Serial famously became the fastest podcast to reach five million downloads towards the end of last year. Anyone that still has doubts about the surge in popularity of audio on demand, only need to look at President Obama arriving at Marc Maron’s garage a few weeks ago to record an interview on his WTF Podcast.
2015 will be the defining moment when even the President of the United States realised how the media landscape has changed. Only five years ago everyone was reading physical magazines and newspapers, but as this industry spirals into decline, readers are now moving away from the traditional media sources.
The modern, sophisticated audience is replacing old media with experts that they can relate to in niche areas that interest them that are armed with an authentic voice. Although people may have struggled with the concept in the past, the digital age has paved the way as society soaks up on-demand content on Kindle, Steam, Netflix, Spotify and the ubiquitous App Stores without even thinking.
There is an awareness that podcasting is to radio as blogging is to newspapers. Could this mean that the future of media is not owned by Citizen Kane-like characters but by everyday people leading the way in their field of expertise? Do you hop on the podcast bus or get left behind cursing yet another missed opportunity?
The podcast revolution is well and truly underway, but what has kickstarted this ten-year-old concept back into life? Our changing habits and easier to use technology is giving listeners something much more valuable than money; it’s allowing them to be more productive with their time.
Even the most avid of readers are finding themselves with a dwindling amount of free time, especially when there are so many distractions on social media or news reading apps such as Flipboard dominating their downtime.
Our digital world often seems to move at a blistering pace, and it has become incredibly difficult to keep up to speed with the latest trends. There is also the small matter of endless TV boxsets you are expected to binge watch, no wonder it feels there are not enough hours in the day.
However, the guilt of not putting enough time aside to read is creating a strong desire to be more productive. The long commute to work, walking the dog, the early morning run or trip to the gym can now be accompanied by a podcast that teaches and offers something of value to their life without eating into your spare time.
‘The Podcast’ and ‘New Media’ are providing a fantastic opportunity to everyone who wants to make their voice heard and offers value to their listeners. Podcasters can be up and running quickly for very little cost and start building an audience straight away thanks to incredibly helpful tips available from other podcasters here at Spreaker.
Listeners can subscribe easily from their smartphone, so it should be of little surprise that after ten years on the fringe, podcasts are finally being touted as the future of radio. A growing number of users continue to subscribe to the audio content available and with podcasts coming to Spotify later this year, expect podcasts to go from strength to strength.
Why You Need to Embrace Multi-Channel Marketing
It is becoming increasingly important to understand how individuals digest information in different ways, for examples readers may prefer blog posts whereas visual types tend to learn more from video content. However, a growing number are consuming content and learning by listening to audio content via podcasts.
People are increasingly passionate about learning or sharing new ideas, trends and interests that provide the backdrop to our world. Ensuring this information is available through the medium of audio content that sits alongside video and written material is simply a no-brainer for anyone who cares about their audience.
Considering over half of web traffic now takes place on mobile devices, this further illustrates the increasing importance of providing content based on personality type. No surprises that this is becoming a vital strategy to ensure that all of your audience receive material through the medium of their choice.
Content is king goes the old mantra, but it’s the audience who now holds the cards and expect brands to lead the way and offer a wide variety of content options to fit their customers lifestyle. Those that understand and seize the moment during this digital transition will have the edge over their competition.
The Power of the Authentic Engaging Voice
Traditional content can be entirely faceless and soulless which has given birth to both a need and yearning for an engaging yet authentic voice that people can relate to. There is also a growing distrust of old media that is seen to appease advertisers and big business rather than their audience.
Retailers seem to go out of their way to avoid communicating with their customers and think it’s perfectly acceptable to send a one-way communication from a no-reply email address. Any business that prevents dialogue or any form of interaction will discover the hard way how the world has changed.
Podcasts are a direct channel that listeners instantly warm to and offer assurance that your company cares about its customers and enjoys educating and helping just as much as selling.
Learning from like-minded souls who are on a similar journey is proving to be the driving force in creating a better tomorrow and making a difference. Egos or self-promotion should be left behind as the future digital world is about learning and helping each other.
Is Podcasting the next opportunity to build your brand?
Positioning yourself as an expert in a niche area with audio content enables you to reach a worldwide audience of loyal fans. Creating a platform to enable non-writers to voice their opinions in interviews automatically opens up a communication channel directly with your audience with a personal and intimate voice that is incredibly powerful.
One of the great podcast success stories is of a man called Cliff Ravenscraft who bravely left a successful career in insurance to take the plunge and throw himself into his biggest passion which was podcasting. Most people reading this will know Cliff as the “Podcast Answerman” who runs a successful personal brand business. However, his road to success was far from smooth, but his story is incredibly inspiring for anyone embarking on a similar journey
Personal branding is not all about you, but also about collaborating with others, sharing ideas and most importantly learning from those around you. podcasting is the perfect vehicle as a worldwide communication tool that enlightens both the broadcaster and the listener.
Historically, podcasts have been weekly or monthly and ranged from 30 minutes to an hour in length, but content demands would suggest an increase of shorter more regular episodes such as daily 15-minute nuggets.
Become an Influencer
Traditional forms of advertising are beginning to fail as people turn to voices that they can trust, online reviews or word of mouth. Brands are increasingly turning to online influencers who have built a trusted following to help deliver their message.
Although the ethics of this are somewhat questionable, there is some relief in the realisation that the online community has become more powerful than big corporations. There are no short-cuts to becoming an influencer and only those who engage their audience to inspire, motivate and offer value will succeed.
Those that purchased thousands of fake Twitter or Facebook followers to wear as a badge of honour will find out the hard way that a large following of robot with no engagement is as useful a chocolate teapot.
Building a loyal audience in the currently less crowded podcasting arena is an opportunity that will not be around for long. Remember thinking, why did I not jump on YouTube in the early days? This is one of those moments.
Easier Access to Podcasts
Podcasts are starting to appear in cars, and since people cannot read or watch videos while driving, this will open up a vast audience. They are also appearing on wearable devices that allow people to feel more productive by listening when exercising.
Once again this provides a much bigger audience, and as there are many more listeners than podcasts out there. This creates a fantastic opportunity to be a big fish in a small pond compared to written blogs or YouTube Video channels that often get lost in a saturated market.
Essentially, the vast majority of people will have access to podcasts on a device in their pocket, on their wrist, on their computer or in their car. As multi-tasking professionals increase their content consumption, there will be a need for fresh audio content on a regular basis.
Podcast growth is continuing each year, with 46 million people now listening to 250,000 active broadcasts every month. When compared to the four million hours of videos available on the internet, it glaringly obvious to see how much easier it can be to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
With these impressive figures along with podcasts becoming available on a myriad of devices including your car, smartwatch, phone and even President Obama getting involved, the hints of where we are heading are clear to see.
There is an insatiable appetite for content in niche subjects as people distance themselves from the white noise online. Anyone that decides to step up sooner rather than later has an opportunity to increase their popularity and online influence to position both themselves and their business as thought leaders.
There is a clear path where your business can continue to grow under the radar of many big companies who have yet to embrace the medium thoroughly. However, make no mistake; it’s only a matter of time until podcasting reaches mainstream status, so what are you waiting for?
This is your true calling to build your tribe and form an online community and be a part of something exciting for the right reasons. Your greatest gift to the world is your unique, authentic voice, so don’t waste it.
Here at Spreaker, we have made the daunting step into the world of podcast creation as simple as possible, and from only $4.99 a month. There is also a wealth of support and tips to help you produce a professional sounding podcast in no time at all. The only ingredient you need is the burning creative desire to grab this opportunity with both hands.