With this week’s launch of an on-demand version of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, called Beyond Today, it is clear that the podcast has come of age as a means to deliver information that suits the modern mobile-first listener.
The Beeb noticed that few among the 20-35 year old age group were tuning into the live broadcast, possibly because of time constraints (you can’t take a radio on the tube) or because they didn’t like the linear format. So they have packaged the content into punchier, more digestible 20 minute slots. The idea being that you choose the ones that interest you without having to wait for Messrs. Humphries and Robinson to get round to your topic of choice.
So what can technology brands learn from this? Here are just a few reasons why we believe podcasts will soon become part and parcel of most PR and content led campaigns.
Longer shelf life for your coverage
Podcasts themselves have a much longer shelf-life than traditional broadcast coverage. The way they’re consumed by audiences lends itself to more evergreen content as they’re not dependent or governed by the news cycle. This longer lifespan means that the window of exposure to your target market is extended ten-fold.
Joining in the discourse
Podcasts often lend themselves to really picking apart a subject or topical news story. This means if you or your client has a particularly strong opinion, it’s a great platform to get across their view and also weave in the all-important key messaging. When used in conjunction with bylined articles, a well-timed podcast guest appearance can really bolster an individual and/or company as a true thought leader in their respective space.
The podcast is only becoming more popular
Even as little as a few years ago, podcasts were not seen as a threat to traditional radio, let alone television. However, as massive success stories continue to flourish in the podcast world, audiences are growing exponentially, which is worrying the traditional media. A survey in 2018 showed that around 44% of Americans now listen to podcasts, with that number set to increase as access to the medium becomes more prevalent.
Engage with your target audience directly
As a lot of podcasts originate from passion projects and are not necessarily married to large networks or companies, like traditional broadcast programming is, an environment is created where they can become a lot more niche. This means that although an audience of a particular programme could be smaller than the reach of, say a traditional online site, the quality of listeners in terms of your brand’s messaging can be much more in line with the end goals of your overall PR strategy.
Podcasts are more efficient
In terms of sharing your story/brand values with an audience, voice and conversation can get across more information in a much shorter time; we talk a lot faster than we read or write. We tend to speak more naturally than we write, using shorter words, more direct language. We are able to put emphasis, nuance and humour into a sentence that may not come across on the page. All of this helps with understanding, not just of your message but of your brand’s personality.
A podcast is more personable
The most effective podcasts involve two or more participants so you get the feeling of being involved in a real conversation rather than a stilted monologue. Things don’t always go to script, just like in a real conversation, and this lends a degree of authenticity to your brand that cannot be achieved in print or the traditional talking heads video.
Low cost, low resistance
Best of all, podcasts are not expensive to produce. We will cover this in our next blog, but the basics you need are a decent portable sound recorder, which you can pick up for under £300, and some editing software. And it’s easier to get senior execs to take part in a podcast rather than appear in video. There is something quite intrusive about video and we are not all blessed with the good dashing good looks of BBC Presenters.
Exploring new, untapped opportunities for coverage is a core part of our capabilities. Call us for an informal chat about how we can help get your company noticed.