News and PR Insights from 5W Public Relations CEO Ronn Torossian

Are Podcasts a Worthwhile Marketing Tool?

podcast marketing

In 2018, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population was projected to have listened to podcasts. Translated into numbers, that comes out to about 73 million users. Translate that again into advertising terms, and marketers quickly perk up their ears.

Podcasts have enjoyed a steady increase in both subscriber and listener numbers as well as varietals offered by media outlets and producers in recent years. As these listener numbers increase, so does the appeal of using these new, trendy platforms as marketing tools.

But are podcasts actually a worthwhile marketing device? The answer to this depends largely on the brand and the goals of its marketing strategy.

Podcasts Are Engaging

Usually, podcasts are created to appeal to a certain demographic of listeners. For example, a true crime series such as My Favorite Murder has built an entire brand out of turning crime into entertainment. Other series such as The New York Times’ The Daily are structured to appeal to masses of listeners who want short, digestible news on their commute.

Podcasts are designed to be sought out. This means that most listeners consuming a podcast are there with intent, and they’re there to stay. For advertisers, this means a captive audience who doesn’t usually mind hearing a well-timed, engaging piece of advertising.

While many users scrolling through social media may not be actively engaging with ads they see, listeners of a podcast are in the moment, listening, and consuming. This bodes well for making an advertiser’s message stick.

Podcast Advertising Can Be Affordable

The great appeal of podcasts is that many of them are a bit more palatable from a cost standpoint than most traditional advertising options. While a website may charge thousands of dollars for a banner ad, a newer, niche podcast may only cost a few hundred to run an ad.

This, of course, varies according to which podcast and which market a brand is targeting, but chances are there will be plenty of options for finding affordable advertising rates within a certain niche.

Targeting Niche Markets

Podcasts are fantastic for appealing to niche markets. For example, let’s say that a business selling accounting services wishes to reach a younger, more millennial demographic. Finding a podcast centered on wellness, finance, or current events and geared towards younger consumers may be a good fit.

With podcasts, it’s easy to narrow down options to identify the best way to go after a target market. As opposed to other media platforms, which have a broader audience and less of a way to delineate those users, podcasts (while still accessible by anyone) tend to attract listeners who want to consume the product. This is key.

Listeners of a podcast also aren’t very likely to fast forward through an ad. Unless an ad is positioned at the very end of the podcast when listeners are switching off, there is a good chance the ad will be heard. Using promotional codes can help with tracking traffic and conversions generated by the podcast.

As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, they have become a better fit for brands seeking to align themselves with a more targeted demographic. Marketers can now add a new tool to their belt with podcasts, which will continue to grow in popularity and, by association, marketing effectiveness.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5WPR. 5W Public Relations is headquartered in New York City.


Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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