The advantages of podcasts? Let’s take a closer look at podcasts, including what they are, how they work and how they can be used as a marketing tool.
We’ll also give some example podcasts to help with a little inspiration!
Read on to discover all you need to know…
Should You Consider Using Podcasts?
Podcasts really aren’t that different from any other kind of radio program: the only difference is that podcast creators distribute the episodes of their program over the Internet for everyone to listen to rather than using a traditional radio station.
Because podcasting, by nature, is a “do it yourself” format, they vary greatly in quality. Some are recorded in professional studios, others in nice home studios with great microphones. Meanwhile, there are others recorded with a mobile phone or with a cheap microphone.
Some are hosted by people with great radio voices; others are hosted by people who are understandably nervous. After all, it’s still worth listening to a podcast by someone who is doing it just because they love the topic they’re talking about.
According to Apple podcasts they offer 500,000 active podcasts. Their content includes more than 100 languages.
Podcasting is now serious business, and for some bloggers, the traffic from search engines like iTunes is catching up to the likes of Google. Supplementing your regular written content with an audio podcast show can be a very smart idea.
What Are Podcasts?
So: what are podcasts and how can they benefit you?
According to How Stuff Works, podcasting is a free service that allows Internet users to pull audio files (typically MP3s) from a podcasting Web site. You can listen to them on your computers or personal digital audio players.
A podcast is an audio show, usually spread across a series of episodes. It can be downloaded and listened to either on a computer or any Mp3 player. The term, which was coined in 2004, is portmanteau of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’. People commonly describe podcasts as on-demand internet radio talks.
These tracks are typically audio recordings of a conversation between a host and a guest speaker, just like the ones you can listen to on the radio. A podcast can also be a single monologue of a person sharing his or her thoughts.
The topics of the content can practically be anything from business and marketing to travel and yoga and so on. The most popular topics for podcasts in 2019 are travel, cooking, education and lifestyle.
The key to podcasting is finding a topic to cater to a large demographic.
On the other hand, you can find a more specific topic and cater to a niche demographic. This strategy would provide you with loyal listeners, though not the larger group of listeners.
Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can make and freely distribute podcasts, making it an inclusive and vibrant medium.
In the early days of podcasting, it was largely an amateur concern – the internet’s answer to CB radio. However, in the last few years, dozens of major broadcasters, magazines, and news organisations have rolled out large-scale podcast operations of their own.
How to Start a Podcast?
If you are thinking of starting a podcast, there are some questions and aspects that you need to think of some things.
First, you have to ask ‘why do you want to make a podcast?’
Are you a freelancer, a business or a marketing manager? If so, you might have identified podcasting as a great way to build authority. It can also provide your customers and target audience with valuable and entertaining content.
If you are also looking for a hobby type podcast, this might mean you’ll be creating a show in your spare time. And the subject will be something that you’re passionate about.
In either case, you can identify your “why” here. That’s important to keep in mind, so that you can stay motivated, even when you’re finding it difficult to get a show out.
The next step is who are you creating this for? Who are your targeting and who is your audience? This is the most vital question you can ask.
If you are coming from a business point of view, your podcast would be targeting people interested in your business and everything related to your industry.
If you are looking to create a hobby show, you are to look for a topic you are passionate about. You can create content for as long as you would like. Your listeners will follow your podcast because they share the same passion.
The next step of your podcast plan is to create a brand identity for your podcast. Starting with a clever name, you should find a name that is easy to relate to and easy to search.
Lastly is to create the podcast episodes. This is the part that matters most for listeners because this is the reason they are looking for you.
Are Podcasts Considered Social Media?
To answer this question properly we have to ask, how exactly does one define social media? Is it a bunch of websites that allow people to connect? Maybe it’s a new wave or a new form of media that’s sweeping the world. Or, is it just Facebook and Twitter?
Social media is defined as forms of electronic communication such as websites for social networking, through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. The truth is social media can be defined a lot of different ways and in many different forms.
So, there are so many unique variations of social media that it cannot just be rolled into “social networking sites.” The podcast in itself is not part of social media, just like a website by itself is not part of social media.
The way a podcast can be added to the social media realm is by adding elements that make it social. A great example is the way blog talk radio has features that allow you to comment and interact with the show while it’s live.
Also, with comment sections and sharing options, podcasts are gaining more from the social aspects as listeners can now interact with podcasters and state their opinions on what they want.
At the end of the day you can make podcasts sociable by incorporating aspects to make it intuitive. The argument still may remain for some if a podcast should be considered Social Media, but the truth is that your podcast can become whatever you and your listeners want it to be.
How Do I Market My Podcast?
When it comes to advertising and marketing your podcast, there are several methods to bring in more listeners.
One method is using keywords. This will help those searching for podcasts come across your work. Being creative with your captions and titles may seem like a good idea, but sometimes it is best to keep it simple. Put yourself in the shoes of your listeners who are searching.
Another way would be attracting the listeners is from your description. Keep in mind when writing your descriptions is that not to give any spoilers away. There is nothing wrong with attracting your listeners with an attractive description. Just don’t forget the keywords.
You can submit your podcast to every possible directory. The more people hear about your podcast the more listeners come in. Look up some of the directories and submit yours to it for searchers to find your show. Some examples are to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, and Stitcher.
You can also use social media to connect with your listeners. Being creative on your social media platforms will bring in new listeners as well as keep you in touch with your loyal listeners. Don’t forget to use strategic hashtags.
Another technique is to join some Facebook groups and ask the admin if you can introduce yourself and your show. If they allow it, put a link to your website or hosting site, as well as a link to iTunes.
It’s important to make things as hassle free for your listeners as possible.
Another way to attract other listeners and widen your demographic is by inviting guest for interview. You can also team up with another host and do an audio swap, which is when a 30-60 clip of your show is featured on theirs and vice versa.
Best Social Media Podcasts
Here is a list of podcasts dedicated to the marketing and social media industry, sharing their knowledge and practices with their listeners. They also use these platforms as a way to keep listener up-to-date on the latest news.
Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman – Reid was a co-founder of LinkedIn and frequently goes back to his social roots in his Masters of Scale podcasts.
Neal Schaffer – Neal is a world-renowned digital marketing and social media strategist, speaker and author—not to mention a two-time Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer and Top 5 Social Sales Influencer. He covers all the bases of social media, from high-level strategy to simple tips & tricks to influencer marketing.
Marketing Over Coffee with John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn –this show is recorded in coffee shops every week and published on Thursdays. It’s about marketing in general, but regularly covers social media topics and has featured some big-name guests.
The Art of Paid Traffic with Rick Mulready – A popular one with social media advertising specialists, The Art of Paid Traffic is not just for the hands-on social media advertising pros out there. Anyone entering the sometimes daunting social ads space would do well to tune in.
Social Pros with Jay Baer and Adam Brown – A long-time podcast mainstay of many, Social Pros is co-hosted by marketing legend Jay Baer.
Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield – these covers a range of digital marketing topics. Amy shares tips, tricks and learning from her own entrepreneurial ventures.
Social Media Examiner with Michael Stelzner – Another one that will need no introduction to many. A veritable content machine, Social Media Examiner pumps out two quality podcasts per week along with a live talk show to complement its popular blog.
Best Knowledge-Type Podcasts
Here is a list of some on the most popular podcasts about knowledge and information.
Philosophise This – Truly one of the most interesting concepts you would come across. They have been around for four years with over 100 episodes, but they push you to start from the very beginning where they break down Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle from an everyday life basis.
Civics 101 – A relatively recent addition to the industry, this little gem started at the beginning of 2017. There’s been so much political turmoil in the world since the election last fall, that sometimes you might be scratching your head wondering what makes all this stuff tick.
Over the course of nearly 70 episodes, you’ll get a crash course in government, politics, lobbies, budgeting, speech writing, and a host of other topics.
Stuff You Should Know – An absolutely massive podcast that goes back nearly ten years (before they were even a thing!), this show has a new episode every few days on how a variety of things work.
BBC Radio’s In Our Time – This particular podcast is also about as long-running as they come, going all the way back to mid-2010. Only it’s not a current affairds podcast as such, but discusses the self-proclaimed “history of ideas”.
Most Popular Technology and Video Games Podcasts
Here is a list of the most popular podcasts for the technology and video games industry.
This Week in Tech has been one of the premier tech podcasts for a while now. The weekly show features tech enthusiasts Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, John C. Dvorak, and others as they discuss trending tech.
Reply All contain a narrative thread regardless of the topic they’re covering. Reply All, Gimlet’s tech podcast, is no different. The stories center on how the internet and technology affect people (and vice versa) while remaining insightful and interesting throughout.
Click provides an alternative viewpoint from the American tech shows while examining the many facets of technology and the role each one plays in our lives. The show often focuses on the internet and social networking.
Giant Bombcast is a collection of veteran video game journalists and on their weekly podcast, they embark on lengthy excursions into the world of gaming, discussing games they’ve been playing, breaking down the news of the week, and responding to listener emails. The Bombcast crew has great chemistry and approaches gaming with passion and humor.
ShopTalk is essentially a podcast for web design, one that delves into front-end development and UX. Hosts Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert answer questions and calls, typically with a knowledgeable guest.
Note To Self offers insight into the world of tech, approaching it through the lens of human experience. Every topic is covered with a focus on how it affects humans and our daily lives.
The Web Ahead, hosted by Jen Simmons, tackles the ever-changing ways of the web. Whatever issue is currently hot, from HTML5 to iOS and android, will get discuss thoroughly each episode.
Podcasts to Listen to in 2019
The list below is of the most popular podcasts in 2019, gaining more followers every day. You will find the topics varies from topics such as sports to celebrities.
Game of Our Lives is about soccer, but it’s also about so much more than that. Host David Goldblatt talks plenty about soccer – which as a global sport is a means to understanding the world – but in he also spends times discussing topics as wide-ranging as politics, cinema, and more.
Dr. Death follows the story of Christopher Duntsch, a Dallas-based neurosurgeon who, it is safe to say, did not follow the Hippocratic Oath. Saying that he had even wandered in the direction of it would be a stretch as well.
Caliphate follows journalist Rukimini Callimachi as she attempted to understand ISIS. With the War on Terror costing the U.S. billions of dollars, Callimachi is hoping to get at who the country is really fighting and why.
On the other side, she also explores why people join ISIS. Why does the organization appeal to so many and how? For anyone interested in current events, this is a must-listen.
Everything Is Alive is an interesting take on exploring the world. How so? In each episode, an interviewee is an inanimate object telling its life story. Ever wanted to hear how a bar of soap feels? What about an elevator?
Armchair Expert With Dax Shepherd – By talking to people, though, Shepherd tries to get at what makes us human. In each episode, the actor-turned- host attempts to gain at least a nugget of information about how to be a better human.
With a focus on the challenges people encounter, Shepherd dives headfirst into the task of being an armchair expert of life.
Summary: The Podcasting Bottom Line
The idea is not to create a podcast that sounds something like you’ll hear on the AM/FM or even satellite dial. The concept here is to apply this opportunity to test and adapt and react with each audio and video.
So, as opposed to constantly getting a “produced” show, what you’re hearing is generally an attempt to do something unique. A few people assume that it is no longer relevant.
However, any brand or individual can all of sudden produce compelling content about the industry they serve and submit this for the world to hear.
If you have content material about specialised interests, you may pull in 100,000 listeners and you could have a better relationship with your target audience,
At a time when most social media platforms emphasise brevity, podcasting might appear intimidating. You might fear that your new channel doesn’t submit new episodes frequently enough, or that one episode is wildly unique from the tone or format of another.
However those organisations which are fearless enough to wade into the podcasting waters have already discovered one of the medium’s invaluable lessons: podcasting is more flexible than you might think.
Most of all, it can make your nonprofit or affiliation accessible and human – it is your voice, after all.