As storytellers and public relations professionals, we consider podcasts one of our favorite forms of content. What’s not to love? You can take them on the go, listen at your own pace, delve into subjects in-depth, and get lost in the story-time nature of the experience. But personal preferences aside, podcasts are becoming a powerful form of content for companies and brands looking to expand and strengthen their PR reach. Podcasts are part of a new era of content creation in which CEOs, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders of all kinds can position themselves in front of their target audiences.
In case you aren’t yet convinced, here are the top reasons we think podcasts make powerful content for PR programs.
Podcasts intensify the bond between you and the people who are most important to your company or brand. The level of engagement for podcast listeners is higher than engagement with any other type of content, many sales and marketing experts believe. It goes beyond “click bait” or the quick, easily digestible listicle-type nuggets of information that are so prevalent today. The listener has made a decision to spend quality time with your content, and that creates a strong bond.
Podcasts are a part of the greater shift toward mobile. The rise of content consumption on mobile devices has been well documented, and podcasts are a growing part of that, as most people listen to podcasts on mobile devices. This should come as no surprise, as the very nature of podcasts makes them perfectly suited to be consumed via mobile: you download them once to be listened to wherever, whenever you choose, and as often as you like.
Podcasts are an easy way to create guest content. Ever try to get a partner or third-party spokesperson to contribute a piece of content? Written or visual forms of creative content can be very time-consuming to produce and it’s a lot to ask of someone, but most people are amenable to a 10-minute phone interview. Record the interview, edit it, and voila — you have guest content.
Transcribing podcasts creates still more content. Once the podcast is complete and uploaded, having it transcribed (and edited) creates instant content, which can live online and enhance SEO. It’s essentially two for the price of one – the audio content of the podcast, plus the written content of the transcript.
It’s the way of the future. Apple reports podcast subscriptions have topped 1 billion. Serial, the most popular podcast of all time, has been downloaded more than 40 million times. And the number of unique podcast listeners has tripled, from 25 million to 75 million listeners, over the last five years, according to a tracker of 20,000 shows. Just as blogs — once a frontier reached by individuals — have developed into full fledged (and well funded) news websites, the podcast is growing from an under-the-radar form of entertainment to a legitimate information channel of its own.