In the past few months, I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about podcasting. Seeing as 2015 is said to be the year of podcasting, perhaps now is a good time to consider it for your small business or startup.
In this series, I’ll be talking about podcasting as an online marketing strategy for your business, not as a hobby or source of income. To reinforce that point:
“A podcast for your business is different from a podcast that is your business. The first is a marketing tool, and thus an advertising expense. Its value is measured differently than the second, which is something that is actually expected to make a profit.”
What are podcasts?
Basically, podcasts are recorded digital audio files (usually in MP3 format) that are presented as a show/series. Users can subscribe, stream or download, and listen to them offline – on a phone or website, for example.
They can be on any subject and targeted to any audience. Essentially, podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet.
Why have they (suddenly) become popular?
Really, podcasts have been around for a while but to be honest, it was Serial that gave the medium that kick it needed. The show is a true crime series that started late last year, and grabbed the attention of hundreds of thousands of listeners.
The publicity that Serial garnered, as well as the loyal following that it created, has prompted content marketers to take another (or closer) look at podcasts as an advertising tool. It’s important to remember that a podcast is primarily about content; a story-telling method – which is highly valuable to brands.
But there’s another reason why podcasts have exploded: the technology. The proliferation of smartphones has boosted podcast growth, as well as apps like Stitcher, which stream episodes directly to your phone or tablet.
What’s so great about podcasts?
- Normally they are specific and relevant to certain niches, which makes the content very useful and/or interesting to its audience.
- Podcast episodes are almost always free, and easy to download. Plus, by subscribing, the episodes come to you.
- Audio is one of the least complicated formats out there – it’s the only content that you can consume while lying down, closing your eyes, and doing absolutely nothing!
- Some users (like me) are auditory people; in that case, podcasts are a terrific alternative to reading or watching something.
- They’re very convenient, as you don’t have to listen to them online. Furthermore, you can multi-task while listening (commuting, gardening, or whatever else you want to do at the same time).
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So what can your business get out of podcasting, and is it right for you? We’ll talk about that in Part 2 of Podcasting for Business! In the meantime, what do you think? Do you like the idea of podcasts?