Marketing through Podcasts: A relatively untapped yet highly effective medium

Podcast Marketing

Gautam Raj Anand, Founder & CEO of Hubhopper, shares his two cents on how brands leverage Podcast Marketing.

Facing a drastic growth in listenership recently, the podcast industry is steadily flourishing and successively carving a niche of its own amidst the present forms of media across the globe. For a country that has witnessed generations grow and nurture while consuming radio content, podcasts in India serve as a medium with immense potential. They have tri-lateral benefits encompassing the consumers, the content creators, and brand marketers or advertisers.

Although podcasts are yet to be recognized as a ‘mainstream’ marketing medium, the industry is increasingly gaining traction in the country, augmented with a rise in the ownership of smartphones.

According to the Indian Podcast Listener Statistics in 2018, around 77% of Indians who listen to podcasts do the same on their phones.

Additionally, as the number of Indian language internet users grow, the market for podcasts in Indian languages is facing a proportional progression.

There are several advantages to this mode of marketing, including ease of accessibility of information that appeals to the masses along with the ability to cater to specific demographics. Podcasts enable listeners with ease of accessibility as they multitask or are on the go, thereby tapping into their subconscious. It has emerged as a rapidly growing industry, armed with low data usage, no time constraints and long shelf life from a practical perspective. Above all, podcasts provide many a platform to voice themselves out. Listening experience can be enriched with the art of storytelling, enhanced multifold with a gripping style and technique. Equipped with all these factors and supplemented by an immense power to engage and build a loyal consumer base, podcasts have emerged to become one of the most influential forms of marketing in recent times, albeit relatively unexploited. Here is a deeper look at the power and potential of podcasting that brand marketers would do well to capitalize on:

Ease of accessibility and engagement

For the Indian digital consumer base, one of the major factors is the ease of content availability with low data usage. Therefore, getting to access content through an audio form helps curb the amount of MBs spent while relaying the required information, especially when compared to the medium of videos. While users tend to skip advertisements when provided with an option too, they generally listen to the entire podcast at a stretch without skipping any of its content.

This tendency is also amplified as podcasts are usually consumed while the listener is also engaged in another task. For example, when one is driving and listening to a podcast simultaneously, there are less chances of them being able to skip an ad and therefore the message that the marketer wants to drive home is consumed unobtrusively as part of the content consumption experience.

Thus, a relatively high level of engagement proves to a very significant factor enabling effective marketing. It has been found out that around 80% of the podcast listeners pay heed to the entire episode, an attentiveness seen only in fantasy gaming when it comes to Indian consumers. Therefore, one can indulge in details when marketing a product on a podcast. Since this platform is still gaining traction, it also provides with a clutter-less environment as compared to advertisers gratingly competing in the video space.

Also Read: 9 podcasts digital marketing professionals must listen to

Creating a connect with potential consumers

Brands can leverage the medium not just by funding a program but also by putting out an effective brand story, thereby making a strong connection with the audiences. For eg- E-commerce portal eBay created a show called ‘Open for Business’, which talked about challenges faced by SMEs. This acted as a great fit for the message that the brand was looking to propagate. Another leading brand General Electric created a science fiction narrative podcast under the banner GE Podcast Theatre, called ‘The Message’.As advertisements these days have begun to bring out relatable and often emotionally engaging content, incorporating a brand story within a podcast or putting one out independently can help create high value for the brand amidst its target audience. Equipped with the beauty of storytelling, this method may help take the audiences on another level, thereby building a base of a memorable experience that would not seem like a typical advertisement. Connecting well with the audiences also helps enable one of the most rudiment yet effective forms of communication: the mode of word-of-mouth. A piece of content that appeals automatically gets talked about, thereby causing a stir amidst the masses. Additionally, such content demonstrates a strong recall value by tapping into the subconscious of the potential consumers. Therefore, such an approach proves to be of great value for brands to market and gain a substantial response in this steadily developing space.

Reaching out to the remotest with a regional appeal

According to a study conducted by KPMG in India and Google, the number of Indian language internet users grew by 41% between 2011 and 2016, and the numbers are projected to grow exponentially in the years that ensue.

The increase in penetration of internet across the remotest of regions is constantly enhancing digital literacy. Since the difficulty levels of accessing audio content relatively low, it appeals to the regional audiences in a big way. Advertising on such a medium, therefore, holds an enormous potential of fostering a deep bond with the regional prospective consumers.

All kinds of genres spanning across a wide variety of topics and languages have an audience in India. Therefore, in a country that has seen radio as one of the major forms of communication through decades, the rapidly developing podcasting platform provides the marketing sector with a massive opportunity to appeal to both the general population on a whole as well as to niche audiences and specific sets of consumers. As space is hitherto uncluttered, the brands that understand and optimize the potential of podcasts today will, therefore, have a clear competitive edge in the long run.


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