If you think you’re seeing more interest in audio content in destination marketing – particularly podcasting – you’re right.
Over 51% of Americans 12 or older have listened to a podcast (32% listen at least monthly.) Listenership is increasing across every age demographic. Those who listen weekly follow an average of 7 podcasts. 78% listen to more than half the shows they download. Per episode, 52% listen to the whole thing, 41% to most of it. (Data via Edison Research, particularly The Infinite Dial and The Podcast Consumer reports.)
Are you starting at the very beginning and wondering, what exactly IS a podcast? It’s a series of audio shows that you can subscribe to, about a topic you like. People listen with their phones, computers, car speakers, or smart speakers.
The most popular audio/podcast topics are: music, then news/information, entertainment/celebrity/gossip, and then history and sports are tied. The #6 topic is food. General travel is roughly #13.
A podcast’s audio files are hosted on various platforms (Libsyn, Blubrry, Buzzsprout, Podbean, etc.) and people find and subscribe to them through various apps and directories (Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, among others.)
You can also listen to embedded audio files on a website, similar to watching an embedded YouTube video in a blog post. Most podcast hosts also have a landing page on their website, to serve as an information hub about the show.
Yes, audio is powerful communications. It literally gets into people’s heads through their ears. In a flood of text, image, and video destination marketing content, there is opportunity in audio.
7 Things to Consider BEFORE You Consider Starting a Tourism Podcast
These are questions you should ask yourself before launching a brand account on any platform, but especially one that can be as time-intensive as running an ongoing podcast production.
You can do a lot of Googling for best podcast hosting platforms and spend time worrying about your podcast branding and eye-catching logo, but first ask yourself:
1. Does a podcast support your organization’s overall strategy?
2. How does it fit into the long-term marketing goals you’ve set for the next 1-3 years? Is there a niche tourism market that you are growing that would respond well to audio content?
3. Is YOUR visitor/guest/customer audience there? Don’t depend on demographics; take a short survey of your email list and social media followers.
4. Do you have the time and resources to do it well, for at least long enough – about a year – to see if it’s working for you?
5. In terms of your marketing communications workflow, how would planning, recording, and editing a podcast fit into your content planning process? Um, do you even HAVE a content planning process?
6. How will people find your podcast? What is your distribution and promotion plan for each episode?
7. Finally, how will you measure whether your podcast is successful? Number of downloads is fine, but how else will you know if it is helping you meet your marketing communications goals?
Do This First
Here is a good “Yes, I’ve thought this idea through” readiness check – write out rough titles and topic descriptions for your first 10 episodes.
What sort of evergreen, lasting-value podcast episodes can you create that will bring attention and traffic to you not just for months, but for years?
How can your podcast, like any content you create, provide not only information (which people can get anywhere these days) but inspiration?
Tip: This is a good drill to run if you’re thinking of starting a DMO blog, too.
What do you think? Are you considering starting a tourism podcast, or do you already have one and want to add some advice? Let us know in the comments down below.
PS. Our whole focus is teaching you and/or your partners how to use digital destination marketing to bring more visitors to your town.
If you want to bounce some ideas around about working with us, ping us through our Contact page.
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