Does it make sense to start a podcast?
It’s a question we get regularly. Some worry about the number of podcasts out there—with so many options, how will I get people to listen to mine?
Others wonder if the podcast era is nearing an end—No, it’s not.
In fact, the podcast industry is still growing. The U.S. podcast ad revenue is expected to top $2 billion this year, growing 47%, according to a forecast from trade group IAB and PwC.
That study also defined three key factors driving podcast revenue growth:
- An ongoing increase in listeners and content
- Increased use of automated ad tech
- Growth of ad spending in historically lower-spend categories, like sports and true crime
So how can brands leverage these factors to drive ad revenue to their podcasts? Let’s take a look at Zen’s founder and CEO Shama Hyder and her podcast: It’s Not Magic. It’s Marketing.
Shama’s podcast launched in 2022, but it already has millions of listens worldwide. Why? She focuses on topics relevant to her audience, uses tech effectively, and isn’t afraid to talk about niche topics.
Here’s how your brand can follow suit to leverage podcast marketing:
- Create tailored content
- Utilize tech wisely
- Don’t be afraid to go niche
- Make your podcast accessible
- Promote your podcast for brand recognition
1. Create tailored content to promote your podcast.
Personalized and valuable content drives engagement. It may seem counterintuitive to appeal to a broader audience by tailoring your content, but research shows that the more personalized content is, the more engaged your target will be. One way Shama demonstrates this with her podcast marketing is by offering Q&As. This gives listeners the opportunity to get answers specifically tailored to their questions and allows Shama to connect more closely with her followers.
2. Utilize tech wisely to improve your podcast’s performance.
The IAB and PWC trade report noted that the increased use of automated ad tech is a significant contributor to the increase in the podcast industry’s ad revenue. Paid ads served via dynamic ad insertion (DAI) versus ads embedded in the podcast audio nearly doubled the ad revenue for the industry, taking credit for 84% of the revenue accounted for in 2021.
While this is a no-brainer switch for brands, using other forms of tech and automation wisely can also improve your podcast’s performance. For example, in It’s Not Magic. It’s Marketing., Shama often records the podcast live as a webinar and later turns it into a podcast. She has also used previous speaking engagements as podcast episodes, reducing the level of effort put in to create multiple content pieces from a single source.
3. Don’t be afraid to go niche with podcast marketing
Lower-ad spend categories like sports and true crime are seeing an increase in ad revenue. While It’s Not Magic. It’s Marketing. isn’t exactly niche, some of the topics can get to a granular level for B2B marketing audiences. Shama takes deep dives into topics like marketing during a recession, brand voice development, and post-pandemic B2B event marketing. While it’s likely not everyone in her audience is invested in every single episode, they are likely to stick around for what is relevant to them because the content is specific and personalized to the pain points they are currently facing.
4. Make your podcast accessible to your audience
Obvious statement: If people can’t find your podcast, they won’t listen to it.
Illuminating, I know.
But where your podcast is accessible is an important point of consideration and any podcast marketing strategy. Are your listeners more likely to go to your company’s website to tune in or to use Spotify? (probably Spotify). With, It’s Not Magic. It’s Marketing., accessibility is key. As Shama notes, some listen to her podcast during the LinkedIn Live stream. Others listen to the recordings later—and making it easy for them to find and tune in is key to maintaining a large listener base.
You can find It’s Not Magic. It’s Marketing. everywhere from our website to major streaming platforms like Spotify. In fact, each time we link to it in this blog—we are linking to a different location where you can listen to It’s Not Magic. It’s Marketing. (Pretty clever, right?)
The key here is that you want to meet your audience where they are. If they already get their content from LinkedIn, that is where your content should be. If they are Podbay fans, you need to be there too. Convenience is key, so make sure your content is conveniently located.
5. Promote your podcast with brand recognition
The easiest audience to engage with your podcast is the audience that is already engaging with your associated brand(s). For instance, fans of Shama’s books, Zen Media, and of Shama, in general, are the first in line when it comes to her podcast. And to further build the connection between her LinkedIn audience and her podcast, she created a LinkedIn newsletter by the same name. With the same title being used in these two formats, she is claiming the title in a holistic way—tying it to her personal brand and creating more brand recognition with this podcast marketing strategy.
So think about where you already connect with your audience. Maybe your company has a well-read blog, and you can write blogs that tie in and link to each podcast episode. Maybe your audience responds well to emails, and you can send an email blast whenever your podcast goes live—or maybe, including your company’s name, slogan, or that of your podcast host in the title of the podcast will help connect the dots for your audience.
However you currently connect with your audience will be key in attracting listeners.
Does it make sense to start a podcast?
So, to answer that first question, yes.
Now, more than ever, taking advantage of this growing modality is a good move for any brand looking to grow its audience. In fact, with the potential ad revenue growth, we expect to see a boom in podcast success in the coming years.
Thinking about launching a podcast and not sure how to incorporate it into your marketing efforts? Already have a podcast and need help leveraging it for greater success? Looking for additional podcast marketing strategies for your brand? Reach out to our PR agency today. That’s what we’re here for!
Related Post: How to Get the Brand Recognition your B2B Deserves