App Promotion Via Podcasts
|Artyom Dogtiev in Marketing & Promotion Monday, July 21, 2014|
It was the summer of 2005 when Apple introduced iTunes version 4.9 to support a new phenomena of that day - Podcasts. The novelty of Podcasts gave people an entirely new channel to listen to. It covered various topics in order to satisfy their hobby of recorded radio broadcasts without having to listen to them at a specific time.
Suddenly, people could subscribe to a specific podcast via iTunes and sync new episodes to their iPod to be listened to whenever they wanted. This is a simple, yet powerful, idea that I can relate to because I was hooked on it in the fall 2005. Since then I have been listening to various podcasts, many for 8 years now! Yes, it is that addictive.
By 2013 there were 250,000 podcasts and the total number of subscribers hit 1 billion. As with any media, especially that big in size, the question of monetization is highly relevant and each podcast owner should have the means to support his show financially.
There are two major ways to monetize - charge for subscription or run ads. Among these two options, running ads proved to be more efficient, leading to creation of many opportunities for hardware and software owners to advertise their products to targeted, tech savvy audiences.
In terms of engagement, popular podcasts can rival with some TV shows. Over time people grow a bond with the show they listen to or watch via podcast daily or weekly. People become hooked on a certain podcast merely because they share their passion of certain subjects with the host. Such passion builds trust allowing the host to present advertised products as a personal suggestion, not just an ad plug.
The most significant point to cover is that podcasts are not suitable for just any app to advertise. It is crucial to make sure that a particular app will resonate with what the listeners or viewers like. Fortunately, a popular podcast host knows what his audience enjoys and together you can figure out if your app fits on the show or not.
Let’s look specific podcasts.
Podcasts for kids/family oriented apps
The fact that Apple introduced the Kids category on the iTunes App Store goes to show how significant this segment of the iOS apps spectrum has become. Here I would like to highlight two specific podcasts great for exposing kid and family oriented apps with their targeted audience.
Kid Friday is a technology information show and news source for kids. Coverage includes websites, apps, gadgets and current events. Kid Friday is hosted by 15-year-old Hannah (blonde hair), 12-year-old Zoe (dark hair), and their dad, Dave. The family dog, Winston, usually joins them in-studio. Dave is an exceptional personality and has managed to host a highly-rated show for tech savvy kids, and keep it relevant for years.
Here is what the host, Dave Swerdlick, thinks about placing ads on shows:
The way we approach advertising starts by if we like the product. This is the only way to truly convey a passionate, personal touch. It's one thing to mention an app and then let the viewer/listener know where they can get it, I call that a commercial message. Although they will sit through it, they're not listening. They are tuned out.
Instead, we may take an ad for 90 seconds, but talk about it for 5 minutes. Why? Because if we like an app, we WANT to talk about it.
When it comes to the content of an ad, talking points work much better than a script. With talking points, the ad becomes a conversation. It's real. It also becomes an endorsement. Kid Friday can't endorse something we don't like. How can we recommend an app to viewers/listeners that we think sucks? If we do, the podcast loses credibility.
It starts with a great app. Then it's all about the passionate, personal touch.
Parent Savers is a weekly audio podcast and online resource for moms and dads with newborns, infants and toddlers. It features 30-minute episodes are available through iTunes and their free apps.
This show is hosted by Johner Riehl, a freelance writer, PR consultant, happy husband, book author and family tech expert. He is also involved with the panel of guests who share tips and tricks to work around family life issues which include technology related questions.
Sunny Gault with ParentSavers thoughts on advertising:
In choosing apps to review, we poll our audience first to see which ones they would recommend, then we do our own research to see what else is new to the market. We have a simple online application process developers fill out which provides us with some basic information about the app. After we secure payment for the review, we contact the parents who are going to be on the episode.
We give them a promo code (assuming the app isn’t free) as well as instructions on how to download and test the app. When recording the review, our host kicks off the conversation and gives an overview of the app (platforms, price, overall function) and then asks our parents what they like/dislike about the app. Our parents also vote and say whether or not they would recommend the app to another parent. If the majority of parents would recommend the app, we give it our official podcast “seal of approval”. We send the developers an MP3 of the review as well as an “approval" graphic to use for promotional purposes and we promote the review on our websites and via social media.
Podcasts for iOS/Mac OSX apps in general
Today in iOS
Today in iOS, formerly Today in iPhone, was the first Podcast dedicated to the iPhone. The Podcast launched in April 2007 and has been producing new episodes about once a week for over three years. The podcast regularly receives between 25,000 and 30,000 unique downloads per episode. The show can also be found on Stitcher where it receives another 2,500 listens per episode.
The show and site are dedicated to the iPhone OS and all devices running the iPhone OS. This includes news, tips, tricks, apps, accessories, rumors, jailbreaking and anything else they feel fits with the iPhone OS universe. The most important feature to mention about this show is that it has true expectations of supporting the app developer’s community.
The show is hosted by the dynamic duo, Cali Lewis and John Pozadzides. The show is driven by their bright personalities, which encompass tech savviness and great senses of humor. The show is listed among “What’s Hot Technology Podcasts” section. Cali has about two million followers on Google+ and more than 200 thousand followers on Twitter. Both hosts put equal amount of energy into tech news.
These are only a few of many examples you can find on the iTunes Podcast Directory. Remember that the effectiveness of this kind of advertising is a direct function of matching an app with a podcast audience’s interests. As always, when a review process is being involved, you will need at least a week for a podcast host to review an app thoroughly.
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