Social media of all forms is crowded and always trying to gain attention from viewers. Social media marketing relies on visuals, eye-catching graphics, and people to be looking at their phone or computer screen to see it to gain this attention. Podcasting has been around for awhile, but now brands are starting to create their own branded podcasts. Although there are thousands of podcasts, as a whole it is a channel that is underutilized as a marketing tool. Brands like “eBay, GE, Netflix and State Farm are betting on audio shows as the next great opportunity for customer engagement” and so far, it’s working for them. Some brands have created their own podcast and “are partnering with established podcast companies who not only have the skills and expertise in audio production, but also the existing base of popular shows that can be used to cross-promote branded content that generates a new source of revenue”.
For all of these brands it’s about the content – they don’t want it to feel like users are listening to an advertisement. Most of them rarely bring up their products or services or even have commercials in the middle of the podcast. Podcasts are being used as a marketing tool that draws listeners to becoming loyal fans of the brand because of the insight and content that they’re creating for them. While social media marketing also should not be all ads, “audio advertising requires even more discrete branding. Unlike a sponsored post or video that takes a few minutes to skim over, podcasts are little episodes of entertainment that require people to tune in for longer periods of time, making it harder for a brand’s message to get through.” Since the average podcast is either 30 or 60 minutes, it requires a listener to stay with them for the whole episode, and they will not do that if it sounds like an ad to them or if the content is not worth their time.
Utilizing audio rather than visual as many platforms do can prove to be a challenge to gain and keep the attention of the audience, however, if done successfully, it can help your brand stand out.