Why now is the time to start podcasting for PR

By Marina Lois, ,

Seven million adults in the UK listen to podcasts each week, and that figure has risen by 1.3m in the last year alone.

Although Apple has been the main proponent of this success to date, Google has now announced that they want to ‘double global podcast listenership’ within two years. And with over 80% of global smartphones being Androids, you’d have to fancy their chances.

In the US, where nearly one in five now listen to podcasts every week, Midroll found half the podcast audience is university educated and a fifth earn more than $100,000 a year. Podcast listeners, it seems, are young, well-educated and affluent. For many businesses, this is the profile of a dream customer.

What’s a podcast?

It’s an on-demand digital audio file, downloadable to your phone, tablet or computer. Listeners simply search for an interesting topic, download and start listening. Wherever they want. Whenever they want. For free.

What’s more, people can continue to search for relevant content weeks, months and even years after publication. In this way, a podcast carries on working long after it has been put to bed – it’s like a brand-building campaign that just keeps on giving.

How can a podcast work for your brand – or client?

It’s time to embrace the notion that people consume content in many different ways. Whilst video and the written word are well-trodden paths, people spend more time with podcasts than with video or text (e.g. blogs). And that’s because podcasts are portable, allowing you to carry on with your day-to-day life whilst consuming their content; for example, whilst commuting to work, walking the dog, or exercising.

By adding audio to the communications mix, you gain the opportunity to capture your audience’s attention for much, much longer. Thanks to still being a reasonably recent phenomenon, there is also a very good chance that your competitors aren’t podcasting yet, giving you a chance to really stand out from the crowd.

There are three types of branded podcast:

  1. Expertise: Increases brand awareness by highlighting your expertise like Adobe on what makes for good design (Wireframe), or HCA Healthcare UK’s Health Fact vs Fiction which busts common misconceptions around health.
  2. Values: Increase trust in a brand by aligning the subject matter of the podcast to your company / client values. Take American bank and brokerage firm, Charles Schwab as an example. Their podcast, Choiceology, tell us stories of irrational decision making and explores whether or not we can learn to make smarter choices in life echoing the company’s role in opportunity assessment and calculated risk. Or Virgin Atlantic’s The Venture,  a podcast exalting pioneering businesses and the people who made them happen.
  3. Sponsorship: The most philanthropic, where a business lends its name (and money) to the creativity of others, via sponsorship. The reward? A chance to get into the ears of their listeners. The runaway success this year has to go to ITV’s Love Island: The Morning After, sponsored by Kellogg’s.

Need another reason to give podcasting for your brand / business a chance? Well, here it is: each episode will provide you with plenty of great content that you can repurpose to feed each of your existing social channels.

Marina Lois writes for Bengo Media

Photo by Emilio Garcia on Unsplash

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