Podcasting is a sleeper tactic your brand should try

by Lauren Waters

Don't sleep on podcasting

A few years ago we asked, “Podcasting: Should your brand?” We said it then and we’ll say it now … Yes, your brand absolutely should try out podcasting! (If it makes sense, of course.) Many people listen to podcasts just like they would the radio, yet podcasting has one big advantage over the old tuner — you can target your audience directly with your message.

It’s safe to say that podcasting is no longer a trend. The number of podcast listeners continues to increase each year and is expected to reach 100 million listeners in 2024.1

Your brand could be missing out on crucial connections if you haven’t at least considered podcasting as another channel to get your message (and brand) out there.

Go back to where podcasts all began

Podcasting came onto the content scene in the early 2000s (around the time of the iPod Classic, if you remember that piece of history). News programs and talk shows made up the majority of podcasts until 2014, when Serial catapulted the medium into the greater pop culture consciousness. 

The percentage of Americans age 12 or older who have listened to a podcast in the past month jumped from 15% in 2014 to 41% in 2021.2 And while some may argue that podcasts are on the decline, the truth is that this medium has weathered an up-down cycle since its inception. It’s clear that this medium (or, as some might say, art form) is here to stay.

Enter the wide world of podcasting

There are a number of ways your brand can capitalize on podcasting. You could advertise on an existing podcast, make a guest appearance for an interview, or start your own branded podcast. Before you begin, there are some key things to keep in mind when choosing where to invest your time (and budget). Let’s break them down, shall we?

Podcast Advertising
Ideal for promoting products and services

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve probably heard sponsored content (or #sponcon). The host pauses for an “ad break,” reads the ad copy, and thanks you for supporting those who make their show possible.

54% of consumers say they are more likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts.3 With smart podcast ad placement, you can leverage the credibility of the host (and their show) to score major points with your ideal customers.

Guest Appearance
Ideal for showcasing industry expertise

This could be a one-off interview, recurring guest spot or a roundtable discussion with other subject matter experts. The right podcast (or podcasts) for your brand to appear on may not even be in your industry! The key is finding the intersection of your target audience, their interests and what your brand has to offer. (Yes, this is a tall order. The right partnercan help you sort through your options and make a smart plan.)

Branded Podcast
Ideal for increasing brand awareness

Here’s a trick for running your branded podcast. Don’t talk about your brand the whole time. To truly provide value to your audience, you have to bring them information they can’t get anywhere else. Here are just a few ideas of what that could look like:

  • Limited-run series offering a deep dive into a single hot topic in your industry
  • Weekly recap of headlines that could have the greatest impact on your market
  • Behind-the-scenes interviews with industry thought leaders (see how we did something similar with our Bourbon with Brenda video series)

Captivate a captive (podcast) audience

With 2+ million podcasts out there,4 how do you break through to find your audience? The answer is right there in the question. You have to find your audience! As with any marketing endeavor, you can’t just put content out there and hope someone sees it. You have to identify your target audience, create content they want to hear, and make sure they know it exists.

Putting in the work to correctly target your audience and provide them with outstanding, valuable content will go a long way to elevating your brand—and making it memorable to them. Social media and personal recommendations are among the top ways people hear about new podcasts, but don’t discount your email list. Marketing your podcast is just as important as making it.

After all, when everything is content, you have to make yours count.

Not sure if podcasting is right for your brand? On board but need help getting started? Get in touch and we’ll help you navigate your podcasting journey.

Lauren Waters is Associate Director of Content for Stephens & Associates.

  1. Number of podcast listeners in the United States from 2017 to 2024. Statista, February 23, 2022.
  2. Audio and Podcasting Fact Sheet. Pew Research Center, June 28, 2021.
  3. The Podcast Consumer 2019. Edison Research, April 5, 2019. 
  4. 2021 Podcast Stats & Facts. Podcast Insights, December 28, 2021.
Topics:best practicestechnologymarketing insightspodcasting