A few years ago, I would have told you not to bother with podcasting - that it seemed to be a dying trend that never really caught on.
My, how things have changed.
People are listening to podcasts in record numbers, and smart businesses are getting on board, as well. Here are five reasons you should consider podcasting, if you’re not already
1. Podcast subscribers are engaged
The vast majority of your plays/downloads (some 90%, according to podcast statistics brand Blubrry) will come from subscribed applications such as iTunes, which automatically download your latest episode upon each release.
The benefit here is that you don’t have to keep trying to get in front of your target audience the way you do on social media, or even via email, as listeners will automatically receive your latest content on their favorite device.
And in terms of active engagement, an Edison Research study on the audio habits of Americans found that podcast listeners are actually “super listeners”, consuming up to an hour and 45 minutes more audio per day than the average American - and they spend more than 25% of that total time listening to podcasts.
2. Barriers to entry are extremely low
People podcast about knitting, Yoda and the fight against manufactured music. People do podcast from studios, but also from their home offices, garages, and in the streets. Some even podcast drunk (note: not recommended).
Heck, Khloe Kardashian and her sister’s husband made a podcast in the bathtub.
Podcasting software is cheap, and the barriers to entry are low. Literally anyone can do it.
And don’t worry if you don’t have a super tight script, either - people often enjoy conversational, less rigid podcasts. But do keep the mics out of the bubble bath.
3. Podcast ads are effective and can be very engaging
Listeners don’t seem to mind commercial breaks in podcasts, and are influenced by the messaging they’re hearing. A recent survey of 300,000 podcast listeners found that 63% of people bought something a host had promoted on their show. When asked if advertising within podcasts had affected their behavior, 71% said they’d visited a sponsor’s website, while 62% said they’d considered that new product or service.
When it comes to commercials, podcast hosts also tend to have more creative license than radio show hosts as well. Where radio stations are constrained by federal laws guiding what they can say in ads, podcast hosts have no such restrictions.
4. Podcasting is a great addition to your marketing mix
Podcasting integrates well with other digital marketing efforts. You can discuss recent posts on your blog, promote your social channels and use them as a conversation tool with listeners, build your email list through podcasting and more.
Content marketing isn’t just about blogging, it’s about creating different types of content for your potential customers to engage with - wherever they may be.
Podcasts are one of the best formats for mobile audiences because they can be easily consumed while on the go.
5. Podcasting is Huge, and it’s Growing
Podcasting has been around for some time, but now it’s really coming into its own now. Today, around 24% of Americans listen to at least one podcast per month, according to Edison Research. That's a lot of potential listeners you could be reaching with your content.
Of course, much like live-streaming, it does take skill to create engaging podcast content, but for many, it's less intimidating than being on camera, and it provides the perfect vehicle to showcase your knowledge and establish you, and your business, as market experts.
If you haven't considered podcasts in the past, it may be worth looking into the option. The numbers don't lie - where might podcasting fit into your digital marketing approach?
A version of this post was first published on Inc.com.