Nearly 30% of Americans actively listen to podcasts weekly, and over 17% globally, according to Pew Research. There are over 200K podcasts available and over 20K publish weekly. In the area of business and technology alone there are over 20K podcasts.
Ravi, Lakshmi and I started a podcast, India Startup Chat 3 months ago to explore the world of voice media.
The main reason we got started was to understand this new medium and try to engage with the startup community in India and outside.
I have been asked by a few listeners if podcasting is a good marketing tactic to adopt to generate awareness and engage with B2B customers.
After having done 10 episodes, I am not sure I know the answer yet, but I can tell you it is likely not going to generate a lot of leads as much as it will keep your brand front and center of your already existing users.
The way I think about podcasting is to use it as yet another means of creating engagement with users but with a medium that is used at a different time than traditional blog reading or catching up on news or social networks. It tends to be heard mostly in the afternoon after lunch for us.
Given than fewer than 10% of Indian Internet users ever listen to podcasts, while over 60% of them read blog posts and over 80% of them check Facebook daily, you want to allocate time appropriately towards various techniques for generating awareness for your company.
For B2B companies, I would say the priority would be much lower. Business and technology podcasts have 29% fewer listeners and 50% fewer plays than general interest podcasts.
From my anecdotal data gathering from 20+ listeners of our podcast, I can tell you most of our American users listen to our podcast on the soundcloud app, while over 70% of Indian audience listens to it streaming on Facebook, because that’s where we show up first – on their news feed.
Our audience is between 300-800 per episode, so, I am not sure we have reached any form of critical mass, but we have some data to work with.
Most of our listeners (over 80%) found out about our podcast since they were friends of Ravi, Lakshmi or I on Facebook or if a friend “Liked” an episode and it showed up on their news feed.
Most people (over 60%) listen to our podcast on their desktop (not surprising, given it is in India, at work) and I suspect that will start to change and move to more mobile in a few months / next year.
Since the number if iPhone users is relatively small in India (compared to Android phones), I think even if we optimize our ITunes podcast search optimization, we wont get too many (few, but negligible) new users.
What I did learn is that if we had the name podcast on the name of our show, it might likely get more listeners from searching on Google.
If you are considering podcasting for your startup, as a marketing mechanism, I will outline over the next few days what you need to consider, how you should set it up and go about marketing the podcast first to get your customers to listen.
Let me know if there are specific areas that interest you more than others.