know edgeThe Rise of the Podcast: A Guide for Content Marketers

William McKee

It doesn’t matter who you are or what industry you’re in, it’s impossible to escape fierce competition in the digital world. The internet has made it possible for any size business to build a strong presence and compete on a level playing field. This is a great, especially for smaller businesses.

The only problem is that when you’re surrounded by so many strong performers, developing a strategy to pull away and stand out in the crowd becomes a priority and a challenge. Content marketing is a great way of doing this but leaves the question of what type of content is going to really perform in 2018 and beyond.

We’d like to make the argument that a podcast can be the content marketing tool that sets you apart, captivates and builds your brand. But, podcasts aren’t new or revolutionary, so why are we looking at them now?

Here’s our thoughts on why podcasts are experiencing a popularity boom and why you should be capitalizing on their potential as part of your digital marketing strategy.

Why Podcasts, Why Now?

Podcast is a word used to describe what is basically audio blogging. The concept itself has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until the early 2000’s, while keeping pace with the rise of the internet, that podcasting really began to take hold.

Podcasting isn’t a new concept, yet we’re seeing it practically explode on the scene of content marketing. In just the past year alone, the number of podcast listeners grew by 6 million, bringing the total number of Americans listeners up to 48 million.

For reference, that’s roughly ten million more people than the entire population of California – our most highly populated state.

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It has become obvious that podcasts are a marketing tool that shouldn’t be ignored. But, to know how to best optimize them, we need to first understand what’s fueling their growth.

The answer can be summed up in one word – experience.

Podcasts provide a unique experience to the listener, starting with the fact that they’re insanely easy to consume. You might already know that video is hot in marketing right now, something we can attribute to it being easier to consume than text, especially on mobile devices. In a sense, we’ve become lazy about how we take in content, and video has met that challenge.

But, video also has its downside. For example, the viewer must be present to fully experience the content. Video and written content both require undivided attention. This isn’t true for podcasts.

Podcasts can be listened to anytime, even while someone is invested in another task. They’re an easy, accessible form of content and that’s something that audiences today love.

While podcasts are getting all this love from the audience, they can also be accomplishing some serious marketing goals for your business. To help illustrate our point of why podcasts are the future of content marketing, we’ve come up with 4 reasons you’ll want to start producing one of your own today.

Podcasts Broaden Your Content Marketing Reach

Take a look out into your target audience and tell us what you see. We’re willing to bet that you’re not looking at a sea of identical faces and personas. While there’s a commonality among your target audience, there are also differences, one of the most important as far as you’re concerned is how they consume content.

Part of your audience prefers to read, while another segment loves to watch. The group left out in the cold of a typical marketing strategy is the one that likes to listen. Podcasts add in one more element that allows you to share your message and value with that untapped portion of your target audience.

Podcasts are Cost Effective

Content is king, it’s essential and it can often be expensive. The concept of content creation sounds so simple, and that’s probably one of the reasons that so many businesses are caught off guard when they realize how expensive high-quality content can be.

Content creation costs come in a variety of forms. Maybe you’re paying someone to build written content for your website, or you’ve wandered down the rabbit how of video creation and found yourself in over your head

It isn’t that the money invested in great content isn’t worth it, there’s no question that it is. However, podcasts are an extremely low-cost option for content creation that can give you a slight reprieve in your content budget. Have a concept, lose script, a microphone and a voice? You’re good to go.

Podcasts are Shareable

High quality, sharable content is crucial for search engine optimization. Shared content builds brand awareness, helps build backlinks and although search engines are slow to admit it, what happens on social media does matter to SEO.

Before your podcasts can gain maximum exposure, you need to first have an audience on social media.

As it turns out, the average podcast listener is very active on social media, with 94% of them engaging with at least one social network. This number compares to 81% of the general population.

Podcasts are a form of content that many social media users feel good about sharing. They’re convenient to consume, and when done right, packed with value and entertainment that gets people enthusiastic about sharing them with their friends and followers on social media.

Podcasts Build Trust and Help Move Customers Along the Funnel

Audio content is very personal. There’s something intimate about hearing a person speak and it builds a sense of authenticity and trust for your brand. Think for a minute about some of the biggest motivational speakers on the current circuit – Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Nick Vujicic, etc. They all have top selling books, but not even one of their written words compares to the what happens when audiences listen to them speak.

Voice is powerful, and it makes people feel comfortable and familiar, like they already know you and your brand.

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Make Podcasts an Integral Part of Your Search Engine Marketing

Podcasts are a fast-growing trend and leveraging their potential can have benefits that spread out into all areas of your digital marketing strategy, from building brand awareness to optimizing local SEO. Working with a digital marketing agency that understands how podcasts can build your business is key to success. We’re a team that brings podcast know-how and complete SEO services to the table. Contact Knowmad Digital Marketing today to learn more about podcasts and content marketing for your growing business.


William McKee

As a managing partner of Knowmad, William creates sustainable growth for the agency by leading its future vision, driving new revenue, and empowering team member productivity and well-being.


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