Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

A lot of PR prediction posts for 2018 will focus on the sexy world of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). While these are all valid, there is another established medium that offers and intimate one-to-one experience that many brands are still ignoring: podcasting.

I have been podcasting since 2006 in various guises, and – while it’s been a slow burn – it at last looks as if podcasting is finally mainstream. At the recent PodX event in London, we discussed that probably around a fifth of the UK population now has a podcast as part of its media diet. Thanks largely to the popularity of podcasting in the US with the likes of Serial and This American Life, we podcasters no longer need to explain what podcasting is any more.

What makes podcasting special is it is a hyper-personal medium. We don’t gather round and listen like we would with a radio, this is head-down, headphones-on, one-to-one communication.

As such, in both a business-to-business (B2B) and consumer-facing situation, podcasting can play a critical role in the decision journey but presenting the publisher to showcase their personality, expertise and opinion in a few valuable minutes with a potential customer.

In 2018, every organisation should look to capitalise on this connection as part of their content marketing mix. Podcasts are cost-effective to create and distribute, and when played directly from your website, can increase dwell time significantly, which is a factor that Google regards highly when determining where to rank pages on its search engines.

As with any marketing discipline, the key is to not sell, but be helpful and informative to your target audience. The delivery and content must be authentic and be clear from the off about what’s in it for the listener. What will they take away from the time they have chosen to spend with you?

Podcasts are the most portable content format; you can listen in your car, on a run, on the train. It’s a real opportunity and I’m really surprised that more brands haven’t taken it up. Could a podcast help your audience?

You can check out some of our PR and marketing podcasts here on Soundcloud, and if you are looking to get started in podcasting in 2018, get in touch to see how we could help.

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