Audio is Still Alive: The Power of Podcasts
Podcasts make me feel like I’m being productive, even when I’m wasting my time. A podcast plays when I’m driving, cooking, cleaning, and in fact, I’m listening to one as I write this blog. I haven’t always been a fan. Actually, I only recently hopped on the podcast wave, along with many others.
In 2017, 24 percent of Americans report being monthly podcast listeners, up from 21 percent the year before. It’s impressive when you take a longer view: over the past two years, monthly podcast listening has grown by 40 percent.
Frankly, I’m surprised the numbers aren’t higher. Podcasts pair well with shorter attention spans and allow listeners to consume content while checking things off their to-do lists. Listening to a podcast isn’t demanding, and especially doesn’t require the same amount of effort needed to read a long-form blog post.
The increasing popularity of audio storytelling owes a lot to technology. Smartphones allow you to consume episodes whenever and wherever. In 2015, 70 percent of podcast downloads were done on mobile devices.
As most people in the marketing and PR world know, captivating an audience’s attention is a huge challenge today. Consumers are constantly bombarded with video content, blogs, advertisements and images. You might get someone to click on your blog, but will they read the whole thing?
When is comes to podcasting, a whopping 85 percent of listeners say they tend to consume the majority or entirety of the episode. The data raises eyebrows, especially when you compare it to blogs, where 55 percent of visitors only read for 15 seconds.
This has to make you wonder, why do people love them so much? This varies by person, but
here are my four E's:
Educational: it’s a means for experts to deeply explore topics.
Easily consumable: in most cases, you can tune in and out of a podcast without feeling completely lost. And if you want, you can rewind and re-listen.
Enriching: they challenge me to revisit my views in ways I never have before.
Entertaining: whether I’m on a road trip or waiting at the doctor’s office, they keep my mind busy.
Advertising in Podcasts
Podcasting is an advertiser’s dream-come-true. They’re found to be the least intrusive form of advertising, and listeners can seamlessly slide through the purchase funnel after hearing them. In fact, consumers prefer advertisements in podcasts over advertisements on any other digital medium.
Podcasters are creative, and they find ways to organically incorporate advertisements. Most platforms also limit the ad segments to three to four spots in an hour-long show, providing advertisers with an extremely high share of voice compared to other mediums.
Whether it’s by working with influencers or creating native advertisements, marketers are constantly looking for ways to remain authentic. Podcasts are just that, authentic. The lack of strong scripting creates a spontaneous flow, one that makes listeners want to repeat the conversation with their friends and family.
Starting a Podcast
If you’re still reading this blog, you might be enticed to start your own podcast. I get it, I’m convincing. But hold on, before you start recording your first episode, there are a few guidelines
I would suggest you follow:
You don’t want to let your listeners down by being inconsistent. If you tell them that you’re going to post a new episode every Tuesday, stick to your word.
Nobody wants to listen to a podcast with background noises and muffled voices. A decent microphone is worth the investment.
Topic with a natural community.
With more and more podcasts available every day, make sure that you podcast topic has a natural community.
Get ahead of those trends! People want to hear about what happened yesterday, what’s happening today, and what they can expect for tomorrow.
Build your audience.
Get your friends and family to share your podcast. Try and get on other podcasts, or in the very least, get other podcasters to talk about you.
Engage with your audience.
Encourage your listeners to provide feedback! What do they want to hear? How could you improve?
Everyone has their own opinion, and that should onto your show. Be your true self, don’t think too much about what you’re going to say, and have fun!