The power of podcasts

The human voice is a powerful and emotive instrument. Even before the written word storytelling built bonds in communities and kept an audio trail of our cultural history. We are told stories when we are children, we tell stories to our colleagues, our friends and family every day. Stories engage our imaginations, and have deep connections to childhood and our evolution – they are part of how we understand one another and form relationships.

We have always found new ways to tell stories and use the human voice. Radio revolutionised communication and the talkies transformed the cinema experience. Now, in a world of sensory overload – where everyone is trying to tell their story – audio is a compelling, stripped-back medium in which to cut through the noise.

The rise of the podcast

Podcasts have become increasingly popular – in fact, according to findings from Edison Research in American alone around 67 million people age 12 and over listen to podcasts every month. Listeners grow year-on-year. A massive 42% listen to the entire episode and 44% listen to most of the episode.

This is particularly interesting and pertinent in the context of wider content trends. In a recent review, Buzzsumo found that social sharing since 2015 has halved. Algorithm changes continue to impact levels of engagement and new topics are quickly saturated with content – the big winners in this sodden and busy landscape are sites that are known for original and authentic content.

Highly engaged, dedicated listeners

Information overload is no alien concept, and our online and offline experiences are filled with content vying for attention. Through this storm of information, podcasts can provide a space for focused thinking, where you can become absorbed in a subject. They can leave room for thought, spark imagination and convey a message in a intimate way – without being invasive.

Telling a deeper story

Podcasts give you one-on-one time with your listeners, you have a captive audience to tell your story to. This gives you a chance to not only build brand awareness but to form a deep connection with your audience. You have the time to expand and layer your story, to immerse listeners in your world.

Unlike other forms of communication (social media, emails, articles, etc.) this is one voice (or a few voices) into one ear. This is person to person contact – storytelling in its most powerful and ancient form.

Let’s talk measurement

Apple released an analytics feature, so you can now understand who is listening to your content and how. You can get a good idea of trends, as well as the number of hours of listening, average consumption and time spent per device. Which means that podcasters can make better content decisions and put data behind choices such as length, format, music and more.

To podcast or to sponsor a podcast?

You have two options when it comes to integrating podcasts into your content plan: to create your own podcast or to sponsor a podcast.

Creating your own

This will take some investment – in time, energy and equipment. A great podcast, first and foremost, must contain relevant, researched and informed content, giving your listeners what you have promised. Rather than just advertising in a podcast, creating your own allows you to truly connect with your audience and give them another reason to celebrate your brand.

Sponsoring

This option is less time consuming and can provide quick wins. NRP found that 75% of listeners took action on a sponsored message. At this point listeners have already chosen the podcast and engaged with the content – and so are far more responsive to hearing other related content.

Listen to the Brilliant Noise podcast or get in touch to find out how we can help you connect with your audience.