When one thinks of digital marketing, they usually think of paid search ads on Google, banner ads on news sites, organic search listings or social media posts. All of these are valid and successful mediums for any online merchant. Over the last few years, an unlikely medium is revealing itself to be a major source of customer engagement and revenue--radio.
Not radio as we once knew it with local news, cheesy DJs and top 40 hits. We’re talking about smart, thoughtful and highly specialized podcasts.
Podcasting has continued to grow year over year with monthly listeners increasing 24% in 2017. The audience is affluent, educated and captive. All of this adds up to a great channel for marketers and merchants.
So, how can you leverage podcasts for your business? There are two key ways: Branded Podcasts and Sponsorships.
By producing an original podcast with content that speaks directly to your audience, you’re able t o capture their attention in new ways, engage with them on a deeper level and drive sales through product integrations. Some are calling podcasting the new blogging, and it’s being embraced by large brands the world over, such as Amazon, GE, eBay and Walmart, to name a few.
These brands have teamed up with podcasting companies to create branded audio content. But any size business can do it with a good microphone, simple headphones, light-weight editing software, a little creativity and the time and energy to do it. The keys to success are to make the content interesting and the promotions subtle. No one is going to sit through an hour long commercial, so keep it compelling.
People listen to podcasts because they respect the hosts. When you sponsor a podcast they enjoy--and your ad is delivered by their beloved host--they are much more receptive to your brand and products.
When creating your podcast marketing plan, there are several things to consider to make your sponsorship more successful:
Find podcasts that appeal to your audience
Understand the audience and their needs and desires
Tailor your ads to suit this audience, the host and tone, and your conversion goals
Use custom landing pages and discount codes to measure traffic and sales from podcasts
I am an avid podcast listener myself. I listen on my commute, during road trips, at the gym, while cooking and cleaning the house, pretty much all the time! And when Marc Maron of WTF, Jad Abumrad of RadioLab or Nick van der Kolk of Love + Radio endorse a product or service, I am infinitely more receptive to these sponsors because they’re highly relevant to me and I trust the hosts.
Whether you produce your own audio content or sponsor a relevant show (or both!), podcasts can be a successful medium for reaching, engaging and driving sales from a highly targeted audience.