Picture this: You wake up, do your morning routine, make coffee, sit at your desk (or wherever your workspace is) and stare at a screen for 8+ hrs. Does this sound like you? Coffee drinker or not, this is what working during the COVID-19 pandemic looks like for most of us. While remote working has many benefits, this new normal is not perfect. Within the commodity of our home, we tend to take less breaks, resulting in back pain, headaches, and definitely screen exhaustion. Grabbing our phone to dive into social media, or our tablets to binge-watch a series are ironic solutions to these problems. How can we keep ourselves entertained without the eyestrain? Podcasts.
The Podcast World
Podcasts are online, on-demand audio talk shows. Think of audio entertainment on any subject at any time, from anywhere. They can be accessed through any web browser or apps such as Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and many other platforms. Podcasts have increased popularity worldwide over the last few years because of its diversified community and convenience. From individuals and companies to comedians and churches, everyone is able to find their niche in the podcast world. NPR, CNN, Fox, and ESPN are just some of the large radio and TV networks that have joined the community. Podcasting has been around for nearly two decades, and we even have a day to celebrate it! International Podcast Day is annually celebrated on September 30th.
Podcasts During COVID-19
According to an article from The Verge by Jon Porter, Spotify experienced changes in listening habits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S., podcast listening has been linked to commute, so the increase of remote working had a clear impact on podcast consumption. However, the overall podcast consumption has shown to double during the last months. The article stated that “Europe and Asia, where the virus’s spread appears to be under control, ‘led the recovery in consumption,’ while Latin America is still 6 percent below peak levels after being hit hard by the pandemic” (Porter, 2020).
Other than listening to podcasts as after-work entertainment, some users have repurposed it as a solution for social- isolation. People that used to sit in an office filled with talkative co-workers, might now have to face an overwhelming silence. Podcasts can be the solution for re-experiencing background conversations in their new workspace. While some people might like listening to music while working, others might want to listen to podcasts on news, politics, history, investing, kids & family, self-help, or comedy – just to name a few topic options. The podcast world has seen changes during the COVID pandemic, but it is definitely not going away anytime soon.
Podcasts & Businesses
From a business standpoint, why would we need to be aware of the podcast world? Similar to social media influencers, podcast hosts drive audiences and build connections. These relationships lead to trust, consumer loyalty, and potential sales. If you think your business would benefit from launching your own podcast, go right ahead! Think of it as audio blogs where you can expand on your business’s background, tips, and market information. It’s relatively easy and cheap to produce your own show. There is no pre-determined podcast length, format, or number of episodes, so you can start out with 10 to 15-minute episodes to start building your audience and testing of topics.
If the thought of launching your own podcast scares you, no worries. You can always look for podcasts within your niche audience to partner up with. Joining the podcast world is a great way to diversify your promotion strategies. Think of podcasts as the “new radio” that can help you attract new customers. As stated in a recent article from WordStream by Brad Smith, influence on consumer behavior from podcast listening has risen over the last few years as “75% of podcast listeners not only pay attention to podcasts ads, but they also follow specific calls to action after hearing them” (Smith, 2020).
How can you look for the right podcasts? Follow these five steps:
- Look at your business. What products, services, or ideas do you offer your customers? Who is your target audience? How are you building relationships?
- Research, research & research. Where is your audience and what are they listening to? Dive into the podcasting world and find the podcasts that align with your business. If you’re in the catering business, look for podcasts that focus on food, event planning, or other similar topics. Remember, your niche is out there!
- Team time. Once you find your best fits, reach out to the podcast hosts. Are they interested in working with you? Is it a win-win situation? How do you both want to move forward? Talk about ad category & price.
- Ad category. There are two types of categories: baked in & dynamic insertion (DI). Baked in ads are read by the host and part of the podcast content. This type of ad is best for branding. DI are pre-recorded ads inserted via an ad server. This type of ad works best for promoting sales or seasonal products.
- Price. Let’s talk money. Podcast hosts will use either a CPA or CPM formula to set their ad costs. The advertising cost will depend on the number of podcast listeners, since CPM (most commonly used) is the cost per mille or cost per 1,000 listeners. Of course, if you’re on a budget “smaller podcasts and shorter ad spots are obviously the way to go” (Smith, 2020).
Are you ready to join the podcast world?
Porter, Jon. “Spotify podcast consumption doubles as overall listening recovers” Web blog post. The Verge, 29 July. 2020) https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/29/21346339/spotify-q2-2020-earnings-podcasts-coronavirus-covid-19-consumption-recovery
Smith, Brad. “Podcast Advertising 101: 4 Tips to Get You Started” Web blog post. WordStream, 4 May. 2020 https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/06/05/podcast-advertising
Veronica Scarlett Lopez Martin is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. Scarlett is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Instructional Design & Technology at The University of Tampa. She previously worked at CenturyLink as a CSM – Client Support Manager within the strategic enterprise and government markets division. She graduated in May 2018 from The University of Tampa with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and Marketing. Scarlett is a blogger for the AMA Tampa Bay, with a background in marketing & technology.
Connect with her on LinkedIn.