaged, too.
The average podcast listener is highly engaged. In fact, 80% of podcast listeners report listening to most or all of a podcast episode. By comparison, one study found that the average retention rate for a YouTube video is around 50%.
Maintain An Authoritative Presence
While the reasons for listening to podcasts vary, 74% of listeners report they choose to listen to a podcast to learn something new. With such a large percentage of listeners tuning in to learn something new, it’s an ideal medium for showcasing your brand’s expertise and authority in your industry.
John Deere’s podcast, On Life and Land, is a great example of an educational podcast that demonstrates a brand’s authority in their industry. On Life and Land has covered topics from hemp farming to organic food. Episodes often include discussions with industry experts.
One of WTM’s own clients, a mental health and addiction treatment services provider, successfully launched their own podcast. The podcast featured the organization’s medical director discussing mental health topics with clinicians from within the organization. The podcast was integrated with their larger content marketing strategy, allowing the organization to cross-promote their video and blog content.
Explore Niche Topics
Creating a connection between your brand and your customer is a key to building long term trust. For brands that offer their customers niche products and services, podcasts are one of the few multimedia platforms that allow in-depth exploration of topics.
The average length of a youtube video is only around 11.7 minutes. This makes sense given the nature of the platform and type of content. However, the average length of a podcast episode is around 43 minutes. With the typical person listening to at least 80% of a podcast, brand’s have ample time to discuss a topic in detail, all while establishing a stronger connection with their customers.
Other Benefits of Podcasts
Low Production Costs
Content like video is highly engaging. It’s also very resource heavy. This might make it difficult for some businesses to incorporate video into their content marketing plan. By comparison, podcasts are more engaging than traditional written media, but have lower production costs than video.
Generally, podcasts require fewer resources and are less labor intensive than video. To produce a podcast, brands only need to invest in microphones and audio editing equipment. There are many affordable USB-powered microphones that can easily be plugged directly into a computer. Meanwhile, there are many audio recording and editing platforms available, with free options like Audacity providing all of the tools most podcast producers need.
While it’s easier than ever to take content almost anywhere, most forms of media are less conducive to on-the-go consumption. Videos often require the audience to not only listen, but also watch to get the full context. Meanwhile, written content, like a blog, requires the readers undivided attention. However, podcasts don’t share the same disadvantages.
Podcasts can easily be listened to on-the-go. In fact, 44% of podcast consumption occurs during a daily commute. Another 16% of listeners tune in while at work. Podcasts are an excellent medium for reaching consumers at times when they are unable, or less likely, to consume other types of content.
Podcasts Aren’t For Every Brand
Podcasts are a powerful community and engagement building tool, but they’re not always the best option for every brand. There are a few reasons why launching a podcast might not be the best fit for your brand.
Podcasting Requires Consistency
Like any form of content, consistency is key. While quality is always preferred to quantity, it’s still important to maintain a regular content production schedule. Many of the most popular podcasts publish episodes weekly. However, even biweekly or monthly podcasts are viable. Regardless, it’s important to remain consistent.
If your business doesn’t have the bandwidth to regularly produce audio content, you’re less likely to build a strong following or earn the ROI to make the effort worthwhile.
Some Content Is Too Niche
While almost every topic has its audience, some are simply too niche for a regular podcast. It may be too challenging to produce regular, fresh content around an overly specific topic. This will impact consistency and poses a major hurdle in building a sustainable audience.
On the other hand, if your product or service is too niche, it can be difficult to earn a sizable audience. Oftentimes, podcasts grow from word-of-mouth exposure. Without a large enough audience, your podcast may never create a worthwhile return on investment.
Results from Podcasts Take Time
While a video, or even a blog post, can quickly become a viral hit, podcasts often take time to build a sizable audience. If your brand is looking for a quick turnaround on your investment, you’re unlikely to earn one from a podcast.
It’s best to think of a podcast as a long-term investment in your business rather than a way to earn an immediate lift in awareness or sales. For more immediate results, your business should consider paid advertising or influencer marketing.
Partner With A Multimedia Expert
Content truly is king. If your brand has decided it’s time to expand your multimedia strategy, partnering with a trusted marketing agency can help you achieve a better return on investment.
From helping our clients develop successful content strategies to providing in-depth optimizations, WTM Digital can help your brand take its content marketing to the next level.
Want to learn more about our multimedia content capabilities? Let’s talk about what we can do for your business.