Podcasts can benefit nonprofit radio

Podcasts are great for your station's marketing.
Date Published
09/27/2016

It’s no secret that in the days of streaming and podcasts, traditional nonprofit broadcasters have seen a dip in listeners, especially in the millennial demographic. However, that doesn’t mean public radio is a dying breed.

President and chief executive of National Public Radio, Jarl Mohn stands by this belief, telling the Tribune News Service, “If you look at Nielsen or Edison research data, 92 percent of millennials listen to the radio every seven days. The average time spent listening over a week is 11 hours and 8 minutes. Twenty years ago they were listening to 12 hours, so they’ve lost an hour and change. It’s down a little. But there is a mythology even in this building that millennials do not listen.”

Many people believe the rising popularity of podcasts can be attributed to fewer people tuning into radio broadcasts. Here are a few reasons why podcasts can help your nonprofit broadcast, rather than be a detriment to those efforts:

Many people  listen to podcasts on their smartphones.Many people listen to podcasts on their smartphones.

They introduce young people to talk radio
Podcasts are a lot of young people’s first experience with listening to discussion instead of music. Since podcasts can be listened to at any time, rather than just when the show is airing, they are more easily accessible for first-time listeners. If podcast listeners find they enjoy listening to podcasts when they get ready in the morning, there’s a good chance that they’ll tune in to a radio show that covers similar topics when they get in their car. Many nonprofit broadcasters are taking this opportunity and launching their own podcasts to spread the word about their radio shows and bring in a new demographic of listeners. Radio shows can even be recorded as podcasts, so listeners can tune in even if they aren’t available when the show airs. Rather than fighting podcasts, public and nonprofit radio can integrate itself into the changing times.

“Some people just don’t use the radio anymore.”

Podcasts can reach a different audience
Some people just don’t listen to the radio anymore. If your nonprofit broadcast faces dwindling numbers, it may not have anything to do with your subject matter, but the medium instead. Many people who don’t drive cars can’t even tell you the last time they tuned into a radio show, but frequently listen to podcasts on their phones. Opening the door to different mediums of getting your nonprofit broadcast’s message out can really expand your reach. If people can listen to your broadcast right on their phones, then they can listen at all times of the day, in any location, rather than just when its airing and they are in their cars. 

Podcasts are good for SEO
We all know the importance of a good social media presence, but an internet presence in general is crucial as well. A foolproof way to ensure you get more internet traffic is to utilize search engine optimization. Though the audio in your podcasts obviously won’t rank in search engines, the pages that your podcasts are located on can drive a lot of traffic. This includes writing an intro or description of each podcast and an optimized title. The more pages your broadcast’s official website has, the more likely they’ll grab the attention of search engines, leading to more hits and visits from prospective listeners. This is an inexpensive way to market to your audience and garner a noticeable return.

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