I am, however, an avid podcast listener. Which recently turned me into a podcast broadcaster. Podcasting had been on my “to do” list for months if not years, but two things made me take the leap from “I should . . .” to “I am . . .”
First, I learned that podcasting is still a great way to connect to my audience. Second, I figured out how easy podcasting is. Now I want to share the “how” and “why” with you. Today, we’ll do the “why,” and next time we’ll look at “how.”
Intro to Podcasting
First, let’s talk about what podcasting is. I don’t have a formal definition for you, but your podcast is merely an audio message to your audience. Another way to communicate with your market. Similar to your blog, your videos, and your social media sites.
I’m going to refer to your audio as a “podcast” in this article, but don’t feel like you have to call it that. You can advertise your audio as a “weekly show,” or a “daily message.” Or even as just what it is ~ an audio. Whatever your audience bests responds to, run with it.
Why You Should Have a Podcast
Since I’ve already admitted to you that I rarely hear about podcasting any more, you may be wondering why I’m telling you to do it. The answer is, while the word “podcast” may not enjoy the same popularity it used to, the ease and popularity of listening to audio continues to grow.
It’s Common Sense . . .
First, let’s just look at it from a common sense perspective. We are all busier than ever these days. Your audience is spending lots of time online. Most of it on social media, and the rest of it reading blogs and other websites. They have to make choices. Your blog may look interesting, but there are only so many hours in the day.
So what if, instead of reading your stuff, your audience could listen to you? This is an option most people aren’t giving them. And there are lots of opportunities to listen when you aren’t able to read. In your car is the biggest, but also when you’re folding laundry, washing the dishes, getting dressed in the morning, or simply having some “down time” at night.
Podcasting is not just another way to get in front of your audience, it’s a different way. And that’s important.
And, if they like what they hear, people will be more likely to chose your blog next time they’re online.
In addition to giving your audience a different way to connect with you, podcasting also allows your audience to get to know you better. Hearing your voice makes you much more of a “real person” than just reading your words. And, chances are, they’ll start hearing your voice as they read your blog posts, as a result of listening to your podcasts!
Why does this matter? People want to do business with other people, not faceless businesses. And they’re even more eager to do business with people they know. Hearing your voice helps you build a relationship with your audience that your blog can’t accomplish.
. . . and Statistically a Good Idea
Statistics support what common sense tells us. Edison Research takes a yearly look at podcasting statistics. The May 2012 research revealed that in 2011, 29% of those surveyed had listened to a podcast. This was up from 25% in 2011. And the number rises every year. It was only 11% in 2006.
29% may not sound overwhelming, but it is nearly 3 out of every 10 Americans! (The research is U.S. based, although British research reveals similar results).
More good news for online business owners is that 40% of those who listen to podcasts have an annual household income of at least $75,000.
And there’s an even better reason to use podcasting for those of us who use social media to build our online businesses. Podcast listeners are more active on social media than the average joe. While 56% of the general public have an active social media profile on at least one network, 78% of podcast listeners have at least one active social media profile.
Here are three compelling highlights of the conclusions drawn from the Edison Research:
- Podcasts continue to be effective ways to reach affluent consumers who exhibit ad avoidance behavior;
- The dramatic rise in Smartphone ownership is the tide that seems to have lifted Podcasting’s boats;
- Podcast consumers live on Facebook and YouTube. Be sure both are part of your distribution strategy.
Next time when we talk about the “how” of getting your podcast started, you’ll see how Smartphones make it easy for people to listen to your podcast “on demand” if they choose, rather than having to go through the steps of subscribing and downloading it to their iPod.
I hope you are seeing why your online business should have a podcast. It doesn’t have to be daily, or even weekly. Every other week will do if you simply can’t find the time.
It doesn’t have to be long. My podcasts are weekly, but are never over 10 minutes long.
Now that you’re excited about getting started, we’ll get to the “how” of setting up your podcast next time. Until then, let me know in the comments if you have a podcast, or ever even contemplated podcasting. I’m also interested in whether you are a podcast listener.