Whether you’re considering starting your own podcast, you subscribe to ten podcasts and listen religiously to all of them, or if you have never heard the term “podcast” before, I want to show you exactly why you should be involved in the world of podcasting.
A podcast is essentially a collection of audio files divided into episodes and available through the internet. With its origins in 2004, the podcast industry grew rapidly but not without a lot of setbacks. By 2014, Apple had over 1 billion podcast subscribers, and today podcasts are viewed as a primary source of information.
Podcasting provides benefits to both listeners and podcasters, and the platform, once thought of as a dying format, is excellent for communicating between a brand and customers. According to a study done in 2019, there are over 750,000 podcasts existing today, and that number is continuously expanding.
Podcasts are such content powerhouses because they can be listened to virtually anywhere. Plus, they're easily consumable, a great way to communicate, and allow brands to add a personal touch.
Arguably one of the biggest benefits to podcasting is that they can be listened to anywhere. From home to the office to the daily commute, podcasts can be accessed on your computer or cellphone. According to Nielsen, a whopping 49% of podcasts are listened to at home, while 22% of listening is done in the car.
New technology allows for podcasts to be listened to virtually anywhere at any time. From smartphones to Bluetooth-enabled cars, listeners have access at the tips of their fingers. In an age where people don’t seem to be slowing down, podcasts allow people to multitask while still optimizing their time.
This medium doesn’t interrupt the flow of daily life and helps listeners feel empowered and wiser after listening. To top it all off, studies show listeners feel that consuming content in an audio format helps them gain knowledge, but it doesn’t feel like work.
Humans are hard-wired to listen intently and immerse ourselves in the story being told. We don’t skim the content the way blog posts or other written content are often digested. If a story is told well and the content is engaging enough, people crave that connection and will build a relationship with the podcast. That relationship is how subscribers and dedicated listeners are formed.
No other form of long-form content is consumed as highly as podcasts. According to Nielsen, 80% of listeners listen to all or most of each podcast episode, and, on average, consumers listen to an average of seven shows per week. That kind of intent engagement is hard to beat with any other form of content.
Other forms of content like blogs and social media posts are limited to a certain number of words or characters, but a podcast allows you to dig as deep as you want into a topic. Only 3% of consumers listened to just the beginning of a podcast, which means listeners are dedicated to hearing all or most of a full episode.
Producing a podcast sounds intimidating, I know, I’ve been there, but ultimately it boils down to having the knowledge on a specific topic and talking about it. The quality of podcasts range from highly staged studios with professional mics and equipment, to recordings directly on a cell phone and uploaded straight from there. What that means is that if the audio is clear and the content is good, people will listen! It’s more important to get the information out there.
Podcasting is an effective form of communicating complex ideas in-depth and helping listeners grasp exactly what you are talking about. Consider how you best figure out complicated things, would you rather read a long article or, dare I say, an instructional manual? Or would you rather listen to someone explain it to you in a way you can understand and follow along with? Of course, you would pick having someone communicate in a consumable way.
This form of communicating isn’t just effective for the producers but the supporters as well. Advertising on a podcast is a widely successful form because it is integrated so well into the show and leveraging the host as an endorsement. According to a study, 45% of listeners visited a sponsor's website after hearing their ad, 42% considered a sponsor's product, 28% used a promo code from a direct response ad, and 17% said they recommended to someone the product they heard about.
Podcast listeners are dedicated and therefore make a great audience with a huge engagement rate. They are building trust with the brand through every audio minute.
Humans crave connections! Audio conversations about topics listeners are naturally interested in makes the content feel directly targeted to them. Podcasts allow the opportunity to put your personal touch on content that’s easily consumable for your customers. Creating a podcast is as easy as having a conversation about a topic you are passionate about.
Podcasters are influencers, and their personality becomes the voice of a brand. This creates companionship between the listener and the brand. Podcasts don’t just educate, they inspire, entertain, engage, and give listeners the sense that they are not alone in their interests.
Building connections with listeners is incredibly important and builds trust and brand loyalty. But, one of the most important uses for a podcast is to showcase expertise. When someone listens to a podcast, they are investing in the content produced and trusting that brand to actually know what they are talking about and be credible in their knowledge. That trust is fostered through a seemingly unfiltered voice representing the brand.
Whether you’ve been thinking about producing a podcast or you haven’t listened to any podcasts before, I want to challenge you to get out there and find a podcast that fits your interest. There are podcasts out there covering all topics, from comedy to stories to news shows. Whatever your niche, there is a show out there for you.
Some of my personal favorite podcasts include Stuff You Should Know, 99% Invisible, Crime Junkies, and, of course, Manufacturing Growth. Check out my favorites and explore your own shows that you relate most to. Happy podcasting!