Association Connect

5 Ways Podcasts Can Empower Your Association

By Craig Lauer | June 14, 2020

Previously considered by many to be a mere fad, podcast popularity has yet to dwindle. In fact, forecasts from recent data suggest the number of podcast listeners in America will surpass 160 million by 2023. These numbers are no surprise, given the medium’s easy-to-consume format. If done right, podcasts can be integral to your association’s communication, marketing, and membership strategies. 

If your association has yet to launch a podcast, don’t rush to hit record, but do consider these five direct benefits.

1. Podcasts strengthen your status as an information resource

You already provide content in print and online, host conferences, and fund research to help professionals in your industry do their jobs better. Podcasting is another opportunity to share information with members and grant them access to expert insights that they may not be able to get through other means. Increasing your contributions to the business and social landscape of your industry will foster member engagement and loyalty while expanding your association’s mission, audience, and reputation.

2. Podcasts enhance non-dues revenue through advertising opportunities

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, podcast listeners continue to respond well to ads, scoring high marks in engagement with ads as well as responsiveness. Association podcasts may garner fewer listeners than mainstream varieties, but your audience reflects a captive target market of quality leads for industry brands. Edison Research reports 54% of podcast listeners are more willing to consider products and services they hear about during a podcast. This makes your podcasts highly desirable opportunities for advertisers and highly monetizable for you. 

3. Podcasts are cost-effective and relatively easy to produce

According to Craig Sorrell, marketing manager at Results Direct, associations can get a podcast started with a mixer, a USB mic, and podcasting software for as little as $200. Sorrell estimates that a weekly 30-minute podcast will take beginners about 45 minutes to record and an hour to edit. He also notes that planning out the shows and devising an outline of the discussions should take upwards of an hour a month. 

4. Podcasts can market your association to younger, more diverse crowds 

Millennials are the largest and increasingly influential population segment, and they represent the majority of the workforce. What’s more? Millennials listen to podcasts regularly. 60% of Generation Z is also listening. According to PR Newswire, a study conducted by EX-IQ reveals millennials and Gen Z are also 5% more likely to listen to podcasts for professional reasons compared to older generations. Insider Radio reports that nearly two thirds of new podcast listeners (65%) are female, versus the 49% of podcast audiences who have been listening for a year or more. 30% of new listeners are non-white. So, clearly, developing a podcast could create an opportunity for your association to expand reach and appeal to a new group of prospective members, which will help grow your mission and your bottom line.

5. Podcasts increase your association’s impact

Convenience of content is essential when marketing to a modern audience. Listeners can enjoy podcasts through smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. The ease of this medium means you can reach audiences that would otherwise be off limits—as they exercise, make meals, fold laundry, commute, etc. Increasing the accessibility of your message could increase its reach and impression, which will boost the overall effect of your association.

You and your members likely listen to podcasts, and statistics evidence the medium is one with staying power. Considering the heightened desire to feel connected, along with the ability to create a podcast remotely, now is an opportune time to consider expanding your association’s communication, marketing, and membership strategies through this channel. We hope this outline of benefits helps you determine if doing so makes the most sense for your association.

Already have an association podcast? We’d love to hear the effect digital audio files are having on your strategy and revenue. Share your story by emailing association.connect@theygsgroup.com!

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