I hear you, theoretical reader. And yet, I persevere.
B2B podcasting today is where content marketing was a decade ago. It’s emerging as a marketing discipline. People are starting to get sophisticated about deploying and measuring podcasts. We’re seeing new tools to make it easier to launch, promote, and monetize. And despite the thousands of hours of audio out there already, there’s no sign that the market is satiated.
I believe that if you’re not already thinking about podcasting for your B2B brand, you should be. But if my beautiful words can’t convince you, let the data tell the story:
B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats that Make the Case
These statistics come from five different reports, all released in the last year. When you look at all five together, the picture is clear: We’re nowhere near peak podcast, and brand content is the next frontier.
Podcast Listenership Just Keeps Growing
Podcasting is a growth medium. More people are listening now than ever before. But what’s truly impressive is how many listeners are new to the medium. Even though podcasts have been around since the early 2000s, they have only reached a mass market audience in the past couple of years.
1: Nearly a quarter of all listeners started in the past 6 months. (2)
2: Globally, 36% of the sampled population has listened to a podcast in the last month. (1)
3: 51% of the U.S. population over 12 has listened to a podcast. (2)
4: 32% of the U.S. population over 12 has listened in the past month (90 million people). (2)
5: 22% of the U.S. population over 12 listen weekly (60 million). (2)
6: 62.6% of respondents said they listen to more podcasts now than they did a year ago. (3)
7: Only 3.1% said they listen less than they did a year ago. (3)
In summary: Podcasts continue to attract new listeners to their existing audience of 90 million people monthly. And, most promisingly, those who listen are far more likely to add new podcasts than cut down.
Podcast Listeners Are Demographically Valuable
Okay, so millions of people are listening to podcasts. But are these people a worthwhile target audience for B2B marketers?
The answer may vary depending on your most valuable audience, of course. But most B2B marketers are interested in targeting millennials. A recent survey found that at least 73% of millennials are involved in product or service decision making at work, with 33% reporting they’re the sole decision maker at their company.
Basically, if you’re trying to influence B2B purchases, millennials matter. And podcast listeners are disproportionately affluent, social media savvy millennials:
8: 50% of listeners under 35 have listened to a podcast in the last month. (1)
9: 41% of podcast listeners make $75k a year or more, compared to 29% of the general population. (2)
10: Podcast listeners are more likely to be active on social media across channels and more likely to follow companies and brands. (4)
Podcast Fans are Devoted Listeners
According to Google’s 2018 benchmarks, the average time on page for content from most industries is between two and three minutes. Marketers can certainly make an impression in that amount of time. Even fifteen seconds is valuable to a savvy marketer with a good hook and strong CTA. But podcast listeners spend a great deal more time with audio content:
11: 76.8% listen to podcasts more than 7 hours a week. (3)
12: 61.2% spend more time listening to podcasts than watching TV. (3)
13: 52% of monthly listeners listen to the entirety of each episode. (2)
14: 70% of listeners say that, at least sometimes, they do nothing else while listening to podcasts. (2)
As that last statistic shows, podcast listeners aren’t the distracted, multi-tasking folks we might have imagined they are. If the material is engaging, they’re willing to devote their attention. Speaking of which…
Podcast listeners aren’t the distracted, multi-tasking folks we might have imagined they are. If the material is engaging, they’re willing to devote their attention. @NiteWrites #B2BPodcasting Click To Tweet
Podcast Fans Want to Learn (In a Fun Way)
Back in the early days, podcasts were — in the best sense of the word — geeky. They were for highly techy types to share knowledge, teach and learn. While purely entertaining podcasts have seen plenty of success, at the root of it podcasts are an ideal medium for learning.
People don’t just listen to podcasts for fun. The overwhelming majority want to feel smarter at the end of every episode.
Think of all the subject matter expertise in your company. Now multiply that by the influential guests (e.g. your customers, prospects, and industry experts and peers) you’ll invite on to share their expertise. It’s easy to see how a brand podcast can bring educational value to an audience that’s ready to learn.
15: 74% say they listen to podcasts to learn new things. (2)
16: 71% say they listen to be entertained. (2)
17: 59% say they enjoy podcasts because they make them feel smarter. (2)
The Business Podcast Market Is Ready for Lift-Off
There’s still a massive untapped market for helpful, informative business podcasts — exactly the type that B2B brands could develop, produce and promote. In fact, we can see that the ad revenue model for podcasting is expanding to include branded content. Right now, branded content is still a small percentage of overall podcast advertising, but it’s growing fast.
18: There are avid fans of business podcasts in 13 million households. (4)
19: There are casual fans of business podcasts in 52 million households. (4)
20: Branded content has increased from 1.5% to 10.1% of podcast advertising since 2016. (5)
What’s more, podcasts offer a range of content marketing benefits, which can inform and bolster your broader digital marketing strategy.
Don’t Be (Pod) Cast Aside
The podcast boom continues unabated — and it’s grown from a strictly amateur platform to a sophisticated content marketing medium. B2B marketers who are creating any kind of audio content should consider podcasting as a channel to earn attention, deeply engage an audience, and ultimately drive measurable business results.
Ready to produce your own podcast? Check out our webinar on the 4 P’s of Podcasting.