Why podcasts are the new marketing opportunity

It’s estimated that 4.7 million people in the UK download a podcast every week. With many brands looking to get in on the action, podcasts have become an increasingly crowded market. We spoke to Liz Earle MBE, wellbeing entrepreneur and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, to find out what marketers need to know about utilising this growing medium.


How, as a content creator, can you make a podcast stand out?

It’s important to find your niche, your own tone of voice, to have a clear message and to do your research. People dip in and out of podcasts, but they will stay tuned if what they are listening to is valuable and useful – and if they see you as a trusted voice.

On a logistical note, make sure you have high production values. It really is worth investing in a small amount of semi-professional kit to get a good quality sound. If people are giving up their time to listen to you, the least you can do is provide a high-quality production!

Do marketers need to start taking notice of the opportunity podcasts offer through sponsorship and product placement?

Absolutely – there is no question that this is a hugely untapped area and one that consumers are very accepting of. Consumers are used to hearing messages from sponsors and are very aware of commercial podcasts.

As a company if you can become involved with a podcaster that has a good following and a high level of trust and engagement, this is an incredibly fast way to get your brand’s message across. You can say so much more in the real voice than you can in printed word so there is more of an opportunity to dig deeper. The power of sound is very engaging and draws customers in – it can tell a brand’s story in a far more powerful way I think than many other traditional forms of marketing.

Podcasts are a great medium for engagement and building brand awareness. However, as a B2C business, how do you go about monetising podcasts and ensuring they contribute to the bottom line?

An easy way to do this, and one we have used at Wellness with Liz Earle, is to have a link and embed content into the podcast. Most recently we used this with huge success in a podcast where I was joined by GP and menopause expert Dr Rebecca Lewis for an episode sponsored by Regelle.

In parallel with this, it is easy to see with a podcast how many downloads there are and how many people listen right to the end. This makes it relatively straightforward to see how big an audience you have reached with your message.

 How can marketers ensure podcasts align with wider activity, and integrate this media across all channels? E.g. social media, campaigns, product launches etc.

Podcasts are very easy to integrate into media campaigns as they are highly linkable and very shareable. It is pretty straight forward to put shortened links to your podcast across your social media platforms for example. You can also have scan codes on pages in brochures or magazines. In Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine, if we have a piece that references the Wellness with Liz Earle podcast, we’ll put a scan code next to the article, so somebody can read the feature and then decide immediately to listen to the podcast or download it and save it for later. Podcasts enable a brand to become multi-media very quickly.

Podcasts can be viewed as a one-way medium. How can content creators engage with their audience and build interaction?

Brands have huge opportunities to engage with their audiences through podcasting. Some brands may want to have their own podcasts and invite interesting guests and speakers on, whilst other brands may prefer to spread their message more widely by appearing as guests on different podcasts or by sponsoring podcasts.

I think brands have great potential to get their message across in a compelling way through podcasting and because the medium is still relatively young, there are lots of interesting relationships to be built in the early stages with a podcaster who could go on to become very influential and powerful.

I firmly believe that now is the perfect time to be looking at podcasting and to be factoring it into future marketing plans for 2019.

About the author: A global brand pioneer, Liz co-founded (but is no longer connected to) the multi-award winning Liz Earle Beauty Co., before moving on to launch Liz Earle Wellbeing. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine (published internationally by Hearst), founder of Liz Earle Fair and Fine, an award-winning range of Fairtrade gold botanical jewellery and hosts the popular Wellness with Liz Earle weekly podcast.

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