Not so long ago, commuting was my favorite part of the day. Driving and traffic jams aside, it was the time when I could relax my mind. With music blasting on the car’s audio system (which I had specially upgraded – just so you know), I would zone out and temporarily free myself from thinking about all the workload/household chores waiting for me at the end of the journey.
But then that wave of boosting productivity, managing time, and whatnot hit. And I found myself trading my playlist for podcasts.
Make no mistake, commuting is still my favorite part of the day, but not because the idleness is a welcome change.
I now love the commute because it’s the most enriching part of my day. Every day is a new learning experience as I tune in to a marketing podcast and get deeper insights into my line of work. If I am not in the mood for that, I just switch to a radio drama or a talk show instead and get entertained on the go.
People in innumerable quantities all around the world are showing a similar change in preferences.
And for marketers, this presents the next growth opportunity as podcasting promises to open the door to the future.
The drive to be more productive, the thirst to learn something new – these are the primary reasons behind the rising popularity of podcasts. Of course, their convenience and accessibility, and the fact that podcasts present the info in easily digestible pieces, make them all the more crowd-pleasing.
In the U.S. alone, there were reported to be around 75 million podcast listeners during the last year. One in every four Americans over the age of 12 listens to podcasts religiously. And the trend has only started to pick up pace.
Based on statistical analysis, podcasts’ share of the ear is projected to increase by 120% in the next few years, with the total number of listeners exceeding 100 million by 2021.
But how exactly can you use podcasts to boost your marketing campaign? How can you leverage these findings in your favor? And how can you ensure that creating audio content is a rewarding investment for your particular business?
These were the main questions that came up in a discussion with a few of my fellow workers when we sat down to reconsider our branding strategies. One of them held the staunch belief that podcasting works for media brands only.
When a logical explanation couldn’t convince him, that’s when I had to pull out my phone and show him various non-media brands that have successfully integrated podcast marketing into their internet marketing campaigns.
If you share a similar viewpoint or are still confused about how podcasting can benefit your brand, consider the following businesses that continue to gain popularity amongst the masses by jumping onto the podcasting bandwagon.
If you aren’t already aware of ‘The Message’ and ‘Life After’, you must be thinking, “wait, an electric company promoting machines and tech-solutions through podcasts?”
As absurd as it may sound, that’s still happening nonetheless.
‘The Message’ and ‘Life After’ are two series of a science fiction podcast that follows a journalistic style. The first series follows the work of scientists trying to decode extraterrestrial messages using high-end technology developed by- yes you guessed it – General Electric.
Talk about marketers whose creativity knows no bounds.
The second podcast series has a different storyline, but the same method for bringing GE’s products into the public eye.
This is an incredible technique to create brand awareness not just among the products’ direct buyers, but way beyond.
The use of podcasting to promote your business is limited only by your imagination. And these audio dramas created by General Electric are the ultimate proof of this statement.
McDonald’s podcast marketing serves as a great example for companies that might fall prey to public relations (PR) problems.
Remember the saga of the Szechuan sauce? The special sauce was being sold at McDonald’s outlets for a limited time period when things went out of control. People started fighting with each other to get their share of the popular sauce eventually creating a bad image for the retail chain for poor management and not creating a sufficiently large batch in the first place.
McDonald’s took an ingenious approach to address the issue and restoring the damage done to its brand image.
The highly popular yet super-limited Szechuan sauce became the subject of an investigative podcast called ‘The Sauce.’
Consisting of just three parts, the series might have been short, but it effectively used the power of audio content to rebuild the brand image in no time.
Keep in mind this brilliant marketing hack from McDonald’s for times when a seemingly minor customer complaint starts to wreak havoc for your business by going viral.
Sephora launched a podcast titled #LIPSTORIES in partnership with Girlboss Radio. The main aim was to celebrate the company’s line of lipsticks.
Each episode of the series revolved around women who either served as an inspiration behind the product or other influential female workers who were inspired by the product itself.
This is a powerful example for businesses trying to upsell their goods or services while establishing a positive image among their customers at the same time.
If you are unsure how to get started on podcast marketing, consider tuning in to the following channels to let the tricks of the trade:
Who wouldn’t be interested in reading Harvard Business Review? But it can be hard to find the time. If that’s the case, you can explore new ideas and actionable advice on innovation and market leadership by signing up at IdeaCast – HBR’s official podcasting channel. These informative podcasts are based on interviews with renowned entities such as Eric Schmidt and focus on bringing something new in every episode.
The Outside In podcast aims to reveal the secrets behind some of the world’s most renowned brands. It discusses their customer-centered approach and gives listeners deep insight into how they can implement those strategies on their own.
Blogging might still be the favored technique for content marketing. But you cannot simply deny the fact that podcasting is climbing the charts incredibly fast. It is a viable marketing channel that you can easily leverage in your business’s favor.
Nasirabadi Reza is an internet marketing specialist with a passion for writing and sharing valuable insights gained through years of experience in the industry. He manages the content delivery hub at Zigma and is dedicated to creating smart strategies for clients who want to take their business to the next level. Reza can be found at @MarketingZigma.
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