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Are podcasts failing as a marketing strategy?

Three years ago, podcasts started to make noise in the marketing industry and were a huge part of companies’ marketing strategies.

Every large company out there, including Spotify, The Times, and Facebook started some sort of podcast. As well as that, we saw companies such as Squarespace, Harrys and Later sponsoring podcasts and paying huge amounts of money for a short ad spot.

Nowadays, you don’t hear so much buzz around podcasts. Everyone knows they are there, there is a huge base of people listening to them. But, are they still a viable part of marketing strategies?

In this article, we dive deep into podcasts and investigate if they are still a great way to market your business, app, or products.

How were podcasts used as a marketing strategy?

A couple of years ago, everyone and their dog was starting a podcast. From silly podcasts from Youtube personalities to businesses hosting online learning podcasts. It was the latest trend in marketing that everyone was involved in!

There are good reasons for this. They were accessible to a large number of consumers, they were easy to produce and they were high volume creation ready. You were able to schedule and create 5 or even 6 podcasts all in one sitting! People were using methods similar to what we described in our article on creating a month worth of content in one day.

Marketers saw a wide variety of opportunities in these to promote products, brands, or services. The three main ways they were used as marketing strategies are information tools for customers, personal branding tools, and advertising.

Podcasts as an informational tool for customers

Ubersuggest is a great website for SEO and keyword research. We use this tool personally, and the first time we heard of it is thanks to their podcast!

They aren’t alone, and many SaaS companies saw this opportunity and created informational podcasts for consumers. And it worked great! It was a win-win for everyone.

Nowadays, however, this market is slightly saturated. Everyone is making these podcasts and it’s easy to find 10-20 podcasts that pump out daily podcast content regarding any topic you are searching for.

Podcasts as a personal branding tool

Not only did brands use podcasts to inform or teach their audience, but also boost their branding!

Now, this isn’t an obvious way to market. You might not even know when companies are trying to boost their brand to you in your eyes! It’s all about being subtle, but just associating their brand with a positive image.

Many times, this would involve brands sending products for free to podcasts. Rode, for example, gifted podcasting equipment to some large podcasts to raise awareness of their brand.

As podcasts aren’t the “hot new thing” anymore, this isn’t a strong marketing method. Most podcasts that are large already were rinsed from these opportunities, and are not as open to these.

However, there is one more tool brands use podcasts for advertising.

Podcasts as advertising tools

Advertising is nothing new, and it was not a surprise when podcasts began having radio-like ad spots. These however seemed to be the strategy most marketing departments utilized within podcasting, and for a very good reason!

With thousands, sometimes millions of people tuning in every week to listen to their podcasts, it’s the prime time to advertise. So companies invested thousands, sometimes millions for some of the biggest podcasts to advertise them. Judging by the fact big companies such as Squarespace kept coming back for more, it’s easy to conclude it was a successful method.

Even nowadays if you tune to any large podcast they will include at least one ad spot for a brand. Some of these take it to the extreme, advertising 5 or 6 different companies!

Conclusion: are podcasts failing as a marketing strategy?

Easily put, no: podcasts are not failing as a marketing strategy. If they did, you wouldn’t see ad spots, or sponsorships, or even Spotify buying out the Joe Rogan Experience!

However, we believe that using podcasts for personal branding is falling for the much more endorsed and effective use of podcasts as informative tools.

What do you think? Do you think podcasts are a great marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below!

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