Evolution of Content Marketing: Podcasts are Changing the Game

Content marketing isn’t something that just popped up with the internet age; believe it or not, it’s been around for over a hundred years. Take “The Furrow” magazine from John Deere as a classic example of content marketing in the pre-internet era. Back in 1895, the company started this magazine not just to push their products but to actually help farmers with useful tips and advice. And, the company wasn’t alone in using content marketing to reach customers and prospects. It was all about building trust with their audience, and guess what? It worked! That magazine and other analog content marketing offerings are still around today, although, through technology, we find podcasts are changing the game for content creators. podcasts are changing the gameEstimates vary with the figures for the number of podcasts out there ranging from about 3 million to 5 million. That number fluctuates with new podcasts popping up and old ones closing down over time. Statista suggests that more than 80 million Americans tune into podcasts every week and they expect that to increase to over 100 million in 2024.  That’s huge! It’s like hanging out with a friend who tells you cool stories, updates you on the latest news, or gives you some solid advice that you can listen to while you’re commuting, working out, or just kicking back at home. This engaging and personal touch is what sets podcasts apart and makes them key players in today’s content marketing world.

Why are podcasts changing the game?

We all live life in the fast lane these days, and that’s where podcasts fill a void. They’re like this special kind of content you can soak up without having to glue your eyes to a screen. That’s a huge win for everyone—whether you’re making the podcasts or just tuning in. For folks creating content, podcasts are an awesome chance to chat directly to their listeners, making things like morning drives or gym time way more interesting. You can listen to a podcast while you cook or do other household chores, especially with the explosion of voice-activated devices like Alexa and Google Home. Just ask the device to find a podcast that suits your fancy and you don’t need your hands or eyes to enjoy. What’s really cool about podcasts is how they can morph to fit whatever you’re up to, seamlessly fitting into our daily routines and creating a faithful following along the way.

Podcasting

Getting into podcasting is easy and inexpensive. All you need is a good microphone. Of course, according to Forbes, it helps to have some recording and editing software to up your game when it comes to producing a quality product. As with any other form of content marketing, however, you need a great topic that listeners want to hear about and the ability to market your podcast in an increasingly competitive environment. Done well, you can turn podcasting into a nice gig job or even a well paid full-time gig. As a company, you can use podcasting to build a community that’s loyal to your brand and supports your revenue.

podcast marketing
Image courtesy of How Stuff Works

Three long-term benefits for brands using podcasting

  1. Building deep connections: Over time, podcasts allow hosts and brands to establish profound connections with their audience. As listeners tune in episode after episode, they develop a sense of trust and familiarity with the hosts, which can be incredibly powerful for brand loyalty.
  2. Boosting visibility and authority: Regularly producing quality podcast content on topics relevant to your niche can establish you or your brand as an authority in the field. This credibility can open up new opportunities for growth, partnerships, and perhaps even sponsorships.
  3. Creating a community: Podcasts don’t just build audiences; they foster communities. Engaged listeners often seek ways to interact with hosts and fellow fans, creating a vibrant community around your content. This community-centric approach can lead to greater engagement, feedback, and even content ideas generated by your listeners.

Monetizing your podcast

Brands monetize their podcasts by increasing their revenue as listeners make purchases of their products, the podcast attracts new listeners who become customers, and listeners dedicate a larger share of wallet to the brand through increased loyalty.

If podcasting is designed to earn money, the primary means for monetizing your podcast are advertising revenue, affiliate marketing, or paid memberships. Some popular podcasters also earn money through selling merchandise related to the podcast, such as t-shirts, hats, and water bottles. If your topic is suitable, you might also find sponsors using sites like GoFundMe. Monetization amounts vary, with many podcasters earning nothing while others earn millions of dollars with their popular podcasts.

Popular podcast topics

So, what are people actually tuning into these days? The range of the most popular podcast topics that are hitting big with podcast listeners is quite wide, but there are a few themes that keep popping up at the top of the charts. True crime stories, tips on self-improvement, health and wellness advice, the latest in tech trends, and inspiring tales from entrepreneurs are pulling in loads of listeners. But why are these particular genres catching everyone’s ears?

Here are some of the most popular podcasts. Note that many of these are published by media companies that have a built-in audience, as well as resources for paid advertising to attract listeners.

podcasts and podcasting
Image courtesy of Podtrac

True crime stories really grab our attention with their suspense and mystery. True crime stories hook us and keep us waiting eagerly to find out what happens next. On the other hand, self-improvement podcasts are awesome because they give us helpful tips and the push we need to improve ourselves, whether that’s feeling mentally stronger, managing our feelings better, or getting ahead in our jobs. Health and wellness podcasts tap into our desire to lead healthier lives by giving us advice and facts to make better daily choices. Podcasts about the latest tech trends keep us in the know about new gadgets and technology, which is really important in our quickly changing, tech-heavy world. Listening to entrepreneurs share their stories of overcoming challenges and succeeding can really light a fire under us to set big goals and go after our dreams.

Conclusion

Remember–the key to a successful podcast isn’t just about following trends–it’s about connecting with your audience on a personal level, providing them with content that enriches their lives in some way. Embrace the way podcasts are changing the game, and let your voice be heard in this ever-expanding universe of content marketing.

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