Liv Griffiths – Content Executive

As you may have already gathered from July’s Pace Picks, I’m a little obsessed with podcasts. So when I read the news that Google Trends was showing (for the first time ever) the word ‘podcast’ being searched more than ‘blog’, I got excited.

Near enough everyone out there has read a blog, but there’s still a lot of people who are yet to tune in to a podcast. So what makes them so great? And what does their popularity mean for us marketers?

Why the rise in popularity?

From a consumer’s point of view, podcasts are an opportunity to get content unlike any other. Where reading a blog takes up 100% of your attention, not to mention the time and effort spent actively seeking out articles, it’s easy for us to consume podcast content while simultaneously getting on with our non-stop, 21st-century lives.

In a world where many of us spend Monday to Friday, 9-5, looking at words on a screen, podcasts are a chance to source our entertainment in a refreshingly different way.

And thanks to the devices in our pockets, on our kitchen worktops and on our desks at work, podcasts are now more accessible than ever before.

You could argue that, because of radio, we’ve been able to do this for years. However, podcast content is much more focused and actively sought out by listeners.

The variety in content has a role to play too. Whether you’re into healthy eating, entrepreneurialism, or the criminal connections of famous musicians, you’ll be able to find a podcast you like. And if you can’t? Apps like Google Podcast will assess your interests and search for you.

How should we be using podcasts as a marketing tool?

Before we get started slapping jingles all over the most popular podcasts, there are a couple of things to know about podcast advertising.

Firstly, listeners want to hear content that’s relevant to them. Nobody tunes into a vegan lifestyle podcast to get ads on products that aren’t cruelty-free. However, this will likely be regulated by the content creator, which links to the next point.

A brand should never dictate the content of a podcast. Listeners will download to hear from a specific content creator, not to hear from your brand. Many podcasters will make their own advertisements; think Adam Buxton’s Squarespace jingles – probably one of the most memorable aspects of his podcasts.

You want your advertisement to be delivered naturally, in a tone of voice that the listeners of that podcast are used to.

And why?

I’ll let the stats speak for themselves.

65% of all people that listened to a podcast went on to trial a product or service that they’d been recommended by the content creator.

One of the most popular podcasts, a crime series called Serial, reaches on average 7 million downloads per episode.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has predicted podcast revenue seeing a 110% growth between 2017 and 2020.

How is it done?

If you’re wondering how to go about podcast advertising, your best bet is to sign up with a podcast advertising network. They connect thousands of advertisers with thousands of podcasters, helping them collaborate and create content that will work for everyone involved.

Some of the most popular include Midroll, Advertisecast and Archer Avenue. Or we can just do it for you.

3 of our favourite podcasts

Want to start listening to podcasts but unsure where to start? Here are three of the Pace team’s favourites.

1. Stuff You Should Know

From Frida Kahlo and narwhals to gerrymandering and guide dogs, Josh and Chuck from howstuffworks.com will teach you everything you’ve ever wanted/needed to know.

Best episode: How Giraffes Work

2. The Adam Buxton Podcast

Actor and comedian Adam Buxton ramble-chats with famous faces from around the globe. Expect laughs, sometimes tears, and lots of catchy jingles. Vegetarian shoes, anyone?

Best episode: Ep. 76 – Aisling Bea

3. Hip Hop Saved My Life

Romesh Ranganathan meets with various hip-hop nerds to discuss how they got into the genre. Dry humour, and with lots of great musical recommendations.

Best episode: Ep. 30 – Loyle Carner.