In March 2021, 53% of weekly listeners spent more time with podcasts since the pandemic, up to 29% from July 2020. In addition, heavy podcast listening (6 or more hours per week) is constantly rising for both men and women.
Well-researched and authentic content will always get more followers than pitching products. If you want to launch a successful marketing campaign, your podcast needs to provide value to its listeners, standing out from the competition with unique, interesting content.
How Can Podcasts Help Your Brand?
The best brand podcasts aren’t simply descriptions of your industry or what products you have to offer; they follow industry-related topics episodically to educate and entertain listeners. Using this platform, you can more subtly highlight the story of your company and brand mission from different perspectives and angles of discussion. For example, if you have a sustainable clothing brand, you can promote a zero-waste style of life, giving advice and inviting guests on the topic instead of focusing just on your brand itself.
Over 100 million Americans rely on podcasts for information and entertainment every month, spending almost 4 hours a day listening to audio programs – which is why the podcast industry is valued at over $100 million.
This exponential growth makes podcasts a valid content channel to engage a niche audience and build brand authority. And the best thing about podcasting is that it works as more than a branding tool. With the right format, you can make your listener feel like a part of your brand family rather.
Podcasts Help Build Community
Podcasts are ripe ground to build up a community. When people like a podcast, they share it online and with friends. For example, podcast hosts can ask people to share opinions on Twitter on discussed topics, engaging a wider audience with valuable conversations. As they mention you in casual conversation, your community grows until you become the top reference on the topic.
Community can go beyond growing subscribers, as well. User-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing are valuable tools for community-driven podcasting. Expose your listeners to authentic stories from real customers or social users/podcasters they’ve grown to trust, and they’ll be more likely to buy from you in the future.
Grow Your Industry Influence
Podcasts are one of the best ways to connect with other businesses and insights from professionals in your industry. You can create a good network with other brands talking about their practices and increase exposure to a new audience.
For example, athletic and wellness brands can interview expert nutritionists, personal trainers, or even fitness influencers from social media to share their stories. Not only will you motivate your listener with inspirational and authentic stories, but you will grow your network for future partnerships!
Podcast Marketing Best Practices
Equipped with the knowledge of how valuable podcasting can be to your brand’s marketing strategy, you’re now ready to dive into the content you’ll cover! Design and execute engaging and meaningful episodes to launch your podcast with these tips.
Feature Real Customers
User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content created organically by a brand’s fans and customers. This doesn’t just refer to Instagram photos and TikTok videos; using audio to highlight your passionate customers literally gives them a voice to tell their stories about your brand or industry. This provides massive social proof to listeners who may be interested in buying from you but need some kind of verification to actually go through with it.
One way to start is by asking customers how your product has impacted them, or why they purchased your product in the first place. Share this feedback in your podcast, or even invite your top fans to be guests on an episode. Try to refrain from simply telling people why they should buy from you; you can also ask your customers to comment on more general industry trends and share their experiences with whatever related topics you’re covering in coming episodes. This is a great way to encourage UGC that feels genuine without seeming like an advertisement.
Lean Into Influencers by Engaging Loved Podcasters
In addition to your customers, well-known individuals in the podcasting sphere or your industry in general can also serve as influencers to either speak with you on your podcast, or mention your brand in their media. Start influencer discovery by identifying guests in your niche whose audiences match your brand values — whether that guest is a podcaster, social media influencer, or public figure in your industry.
Once you’ve researched your guests and/or topics, figure out how your brand fits into the episode. For a cosmetics brand interviewing a makeup influencer, for example, tie your interviewee’s story into your brand values and mission. Make sure not to focus on your brand beyond how it relates to that specific interview.
Shopify hosts a podcast called “Shopify Masters | The ecommerce business and marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs,” telling the stories of influencers and other creators who have built their own businesses. By sharing and engaging with the success stories of intelligent guests, Shopify gets their brand name out there while providing content listeners want to hear.
Do Your Research
One of the pillars of remote podcast marketing is focusing on a niche and individual topics. Paradoxically, the more a topic is restricted, the more you need to research. Especially if you have guests in your podcast, you can’t be unprepared or play around with general info.
For example, study and analyze your guests relentlessly, and read and listen to as many previous interviews on your topic of choice as you can. The point is to make guests feel like VIPs. Each of your questions is for your guest, and it couldn’t make sense for anyone else. If you have a niche, it means you must provide valuable and unique content coming from deep research.
Provoke Conversation Instead of Sales
Last but not least, be curious. You know all about your brand and industry, so it might feel natural to present your podcast like an advertisement instead of a story.
That’s exactly what people listening to podcasts don’t want to hear. They don’t want you to sell a topic. Instead, listeners want you to talk about a topic, offer new perspectives and insights, debate, and go through different alternatives on hot topics. That’s why you aim to be curious and not a salesman. Original and interesting perspectives always come from those who are passionate about something rather than passionate about sales and followers — this is why featuring both customers and influencers is a great choice for podcast marketing..
The number of monthly podcast listeners is expected to grow by over 100 million per month by 2021. Prepare your setup, do your research, and start your first episode!
Costanza is a contributor of Think Remote. With a background in philosophy, she has been writing and interviewing for printed and online magazines on society and culture. As a new brand remote worker, she is now focussing on new technologies, travelling and, of course, remote work.