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Video blogs, podcasts help marketers reach niche audiences on mobile

NEW YORK ? Video blogging and podcasting are experiencing rapid growth, with many consumers being reached via mobile, said a panel of podcasters and video bloggers at the ad:tech New York conference.

Because the mobile and Web video industry has seen a significant rise in the last several years, marketers and brands can effectively use those kinds of platforms to reach niche audiences. Videos and podcasts offer consumers control, which makes marketing appear more natural.

?Consumption has really gone mobile,? said Rob Walch, vice president of Podcaster Relations, Libsyn, Pittsburgh, PA. ?More people are consuming now on mobile devices, and the media has become more aware of it.

?Podcasting is about consumers being able to consume the podcast when they want, how they want. Podcasting is the antithesis of streaming ? you are in control.?

Tips for engagement
The way in which podcasts are being consumed has changed drastically in the past two years, with large numbers coming from mobile, said Mr. Walch. Video podcasts have decreased, with audio leading the way in building up listeners.

?Consumption has switched over to audio from the podcast side, and a lot of that has to do with people streaming from smartphones,? Mr. Walch said.

However, podcasters and video bloggers must be cognizant about which devices they are marketing towards. The iOS platform has over 500 million devices that have native-built podcast mobile applications, but Android does not.

?On the mobile side, it really is still an Apple world,? Mr. Walch said. ?For podcasters, Apple is your friend. Google is not.?

Marketers seeking to use the podcast or video platforms should also make sure to keep the URLs simple, but unique for each show within the campaign.

Relevant marketing
Podcasters seeking to build a substantial fan base should ensure to focus on gaining listeners and followers rather than number of listens. Subscribers are also directly related to return on investment.

Understanding the type of campaign is paramount, as is having a call to action to measure the effectiveness. Incorporating consumers into the ads is also a great way of making marketing appear more natural.

Keith and the Girl podcast host Chemda discussed the advertising and revenue methods for her show, which consisted of asking for donations from listeners at the inception of her podcast, and led to selling branded merchandise and performing live shows to resonate with fans.

Since the show?s success, she and her co-host receive ads from third-party marketers and fans wanting to advertise their products or services. To make the ads more authentic, she and her co-host test the product or service and share their experience with it on-air.

Another key takeaway for brands and marketers looking to enter video and audio sectors is taking advantage of niche audiences. After a niche is established, it acts as an anchor for staying in close contact with consumers.

?Niche is important to respect and to value,? said Elisa Goodkind, founder of, New York, NY. ?You start there and hopefully don?t go too far as you grow.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York