A survey released recently showed that the popularity of podcasts is soaring as social media takes a dip.

Why is this, and how can you make the most of this growing engagement with podcasts in your marketing?

Podcasts growing in popularity

Why are podcasts growing in popularity? According to a survey, the growth in smart speaker and tablet ownership is one key reason. Ownership has soared over the last year, according to the Infinite Dial report, a survey carried out in the US.

The survey, which has been carried out since 1998, tracks the adoption of mobile devices, social media services and online audio. An article on techcrunch.com summarises some of the main highlights – and we look at what they mean for Marketers.

What are the trends in social media, mobile and online?

  • Social media

The market for social media is ‘saturated’, according to the techcrunch article. 80% of Americans said they had ever used social media in 2017; this figure is 79% today.

Facebook and Pinterest usage is falling among people aged 12-34. Of all the major social channels, only Instagram saw an increase in the percentage of the population who use it – 39% compared to 36% in 2018.

  • Smart speakers

23% of Americans now own a smart speaker, up from 7% two years ago. 26% have three or more smart speaker devices.

They are rapidly becoming a part of life for their owners; the article notes that ‘Many consumers are crossing a threshold from testing these speakers to making them a ubiquitous presence throughout their home’.

  • Tablets

Smartphone ownership is flat. Tablets, on the other hand, saw a 12% increase since 2018, with 56% of the US population now owning one.

  • Podcasts

32% of Americans are monthly podcast listeners, up from 26% in 2018. This is the largest year-on-year growth since the survey began. Podcast popularity is growing particularly among 12-24 year olds; 40% now listen monthly compared to 30% last year.

22% listen to podcasts weekly. The majority (51%) of Americans now say they have listened to a podcast at least once.

How can you make the most of podcasts’ popularity?

Podcasts are increasingly becoming part of the marketing mix. Even in B2B, they are popular as a quick means of catching up on latest issues. As a result, they’re rapidly becoming used by firms in all sectors.

It’s not difficult to see why.

A well-executed and marketed podcast can:

  • Deliver easily-consumed, quick insights
  • Provide you with additional content for your website, aiding SEO
  • Offer another string to your content bow, giving you a wider range of material to share with your audience
  • Help to improve your social media ROI, increasing engagement on Twitter and Linkedin
  • Enable you to market via channels you may not previously have considered – like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook
  • Raise the profile of some of your key people

It can also be a very cost-effective channel, with advances in technology enabling firms to produce podcasts in-house.

Get it right in terms of content and your podcast can achieve all of the above.

Of course, if you work in a regulated industry, you also need to consider compliance. Podcasts, videos and other broadcast marketing fall under the FCA’s financial promotion rules. They need to be Compliance team reviewed and approved in the same way as any other marketing collateral.

You can read more about the best content for podcasts and tips on taking the right approach and making sure you meet the FCA’s standards on regulatory compliance, in this blog on How to make compliant videos and podcasts.

Best practice podcasts and financial promotions

Whether you’re producing podcasts, videos or other collateral, read this blog, What is a financial promotion, has invaluable information on what the FCA views as a financial promotion and the rules you need to follow.

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