The Podcast Explosion is Ripe for Disruption

Information, information, information!  We just can’t seem to get enough!  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn IGTV, Vlogs, YouTube – the list is endless.  What am I missing here?  Oh yes, podcast!

Whether it’s for education, entertainment, or meditation, podcasts provide content that’s both accessible and easy to digest. Ideal for our busy lifestyles, we can tune in to the service on our devices, anytime and anywhere.  And because podcasts are voice-activated, the information we receive feels personal, and we get an emotional connection right away.

Once confined to broadcast kind of news, brands are now embracing the power of audio as a way to connect with their audiences to share content.  No different than using micro-influencers, podcast hosts are establishing themselves as trusted beacons of industry to reach out to niche listeners. How does it work and where does it live?

Beyond the Headspace

Podcasts are prerecorded voice-activated programs, published on websites, and available for download on computers and mobile devices. The technology offers a variety of digital, audio and video material that appeals to specific audiences, especially millennials who can seem to take their eyes off their mobile devices 24/7.

So how do you go about creating a podcast?  You would need to first identify a media hosting service, and there many to choose from.  Transistor, Simplecast, Buzzsprout and Podbean come to mind.  Then you will need to sign up for an account to store your MP3 files, and create and record your podcast feed.  Remember to do a bit of research to figure out which platform works best for your needs and you are good to go.

Monetizing your Podcast

As podcasts continue to explode in popularity, brands are jumping on the bandwagon – creating new shows and content. By positioning themselves as thought leaders and resource experts to connect with and expand their customer base, marketers are using this channel to boost brand awareness and increase market share. As millions of consumers tune in, more and more businesses are realizing that profitable growth depends on having multiple revenue streams, and this channel provides one of the best sources for monetization.

As we are only too aware – content is king! Podcasters know that with the right content, they can turn their loyal listeners into regular customers. While some podcasts provide free content, brands can monetize this channel by providing premium content that listeners may be interested in, and are willing subscribe to.  Additional content can also take the form of interviews with principals or CEOs to provide more information on a sponsored product, and at the same time, increase the sponsor’s impact and their own revenue.

Now that you understand how it works, here are some basic ideas to get you thinking about monetizing your podcast:

  • Identify sponsors: Research on brands and shortlist those that best resonate with your show and listeners, and you will score a win-win for all.
  • Aim directly: Forget about that slow, intro email to potential sponsors. Get personal make a direct connection via email, social media, and/or referrals.
  • Fanbase community: Check out platforms where avid fans or a hosting service can sponsor the content creator to interact directly with listeners.   In turn, you get to build a unique community where you can share exclusive information, connect listeners to each other, and take your podcast to the next level.
  • Host an event: Identify the type of people you want to invite to your event; create content to capture their attention, and promote the event regularly (e.g. free webinar) through your podcasts.
  • Sell your products/service: You can virtually sell anything – from line-dancing classes to clothes, to one-on-one mentoring and motivational coaching, as part of your podcast service.  Make the most of it!
  • Monetize indirectly: It doesn’t always have to be about money. Think about sharing free content and get listeners to sign up.  This is a great way to build your fanbase, and boost influencer marketing with no obligation. At the same time, interested listeners also get access to on-demand premium content, should they wish to subscribe and pay for it.

Right for Disruption

The podcast market is indeed ripe for disruption. For brands looking to ride the waves of podcast advertising, it’s important to remember that, as with all social media outreach tactics, non-intrusive, relevant and authentic content are key to generating leads and demand.  With Google reporting up to one million monthly searches for podcasts, there’s no stopping the podcast boom!

Posted by Irene Gomez, CIO, CorpMedia.



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