Have you ever been asked to create something which you’ve hardly heard of before? Or maybe you’ve experienced the pressure of having to keep up with today’s ever-changing technological world? I experienced this very thing when asked to create a podcast and had no idea where to start!
I know podcasts are rising in popularity as a marketing tool, and I listen to them myself, but the actual mechanics of writing and recording my own seemed entirely foreign to me. With one week to teach myself and no time to waste, I started with getting to know the basics.
Here’s what I found:
- Consumers want information in an abundance of ways and they want it when it suits them
- The easier the accessibility and consumption, the more likely consumers are to listen
With these points in mind, the fundamental idea behind podcasting seemed to make a lot more sense and I had some direction! However, if podcasting is a new concept to you, let me briefly help you get your head around it.
What is Podcasting?
A podcast is a portmanteau combining the words ‘broadcasting’ and ‘iPod.’ It is a form of audio broadcasting on the internet so it essentially works as internet-radio on demand. If that sounds a little complicated, you may find it helpful to think of it as audio blogging.
Podcast creators record episodes using a computer and relevant equipment such as a microphone and headphones. They then upload these files to a podcasting host and submit the episodes to directories so consumers can access them. You may have heard of iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher which are great examples of popular directories. On these, listeners can find a huge range of podcasts! Think of it like an on-line audio library full of audio books, interviews and documentaries.
How do you listen to Podcasts?
Most podcasts are free or can be purchased for a small price from these directories. Consumers can subscribe to podcasts the same way they subscribe to blogs. When new podcasts become available, subscribers will be notified and they can listen to these on their desktop computer or directly from their smartphone, tablet, iPod or any other portable device.
To listen to podcasts, listeners need internet access. As an alternative, you can download podcasts on to a computer and transfer these audio files to a good old trusty Mp3 player. Once downloaded, podcasts can be listened to internet-free and stored indefinitely.
What makes Podcasting different?
Podcasts enable listeners to indulge in audio content whenever and where ever it suits them. Due to our increasingly busy schedules, this is often on a work commute or while fitting in a quick walk around the block.
Listeners may listen to podcasts in a variety of ways such as through headphones, speakers, or even while driving provided their car has built-in Bluetooth or an ‘aux in’ port!
Why are Podcasts so popular?
Podcasts are rising in popularity among consumers and businesses and as a marketing platform for the following reasons:
- One in four people aged 16-64 consume podcasts with 49% of consumers who listen to podcasts likely to influence those around them
- Gain simple access to information in their ‘own time’ which fits with both busy and non-busy schedules
- Can pause, skip and revisit podcast episodes with ease
- Can subscribe to podcasts which creates consistent, stress-free listening and the ability to follow podcast content
- Podcasts are on the rise in the marketing world, so if you get in quick there is a chance you’re in front of your competition
- Won’t break your marketing budget as podcasts can be produced cost-effectively
- Podcasts provide the ability to place advertisements as breaks within the main content body
- Podcasts are unique and strengthen the two-way dialogue between a business and its customers
- Are able to help build strong, personal relationships with your audience in a way that is different to written content
- Regular podcasts help to build brand awareness
- Podcasting can help you drive traffic to your online store via backlinks in directories or through directing your listeners to your website either during or at the end of each episode
- Advertising delivered by the podcast host is great for capturing audience attention and driving brand recall
- Podcasts are fun and often include featured guests who can provide your audience with greater knowledge
Blogs, articles, website and journals that have been referenced when researching and writing this blog: