Everybody is always looking for the next “next thing” to give themselves an edge over the competition in a battle for the attention of a target audience. While audio content marketing is not new, it IS gaining new popularity in our world of expanding noise and shrinking attention spans.
There are a few different types of audio content marketing, the most popular of which are podcasts. The word podcast harkens back to the “old days” (like, 12 years ago) when Apple’s most famous gadget was the iPod. Thus “podcast” is a truncation of the words iPod and broadcast. Podcast. Get it?
Podcasts have come a long way since then, and they are now native to the iOS platform. Meaning you CAN’T delete the app from your iPhone or iPad, even if you wanted to!
Why is this important? For one thing, content consumption is increasingly mobile. People who go online “mostly via desktop” are now a tiny minority. Further, unlike reading or watching videos, podcasts can be consumed while still keeping your eyes on the road, so to speak.
Steady Growth in Audio Content Marketing
According to tech reporter Farhad Manjoo from the New York Times, “Don’t call podcasting a bubble or a bust. Instead, it’s that rarest thing in the technology industry: a slow, steady and unrelentingly persistent digital tortoise that could eventually slay the analog behemoths in its path.” Those analog behemoths being traditional radio shows.
Actually, it’s already happening. Podcasts are being integrated into automobile audio systems with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Soon, listening to podcasts will be as easy as listening to your local radio stations. The difference? YOU get to choose the programming.
Time to dump your stock shares in Radio Broadcasting Parent Companies? Maybe not. They’ve seen the writing on the wall, too, and are aggressively jumping on the bandwagon. In fact, the most popular Internet radio show ever is Serial, a podcast from the creators of This American Life from N.P.R.
Advantages of Podcasts Over Other Media
Then once we put our thinking caps on, all sorts of reasons become apparent for the growing success on audio content marketing in general, and podcasts specifically.
- Reach a new audience (via iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, etc.)
- Leverage these large directories through their search algorithms
- Build on your existing authority
- Elevates your perceived status (social proof)
- Less competitive than written blogs
- Easier to get guests for an interview than to write a guest post. (Can lead to getting “bigger” guests than you’d otherwise have access to.)
- “Easier” to create content
- Create multiple types of content at once (record a video of an interview; rip the audio for a podcast; use transcribing services to create a written blog post)
- Fans can download episodes and listen “on the go” instead of in front of their computer. At the gym, in the car, etc. This removes a HUGE barrier!
- By the way, how many of us actually read blogs on our smartphones? Many blogs aren’t even mobile friendly (responsive). But within iTunes, your podcast will always look native to the platform.
- Compared to written blogs, it’s easier to convey emotion through your actual voice. It’s “speaks” to a deeper part of our consciousness.
- Right now, podcasting is HOT!
Monetizing Your Audio Content
Referring back to our friend Mr. Manjoo from the New York Times, “Podcasting operations are attracting sizable audiences and advertising revenue. The ads work. Large and small advertisers report a significant upside to the campaigns they run on podcasts, and ad rates on top-tier podcasts approach $100 per thousand listeners (CPM), which is many times what it costs advertisers to reach audiences in most other digital formats.”
In plain English? Advertisers are happily sponsoring popular shows, and furthermore, the formula to calculate the rates is quite straightforward, unlike sponsored written content (the precise formula is included in the notes, which can download below).
Beyond the podcast, content creators are profiting from audio content in other ways. For example, many are now turning eBooks into audio books. This has been made even easier now since Amazon acquired Audible.com several years ago, and now have integrated the audio side of their business with their book publishing so that authors with eBooks (as well as physical books) can now upload audio books to their author platform and cross-promote them all in one location.
An Exercise in Audio Content Marketing
Today’s post is not random. It was written in conjunction with a class that I’m teaching at the local library about starting a podcast. As part of the class demonstration, I’ve made a recording of a “mock podcast” to outline the steps in audio content creation from recording, to editing, to uploading to a media host, to writing the meta data, and to finally posting the content to distribution networks such as iTunes and Stitcher. (This last step was skipped since it’s only a demo.)
Here is the result:
And as promised, I’m providing all the slides from the PowerPoint presentation given during the lecture. (Click on the image below to download the slides in PDF format.)
These slides give you a step by step method of setting up your podcast, including the equipment and software that you’ll need.
Good luck and happy podcasting!