Crunching the podcast marketing numbers
Podcast audiences are growing.
In the UK alone, podcast listenership almost doubled over a five year period, reaching close to 6m listeners in 2018. This has made podcast sponsorship and creation an increasingly attractive addition to the marketing toolkit.
And it works – 76% of podcast listeners said they followed up on an ad they heard in a podcast.
It might seem that podcast marketing isn’t relevant to B2B brands – especially with it’s focus on entertainment and association with the ‘true crime’ boom – but when you consider that 1/3 of all users on LinkedIn regularly listen to podcasts, it’s clear that the business audience truly is out there.
It’s increasingly rare for people to give anything their undivided attention anymore, so with 70% of regular listeners saying they often don’t do anything else when they’re listening to a podcast. This fact alone makes it worthwhile territory for B2B marketers to explore – but how?
Here are all the data-backed answers to your podcast questions so you can get your operation off the ground:
Q. Aren’t podcasts just for millennials?
Q. Where do podcasts sit in the marketing funnel?
A. The higher the better.
Q. Should I create or sponsor a podcast?
A. Depends on your objectives.
Sponsoring a podcast is advertising – so if you need to reach a big audience with a clear message fast, this is the way to go.
Creating a podcast is content marketing – so if you want to own a conversation, and build credibility and interest around your brand, grab a mic and start recording.
Q. Isn’t podcast production expensive?
A. They don’t have to be.
Sponsoring a weekly podcast with 100,000 downloads for a month costs around £7,600.
Meanwhile, you can create a serviceable podcast studio in your own office complete with the requisite microphones, soundproofing, recording and editing software for less than £1,000.
Q. What do I put in my podcast?
A. Stoke people’s curiosity.
We know that ‘learning’ is the top driver for podcast listeners, so putting the time into crafting or curating interesting stories for your audience will pique their interests. You could also consider:
Hosting a panel
Bruce Daisley’s Eat Sleep Work Repeat is a great example of how to create lively and engaging discussions with subject experts.
Telling a story
General Electric created an engaging sci-fi narrative – The Message – that on subtly touches on GE technology and is very light on branding.
Q. How long should my podcast be?
A. Match the commute.
Q. Where does my podcast live?
A. Go where the listeners are.
iTunes still has a bigger reach than Spotify for podcast listeners but remember that different platforms offer different metrics. At the moment, iTunes can only track around 50-60% of downloads as listeners need to have the newest version of the app, whilst Spotify tracks podcast ‘starts’ (clicking on a podcast) and streams (listening for a full minute), and provides basic demographic data – so is an important part of your podcast approach.
And there’s also Acast – “the best curated, fully integrated, fastest growing podcast marketplace in the world” which offers a more premium distribution service but at a more premium price point.
Marketers are starting to realise the power of podcasts for reaching B2B audiences, so it’s well worth investing your time now to get to grips with this channel before your competitors do.
If you’d like some help reaching inquisitive and attentive B2B audiences with your own podcast, we’d love to hear from you.
~ This post is part of the Earnest Crunching the numbers series ~