Media monitoring is an essential tool for detecting and managing a crisis, and reporting on metrics like reputation, brand awareness and engagement. Yet, PR pros seem oddly hesitant to include podcasts in their monitoring strategies.
Why? Your organization might be small. Your brand might be niche. You might not be actively pitching podcasts. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can afford to leave them out of your monitoring.
Since January 2021, the number of people (over the age of 12) who listened to a podcast for the first time increased by 5% in the U.S. Another 10 million episodes were released and the total number of shows surpassed 2 million.
That’s a lot of people listening to a lot of conversations you’re not tuned into.
Look beyond yourself
It’s a best practice to go beyond monitoring just for your brand, products and spokespeople. After all, no one works in a vacuum. And no matter how niche you think your brand is, you are part of a larger industry.
Hopefully, you already keep an eye on industry-specific trade magazines, newsletters, blogs and influencers in your media monitoring. Why not extend that to podcasts? With so many different shows, there’s bound to be at least one dedicated to your industry.
The show doesn’t even need to be industry specific. Your industry might be mentioned in a news roundup or featured on a completely unrelated podcast, like “Stuff You Should Know,” which dedicates each episode or couple of episodes to a different topic, from NATO to Tylenol to national parks. When your monitoring is set up to include industry keywords, all these types of mentions will be picked up.
The same principle of looking beyond yourself extends to your competitors. They may not have the same reservations as you and are taking advantage of the earned media and advertising potential of podcasts.
Don’t leave a gap in your earned media strategy
If you hesitate to include podcasts in your earned media strategy because you don’t think they are influential enough or reach your audience, think again. Monthly podcast listeners are now as ethnically diverse as the U.S. population according to “The Infinite Dial 2022” from Edison Research. Of the U.S. population, it is estimated that 50% of Americans between the ages of 12-34 and 43% between 35-54 listened to a podcast in the past month. It doesn’t matter what industry you are part of — your audience falls within that scope.
Monitoring for industry and competitor mentions will help you narrow in on the podcasts your spokespeople need to appear on or where you should place your advertisements. But as is essential with any form of media outreach, you need to know who you’re pitching, which you can only learn through research.
You need to know the shows, producers and hosts out there. What topics do they cover? How do they cover them? What types of questions do they ask? How long is an episode? Podcasts might not be as up to the minute as other media, like social and online news, but they can get very in-depth. Podcasts hold an audience’s attention for longer than a four-minute article or three-minute TV spot.
Podcasts aren’t going anywhere, and whether you’re tuned into them or not, conversations are happening. Rather than miss out on important industry, competitor and brand insights, treat podcast monitoring as the first step towards taking full advantage of this influential medium.
Joy Knowles is a marketing content strategist with Agility PR Solutions.