Podcasts are great for niche audiences and that means they’re great for brands

As more Australians listen to podcasts, a greater number of companies are trying to figure out how to get involved with this new medium.

First, we should understand why people listen to on-demand audio content. Well, surveys conducted by podcasting platform Acast indicate around 80% of its podcast listeners seek podcasts for “self-education, self-knowledge”.

In short, people are finding podcasts to deep-dive into topics they’re interested in.

Because of the crazy amount of distractions online, people are spending little time reading blog posts, and less time watching online video. In fact, the average length of the top 50 YouTube videos is less than 3 minutes.

But, people are still interested in discovering new things about the world around them. We have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. And one of the great benefits that podcasts bring that other online content doesn’t provide is the convenience of multitasking – you can swallow whole chunks of information while doing other things.

So, what does this mean for brands that want to get involved? Hundreds of examples exist of brands producing content on the kinds of topics their target audience wants to learn about, without subjecting them to annoying commercials.

For instance, there’s Charles Schwab, one of the US’s largest brokerage firms, with an innovative, interesting podcast called Choiceology. It examines the flaws in our intuition that affect our decision-making processes, which leads to consequences in the future.

Another podcast is .future, a Microsoft-branded podcast examining technologies which will affect our future, from “Minecraft to cyber warfare”, aimed at those in a business which might invest in technology.

Prudential’s branded podcast 40/40 Vision explores the most important things we face during a vital time of life.

These are great examples of niche and fascinating topics.

Quality branded podcasts offer true stories, told in engaging ways, that keep listeners’ attention for long periods. Audiences feel attachment to those brands that they otherwise would not feel from a commercial blasted at them on screen or radio, buried in someone else’s content.

As Lush Digital Marketing’s Sarah Mitchell says about podcasting: “It  can be quite a personal way to communicate. What I found is your audience really feel like they have a relationship with you – they start to understand things about your personality.”

If you’re looking for podcast ideas, the first step is to understand what your potential audience cares about that subtly reflects your product or service. Then make it as engaging as you possibly can.

Do it regularly and consistently, and you actually have a market that wants to come back and listen to you. You’ve built loyalty and with that comes trust. It means, when they’re ready to buy whatever it is you’re selling, they’ll most likely buy it from you. That’s the essence of content marketing … and podcasting is proving to be the best form of content marketing to engage with audiences.