Podcasting has been growing at a rapid rate for many years now. More and more people are choosing it as both a method of entertainment and to consume news and information. With global lockdowns in place currently due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, this has led to an increase in the number of podcasts being listened to, as well as the amount of companies now utilizing it as a viable form of content marketing.
Understanding the podcast trends 2020 is likely to see could be the difference between finding innovative ways to engage with your audience during self-isolation and lockdown periods and losing them to competitors during these trying times. There has never been a better time to start a podcast for your business and the importance of audio based content marketing is only now beginning to be understood by the majority of businesses.
So let’s take a look at how you can foster next level audience engagement by understanding the different podcast trends 2020 has to offer.
The Importance of Audio Based Content Marketing
With more people listening to and engaging with podcasts each year, understanding the importance of them is something that cannot be avoided. So, exactly what are the advantages of podcasts over other methods of marketing?
The main ones are that they can be consumed at any time, in any place. As they are not tied to a physical release time such as a tv schedule, a podcast can be listened to at any time of the day, in any country. As well as this, due to them being a typically audio based format, they don’t require as much attention to follow along with as visual methods of marketing do.
Many people engage with them while commuting or travelling due to the ease with which they can be consumed. All you need is a pair of headphones and an internet connection and you can listen to a podcast. This means that you can engage with a much wider audience than is the case with traditional forms of media. The true beauty of audio based content marketing is that it lets you connect with anyone, anywhere, any time.
Tips For Brands Beginning Podcasting
With so many podcasts currently running and being created, especially when you consider the current lockdown situations around the world, beginning a podcast can seem like a daunting task for some brands. However, there are some very simple tips that every company should be following when it comes to creating a successful podcast. These include:
- Sound Quality – If your audio quality is of a low standard, people will lose interest and click away incredibly quickly. When a podcast sounds echoey, tinny, or generally is just difficult to listen to, presenting yourself as experts or thought leaders becomes more difficult. It can take time to perfect, but ensuring that you have a premium sound quality is vital to ensure success.
- Record With Regularity – Like any ongoing projects you have, be they content, social media or a new podcast, creating a schedule to follow is key. Having a set schedule for your podcasts lets you form a natural flow for your recordings, leading one into the next and encourages audio engagement. Sporadic recording and posting is guaranteed to make sure people lose interest, so create a long term schedule, and stick to it.
- Know Your Audience – Like everything in business and marketing, understanding who your audience members are, is linked to success. Having a clear image on your ideal listener is important to be able to provide podcasts that they want to listen to and will encourage them to perform an action. Knowing your audience and finding out information such as, what is the average age of a podcast listener for example, lets you be hyper-specific when it comes to content creation. This is exemplified by the podcasts that have recently been released by Dior who understand their target audience incredibly well.
- Length Is Key – Most people will listen to podcasts when commuting, travelling or in the natural breaks in their day. While creating a 3 hour podcast may mean you are able to outline the specifics of everything you want to talk about in detail, the majority of your audience don’t have this time to spare. Instead, focus on content lengths that are inherently digestible and easy to consume for your audience. If a podcast starts to drag on too long, people are less likely to listen to future iterations.
- Be Conversational – Even if you or your guests are experts in certain fields, it’s likely that your audience isn’t. Remember, these are podcasts, not lectures. They are more conversational in tone, easy to understand and convey a relaxed feeling. Avoid scripting them too much and make them relatable to your target audience, even when dealing with incredibly granular topics, keeping the tone conversational is the heartbeat of a good podcast.
Pitfalls Brands Should Avoid
However, while it may seem like an easy formula to follow, get some people into a room together to talk, record it, publish it online and repeat, there are a number of podcast mistakes to avoid during the process. A concept that is repeatedly backed up by the stats.
- Not Being On The Right Platform: While Apple Music has previously been the place to go for podcasts, now, more users aged between 12-34 listen to their podcasts on Spotify. If this is your demographic, you have to know where they are.
- Not Utilizing Mobile Devices: The beauty of a podcasts is they can be listened to anywhere, something proven by smartphones being the #1 way users consume them. Being effective on mobile platforms is therefore paramount to success.
- Not Standing Out: As of this month, there are over 1 million podcasts out there, you have to find ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd and stand out from the competition.
- Not Utilizing Voice Search: With around 50% of podcasts being consumed at home, there is strong likelihood people will be doing so through smart devices. Being accessible through voice search marketing is therefore key.
- Not Being Live: Last year live podcasting made $55 million and is set to rise this year. Putting on live events that involve your podcast is a great way to engage with your audience and breed loyal listeners.
- Not Being Consistent: When it comes to how many people listen to podcasts, 68 million users do so on a weekly basis. Creating regular content that satisfies this need is crucial to maintain engagement in an increasingly competitive industry.
- Not Incorporating Social Media: 94% of podcast listeners are active on at least one social media platform. If you’re not using social platforms to your advantage, you are seriously missing out.
- Not Offering Current Information: Around 75% of podcast listeners state they do so to acquire new information. If you are not offering this in some way, they are likely to stop listening quickly. Being original and informative is considered vital.
- Not Advertising on Podcasts: Over half of podcast listeners say they are more likely to consider buying from a brand if they were advertised on a podcast they were listening to.
- Not Creating Sponsored Content: 75% of users will take action after hearing sponsored content on a podcast.
- Not Releasing On The Right Day: According to the data, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the most effective days on which to release your podcast.
5 Podcast Marketing Predictions For 2020
So all this leads to one important question: what is the future of podcasting? When it comes to the digital marketing trends 2020 has in store for us, podcasting is one of the main ones to be aware of. But being aware of and predicting the podcast trends 2020 will see is just as important, some of the main ones to expect being:
- ‘Spotify will continue to grow and dominate the ears of Gen Z and Y in big ways’ according to Jam Street Media CEO Matty Staudt, so ensuring you are optimized accordingly is vital.
- The likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter are likely to enter the audio space with growing intensity. As Sharon Taylor of Omny Studio reaffirms, ‘The giants in the industry will continue to put podcasting front and center.’
- ‘In the world of podcasting, listenership is about to explode.’ states Scott Galloway of NYU Stern & Pivot, something that is also set to be enhanced due to recent lockdowns globally.
- ‘Podcasting continues to grow at an accelerated pace. We see no signs of that abating.’ These are the words of Bob Pittman from iHeartMedia, Inc, as the podcast trends 2020 as he emphatically answers the question, are podcasts growing in popularity?
- As Tom Webster of Edison Research states, ‘We have not reached ‘peak podcasting’ and I don’t know that we ever will’ meaning that if you are not currently podcasting, then you are seriously missing out.
Audio based content marketing is a way many businesses are finding to engage with their audience, promote trust and respectability as well as present themselves as industry thought leaders. When done correctly, podcasting can have a significant number of positive effects on the bottom line of your business.
This blog post is written by David Pittaway, he is creative content writer for digital marketing agency Aumcore that specializes in audience engagement, brand positioning as well as promoting a storytelling marketing strategy for a variety of different industry sectors.