Ok, so it seems like everyone started a podcast last year. And for good reason. 64% of Brits in 2018 listened to at least four podcasts, and whether that was to keep them entertained on their daily commute or to help get them through a long-haul flight, podcasts are becoming the number one content platform this year. As a creator, podcasts are a fun outlet for talking about big ideas and bringing extra attention to overlooked details. They have also proven to be a reliable marketing tool to further engage an audience and find a voice in your industry.
Back in 2006, The Ricky Gervais Show became the most-downloaded podcast ever, generating 261,670 downloads a week during its first month. This was a particular heyday for podcasts, with Gervais introducing many listeners to this new medium. Fast forward to 2019, and podcasts are all the rage, presenting a whole host of new opportunities for brands, advertisers, and as it seems – influencers. So The Blogger Programme have had a look into why podcasts are proving to be so popular in this way, especially for influencers, here’s what we found…
An Authentic Experience
Podcasts are a form of content that have the rare ability to show true authenticity. Arguably, the way channels such as YouTube and Instagram have evolved, they are now perhaps guilty of perpetuating the unauthentic and promoting overly contrived content. Anyone can post a branded image or video and call themselves an influencer – but surely not everyone can sustain an hour-long podcast? Sam Shetabi, content manager at Acast UK, suggests this is why users are increasingly consuming podcasts, as well as being more open to influencer podcasts in particular. According to Jamie Laing, star of reality TV show Made in Chelsea and now the host of the popular podcast Private Parts – the medium is made for influencers, and podcasts should be considered the “audio version of YouTube and Instagram”. Alongside their intimate nature, podcasts align with a new desire for longer and more conversational content over snappy and bitesized videos. Interestingly, this shift to ‘mindful media’ was also cited by Mindshare as one of their predicted trends for 2019.
As previously mentioned, it seems like everyone has a podcast these days. So how do influencers make a podcast while bringing something different to the table? The answer is visual podcasts on, you guessed it, Instagram. IGTV, Instagram's longer-form video element, provides people with vertical videos to promote their content, and visual podcasting is now high up on the list. The way in which IGTV is set-up facilitates the needs of a mobile audience through streaming. Influencers can use their audience on Instagram and utilise IGTV to their advantage by giving their a snippet of the podcast or doing the entire episode live.
Another way getting involved with podcasts presents opportunities to influencers, is the ability to widen the format to include live versions and events. This is also good news for brands, with bigger and larger-scale sponsorships becoming a possibility on influencers podcasts. It’s not just live events that podcasts can lead to either; popular podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno was recently commissioned as a TV show for American channel HBO. While it’s not exactly an influencer-led production, it is definitely an example of how a podcast can build influence, evolving from its audio beginnings to something much bigger and potentially branded.
So if you are an influencer thinking of dabbling in the (not so small) world of podcasts, think about the ways in which it can help bring your profile to life in the most authentic way possible. Maybe you could collaborate with another blogger? Or maybe you would like to interview other creators about a subject you are truly passionate about? Alternatively, if you are an influencer wanting to boost your profile but not necessarily start your own podcast, TBP Talks might be the perfect alternative! We launched TBP Talks last year, a podcast series created to be a monthly dose of influencer trends, current topics, industry events and all things millennial. We get up close and personal with some of the blogging industries most renowned influencers, experts and thought leaders, and have interviewed the likes of Fashion & Lifestyle influencers The Wade Twins, Mental Health Advocate Paul McGregor and Health & Nutrition Journalist Samantha Hadadi. If you would like to be featured on our podcast, get in touch today and help boost your own brand awareness in 2019.