04 Sep Podcasts – that’s behind the marketing trend
What was a bit of a niche medium a few years ago has become a top topic in online marketing: the podcast. Ambitious young internet users have rediscovered the audio format for themselves and the number of listeners is rising steadily. This makes the digital audio contributions also interesting for companies. In today’s blog post, we’ll take a close look at what’s going on with the hype surrounding podcasts and how companies are using audio content on the internet successfully.
What exactly is a podcast?
The word podcast is a re-creation from the year 2004, which consists of the words „IPod“ and „broadcast“. At the time when the Ipod was the most successful manufacturer of MP3 players, the phenomenon podcast was initially closely linked to the success of Apple. More generally, a podcast is audio that is published on a regular basis on the internet and can be subscribed to by interested listeners. Podcasts are similar to a digital radio program, except that they are independent of the channel and can be published almost everywhere on the net. For example on your own website, with streaming providers or via special podhosting providers. Listeners usually use the download function to listen to the content offline on their smartphone. Thematically, the format has no limits and for almost every niche topic can find the right podcast. The great variety of content is not ultimately based on the fact that a podcast can be produced easy and cheap.
Who listens to podcasts?
Podcasts, which since their first appearance at the beginning of the 2000s were regarded as niche phenomenon, have enjoyed a significant increase in popularity in recent years. From 2016 to 2018 the number of people in Germany who hear a podcast once a week rise from 14% to 22%.  Especially young people are fans of podcasts: 71% of German podcast users are between 16 and 30 years old.  The perfect time to listen to a podcast is either while traveling or as a pastime while cleaning and tidying up.  Interestingly, podcasts are particularly popular with those with higher education: Nearly 90% of all podcast users have a high school diploma or a college degree. 
Podcasts are so successful because they are reaching the zeitgeist. They can be consumed on the go, are available as required and deal with almost every small topic. At the same time, the longer audio contributions in times of an increasingly hectic web are a refreshing counterpart to the usual „snackable content“. Whether its entertainment, current affairs, technology or business – podcast fans feel like exploring a topic for longer than just a few seconds. Therefore, a podcast subscription usually also shows a higher involvement than about a follow in the social media. For anyone listening to a podcast episode invests much more attention and time than scrolling through Instagram.
This promising development can also benefit companies in two ways: by producing a corporate podcast for their own content marketing mix, or through advertising and sponsoring partnerships with existing podcasts.
Produce your own podcast
The first option to leverage the popularity of podcasts is to get active and produce a corporate podcast. Clear advantage for anyone who uses audio in their content strategy: A voice is much more personal than written text. This creates closeness and trust in the listener, ultimately leading to greater customer loyalty. A podcast of its own is particularly suitable for companies who want to share content that would go beyond the scope of a written post due to its size. Listening to something is much easier than reading and hearing is better internalized – so arrive at larger amounts of information.
What should be said in the podcast depends on which marketing goals are to be achieved and where the interests of the target group is. The possibilities for podcasts are just as diverse as in other forms of content marketing: expert interviews, business advisors, exciting industry news, anecdotes from practice or behind the scenes are just a few examples. Regardless of which topic is chosen, one thing remains essential for every podcast: good storytelling. The optimal podcast is about 20 minutes long  – this time should be filled with relevant and at the same time entertaining content. Because even if many listeners use podcasts to educate and inform – no one wants to be bored anyway. A good podcast host also manages to convey dry topics in a comprehensible and entertaining way at first glance. Even more dynamics are provided by formats that are recorded in dialogue instead of monologue.
From a technical point of view, of course, the sound quality must be right. Fortunately, in times of digitization, a good microphone, recording device and the right cutting software are all that are needed to produce a professional podcast. Finally, like any other form of content marketing, a podcast needs to be promoted. Banners on your own website, social media ads and information in the newsletter are a good start to draw attention to your own podcast. Only in this way can a loyal audience be formed.
Start a podcast advertising campaign
If there are still staff or ideas for your own podcast missing, advertising in existing podcasts can still benefit from the podcast hype. The concept of podcast sponsorship is relatively new, but all the more promising. With podcasts, the acceptance of advertising is even higher than with comparable media formats. 75.2% of podcast users do not spool in advertising, but consciously listen to the advertising. This is especially true for advertising, which is hosted by the host itself – 81.3% of the listeners feel not disturbed by such advertising content. Separate Audiospots are still not disturbing for 41.9%. Therefore, it is not surprising that according to an OMR survey already 12.9% of podcast users have made at least one purchase due to a podcast advertising. 
In order to promote podcasts successfully, the same applies to Influencer-Marketing: the fit must be right! Thematic focus, tonality, personality of the host and demographics of the audience must be perfectly matched to the company and brand. Thus, the authenticity is maintained and the advertising reaches exactly the right listener.
Podcasts are definitely a trend topic in online marketing and not without reason. Whether in-house or in partnership with established podcasts, the medium is an effective tool for marketers to truly reach the target audience and build strong customer loyalty. Although podcast marketing is still in its infancy, the industry is becoming more and more professional. For this reason, it is worthwhile for every online business to put the audio component in the focus of its own marketing mix. We are wishing you much success and pleasure in listening to and producing podcasts!