Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, with regular listener numbers almost doubling in the past 5 years, according to Buzzsprout. With podcasts (and, by extension, podcast advertising) becoming a larger and larger part of everyday life, LinkedIn has begun to carve out room in the medium.
Last year, LinkedIn announced the “LinkedIn Podcast Network,” which hosts already established, well-known podcasts with a business focus. This month, LinkedIn is furthering their podcast offering with the LinkedIn Podcast Academy, a 6-month incubator pilot for a larger podcast offering on the platform. Should this pilot go well, we can likely expect additional podcast products from LinkedIn in the future.
While this initial trial is reserved for a handful of pre-selected podcasts, it does suggest that LinkedIn is looking to move more into the ever-growing podcast market.
Why We Care
Should podcasting become a staple on the LinkedIn platform, a likely next step is a more robust "podcast ad” product from LinkedIn Ads.
This news may also change the way we think about generating brand awareness on LinkedIn in general. For brands that do host podcasts, it could be a good way to get them to invest in LinkedIn, whether by sharing the podcast organically or by driving traffic to their podcast-specific page with traditional LinkedIn ads. We often use assets like white papers and other gated content to do this on LinkedIn, but if users are coming to LinkedIn for podcasts more over time, it may give us another effective upper-/mid-funnel option, with the potential for low-funnel lead-gen using gated podcasts on brand websites.
As digital marketers, we are always looking for new ways to improve our client’s paid strategy - a common roadblock we face is the effort and time it can take to create new advertising assets. Additional ways of using existing assets, such as podcasts, can provide a remedy to this roadblock. While we do not yet have an expanded Podcast Ad offering from LinkedIn, the creation of “Podcast Academy'' shows intent to move further into the space, hopefully providing advertisers expanded tools to capitalize on the podcast market.
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