Podcasting has experienced steady growth in mainstream media and culture and has created new opportunities for marketers and organizations. Podcasts are on-demand radio shows that are available to listeners across a variety of applications and websites, most commonly with a mobile device or computer. The content is typically free to download and listeners have the option to subscribe to shows for automatic downloads and alerts when new episodes become available.

Why Podcasts are an effective marketing tool

With low barriers to entry, podcasting has created a vast library of content that is easily accessible and promotes engagement with calls to action pertinent to a show’s audience. The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University conducted a study on podcasting and found that podcasts are disrupting the radio industry and shifting attention towards “mobile-first” content that has shown high levels of engagement compared to other mediums. Due to increasing quantity and diversity of content, each brand can find shows that match their target demographics’ interests and leverage that space as an additional vehicle to attract new customers or users.

Advertising with podcasts can be effective because the hosts of shows become brand ambassadors that listeners trust, which is similar to the concept of celebrity endorsements. Hawke Media conducted a study on the efficacy of podcast advertising to drive product sales and website traffic and their respondents reported the following, “71 percent said they’d visited a sponsor’s website, while 62 percent stated that they considered the new product or service. Also, 60 percent stated that they researched more information about the advertiser.” These numbers are very attractive for brands that are advertising services or products which generally utilize unique codes/URLs to track leads generated from each podcast advertisement.

How to use Podcasts for your organization

Organizations can establish themselves within the podcasting space by developing their own podcast or sponsoring the creation of a podcast series. There are many ways to execute a podcast but one common method is connecting subject experts from inside or outside an organization to target audiences, this style of original content can add value to a brand’s public perception. This resource dives further into the step-by-step of how to make a podcast from start to finish.

Podcasting provides marketers and organizations with a strong new avenue to produce original content and/or reach new audiences with advertising messages. The shift towards mobile consumption of content and the growing quantity of podcast listeners’ worldwide will continue to underline the impact of podcasts and the new opportunities that they can create.