In the last installment of this series, Boost Media shared how exciting technology trends like IoT, AI, wearables, voice-activated devices, and a growth in audio media are culminating to position audio and voice as the next-generation user interface (UI). But this, like all emerging trends, seems nebulous, highly uncertain, and not immediately actionable for marketers with KPI targets to hit in the short-term.

 

Boost Media shares what you can do today to help you stay ahead of this emerging trend for 2017. In particular, we discuss how you can use podcasting and podcast advertising as a low-risk, bite-sized way to learn how to execute successful audio media.

 

Why test podcasting or podcast advertising?

The Royal Blue podcast sums up the benefits of podcasting  nicely:

 

“Podcasting…combines the advantages of on-demand digital media and mobile in a format that is singularly intimate.”

 

Podcast listenership is growing, but it’s still not completely mainstream. This provides a unique opportunity to reach early adopters who will likely be the most loyal listeners. The Edison “Share of Ear” study found that the podcast listening community also tends to have more disposable income than followers of other media forms, making listeners an especially fruitful target for advertisers.

 

How can brands get started with podcasting or podcast advertising?

There are several ways brands can get their feet wet with podcasting and podcast advertising. Each option requires varying levels of effort. One thing they all have in common is that you can reach people on-the-go without requiring their eyes or thumbs to absorb content; It is actually inconvenient to skip an ad when listening to a podcast.

 

“Organic” podcasting. Similar to the way you might publish a blog, you can produce and publish your own podcast. This is probably the most difficult, highest-effort way to get involved in podcasting. If you’ve never tested podcasting, it might not be the best entry-point, but certainly worth mentioning.

 

Similar to the early days of blogging, successful podcasters have built and monetized entire brands based on their podcast listener base. For example, the hosts of the Tropical MBA entrepreneurship podcast has built a business with a paid membership to join their online community and attend international conferences—all initiated by simply providing high-value content to a clearly defined audience segment.

 

Native advertising. Thanks to podcast networks like Panopoly (owned by Slate) and Gimlet Media (producers of the popular business podcast, Startup), brands can take the native advertising route with a range of options—from having a podcast produced on behalf of your brand—to co-producing.

 

General Electric reached a number-one ranking on iTunes with their sponsored podcast, The Message.

 

Advertising spots. Buying a podcast advertising spot is probably the easiest way to get started. You can sponsor an individual show whose audience resonates with your brand, or you can utilize an ad network like Midroll Media to distribute your ads across multiple podcasts.

 

Podcast ads read by trusted show hosts, adding a layer of credibility unique to podcast advertising. For example, in the finance-focused, Dave Ramsey Show, the host often gives his personal endorsement of insurance products, which is contextually-relevant to the podcast’s subject matter.

 

Not only that, the only creative that’s needed to be effective in this advertising medium is a simple script, so production costs are low for advertisers.

 

Influencer outreach or guest-speaking. Finally, you can test podcasting and podcast advertising via influencer outreach, or getting invited to be a guest on a show. Use similar tact and tactics as you would when approaching influencers in the blog, video, or social media spheres.

 

For example Marketing Land has a podcast called Marketing Land Live, which frequently features “industry experts.” By being a guest on the show, these experts are able to indirectly promote the companies they work for.

Where to go from here

Consider testing podcasting and podcast advertising, but also think about how it can fit into your overall media landscape. How are you using search, social, and display to promote your podcast and drive podcast downloads? How are you using search, social, and display to convert your podcast audience to customers once they’ve heard your ads?

 

Stay tuned for the next installment, where we will cover these topics and discuss challenges like measurement, conversion, and podcast delivery; along with sharing ideas on how to mitigate these pain points.