How do you reach customers during times when no one else is reaching them, or when little else is vying for their attention? Forget “Eyeballs”. Go for “Earlobes”.
No one in a marketing role is going to be lonely if they spend their entire professional lives camping out in the digital sphere. Nor is the proliferation of new social media properties and online content going to abate anytime soon. Every knows where to find customers these days, and it’s crowded there. I don’t know where you are on a map, but I’m pretty sure you’re in front of some screen, somewhere.
So if you’re trying to find new customers in places you don’t have to wrestle for their attention, you have to work harder, even if it means invading nooks and crannies of their personal and professional lives where no one else reaches them.
Podcasting is the perfect tool to do this. Why? Because people listen to podcasts while they're doing something other than staring at a screen; and chances are the other thing they’re doing doesn’t require a lot of attention. That’s a lot of mind space that is wide open for podcast marketers.
So if you think about capturing earlobes rather than eyeballs, the question you should be asking yourself is: Where can I reach customers in places that are unreachable by other marketing vehicles?
IN THEIR CAR: Start a podcast to reach customers during their commuting and driving time
I will bet that if you had to break down that 16 hours that the average person spends awake into hour long blocks, 95% of it is devoted to vehicles that won’t reach the customer during a great many of those time slots.
Let’s take time driving in a car as an example. Consider the following statistics from BuzzSprout:
- 28% of U.S. adults listen to podcasts while driving.
- 32% of those 18+ who have ridden in a car in the last month listen to podcasts.
- 18% of people ages 18+ own a vehicle with a smart entertainment system.
Commuting is the most obvious time to reach people. I had a conversation recently with a marketing director at an investment management firm who was considering starting a financial podcast. She observed that many of her company’s customers are returning to their offices after the pandemic, and viewed podcasting as a great way to reach these people. But it’s not just about going to and from the workplace. Think about the number of people who spend a good part of their business day in their vehicles: salespeople, service technicians, truckers, delivery people, etc. Radio is their only alternative, but that’s light competition compared with the much more crowded visual digital world.
IN THEIR HOME: Start a podcast to expose your customers to your brand while they do housework
A lot of household tasks are repetitive and take little active concentration. You can’t do these things while moving a mouse across a screen, but you can do them while listening to a podcast! A recent study shows that 59% of listeners have done housework at the same time they’ve listened to a podcast. And it’s not just through your Air Pods. Another recent study by Edison Research indicated that young people in particular will listen to podcasts on their TVs at the same time they are performing these tasks. Also, podcast listeners are more likely to own a smart speaker. Again, housework doesn’t crowd out mind space the way that being besieged by multiple browsers and applications does – so your brand can breathe.
ON A BIKE, IN THE GYM, WHILE ON A WALK...WHEREEVER: Start a podcast to get smart while they get fit
Podcast listeners tend not to be couch potatoes; they can be reached at times that they would very likely be unreachable by those that rely exclusively on visually oriented digital marketing. 46% of podcast listeners have tuned in to episodes while out on a walk. 43% have listened to podcasts in the gym. Think about it: When was the last time you went to a gym with TV screens in front of the treadmills. How many people actually read the chyrons on CNN? They’re either listening to music or podcasts.
I couldn’t find any documented statistics on podcasting usage while biking and hiking, but I do quite a bit of biking, and have spoken to a number of cyclists who listen while they pedal. Same for hiking, gardening, and even rowing.
AND…Podcasting Holds the Customer’s Attention Longer
So now you have reached the unreachable customer, and you have their earlobes. What else makes podcasting a valuable component within your marketing/branding mix? Think about it…the average podcast episode lasts about 30 minutes. If you remember one statistic from all of the ones I’ve reeled off so far, remember this one. 80% of listeners listen to all or most of every podcast episode they start. The statistic many podcast marketers track is “completion rate” – i.e. the % of time the listener stays with a given Episode until the very end. On this dimension, podcasting compares quite favorably with visual media – most notably YouTube videos. This is particularly important for branded podcasts that cover highly information-intensive topics. If you wanted to hold someone's attention long enough to get a complex idea across, would you write a whitepaper, or start a podcast?
We’d love to start the conversation with you about your own podcast aspirations. We welcome you to visit our website at www.gomodpod.com, or reach out to us via our Contact form or at firstname.lastname@example.org.