Published On: September 6, 2023

By Alyssa Keating

In recent years, the podcasting landscape has experienced exponential growth, transforming from a niche form of entertainment into a mainstream medium with global reach. Podcasts have become a dynamic platform for content creators, thought leaders, and brands to connect with their audience in an intimate and engaging way, creating communities of all types and sizes.

The numbers speak for themselves. In 2020, there were more than 1.75 million podcasts and more than 43 million podcast episodes available worldwide. By 2021, the number of podcast listeners in the United States alone surpassed 117 million, a significant increase from previous years. With the continuous rise in smartphone usage and the ease of accessing podcasts on various platforms, this upward trend is expected to continue.

So, with increasing popularity amongst listeners worldwide, what is it about podcasts that make them so effective for brand building?

At large, it’s about the connection that listeners make with the host and the podcast itself. There are so many unique genres of podcasts that you’re bound to find one that fits your personal interests. Once you find that “perfect” podcast, you become highly engaged with the content, you establish a relationship with the host as one of their loyal, avid listeners, and the next thing you know, you’re counting down the days until the next one is released.

With this connection comes trust. When you’re listening to someone speak on a topic week after week, you create a type of subconscious belief that this person knows what they’re talking about – they’ve done the research, and they are here to present you with the facts. This is exactly where brands have recognized the opportunity to insert themselves and capitalize on listener trust. Podcast ads and organic mentions are extremely effective in all areas of brand awareness, including high levels of information-seeking, brand recall, purchase intent, and recommendation intent after exposure in an episode (Nielsen, 2023). As a podcast enthusiast, I can confidently attest to having engaged in all four of these actions. Hosts typically associate only with brands they are comfortable promoting to their audiences. Otherwise, they risk compromising the trust, credibility and authenticity they’ve accrued over time.

Mattress Firm is a perfect example of a brand that utilized podcasts to drive sales. In 2022, the retailer ran a branded podcast campaign with iHeartMedia called “Chasing Sleep” and included strategic ad placements throughout the campaign. The result? An astonishing four times return on ad spend and a 45% lift in incremental sales, meaning sales increased by 45% during the promotional campaign from their normal baseline numbers. (ADWEEK, 2023).

Because podcasts are so effective at engaging their audiences, it’s critically important that brands monitor them. With podcast monitoring, brands can discover what listeners are being exposed to and can stay ahead of any mentions or discussions related to their products or services. Additionally, they can gain valuable insights into their target audience’s preferences, concerns, and interests. This information can inform their PR and marketing strategies, helping them tailor their messaging so that it resonates better with listeners. Other benefits of utilizing a monitoring tool include establishing strategic partnerships with relevant hosts, and identifying emerging issues, allowing brands to respond proactively to mitigate reputational damage.

TVEyes recognized the importance of incorporating podcast monitoring into PR strategies early on. In 2019, we were the first in the media monitoring industry to make it possible to search and monitor podcast content. Today, TVEyes Global Podcast Data and Monitoring is the only solution that allows you to discover and assess your brand’s mentions across more than 50,000 of the world’s top-trending podcasts. Users can search more than 7,000 new episodes each day, receiving actionable podcast metadata such as source, category, podcast title, listenership, and more. Most recently, TVEyes added a new feature to our podcast API, which supports podcast content playback. The enhancement allows users to edit and save podcast mentions, empowering them to refine podcast content.

Incorporating podcast monitoring into a PR strategy is imperative for brands looking to stay ahead in a competitive landscape. The podcast boom is not just a trend; it’s a transformative force that innovative brands should harness for long-term success, and TVEyes can provide the tools to contribute to that success.

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