Podcast advertising hit over $220 million in 2017, up 85% from 2016. This staggering boom in advertising dollars being funneled into podcasts should turn every small business owner’s head. Also, consider that NPR says it’s found that a full 75% of listeners took action on a sponsored message.
Industry experts postulate that podcasts succeed at converting listeners into customers because the medium is personal, conversational, and engaging. Most podcast listeners make it through about 90% of a given episode, and relatively few skip through ads.
For small businesses, advertising on a podcast can be an effective way to connect with people in their target market and turn them into customers. But many companies are opting for more than just advertising and are producing their own branded podcasts. These are fully-produced series meant to amplify a brand’s story, and find an audience of like-minded folks. Tinder’s DTR and Casper’s In Your Dreams with Chris Gethard are both excellent examples of brand-sponsored podcasts.
“No one wants to listen to a 10-episode podcast about how great ZipRecruiter is at finding a job or helping hire the right applicant,” says Lex Friedman, CRO of Midroll. “But if we can create a show with someone like entrepreneur and author Seth Godin about what it means to be successful and [be] the most productive person around, that’s going to appeal to exactly the kind of people that ZipRecruiter wants to reach.”
Likewise, small business owners have the opportunity to capitalize on the podcast boom by creating shows that focus on offering relevant, engaging content that their customers want to hear about. “Brands know that [branded podcasts] are an effective way to reach an audience that otherwise is hard to reach in an engaging way with a longer story that can only unfold over time,” says Matt Lieber, co-founder and president of Gimlet Media.
According to a study done by Edison research, 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast, 67 million listen to podcasts monthly, and 42 million listen to podcasts weekly. As podcasts continue to grow as a medium, smart business owners will do everything they can to turn the podcast boom into brand-loyal customers.