Can PR pros capitalize on the podcasting craze?

With digital audio on the upswing, how can PR pros use this media platform to engage listeners and further their goals? Here’s where to start.

There are no easy wins in PR.

Practitioners wear many different hats and are often caught in the middle between clients, bosses and media outlets. Everyone wants something done yesterday, and they want it done perfectly. Clients want more exposure for their organization; bosses want more revenue for the company; media outlets are always looking for the next big thing.

What if there was a way to score an easy win which resulted in everyone getting what they wanted? The unlikely hero to do such a thing: the podcast.

Why invest in podcasting?

There are more than 60,000 active podcasts right now, and that number is growing exponentially. Why are active listeners projected to triple over the next three years?

There are two big reasons:

  1. Apple Car Play is a native app in all new cars.
  2. The global proliferation of smartphones.

How does this help communications professionals?

The beauty of branded podcasts is in the targeting.

If you have a client who wants to get in front of hundreds of thousands of successful business owners, then the SharkPrenuer podcast, hosted by Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank, would be a great place to book an interview.

At 60,000 and growing, there are sure to be quite a few podcasts that are just right for your client, and it’s easier to book your client on a top-rated podcast than on a top-rated network television show.

Branded podcasts also provide SEO benefits for your clients. For instance, iTunes is a “page rank one” website, and every episode usually links back to both the show’s website and the guest’s website. Book your client on a handful of shows with links back to their website with the right keywords and watch what happens.

Google “Kevin Harrington Sharkprenuer” and you’ll find the show listed in all 10 search results on the first page. This tactic can even help you rank in the app store. Search iTunes for “direct response marketing” and Kevin shows up front and center.

Advertising on podcasts also a good option.

According to Statista.com, radio advertising totaled around $17 billion in 2016. Podcast advertising is just a fraction of that at nearly three hundred million (according to insideradio.com).

This is good news, because even if your radio advertising budget is just a drop in the bucket, advertising on targeted podcasts is a whole lot cheaper, and therefore provides more bang for your buck.

Plus, shows are more targeted in podcasting where hosts speak to an engaged audience. Again, your advertising dollar does more with less.

How do you get started?

If advertising is your route, you can use a traditional 30-second (or longer) radio spot format. Place them before the show (pre-roll), during the show (mid-roll), or at the end of the show. You can provide your ad files, or have the host read a prewritten script. Some podcasts partner with the host to find a format that feels natural to the show and authentic to the hosts’ style.

There are a few ways to place podcast advertisements:

  1. Research on behalf of your client, then contact show hosts directly.
  2. Join a podcast advertising network that automates the process (usually for a fee).
  3. Use a podcast advertising agency.

Some well-known podcast networks and advertising agencies include:

Midroll.com: a network of 200 shows with 75 million downloads.

Advertisecast.com: a network with more than 1,000 podcasts in categories from business, to comedy, politics, religion, and more.

AuthenticShows.com: a reputable podcast advertising agency with an incredible stable of clients, such as ABC, AARP, Ford, and Dell.

Create your own show

Many brands are experimenting with custom podcasts created for them, letting advertisers control the entire process from start to finish. Plus, the media is owned, and brands can advertise to their audience—as much as they want—for free.

How have you experimented with podcasts, PR Daily readers?

Seth Greene is the founder of Market Domination, a direct response marketing firm. A version of this article originally appeared on Spin Sucks blog.

(Image via)

Topics: PR

COMMENT

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.