The spoken word is a great way to reach audiences, and that’s why more Canadian organizations are embracing podcasts.
“Podcast listenership is growing in Canada,” says Donna Papacosta of Trafalgar Communications and co-author of The Business of Podcasting. “Independent podcasters are producing more shows and organizations are doing it more.”
A podcast can be audio or video and is characterized by its serial nature and subscription options.
“So if you put a video on your website, or even a simple audio file on your website, that’s not a podcast really,” she says. “It’s just an audio file or a video file.”
In a recent blog, Papacosta cites highlights of the 2018 Edison Research report, The Infinite Dial, which shows podcast growth in Canada:
- Monthly podcast listening is 28 per cent, with 61 per cent of Canadians 18 and older being familiar with the term.
- Canadian podcast listeners consume an average of five podcasts per week (versus seven per week for Americans).
- Nearly half of all Canadians (49 per cent) are weekly listeners to online audio, with Spotify leading in usage (16 per cent).
- As in the U.S., radio dominates in-car media consumption, with 64 per cent of Canadians saying radio is the audio source they use most in their cars.
So, why should organizations consider adding podcasting to their digital tactics? The Canadian Podcast Listener – A Landscape Study report from the fall of 2017 states that podcasting is becoming an increasingly important part of the Canadian conversation.
Nearly 10 million Canadian adults have listened to a podcast in the past year; 24 per cent of adults listen monthly and 15 per cent weekly. More than seven-in-10 people have started listening in the past three years.
The report also found:
- Podcasting attracts often hard-to-reach young, affluent, educated consumers.
- Podcast listening peaks among 18- to 34-year-olds, among men, among those with a university education, and in households with more than $100,000 income.
- Listeners show an appetite to hear more Canadian-produced podcasts.
- Most podcast listening takes place at home. Even those who listen mainly on their mobile phones report that an average of 46 per cent of their listening time takes place at home.
- The top three reasons for listening to podcasts are: to be entertained, for interesting stories and to learn something new.
- The top three content genres are: arts and entertainment/culture/pop culture; opinion/commentary; and news/current events.
Papacosta says podcasts work nicely with other communications materials.
“When I have to define a podcast to someone who’s not familiar with it, I usually tell them it’s like an internet radio show,” she says. “The appeal is that you can have that show . . . on a topic that could be so narrow that it really might not be suitable for a regular radio program.
“And organizations are using podcasts for both internal and content meant for the public as well.”
For companies, podcasting enables them to reach a niche audience that wants portable and time-shifted content. In other words, they can consume it wherever and whenever they want.
“Multi-media grabs people,” says Papcosta. “So it can be a complement to other communications. You’re not going to replace your newsletter and your written communication with a podcast but it would complement it.”
Podcasts are also low cost, compared to alternatives.
She says podcasts can help businesses to demonstrate value, cultivate relationships and gain new clients. In the B2B world, a podcast can allow you to shorten the sales cycle, because your prospect already has a feel for who you are and what your company or product or service can do, she says.
“What I like about long-form content like a podcast is you just have more time to share the story. We’re so used to short written content. We’re writing things shorter and shorter but with a podcast you can give a little more breathing room to your stories.”
For those who want to try podcasting, Papacosta suggests having a clear purpose and measurable objectives. Decide on in-house production or hiring an expert. Plan the first six to 10 episodes in advance. Make sure your guests can speak well.
A limited-time pilot project will enable companies to see how podcasting can be done.
A good podcast relies on great content that really appeals to the target audience.
“If you really know your audience, you can develop content that they care about and you hope they’ll engage with it and tell their peers,” says Papacosta.
You should also make your production values as good as possible.
“They don’t need to be perfect, but the bar has been raised because so many people are listening to professionally produced podcasts.
“So if your podcast sounds like you’re using a tin can, people are going to get turned off by that. If they love you and your content, they’re willing to forgive a lot. But if it’s really hard to listen to, that could be very difficult.”
The Communicatto team delivers and then some.Mike Regimbal - National Director, Operation Lifesaver
Communicatto is the best thing since sliced bread. My next cat’s name will either be Doug or Kelly. Seriously though, you guys do so much for OL. You have taken our not-for-profit to the next level and it was a joy to work with you. I feel like you have our best interest at heart. What an amazing team you have!Maryse Betournay - Senior Administrative Assistant, Operation Lifesaver
I would not hesitate to recommend Communicatto’s services, as Doug and his team are fabulous. We have used them to orchestrate social media seminars for our global communications team in addition to helping build out our social media platforms here at the corporate office.Krista Muhr - Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Eldorado Gold
Communicatto did a great job at scaling their services to suit our needs, we had limited social media savvy, but bringing everyone up to speed was a great help. Our social media branding increased markedly and we have been able to maintain this level thanks to Communicatto.Rob Henderson - President & CEO, BioTalent Canada
Communicatto helped us address an immediate need for persona-based content to kick start a new demand generation program. Our writing team was knowledgeable, professional, easy to work with and provided quality copy that we were able to use right away. I’m looking forward to working with them again!Laurie Smith - VP Strategic Communications, Media & Audience Relations, CNW Group
Doug showed wonderful patience and understanding in working with me to build my web page and other important marketing material.Lonnie Rodgers - Realtor, C.I.R. Realty
Communicatto took the time to learn all about us by actively listening, defining our strengths and weaknesses, and then developing a tailored strategy we can understand and act on in order to effectively communicate with our key stakeholders. The digital world is overwhelming but Communicatto is helping us navigate it with confidence.Shannon Lyons - Communications Manager, Alberta Cattle Feeders' Association
Great experience. Communicatto delivered a detailed service and was extremely easy to work with.Communications Advisor, Health Care
Communicatto is exceptional in the business world. It has the expertise to deliver exceptional service to meet and anticipate your business needs. What you don’t know can cost you – Communicatto has your back.Manager, Utility
Having a Twitter or Instagram account doesn’t qualify you as a digital marketer. What I like about the team at Communicatto, is that they understand the importance of the marketing plan and are as well versed in traditional marketing methods as they are in digital channels. They bring the power of an integrated marketing mix to the table and as technologies move at warp speed, they add value by staying on top of the new tools on the horizon.Marketing Communications Manager, Recruitment