With an October 2020 report from Edison Research finding that more than 100 million Americans had listened to a podcast in the past month, video podcasts distributed on YouTube are the new frontier for digital marketers. Done well, they capture the authenticity of traditional voice-only podcasts, but they do it in a way that pulls in a new and growing audience of seasoned social media users.
“Video almost wiped out radio when it came up via television,” said Philip Bliss, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for Perceptible, an intelligent marketing and media company with a recent focus on podcasts distributed on YouTube. “It’s not surprising that it’s changing things again.”
Taking a Commercial Break
A marketing pioneer who has been at the forefront of digital media development for the past twenty years, Bliss joined ITWC President Fawn Annan in October 2020 for an installment of CMO Talks, a podcast series presented by ITWC and IDC to address pressing marketing challenges. A lively discussion focused on how podcast videos are quickly outpacing the old, TV ad space.
Bliss highlighted how Google’s new podcast app enables users to play podcasts from the search results page. Based on this innovative ease of access and integration with YouTube, Perceptible launched a platform called Canada’s podcasts. “You can see by the kind of multi episode shows on Netflix and Amazon that audiences have become much more savvy,” said Bliss. “They like complicated stories and subject matter, so not surprisingly, they like video podcasts.”
Authenticity is the Name of the Game
In reply to a question from Annan about the difference between video podcasts and regular video, Bliss explained that podcast videos can be as highly produced as other videos, but many are not. Perceptible, for example, uses zoom video recordings and edits after the fact. “Like other video podcasts, the end result is far from sophisticated,” he says, “but when telling a personal story, the real name of the game is authenticity.”
According to Bliss, production price is another point of comparison, with a switch to YouTube from TV resulting in a drastic reduction of CPM (cost per mille), which for non-marketers translates to the price of putting an ad in front of 1,000 viewers. As an example, Bliss shared the experience of an organization that saw costs drop from $160 CPM to $51 CPM after switching to video podcasts. “It’s not surprising when you reckon that YouTube has 2 billion active monthly users,” he said. “That’s probably why it’s such an effective platform for video podcasts.”
Production quality may have changed, but Bliss is adamant that content hasn’t suffered and, in fact, has to be top quality. “You can’t be successful with fluffy content,” he maintained. “It’s just not going to happen. It’s even more important now that we deliver valuable insights and information that’s both useful and entertaining. If we don’t do that, people will leave.”
The Three Takeaways
When asked by Annan to distill their discussion into three takeaways, Bliss advised CMOs to take a look at YouTube and ask themselves how they are using it. Second, he encouraged CMOs to look at how others are using YouTube to improve overall brand presence. His third suggestion was for CMOs to find the people who can improve their presence and provide the data-driven approach that’s needed to enhance both programming and content.
“It may not be one person,” he added. “Life just isn’t that easy.”