Jumping Into Streaming: The New Passion for Podcasts
By Tim Kane
These days, you see so many people walking around with their Beats and their ‘buds, you have to wonder: What are they all listening to?
Chances are, it’s not music. More and more, they’re listening to podcasts. About 73 million every month, to be specific.
If you’ve never heard one, a podcast is basically a cross between old-school talk radio and an NPR-style audio magazine. They’re fun. They’re informative. And more often than not, they’re free.
But more importantly, podcasts are also a great way for brands to tag along during their target audiences’ commutes, providing industry news and product reviews, executive visibility and thought leadership, in a form that’s relatively inexpensive to make and easy to distribute.
What are the hallmarks of a successful podcast?
- They’re branded. Each podcast, like a magazine, needs a uniquely memorable name and an artfully designed cover. This is the primary touchpoint for potential listeners. In addition to being easily recognizable and strategically sound, the name should also yield a good URL.
- They’re hosted. Every podcast needs a home, either on a microsite or a portion of an existing site, complete with an RSS feed to keep subscribers informed of new episodes. Listeners should have the ability to listen directly through the site, subscribe through an external platform, or simply download the file.
- They’re promoted. Once your podcast is branded and hosted, you need to push it out to the global streaming platforms, like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Pandora, and Spotify. When it’s made it into these digital domains, you can open up podcast-specific social channels to tell people it exists. Announce new installments and related news. Tag guests and hashtag topics.
One cautionary note: Even if your podcast has great branding and strong promotion (created by, oh say, ICR’s Digital Branding team), it won’t take unless you have great content that has real value.