Let's ignore the obvious answers to why one might be better than the other, such as that podcasting is the “in” thing and radio “is on it's way out.” In my experience, it takes a SUPER LONG time for a medium to be snuffed out. Just ask the newspaper industry. In 1998 when I worked at the Philadelphia Enquirer, there was constant talk about the internet killing the newspaper business, and as far as I can tell, all the newspapers I know of are still going strong. But there are other reasons why advertisers may want to start diverting marketing funds away and into this new medium, just to test it out.
Radio has to appeal to everyone. Podcasters have the luxury of talking about whatever strange, unusual, goofy stuff they dream up in their heads. So whether you're a fisherman in the north Sea's or a mom with special needs kids, there's going to be a podcast for you. And as we know, radio has to have something palatable for the majority of the population. It’s great to be able to talk about and experience special interests – especially for advertisers, because they can really nail down that target audience.
Radio is segmented out, and they are absolutely militant about when segments need to start and end, as they should be. Podcasts can be as long or short as it takes to get the point across – until the skits finished, the interview questions have been asked ,or to finish the rant. The difference here is actually a matter of improved content more.Specific content, more specialized content, but really, just better overall, because it doesn't have to fit into a perfect little segment before during and after sponsorships.
Most people probably wouldn't think that this would be a benefit, but really it is. The effort it takes to listen to a podcast over radio station is enormous. People have to know where to listen. They search for the show, (need to know how to spell it), then download. Then they press play and figure out what they're going to do while they're listening, and so on.
For radio stations, it's just as simple as turning it on and listening. So the opting in of the listen by of the podcast listener is great. It means they are working hard to consume the content. They're working harder than a radio listener, which means they have more of a buy-in and more of an excitement for the content. They are committed to listening to it. They're not kidding around, because they've worked hard to get there.
Even though a radio station may have social media channels and live events, there’s not been much change in the way radio station talent interacts with the audience. Sure, they take calls and do giveaways, but do they have online Facebook groups where they offer advice, answer questions, and create relationships with audience on a daily basis? Podcasters do. Podcasters do that and more, in their own curated groups, on social media channels, in person, and via email. By creating these relationships, they have created unbelieveably loyal fans, who in turn are highly influenced by the hosts’ suggestions. When they partner with advertisers and brands, rather than tune out the “commercials” they actually listen to what’s being endorsed and are often motivated to try things for themselves. That is the best reason of all to give podcast advertising a try
What about you?
If you’ve currently been advertising on podcasts, have you had this experience so far? Maybe you’ve switched from radio to podcasts or maybe you’ve just started investing. How are they in comparison for you? Please comment here or send me a note, firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss! I’d love to hear your experience.