One channel largely neglected in social media marketing conversations is the growing importance of podcasts. While not as sexy as SnapChat or Secret, this relatively old channel is becoming a critical component of effective social media marketing. Podcasts were originally built for the iPod (hence the name) but are now listened to not only via iTunes but also multiple IOS and Android apps and even via the good old Internet.
Why podcasts now?
Looking at the numbers, the growth of consumer interests in podcasts is clear. A Washington Post story reported that podcast subscriptions on iTunes reached 1 billion. An Edison Research report shows that over 39 million people listen to a podcast last monthly and that 20 percent of podcast users consumer six or more podcasts weekly.
The accessibility of podcasts has led to their growth. As the Washington Post writes, “despite some early enthusiasm, podcasts faded in popularity in the early 2000s, partly because of the many steps required to download them and play them in a vehicle. The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 changed that, making podcasts as convenient to access as a Netflix show. It’s easier to play them in cars, too, as automakers build wireless media functions into more and more models. And faster WiFi and mobile data speeds have made podcasts a snap to stream.”
Podcasting increase retention
There are multiple benefits for integrating podcasting into your social media marketing mix. First, they increase engagement. Rather than a few seconds to share a message with your customer or player, you have minutes or more to share your narrative. Rather than a superficial message, you can go in-depth on the value your product has to the user, how to get the most out of your product, the background of how it was made, etc. These messages can have a strong impact on users, if they get more value out of the features they are more likely to keep using it.
Podcasts can increase virality
If you provide useful and interesting information in your podcasts, you increase the virality of your product. Going back to Jonah Berger’s seminal work on word-of-mouth, one of the critical elements is “social currency.” Social currency is how something makes others see us. Most people would rather look smart than dumb, rich than poor, and cool than geeky. By providing unique, interesting content via your podcast, your customers are more likely to share the information and increase interest in your product.
Podcasts can increase monetization
Podcasts improve your opportunity to monetize further your users and customers. By having an opportunity to discuss features and applications your users may not be cognizant of or understanding, the user derives more value from your product. They are thus more likely to purchase the product (or make additional purchases) or pay to have access to the additional features.
Podcasts can provide higher LTV
I have written many times about Lifetime Value (LTV) and how it is the most important metric for building a successful business and podcasts are a way to improve your LTV. LTV is a function of retention, monetization and virality. Given how you can use podcasts to improve all of these variables, podcasts are thus a way to increase your overall LTV.
- Podcasts are increasing in popularity and thus an important part of your social media marketing mix.
- Podcasts allow you to provide a deeper message to your customers than many other channels; including explaining features and other benefits that increase value to the user.
- Podcasts can impact retention, virality and monetization and thus can improve your customer lifetime value.