Column: Podcasts add to the digital disruption

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Since the digital disruption is all about changing the fundamental expectations and behaviors through digital channels, then podcasting is moving to front and center.

Just for clarity, a podcast is digital audio file that is available on the internet for downloading to a smart device or computer.

According to “The Podcast Consumer 2017,” a report from Edison Research and Triton, awareness of podcasts has grown from 11 percent in 2006 to 40 percent in 2017. The podcast audience continues to grow from 21 percent to 25 percent year over year for monthly listeners.

Men appear to listen more to podcasts than women (27 percent to 21 percent). Additionally in 2017, those who listened to a podcast in the last month were in the age range of 25-54 (31 percent) closely followed by 12-24 (27 percent) with those 55-plus (12 percent) lagging considerably behind.

Other insightful data from this research revealed 69 percent of those listening to podcasts do so on their smart devices. Additionally people who are weekly podcast listeners invest more than five hours listening to these audio files.

Podcasting is an ideal digital channel for those engaged in education-based marketing. However, just as in any marketing endeavor, there appears to be some key characteristics.

• Telling ain’t selling: Your podcast – especially if you understand the value of storytelling – is not where you tell to sell. Your goal is to build a relationship with your listeners.

• Make your podcast a habit: Whether you produce a podcast once a week or every two weeks, be consistent in the publishing of your podcast. Consistency sets expectations.

• Embrace good technology: The best storytelling or content will quickly fall on deaf ears if the audio is not clear.

• Consider guest appearances: Depending upon your industry or marketplace, bring guests into the podcast. People enjoy hearing the viewpoints of others.

• Build your audience through engagement: Have your listeners engage with you through email, other social media sites such as Twitter of Facebook.

Many small business executives and sales professionals have not taken advantage of this very affordable and inexpensive means to market to their customers. Possibly, 2018 is the year to bring this digital disruption into your marketing plan especially if your target audience is men who are 25-54 years old.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is an author, speaker and executive coach. Her weekly column explores issues that impact the bottom line of firms with fewer than 100 employees. She can be reached at 219-508-2859.


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