Podcasting has become the new blogging. Both individuals and brands have embraced audio as a way to connect more intimately with their audiences and to generate content around a given subject.

Some podcasts are run by a single person who fills each episode with his or her own voice. Others involve multiple people or invite guests as interview subjects. But how well do podcasts rate in terms of content marketing?

Advertising Opportunities and Metrics Present a Barrier

 Tracking results and maintaining consistent advertising can be tough.

Unlike written content, podcasting is difficult to measure in terms of user engagement, conversions, and other metrics. It’s also a static medium. Once you record a podcast and publish it on your website, it exists in the same form forever — unless, of course, you rearrange or re-record it.

Many podcasters generate income from advertising deals. Short ads play before, during, and after the podcast, but after months or years, the advertisements no longer remain relevant. Consequently, the advertising revenue from podcasting dwindles.

Reporting for MediaShift, journalist Ben DeJarnette reveals that new technology might make podcasting more content marketing-friendly. According to DeJarnette, Megaphone, a product from Panoply Media, aims to create “renewable advertising” solutions for podcasts.

Renewable advertising could replace static advertising and make podcasts more appropriate for revenue generation. However, that doesn’t address any issues regarding content marketing.

Search and Conversions Remain Unstable

Many people find great content organically through Google searches. They type in a search string, then click on links that look promising. You can optimize podcast titles, meta descriptions, and even transcripts for search engines, but the content of the audio file itself isn’t searchable.

Additionally, it’s difficult to track conversions from the podcast itself. If someone clicks on a CTA link at the bottom of the page where the podcast lives, how can the podcaster know whether or not the visitor actually listened to the podcast or simply found the CTA sufficiently compelling to click?

Audio and Video Have Become Increasingly Popular

Between Bluetooth technology, connected devices, and short attention spans, video and audio content continue to gain popularity among consumers. In an article for Entrepreneur magazine, content marketer Tyler Basu encourages brands to embrace podcasts.

According to Basu, podcasts offer several undeniable benefits for content marketing:

  • They’re easy to consume on the go.
  • You might reach prospects who don’t consume other types of content.
  • Podcasts are cheaper to produce than videos.
  • You can build rapport and trust with your audience.
  • Interviewing experts can increase your authority.

However, Basu also notes that you need a strong CTA at the end of your podcast if you want the medium to work for content marketing purposes. Otherwise, listeners will simply close the podcast when it ends.

Maybe video killed the radio star…but the radio stars are coming back.

Using Podcasts as Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

If you want to start a podcast, you should go for it. Branching out into other mediums can help you build your brand and reach new audiences.

However, don’t neglect other mediums in the process. Podcasts can create an excellent complement to other types of content, from articles and white papers to infographics and videos. Diverse content marketing strategies tend to perform better than their myopic counterparts.

If you want your podcast to help you with your content marketing strategy, consider the following tips:

  • Choose a narrow niche.
  • Keep the podcast short, sweet, and informative.
  • Hire an expert to arrange the podcast, cut out distracting noises, and otherwise refine the audio.
  • Promote your podcast on your blog and through social media.
  • Use CTAs both in the audio file and in text on the podcast’s page.
  • Consider syndicating your podcast through multiple channels.

Have you jumped on the podcasting bandwagon? How has it helped (or hurt) your content marketing strategy?

If you’re struggling to build an audience, podcasts might not offer the most direct route to success. Get a free trial here at Media Shower and let our expert content strategists, writers, and editors elevate your brand to the next level.