Podcasting just might be picking up where TV has left off. As more and more media consumers cut the proverbial cord and seek different ways to consume information, podcasting just might be the next big audio/visual media.

Branded Podcasts

Podcasts, by their very nature, offer a niche market with an ideal audience to receive a message. Podcast listeners have subscribed to that podcast, so they find the content very relevant and meaningful—easy vetting for your qualified buyers.

A branded podcast is essentially the audio equivalent of a native ad on the print side. They’re also an excellent medium for helping your company or an executive establish thought leadership in a segment of the agriculture or rural lifestyle industries.

The key is advertising in or sponsoring podcasts that cater to your audience. While podcasting in the agriculture industry is still evolving, there will be more and more opportunities down the road. Being ready to pounce on those opportunities when they present themselves will be critical to getting in front of podcasts’ coveted target audiences.

Sponsoring a podcast helps build brand awareness and a connection to that brand, which could turn into a lead down the road. That connection is harder to build with a short TV ad or even an ad in a newspaper. With a podcast, a listener is choosing to spend up to 30 minutes with that brand, which means a golden opportunity to build that brand relationship and share your message.

Branded podcast series are competitively priced with other national media campaigns. Creating high-quality content that is strategic in nature will be an investment—but certainly a worthwhile one. When a podcast is done well, listeners want to consume that content—even though it might technically be a 30-minute ad.

It’s not enough to produce that branded podcast series, though. Companies who do so should also consider advertising or promotional efforts to drive people to download the podcast in the first place.

PR Opportunities, Too

If you’re looking for additional PR opportunities, podcasts might be another avenue to consider. They are an excellent medium for helping executives establish thought leadership in the industry, as many podcasts have guests on a regular basis.

The casual, conversational nature of podcasts allows guests to build rapport and relationships with the audience—something that only TV or radio have been able to offer in the past. With no airtime restrictions like those mediums, podcasts offer a unique opportunity for guests to share their fresh perspectives on a topic.

That podcast can also serve as a talking point on your blog and social media pages as well, so repurposing is easily done. If you can get access to the audio file for the podcast, those audio clips can be used for audio news releases to radio broadcasters, further expanding your reach.

Last, but not least, by serving as a guest on a podcast, you will have an opportunity to expose a new audience to your brand. Demonstrating the human side of your organization also has big benefits in today’s corporate culture.

However, the same rules of interviewing apply to podcasts. If you are planning to serve as a guest on a podcast and have not yet been media trained, you should do so. Media training can equip you with tips and tricks to help you present a more polished, professional presence when being interviewed on a podcast, or anywhere else. If you do very well with your podcast interview, a listener could possibly ask you to serve as a speaker in the future—you just never know!

Best Ag & Rural Lifestyle Podcasts

Here are some of the top recommended agriculture and rural lifestyle podcasts out there:

  • Spark: Careers in Agribusiness—Paulsen President Sara Steever shares profiles and interviews with successful people in agribusiness.
  • AgPhD Radio—Brian and Darren Hefty give agronomic advice and agricultural information.
  • Girls Talk Ag—Features discussions on GMOs, COOL and other topics with Angie Setzer, a grain trader and market analyst, Jen Campbell, an agricultural advocate and farmer, and Karen Corrigan, an independent agronomist and business owner.
  • Future of Agriculture—AgGrad hosts this podcast that explores a range of topics, including food security, biotechnology, hydroponics, managing agribusinesses and more.
  • AgriTalk—Daily podcast covering current events, local issues, politics and prices.
  • Max Armstrong Morning Midwest Digest—Max Armstrong’s podcast is a popular choice for producers, including segments on markets, farm research, harvest progress, farm tax reform and more.
  • Shark Farmer—Hosted by Emily and Rob Sharkey, this podcast features interviews with industry leaders and agricultural professionals and is popular for discussions on hot agricultural topics.
  • ZimmCast—Hosted by Chuck and Cindy Zimmerman, the podcast includes the latest in agriculture industry news and events.
  • Blogriculture—Hosted by Capital Ag Press.
  • Farm and Ranch Country—Hosted by Bill Graff, Illinois.
  • Food and Farm Radio—Hosted by Ray Bowman, Kentucky.

Advertising Still Finding a Way

Advertisers have now found a way to capitalize on this medium. According to an article in Fast Company magazine, podcasting advertising exceeded $220 million last year, reaching 67 million people over the age of 12. That is 21 percent of Americans, equivalent to the same number of Twitter users per month. Podcast listeners tend to be affluent and educated, according to findings by Edison Research—a perfect audience for sharing your message with, because they have the means to act on it.

The medium is also proving to be effective for those who choose to use it. A survey conducted by Midroll, a podcast content company, found that podcast listeners make it through about 90 percent of a given episode, and few skip ads. Eighty-five percent of people who start a podcast listen to all or most of a podcast, according to findings from Edison Research. NPR says that 75 percent of its listeners take action on a sponsored message. Who wouldn’t want results like that?

In many ways, podcasting is the next frontier for marketing. The opportunities abound. If you’re interested in finding out how to start your own podcast or advertise through podcasts, contact Paulsen today.