LinkedIn recently invited me to participate in a community forum on podcasting trends as voice, audio, and smart speakers are all gaining attention by marketers and brands. Here’s what I shared with Victoria Taylor, community editor for LinkedIn:
1) Podcasting will continue to evolve from a few people sitting around a microphone. Lighting and backdrops with graphics are expected, and advanced podcasters are incorporating video. Produced assets from their podcast sessions are being used as snippets for IGTV, websites, Facebook and Twitter.
2) While 2020 will be like recent years, meaning slow and steady growth, podcast listeners will become more sophisticated with a more discerning ear. Poor quality won’t be excused as much.
3) New listener stats will come out and someone will declare 2020 ‘The Year of the Podcast,” but they will be wrong. We are still in the “early days” of podcasting as listenership continues its slow climb.
Podcasts remain among the hottest marketing tools, with some 90 million Americans identifying as monthly listeners, according to Edison Research’s latest look at the audience for podcasting in America.
Podcasting is on track to become a billion-dollar ad industry by 2021, in part because 93 percent of podcast consumers say they listen to most or all of a podcast. Compare that to interruption marketing techniques where marketers are hoping for a click to a landing page. Podcast listeners are paying attention for 20, 30 and 60-plus minutes, so they’ll likely listen to your marketing message.
My fellow LinkedIn prognosticators talked about podcasting being the future of content (I agree) and pointed out how it’s a form of intimate networking between host/guest and listeners. They feel a bond to what’s going on in their earbuds.
While some podcasts are going for big audience and major sponsorship dollars, others are tapping into the niche value of podcasts and the strong audiences who are super-interested in the topic and hang on every word.
Here are a few other takes from our LinkedIn community exchange of ideas:
Podcasts Will Become Standard Marketing Tools
“In my opinion, podcasting is going to be a requisite part of any company’s marketing effort and will be as much a staple of advertising as print, TV/video, radio/audio, digital as well as social. It will be integrated into company culture, used internally for messaging and externally for branding as well as direct response.” – Jeff Holden, Multipoint Content Strategies
Now You Can Listen to the Employee Handbook or the CEO’s Messages
“It just makes sense for corporations to use podcasts INTERNALLY to inspire and educate their employees and teams, especially since there’s a good chance they’re already familiar and comfortable with the format (so there’s no learning curve). Furthermore, podcasts are convenient…so employees can listen during their commute, while they’re at the gym, etc.” – John Palumbo, Big Heads Network
Podcasts Already Contribute to Search Results
“In light of more and more podcasts being delivered as Google search results, people will start to expect audio results to their queries, especially as voice devices grow in popularity. Google is currently delivering these in a “podcasts” carousel and the majority of the content is in fact podcasts, following the typical format—intro music, host, ads, longer length.” – John Sasala, Morey Creative Studios
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