I’ve written many times about the benefits of video marketing. The overwhelming evidence suggests that having a video strategy is the single most effective way of building and engaging with an audience online. But I’ve never felt that video was the only medium that content marketers should be using.
Having a blog is very important, so too long-form articles, white papers, and infographics. But don’t forget audio podcasting, which for me is possibly the most underrated and underutilised medium of all.
There are six main reasons why you might want to give it a try.
OK, you could go the lengths of fitting out a fully functioning sound studio, but it’s really not necessary. You simply need a computer — a smartphone will do — and some editing software, most of which is either free or inexpensive. Ideally, you should have a good microphone, but again, it’s not essential.
I love blogging, but I must admit it can be hard work. There’s a constant pressure to be word-perfect or to make every point in a clever or amusing way. With podcasting, you just go with the flow. It’s the same with video blogging, but whereas video involves several layers of complexity — cameras, lighting, sound and so on — podcasting is very much easier.
As well as being easier to make, podcasts are also easy to consume. Once you subscribe to a particular podcast, the episodes are automatically downloaded onto your computer, phone or tablet. And unlike watching a video, you can listen to a podcast doing pretty much anything, for example, walking or commuting to work, doing the ironing or going for a run.
There’s something very personal about podcasting. People who listen to your podcast are given a feel for your personality that they wouldn’t have from reading something you’ve written; and as your listeners get to know you, your values and the way you run your business, that helps to build their trust and loyalty.
Let’s face it, most people who podcast just do it for the love of it. You’ll probably want to use your podcast to help promote your business and what you do. The evidence shows that people are much more accepting of, and likely to act on, subtle and relevant advertising in podcasts than adverts in a video, for example. Again, audio adverts are cheap and easy to make.
The sixth and final reason to podcast is that, as a medium, it’s growing very fast. Edison Research has found, for example, that podcast listening in the United States grew a whopping 23% between 2015 and 2016; 21% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month. And because podcasting is a very portable medium, listenership is likely to continue to grow as Internet usage continues to migrate from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets.
All forms of content marketing require effort and perseverance, and you need to have sufficient time and resources to commit to it. So don’t embark on podcasting lightly. But if you do it properly, and don’t expect overnight results, you will start to reap the benefits.