Just when we’re all tired of seeing claims that people are more visual than ever before, we learn that podcasts are increasingly popular. In fact, a recent survey by Edison Research found that while podcasts are not as popular as most audio media, podcast listeners listened to podcasts only a few minutes less than radio.
However, further analysis of this data makes podcasts sound a lot more important than the bald fact that 1.7% of Americans listen to podcasts ever could.
Edison created a clear, only moderately mathy video with charts and dry wit, so I recommend that you watch the video if you really want to know just how popular podcasts are.
So even if podcasts aren’t that popular, it’s a good time to get ahead of the trend, and there are millions of people listening to podcasts every day. It’s a way to reach out to people, and possibly to different people from the ones you’re already in touch with… or at least in different circumstances.
One early claim was that podcasts give you “drive time” — the 20 minutes or so most people spend commuting. In a completely unscientific poll in a nearby bar the other night, I discovered that a random sample of men and women of various ages listened to podcasts not only while driving or even mostly while driving, but rather during down time. While doing chores, for example, or working at things that don’t require full concentration. While falling asleep, even.
Podcasts have some advantages beyond giving you another way to wiggle into the lives of your target market. Compared with video, they’re less expensive and you don’t have to dress up for them or build a set. You must have all the things for a series of podcasts that you should have for your content marketing in any case:
- worthwhile things to say
- a domain name, which you own
- a website, which you host
- a schedule of podcasts as well as other content
- a script for each podcast (and video)
- social media channels with which to share your content
- an RSS feed for your podcasts (and other content)
In addition, you will need a few special things for your podcast:
- the technology (included with WordPress, and there are plugins, if you want to customize) to put your podcast on your website
- good, findable text to go on the web page with your podcast
- time and patience to get your podcast into the iTunes store.
The more channels the better, of course, but use your editorial calendar to determine how often you can produce podcasts (once a week is good) and what kind of help you’ll need to keep your podcasting going. Three blog posts, a podcast, and a video do not a media empire make, but three blog posts a week, a podcast a week, and two videos a month can be extremely effective.