To be an effective communicator you will need an audience (and I’m not talking about the audience of stuffed animals you entertained in second grade.) Today, businesses are trying to get in front of consumers in creative ways, yet the mass communication channels that existed 10 years ago are not as powerful at reaching your audience. Companies have created blogs, whitepapers and infographics, but one avenue that has yet to be heavily investigated by companies is the podcast world.
Podcasts are downloadable, audio files that inform, entertain and/or educate. They are unique to channels of communications because they can specifically tailor to niche markets. For instance, 1,000 listeners in the Cincinnati area can listen to a podcast about science and technology on their drive to work while another 1,000 can listen to a famous stand-up comedian. Podcasts are built for the consumer and are now being used by the consumer. Since 2006, podcast awareness in the U.S. has increased 105 percent and currently 29 percent of Americans have listened to a podcast. That number equates to 91,031,000 Americans in 2012 who listened to a podcast. It’s not just the numbers that make podcasts unique; below are four reasons why shifting some of your resources to a podcast will ultimately increase your brand image, your customer loyalty and ultimately your overall sales.
1. Connection – Since the creation of smart devices, podcasts are now easily accessible. This leads to a stronger connection between the consumer and what they are consuming on their phone.
2. Mobility – Currently, 58 percent of American adults own a smartphone and as technology advances, this number will only increase. Podcasts can deliver rich and valuable content virtually anywhere. This feature allows consumers to access podcasts on the commute to work, on a road trip with friends or on their lunch break.
3. Multi-task friendly – You can easily listen to something while you perform other tasks; we do it with music every day. It is easier to eat a sandwich while listening to the radio, rather than eating that sandwich and reading the newspaper or scrolling through an article.
4. Easily Measured – Podcasts are downloaded by the user, so you know when they download your podcast, you know they are at some level interested and will more than likely listen to the entire podcast.
All of these reasons lead us to believe podcasts could very well be the content marketer’s future best friend. Today’s society is constantly-multitasking and podcasts are a listening device that allows consumers to gather and process information, while accomplishing a variety of other tasks. Podcasts haven’t exploded into the marketing world yet, but I would rather be an early adopter than a laggard. Are podcasts the path to content marketing’s future or do you have a different vision?