Radio continues to endure year after year despite naysayers’ predictions, and an old trend that many thought would dissipate slowly is now making a comeback, thanks to B2B audiences.
Current trends seem to suggest the popularity of podcasting is on the way up, not on the way out. In a recent webinar from Edison Research posted online in September “approximately 39 million Americans listen to at least one podcast every month.” As for the weekly podcast users, the same Edison Research webinar states that “one in five weekly podcast users consume six or more podcasts a week.” Adding to the buzz, with now millions of iTunes downloads, is the investigative-journalism hit Serial.
Podcast listeners such as NoniShaney Cavaliere, a community manager for the State University of New York (SUNY) describe the podcast listening experience as one that allows for engagement but also flexibility: “I gain the knowledge or entertainment of a TV show, but don’t have to sit down and watch. I can play a podcast and do many other tasks at the same time…”
Will pop culture trends translate to business though? One person who sees real business value in podcasting is Dan Franks who, along with Jared Easley, co-founded the upcoming Business Podcaster Summit to premiere January 20-29, 2015 online.
According to Franks, one of the value propositions that podcasting offers (that visual media do not) is that it allows for multitasking during consumption: “While written content and video require visual dedication, audio is consumable and accessible while multitasking” and “offers freedom from a screen,” Franks notes.
Want to capture the ear of a CEO? They’re listening too. Jeremy Goldman, CEO and founder of the Firebrand Group, overflows with podcast enthusiasm: “Despite the advances in technology, there are still times when I need my eyes handy but can use my ears for another purpose, such as driving or walking the dogs. Podcasts are a great way to get ahead and use times like that productively.”
A much smaller percentage of people will create podcasts compared to those who consume them, but Dan Franks says that today’s technological advances, many of which are apps, are making it easier than ever to both record and consume podcasts, even for businesspeople who may not be the most tech-savvy.
The beginner business-minded podcast creator would benefit from the expert advice of B2B podcasters and brands who are already experiencing success in the field. Earlier this year, in Marketing Dive’s “7 Podcasts B2B Marketers Should Listen To”, Wendy Parish identified seven such standout podcasts.
Veteran podcaster Bob Knorpp is the founder of the Cool Beans Group, and hosts the Beancast podcasts whose prestigious guest list reads like a “Who’s Who” in the marketing community. Knorpp offers some words of guidance to podcasters based on his experience: “You have to have a clear objective of the business goal you want to accomplish (with the podcast),” says Knorpp.
He further explains that the job of the successful podcaster is threefold: (1) to provide entertaining content that is “interesting and informative” (2) to ensure the audio quality and (3) to help spread the content to the target audience. Knorpp says “You can’t just [only] list it on the iTunes store.” Social media can be helpful with spreading that message, as can old-fashioned networking and getting the word out to your contacts and colleagues.
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs (home to the MarketingSmarts podcast), also points out that one of the keys to being a great podcast content creator is making the audience experience the focus.
Handley says: “The key to being a thought leader is to lead… of course. Podcasts can be a great platform for your organization, because they give you a mechanism to build audience by expressing your own thoughts and reactions to topical news stories, or by interviewing relevant guests. The key is doing this well, however: Relentlessly focus on the experience you are giving the listeners.”
We all know the expression “the sweet smell of success” but perhaps, given the current podcasting trend, we should also consider its sound.
Photo of Ann Handley courtesy Ann Handley
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