Podcasts have been on everyone’s lips for almost three years. The online media, companies, brand creators, and even individuals are testing them. So much so that today some podcasts have several million listeners. Why is the podcast so popular with the general public? Why are more and more companies participating? We tell you all about this new way of consuming information and entertainment.
What is a Podcast?
The podcast was a digital audio format standard before video creation, and sharing was available to everyone.
The genesis of the podcast is closely tied to the launch of the iPod. In 2004, the English journalist Ben Hammersley coined the word podcast, who contracted the word “iPod” and “Broadcast” to give rise to the podcast. At that time, we did not have disk space to save the videos or to view them online, given the capacity from our (very) limited packages.
Therefore, this audio format was fashionable and adjusted to the means we had to inform and entertain ourselves. The podcast can be downloaded and listened to without an Internet connection by importing it from iTunes on your iPod or from Windows Media for your MP3 player.
The advantage of the podcast and the growth of the “branded podcast.”
In 2005, there were about 3,000 podcasts; today, in 2021, there are more than 2,000,000. The podcast has made a strong comeback and is in direct competition with the traditional media that need our full attention. It is now the only format that allows you to get to the bottom of topics with few time and cost constraints. It’s an accessible medium where people like you and I can talk without the need to invest in a state-of-the-art camera or complex editing software. The podcast also allows us to reconnect with our imagination, which outside of reading is increasingly limited. It also enables us to reconnect with freedom because the podcast will allow us to do other things while we consume it. Therefore, it is easy to integrate into our daily lives, to take our time in a world that is going faster and faster.
Following the emergence of the popularity of podcasts, many companies are launching into this medium. In the podcast industry, these shows are known as “branded podcasts” or “branded content” to differentiate them from “standard” shows. Businesses looking to reach the growing global podcast audience have created their shows, known as branded podcasts. These podcasts are an extension of the brand. They can be made for several important reasons, such as thought leadership, having control over your brand, and creating positive engagement around your brand. These podcasts are typically produced in-house, and your company is fully responsible for the content, including any references to your brand’s products/services.
Today, nearly 600 branded podcasts was releasing their first episode in 2020, and 2021 is already on track to easily surpass that number. There are currently more than 8,000 branded podcast streams available to the public.
What are the advantages of the branded podcast?
The podcast is a content format that appeals to businesses for a variety of reasons.
Create a new type of content at a lower cost
As part of an online presence strategy, it is essential to vary the formats it is spoken. Podcasts allow companies or the media to add a new string to their bow to address their goals. The podcast will enable you to multiply your communication channels by proposing differentiated and complementary content to your usual channels. However, in the context of a branded podcast, we recommend that you integrate the podcast into your overall communication plan and broadcast it to your other communication channels.
Also, to not spoil anything, we point out that the costs of producing podcasts are moderate. Once the initial investment for the equipment is made, there will hardly be any other expenses to do. This is one of the main differences with videos, which are much more expensive to produce. Although you have to take care of the quality of the productions, these costs will always be less important than the video format.
Make yourself known differently
The podcast is also an opportunity to breathe new life into your community, make your brand shine, and build awareness. Beyond the notoriety acquired with the broadcast, your podcast can also be an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. This is goal number 1. The one most pursued by companies that embark on the podcast adventure. And probably the most accessible goal. In fact, by working on your podcast, writing well becomes an essential branding tool. Your audience identifies with a voice, a style—an excellent opportunity to create a relationship of trust between your brand and your audience.
Reach a new audience
There is nothing like the podcast to build an audience and reach new fans. A content marketing strategy is often designed as a gateway to attract a target community through other communication channels. The podcast serves as a gateway to a broader set of content. In line with this feature, it also helps to grow the list of subscribers to brand newsletters. This makes it easy to measure a community’s commitment.
Ease of application benefit
Creating podcasts is generally easier than creating videos. The technical training required is shorter, and autonomy is easier to acquire. In addition, for the moment (and take advantage of it), this format is not yet saturated by your competition, so your messages can emerge more quickly than in media where you are a needle in a haystack.
Leverage a captive audience
With no images to look at, concentration increases. You focus only on the sound, and there are no distractions. It is the perfect opportunity to build a more intimate relationship between the brand, customers, and prospects. It is one of the most engaging mediums because,
- Your listeners choose to listen to you at a time when THEY decide to pay their attention and
- The longer format allows for a more in-depth experience.
Develop a complementary income stream
When the podcast is booming, and a true community has been built around it, we can monetize it. Although the amounts are not necessarily significant, it is still interesting. The proceeds can improve the podcast: graphic identity, sound, equipment, guests, etc.
Drive traffic to your website or sell a product
If podcasting is a great way to provide free value to your audience, nothing stops you from promoting your website, product, or service.
Remember that a listener who gets value from your podcast is much more likely to follow your advice, including those that subtly redirect to your offering.
Get an SEO boost
Recently, your podcast may become a way to improve your SEO, as Google has started highlighting direct-play podcasts in SERP results.