When Whitney Burgess, VP of Strategy and Client Services, sat down as part of the Tribal Knowledge Podcast (and later lent her voice to this Ask the Experts), she had a lot to say when it comes to the world of marketing podcasts.

“The truest thing about marketing, and the thing that has not changed, and we don’t think will change, is it is always about the audience,” says Burgess. “It’s never about ‘who do I wanna talk to?’ It’s about ‘who are the people you’re trying to reach’ and ‘what type of medium are they consuming'”? 

“It’s the same thing with podcasting, right? That audience who’s listening to podcasts is a very specific and growing audience base, but it’s not the same size or volume of people who are on Facebook. What’s interesting about podcast people is that those who listen to podcasts are more loyal to that brand. And they will listen to the sponsorships and the ads that are promoted by that person, because, really, it’s influencer marketing. It’s really building that relationship and helping identify those groups. Because we find that users who listen to podcasts are more brand loyal to that group, and will commit that one hour or 30 minutes of time to listen to the next episode. So it’s really interesting about how people are engaging and spending time.”

When producing and marketing a podcast, it’s important to keep in mind the different platforms you can host them on, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube. Some platforms are larger than others, with Apple Podcasts currently at the top. But, for the first time ever, Spotify is going to overtake Apple Podcasts in audience by the end of 2021. According to Insider Intelligence, it is estimated that Spotify will come in at 28.2 million listeners by the end of this year in comparison to Apple’s 28 million projection. If this trend continues, the gap will widen between the two platforms. In 2024, the numbers could potentially show Spotify at 43.6 million while Apple trails behind at 29.1 million. 

Another factor that may contribute to Spotify overtaking Apple is its implementation of video podcasts. Spotify started beta testing the idea in July of 2020, and has slowly been giving more creators the ability to add this option. Will adding video podcasts help or hinder Spotify in its growth? 

At MHP/TeamSI, we’ve had our share of  experience with producing podcasts. Our client, Windstream, has a podcast (The Connecting Business Podcast) that we host primarily on Spotify and YouTube, another popular platform for podcast streaming. YouTube has the ability to host video podcasts as well, which the Connecting Business Podcast is. 

The strategy that we used when producing these podcasts is as follows: Set Goals and Find Your Target Audience → Record the podcast → Export it and assign SEO significant tags and titles → Upload the podcast to the desired platforms (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, etc. From here, it’s important to optimize the post by adding a summary, call to action links, guest information, and ways to lead back to your website. The final step is to just promote the podcast on social media.

According to Business Insider, in 2019, YouTube was a primary platform when it came to podcast streaming. In a study done by Futuri Media/University of Florida, it was said that 43% of podcast listeners went to YouTube as opposed to Apple (34%) and Spotify (23%). It’s interesting to see the amount of growth that Spotify has seen in the past 2 years alone, while being audio only. 

It’s also important to note that Apple podcasts have been losing listeners since they began keeping track of their audience. In 2018, Apple had 34% of podcast listeners choosing their platform, but has gone down to 23.8% of podcast listeners in 2021. 

As advertisers, it’s important to know these statistics. Since podcasts are a growing format, that means that their ads will have increased reach. So how do we best spend our money on podcast advertising? There are a few options that aren’t just buying ad space. For example, influencer marketing (aka getting people to be guests on your podcast) is a good way to bring in a new audience.  

According to eMarketer, it was reported that $0.91 billion were spent on advertising in 2020, and is projected to grow exponentially from there, even being predicted to be $1.83 billion ad spend in 2024.

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Whitney Burgess