Note: This post was originally published at CMSWire.
In June 2005, Apple released version 4.9 of iTunes, which included
built-in support for podcasts. So why are podcasts only now becoming so
popular, some ten years later? For one, the iPhone (and related
smartphones) had yet to be invented in 2005.
Trevor Young (@trevoryoung), founder of PR Warrior and host of the Reputation Revolution podcast, lists these factors:
- It’s easier than ever to listen to podcasts (e.g. smartphone app, Apple CarPlay, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud, etc.)
- It’s easy and cost-effective to create your own podcast
- It’s addictive: people who listen to podcasts listen to a lot of them
- Serial, a
podcast from the creators of This American Life, was a sensation and
drew the attention of mainstream media. Now, every article about
podcasts (like this one) adds to their overall interest
I connected with a few experts to explore the benefits of starting a podcast.
Benefit: A Tool in Your Content Marketing Toolbox
Content marketers like to create numerous flavors of content around a
theme: blog posts, eBooks, videos, SlideShares, infographics. How do
podcasts fit into the mix?
According to Seth Price (@sethstuff), VP Industry Relations at Placester,
“Podcasts allow us as a company to humanize what we do. The consumer
journey is so fragmented today, it's no longer enough to blog, create
video and engage on social. You have to create experiences for the
micro-moments that consumers have every day.”
Price is the host of The Craft of Marketing podcast, which features interviews with Marketing experts, such as Andy Crestodina, Lee Odden and Jay Acunzo.
According to PR Warrior’s Young, his podcast is an effective complement to his blog. While his blog
covers the broad topics of PR, social media and content marketing, his
podcast has a narrower focus on personal branding for business
“That's the beauty of podcasts: they allow you to go deep on a niche
of the broader topic you already talk and create content about,” said
Benefit: Subscriptions are Gold
In this age of splintered attention, subscriptions are gold. I
subscribe to 17 marketing-related podcasts via the Podcasts app on my
iPhone. I listen to them when I’m getting ready for work in the morning.
As long as these podcasts stay interesting to me, they’ll be a part of
my morning routine.
And that relationship is closer and more consistent than other forms
of media. I may visit your company’s blog, for instance, but it’s not
part of my daily routine. Even among subscriptions, not all are created
equal. While I eagerly anticipate episodes of my favorite podcasts, I
rarely get excited over the latest issue of an email newsletter.
Benefit: Closer Connections with Listeners
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt close with a blog post.
Podcasts, on the other hand, have the potential to build intimate
connections between host and listener.
According to Kerry O'Shea Gorgone (@KerryGorgone), host of the Marketing Smarts Podcast,
“Podcasts help us reach people in a more personal way: I’m in their
earbuds while they’re at the gym, or talking with them while they’re
driving home from work.”
The intimacy that O’Shea Gorgone builds with her audience must be
working: Marketing Smarts has been recognized as a top podcast from the
likes of Cision, Fast Company, Ragan Communications and Social Media
According to Placester’s Price, “Podcasts are the only medium where
the consumer expects to multitask during their consumption. Listeners
actually spend 30-45 minutes hearing your voice, as opposed to just
bookmarking your article to read later. It's very intimate.”
When listeners send Price feedback about his podcasts, it’s as if
they know him personally. The potential for personal connections goes
beyond what’s possible with blogging.
Benefit: Personal Branding
By way of building intimate connections with listeners, podcast hosts
develop (or strengthen) their personal brands. Placester’s Price has
seen requests to speak at industry events climb from one per month to 3
to 4 per month.
O’Shea Gorgone was included in an Inc. article, “8 Great Role Models for Wowing a Crowd,”
alongside Steve Jobs and Tony Robbins. After that, O’Shea Gorgone’s
mother listened to Marketing Smarts for the first time. And she liked
“I’ve met so many incredible people through the podcast, and it’s
brought me speaking opportunities, interviews and so much more. My
network has expanded,” said O’Shea Gorgone.
In a recent blog post, PR Warrior’s Young urged people to take charge of your professional personal brand. Young lists the following as the key components of your personal brand:
- The content you produce
- The connections you make
- The conversations you drive
- The collaborations you're involved in
You can address each of these elements with podcasting. As such,
starting a podcast may be an effective way to take charge of your
Benefit: Build Relationships with Influencers
The guests you interview on your podcast can become your most loyal
ambassadors and advocates. When they appear on your podcast, they’ll
share it on social media. And they may recommend you or your
organization to customers, contacts and other influencers.
For Price’s Craft of Marketing podcast, his goals “were centered
around building a tribe, leveraging the influencers in the marketing
space and building relationships with guests.”
According to O’Shea Gorgone, “Everything comes back to relationships.
The fact that I get to reach so many people at once has helped me forge
relationships with smart, accomplished professionals all over the
Podcasts are Here to Stay
It’s harder than ever to reach people. Emails are left unread. Phone
calls are left unanswered. Websites are only visited when interesting
links are shared on social media.
Add it all up and it’s not surprising that podcasts have taken off.
Subscribe to podcasts, then tune in on your walk, your workout or your
train ride. Speaking of which, it’s time for me to go — I have a podcast
ready to play and it’s time to get ready for work. Have a good day!
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