Brands can use podcasts to build an audience if they focus on a “content first and marketing second” approach, according to popular blogger and entrepreneur Mike Fishbein, who is set to speak at a PR News webinar about the potential for podcasts to drive engagement and generate leads later this week.
Digital audio files made available on the Web in the form of podcasts have been around for more than a decade, but they are growing in popularity. Ten million were downloaded and streamed on Apple devices last year, and marketers are looking to the format as a new and dynamic content outlet for reaching and engaging with new customers.
Fishbein believes that brands can be successful with podcasts if they put relevant and meaningful content front and centre rather than promoting the company or brand. He adds: “Aggressive calls to action interfere with content quality.” However, directing the audience to a web page or profile during the introduction and ending of each podcast can be beneficial.
Fishbein also urged brands to survey their audiences to find out exactly what they want to learn and then use these ideas to create high-quality content. The focus on audience desires and needs has been cited as a trend by various experts this year, and it appears that the “content is king” mantra rings true across all media formats and platforms.
Zendesk’s Senior Director of Content Marketing, Monica Norton, also says that brands can achieve success by broaching topics that are not about any particular product but instead are general human interest stories. She adds: “You need to make it interesting, relevant, even fun and entertaining. The less the content is about you, the more likely the listener will continue to listen and be willing to make an appointment to listen by subscribing. And, importantly, the more likely they are to remember your brand in a positive light.”
A study published last year by Edison Research and the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that podcast listeners are increasingly receptive to the right ad messages, and two-thirds of people would consider purchasing a service or product from a brand that sponsors the shows that they listen to regularly.