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The Ever-Growing Importance of Podcasting in Digital Marketing

By April 29, 2022No Comments
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So you’re trying to figure out the importance of a podcast in digital marketing…

Would you ever have guessed you’d be in this situation 6 or 7 years ago? Unlikely, right?

Back then, podcasts just seemed to be another niche medium with a minimal following. And as busy marketers, we didn’t have time for that.

But suddenly, everything changed.

The popularity of podcasts skyrocketed, and we went from half a million podcasts in 2018 to nearly 2.5 million in 2022.

Growth in listenership also boomed, and nowadays:

  • 75% of the US population is familiar with podcasting
  • 55% have listened to a podcast at least once
  • 37% listen to podcasts monthly, and 24% tune in weekly

Wow.

These stats alone are probably enough to justify the importance of a podcast in digital marketing, but we won’t stop here…

We’ll assume you need more convincing, and we’ll spend the rest of this post exploring all the reasons you should get into podcasting before it becomes another oversaturated channel where you need to fight tooth and nail for attention.

Now off we go, starting with the basics!

What Is a Marketers Podcast and Why Should You Care?

A podcast is a series of digital audio episodes that focuses on a specific topic or theme. You can think of it as downloadable, on-demand radio.

And a marketers podcast is simply a podcast that’s being used for one of two purposes:

  1. Talking about the wonderful world of marketing, or
  2. Promoting your services and products to your target audience (without being overly pushy and concentrating on how you can improve their lives)
Anything else you need to know?

  • Podcasts are usually 100% free for listeners (and quite cheap to produce)
  • They tend to be available across a range of hosting platforms – Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, and websites, to name a few.
  • Smartphones are the #1 technology for consuming podcasts
  • The most common places for listening are: at home (64% of listeners), commuting on public transport (24%), in the car (20%), when out and about (18%)

That should about cover it for our mini-course on podcasts 101.

But we still haven’t explicitly answered the second bit of the question, “Why should you care?”

It’s elementary. Because odds are your target audience now cares about podcasts, and it’s become one of their favourite methods for consuming content.

And as marketers, that’s more than enough to make us stand up and take notice.

Well, that and a booming market for monetisation.

Importance of a podcast in digital marketing 1

Now that we got your attention, we can hammer today’s key concept home:

The Importance of a Podcast in Digital Marketing Strategy

Key benefitWhy it matters to marketers
Helps you reach the right audience
  • Targeting the right audiences is the foundation of good marketing
  • Stops you from wasting time, effort, and budget on the wrong people (hello, radio and TV, we’re speaking to you)
  • Provides you with ultra-accurate analytics and an excellent platform for gauging your audience
Builds your reputation in your niche
  • An incredible chance to show off your expertise
  • Become the “go-to guide” for your target audience and influence entrenched beliefs about your company
  • Invite thought leaders and simply grow by associating with the big guns in the industry
Humanises your company
  • Connect with your listeners on a far deeper level than written text ever can
  • Establish a community of loyal followers
  • Unleash the power of conversations and storytelling
Complements your written content and boosts your SEO efforts
  • Podcasts amplify the results you can achieve with SEO, written content (like blogs and downloadables), and social media
  • Creates a seamless, multichannel experience for your audience
Keeps people engaged with your brand
  • Have regular conversations with your listeners and slowly but steadily build long-term relationships
  • Reduce your reliance on paid advertising to get messages across

Not enough details for your liking?

We feel you, and that’s why you have the option between:

  1. Exploring these benefits further by scrolling down
  2. Skipping ahead to the next section on case studies by clicking here

It’s up to you. We promise not to Google track your decision.

1. It helps you reach the right audience

Podcasts are a phenomenal tool for dialling in on precisely the right audience.

Only the people interested in what you’re talking about will tune in. Everybody else will skip over your podcast and keep looking.

This means you won’t waste your time marketing to people that are never, ever going to become your customers.

And as an added benefit, all of your podcast’s analytics will be extremely valuable because they won’t be tainted by people that shouldn’t have heard your messages, to begin with.

You’ll have the perfect test platform for new ideas, products, and services.

One thing, though:

Targeting isn’t as easy as on Facebook Ads.

You won’t be able to pick an audience from a dropdown menu and let the platform do its magic.

If you’re going to succeed, you’ll need to do your own homework, including:

  • Figuring out who your target audience is
  • Learning and speaking their language
  • Identifying their pain points
  • Addressing the right topics in your podcast episodes (and that means matching episodes to stages in your customer journey)
  • Finding exciting and relevant guest speakers

It’s hard work, but it pays off.

Zendium, a natural toothpaste company, is living proof thanks to its ultra-short podcast, 2 Minutes of Zen.

By giving out simple wellness hacks you can do while brushing your teeth, they successfully:

  1. Give existing customers something fun to do while doing a mindless task
  2. Target people interested in well-being, and get them thinking about oral health

All while subtly promoting their product and increasing the odds listeners will pick out a Zendium toothpaste the next time they’re in Boots (or whatever local pharmacy they’re in).

2. It builds your reputation in your niche

A podcast is one of the best ways known to marketing-kind to build, sustain, and influence your reputation in a particular niche.

Why?

Because podcasts give you the chance to show off your expertise to a specific group of people that are extremely interested in what you have to say.

Give it enough time (and episodes), and they’ll consider you as their “go-to person” whenever they want to learn about something new in your field.

Or maybe they’ll even start to rethink entrenched beliefs about your company.

Let’s explain with an example.

Microsoft, no introductions needed, was looking for a way to change how influential people in the tech industry perceived their company and products.

After years of complacency and dominance, they had fallen behind their rivals and were seen as a relic from the past.

Among other marketing strategies, they turned to podcasts and created, .future, a discussion on how to engage with the technologies expected to define the next 10-20 years.

Clever brand association or what?

Importance of a podcast in digital marketing 3

You can also achieve similar increases in reputation by handpicking and inviting special guests to join you on your show — if your audience hears you speaking with a thought leader, they’ll immediately go, “These guys are well-connected and probably someone important.”

It’s only human.

And speaking of humanity…

3. It humanises your company

Podcasts help you connect with your audience on a far deeper level than written text can.

People love to listen to voices. They can hear all the emotions, the humour, and the subtle nuances that are lost in translation when we put pen to paper.

*copywriter sighs*

And it makes sense; mass literacy was only achieved in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, while humans have been chatting and debating since the dawn of our species.

Storytelling, in particular, is built into our DNA as one of the most powerful ways to transfer and retain information and knowledge.

Podcasts leverage this instinct by using the spoken word, loads of stories, and, most importantly, conversations between people.

This explains the success of podcasts, where the hosts have incredible synergy and sound like a couple of old friends who have been chatting on and off since they were 12.

Need an example of just how big this personal touch can be?

Then check out We Have Concerns by Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboni.

4. It complements your written content and boosts your SEO efforts

Your podcasts shouldn’t live in a bubble.

They should be part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

In particular, podcasts work wonders when they’re combined with three specific tools:

  1. SEO
  2. Written content, like blog posts and downloadable resources
  3. Social media campaigns

SEO principles — like ensuring each podcast has its own website, a transcript, and keyword-rich copy — help your podcast episode rank on Google SERPs (something that’s been possible since 2019).

Written content and social media campaigns give you a chance to repurpose a single idea into various formats, lengths, and tones to reach and engage with a much wider number of people than you could with any on their own.

Here’s how we do it at Growth Gurus for maximum marketing effectiveness:

1. A podcast episode with its own SEO-optimised web page and transcript

2. A blog post (that’s not a copy and paste job) on the same topic

Importance of a podcast in digital marketing 5

3. A couple of engaging social media posts (that don’t always expect the visitors to leave the current platform, Instagram in this example)

Importance of a podcast in digital marketing 6

4. A sweet free resource for our readers and listeners

So go for it, take a page out of our book and build a multichannel strategy to support your business goals, the real reason why you started a podcast in the first place!

5. It keeps people engaged with your brand

Last but not least, a podcast is most definitely not a one-off exchange.

It’s nothing like an advert, a random social media post, or a blog post you find when you’re googling “how to fix my leaky radiator.”

Podcasts help you build long-term relationships with your listeners and take them on the journey from total strangers to prospects to customers to promoters to die-hard fans.

Think of your podcasts as “regular conversations” with your audience, which is why consistent publishing always shows up as one of the top tips in any podcasting guide that’s worth more than the server it’s hosted on.

You should aim to become a mainstay in your listeners’ routines, i.e., condition them to know that they can open up your podcast every time they clean up the house on a Saturday morning.

Case Studies: Showing the Importance of a Podcast in Digital Marketing in Action

We’ve talked about the theory and given you the benefits of starting a podcast:

  • It’s a channel that’s growing massively in popularity and reach
  • It helps you reach the right audience
  • It builds your reputation in your niche
  • It humanises your company
  • It complements your written content and boosts your SEO efforts
  • It keeps people engaged with your brand

You know, we’re repeating them just in case you had already forgotten them. 🙂

But enough with the repetitions and the theory… let’s introduce you to four podcasts that you can look to for inspiration when you try to create your very own.

1. Everyone Hates Marketers by Louis Grenier

Importance of a podcast in digital marketing 8

The name says it all.

This is a digital marketers podcast with a heavy dose of attitude that’s targeting marketing professionals that are sick and tired of being seen like this in wider society:

It takes a no-bullsh*t approach to marketing and gives no-fluff, actionable insights to help you stand out from the crowd without resorting to being sleazy.

And it’s incredibly successful because it resonates with its target audience.

Plus, Louis Grenier (the man behind the curtain) does a fantastic job of:

  • Pulling together a star-studded lineup (don’t expect David Beckham, star-studded in the context of marketing)
  • Publishing consistently
  • Combining his podcasts with other marketing strategies, like a blog, a newsletter, and online workshops

Check it out.

2. and 3. The Distance and The REWORK by Basecamp

Basecamp, the online collaboration app, has created two podcasts that deserve mentioning (and a quick listen):

The Distance is an inspirational podcast that tells the stories of entrepreneurs that have been running their businesses for 25 years or more.

But what does that have to do with Basecamp and its product?

These stories embody the company’s values — efficiency, organisation, and resiliency — and inspire the listeners to take action and turn their dreams into reality.

Something that, in the 21st century, more than likely means the use of online project management and collaboration tools, like Basecamp. 😉

After finishing off this inspirational podcast, Basecamp took all the listeners it amassed on another, far more concrete journey with The REWORK.

This time they decided to focus on better ways to work and run your business, challenging prevailing narratives around working 24/7, scaling fast, and raising outside funds.

The change in strategy has also allowed them to slip in the odd discussion about their product and how it helps entrepreneurs, remote teams, and businesses around the globe without affecting the quality of their show. Smart stuff.

4. Make Things, Make Sense! by Growth Gurus

Importance of a podcast in digital marketing 10

In third place, we have another digital marketers podcast.

Just that this time, it’s our very own podcast.

But don’t take this the wrong way; we’re not here to brag or blow our own horn, far from it.

We’re not experts in podcasting by a long shot…

We’re experts in digital marketing and branding who are having fun with a podcast that’s the newest (and brightest) addition to our marketing toolkit.

We just released episode 10 of Make Things, Make Sense!, and that’s a huge milestone.

So why are we including our baby podcast amongst the giants?

To prove you can get started with podcasting in 2022 and still be successful.

It’s not too late, and you still have time to make waves in your niche.

And this leads us perfectly (we dare say) to our final section:

How To Get Started With Online Marketing Podcasts

Hopefully, our podcast has motivated you to part ways with your incredibly comfortable chair and get straight to work on your podcast.

Right?

We’ll take that as a yes, and show you how to get started anyway with a quick starter guide and a couple of top tips we learned the hard way.

Enjoy!

Our quick starter guide

Starting a podcast is relatively easy and cheap.

You’re looking at:

  • Initial costs that range from €50 to €1000
  • €15 to €50 a month on hosting
  • Around 2-3 weeks to set everything up and start recording

So what’s stopping everyone and their dog from having a podcast?

Commitment.

You have to be ready to commit to producing high-quality content regularly (at least once a month). If not, you might as well stop here and focus your efforts on other channels.

Committed?

Then here’s the super-abridged version on how to get started:

StepSummarise it for me 
1. Decide how your podcast will fit into your wider marketing strategy
  • Your podcast should serve a business goal; if not, you’ll get disillusioned by the results and give up
  • It makes all the other steps much, much easier
2. Select a single target audience based on psychographic variables
  • Podcasts focus on niche topics
  • So you can’t make one that’ll appeal equally to everyone that uses your product — pick a key group of people using psychographic variables (not demographic) and go after them
3. Choose a podcast topic, name, and format
  • Focus on a topic or theme that really resonates with your target audience and brand
  • Give your podcast a catchy name
  • Pick a format (we love conversational, interviews, storytelling podcasts)
4. Brand your podcast
  • Pick a category for your podcast
  • Write a 400 to 600-word description
  • Create catchy cover art
5. Plan at least three episodes worth of ultra-valuable content
  • Start with three hot topics — things that your target audience is dying to hear more about
6. Sort a studio, recording software, equipment, and a hosting platform
  • Don’t go overboard with the equipment; aim for a minimum viable product instead
7. Record your initial round of episodes
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Sound natural and be yourself
8. Edit and fine-tune
  • Cut the fat
  • Make sure you sound professional
  • Add intro music and outros
9. Upload your episodes
  • Release your first chunk of episodes at the same time to give new listeners plenty of content
10. Promote your podcast
  • Use your existing marketing channels to promote your new podcast
11. Rinse and repeat
  • Check your results and get feedback
  • Plan to improve
  • Keep going!

Things we learned the hard way when creating our online marketing podcast

Make no mistake, you’re going to make mistakes wh

Is that sentence a mistake?

Probably. But see how we didn’t edit it out?

Mistakes are part of the learning process, and since we’re all still learning, it’s perfectly acceptable to slip up now and then.

But the good news is you don’t have to make the same exact mistakes we did, so pay attention and avoid these avoidable mistakes:

1. Don’t wait too long before jumping in

You don’t need to be perfect; just commit to creating and publishing valuable content (and aligning your podcast to your overall marketing strategy), and you’re good to go.

2. Repurpose content across different channels

Make the most of your precious, limited workday by thinking about innovative ways to reuse the same content across a variety of marketing channels — and don’t let lack of time and resources stop you from podcasting like it were the only thing on your to-do list!

3. Hit the record button; we kid you not!

You won’t even believe how frustrating it is to “record” the best-ever 20+ minute podcast, only to realise you forgot to click record before starting.

Final Thoughts: Podcasting, It Really Matters

You got that by now. Surely.

So the next time someone asks you to explain the importance of podcasting in online marketing, you’ll answer the question like that super annoying kid in class that always gets A*s yet says they never study.

Flawlessly.

And if (somehow) you still haven’t clicked one of our links to our podcast, please do so now. It’s the minimum you can do to thank us for the help.

Just kidding. We’re happy enough knowing you read this post to the end.

But jokes aside, give us a quick shout or check out our blog if you’re looking for a hand with your next branding or digital marketing campaign. We’d be honoured to help.

Until then:

Find out how we can help your branding reach new heights! Get in touch