12 Reasons To Start A Podcast
Hey Millenials and GenZ's, you would have heard a lot about podcasting in recent months and would have seen many celebrities, brands and businesses starting a podcast. Wondering why there is so much hype about podcasting? Why is everyone starting a podcast, and whether should you start a podcast in 2021? Here I share with you the nitty-gritty of podcasting along with the benefits of starting a podcast.
A list of 12 reasons to start a podcast is listed below.
Let's find out the meaning of podcast and how is podcasting beneficial for brands.
POPULARITY OF AUDIO CONTENT
Remember how fascinated people used to be while hearing the radio shows back in the day? There was no video, no motion picture, but only the audio created a considerable impact on the audience. This indicates how powerful the audio content had been. Though technology has brought in so many advancements and numerous sources of entertainment in the current times, still the audio/voice content never fails to entertain people on a large scale. That’s where podcasts came into the picture.
WHAT IS A PODCAST?
A podcast is a series of audio files uploaded on the Internet using a Podcast hosting platform. The listeners can listen to these podcasts on the podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and so on.
In short, you can term podcast as the modern-day upgraded form of radio heard on the Internet. There are various types of the podcast, ranging from solo podcasts to interview ones. Podcasts are not only the audio ones, but you can have a video podcast as well.
Podcasts get split into episodes like a TV show is made of several episodes. Mostly the episodes are themed around a particular topic, but that isn't any mandatory criteria. You can experiment as you wish with your podcast.
Apart from listening, you can also download podcast episodes to listen to at a later time. Listeners can subscribe to a particular podcast show so that whenever a new episode of that podcast is uploaded, it will be auto-downloaded on their devices.
Find more on the basic podcast terminologies and a detailed overview of what is a podcast.
WHO SHOULD START A PODCAST?
Podcasts are for entrepreneurs, celebrities and marketers only!
C'mon, guys, it’s time to debunk this myth!
Is Instagram, Facebook or Twitter limited to a specific group of people?
Anyone in this world with Internet access can use them at their liberty. Similarly, podcasting is not limited to anyone. Anyone can start his/her podcast and share audio content with the entire world.
WHY SHOULD I START A PODCAST?
Whenever you come across something new, there’s a thought, “Whether do I give it a try or not?”. You tend to try something only on having an assurance that it could add some value to you. Hence it’s natural that when you get introduced to podcasts, you ponder over the fact that how would this help you. So, here is a list of the advantages of podcasting that will answer your question of why you should start a podcast?
REASONS TO START A PODCAST
1. Podcasts are Growing Exponentially
Audio content is by far becoming more mainstream, as people enjoy hearing more than reading. Voice and audio leave a lasting impact on the listeners as listening is more humanistic than reading. Podcasts tap on the potential of audio content and have, therefore, become a part of people’s lives.
Podcasts have been popular in foreign countries for over a decade. As per the stats provided by Infinite Dial 2020, 75% of the US population is aware of the term ‘podcasting’, and 55% have listened to a podcast. People have been actively producing and listening to podcasts and adding value to their life.
It has only been a few years that podcasts have got an amazing response from the Indian audience too. Podcasts are being liked by people, especially in the current pandemic times, Indian content creators actively came up with their podcasts. If we look at the stats provided by Anchor,(a podcast hosting platform owned by Spotify) nearly 25,000 podcasts were created on Anchor in the year 2020 from India.
If you look at the stats provided by Podcast Insights, the active number of podcasts had been 500,000 in early 2018 which rose to 850,000 in early 2020 with nearly 30 million podcast episodes in over 100 languages. This shows the exponential growth of podcasts in recent times. When its popularity has been growing enormously day by day, it promises to be a mainstream medium to produce and publish content.
2. Podcasts are highly engaging and less time consuming
We are well aware of how busy human lives have become. Right from waking up in the morning to going to bed, everyone is busy with their work. We hardly do find time for reading something unless we are very much passionate about reading.
You exclusively dedicate time for reading a blog/story, but a podcast can be listened to at any time also while multitasking. And most of us have the habit of listening to our favourite music or talk show while cooking or travelling. With earphones plugged in, we get transported to a different world. This comes as a handy advantage for podcasters.
If you deliver valuable and entertaining content via your podcasts, people will listen to your podcast while commuting, gardening, cooking, working out, or having food. Listening to a podcast can be well accompanied by any of these tasks.
As a podcast does not demand an exclusive time for listening, the probability of people listening to a podcast is higher than dedicating time from their busy schedule to read a blog.
(By the way, do you think I must repurpose this blog into a podcast too?)
3. Ease of Creation & Distribution of Podcasts
Recording a podcast and uploading it on the Internet is not at all a cumbersome task. There isn’t any need for coding or other complicated procedures. You just have to record your audio using a podcast recorder viz a sound recorder. After recording the podcast, edit the audio using an audio editor application like Audacity which is free of cost. To upload the recorded audio as a podcast episode, register yourself on a podcast hosting platform like Anchor.
Recording the audio can be as simple as recording audio on your phone using the phone’s internal microphone. Create a podcast cover using Anchor or Canva. Add the podcast cover to your podcast on Anchor, upload the audio file, add a description and then publish it. Distribute it on various podcast platforms and hurray, your podcast is available for the world to listen to.
4. Inexpensive & also Free of Cost
While trying out hands-on new things, you might fear taking risks and be a little hesitant about spending money on it. It’s quite natural to have insecurities like if this doesn’t come out well I may lose the money spent on it.
But what if these new experiences don’t cost you even a penny?
If that’s the case, you ought to give it a try.
So yeah, a podcast can be initiated free of cost, and it is worth the try. Unless you wish to buy a microphone and a pop filter for better sound quality, podcasts would not cost you anything. You can host it on a free podcast hosting platform like Anchor and distribute it on various platforms. Like this, you can very well explore the field of podcasting and if you feel it’s beneficial for you, continue on the journey of podcasting.
5. Podcasts do not Impose Any Specific Protocol – You Own the Liberty
You can have a solo podcast where you speak about your experiences. If you have expertise in something, you can share your knowledge and tips via podcast or invite people on your podcast and interview them. You can have your own stand-up comedy show, movie review show or music show.
There are no time constraints as you can have an episode of 15 minutes, 30 minutes or even hours. You own the liberty of having the podcast in any language of your convenience. You can add a melody in the background or any other sound effect of your choice. It’s like your own radio show, and you can customize it as you wish.
Whether you’re a freelancer, an artist, a sportsperson, a student, a home-maker or anyone can have your podcast and share your experiences, discuss your routine, share your success story or even the times when you failed.
6. Enhances Your Communication Skills
Remember the last time you climbed up a stage to deliver a speech, and your face turned pale and hands started shivering? Simply speaking, we call it the stage-fear.
I have seen people who write excellent content but lack the confidence to recite it in front of the public.
Whether delivering a speech or presenting a proposal in front of the clients or while getting social with people at a party, you might feel hesitant labelling yourself as an introvert. That is because you are not used to speaking much with strangers. But when you get into the corporate world, you have to be someone who can reach out to any person. You only get opportunities when you speak out.
One solution to all these insecurities could be podcasting. Just start a podcast and speak simply about your day-to-day experiences in the initial episodes. This procedure may not sound worthy to you currently, but eventually, this will help you a lot even without your notice.
When you record content in your voice regularly, you’ll start feeling confident about yourself. Your insecurities and fears will start vanishing away, bringing out the bold extrovert hiding within. Your communication skills, language, vocabulary and confidence will enhance with every single episode.
7. Podcasting Generates Leads by Establishing a Loyal Connection with the Listeners
Whether it’s the smart speakers, Alexa or Siri’s voice service, it is well evident that voice technology is growing by leaps and bounds. Voice commands have made things easier. All of this indicates that voice is the next big thing, and hence this is the reason that big brands, celebrities and entrepreneurs are coming up with their podcasts.
When you publish a blog or any textual content, the readers can only read the text. At times readers are not able to connect with the writer’s emotions. Through text, the communication is not that effective as it could be with a voiced one. When you deliver voice content, the listeners feel like having a personal one-to-one talk with you. They get to feel your emotions, and a virtual personal connection gets established between the podcaster and the listeners.
This bonding could be advantageous for branding and influencing people. When a bond gets formed between you and the listeners, the listeners could become potential leads and conversions in future.
8. Podcast aids Greater Brand Visibility
People usually confuse between a business and a brand. There are over hundreds of blogs or videos on the Internet explaining the difference between a business and a brand. But to explain it in simple words, I would tell your business is something that you put in your passion and vision to earn money. But when a chunk of humanity gets added to it for serving humans rather than just consumers, it becomes a brand. A business satisfies the physical needs of consumers while a brand appeals to consumer emotions.
Successful branding is when a user connects with the brand. For instance, when you wish to purchase a new mobile phone, you perform research of which phones are good in your budget range. You might find a couple of phones in the same range with probably similar specifications, but then you would buy the one from the brand that you trust even if you have to pay a few extra bucks for it. This is possible because the brand somewhere established an emotional connection with you with its efficient branding and marketing skills. This is the impact of branding on business and consumers.
Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Youtube, all these platforms are actively being used by brands to market their products and services because they help them reach a wider group of audience. More than advertising and doing promotions, when you get out and speak to the people, it stirs the emotions of the public. It brings a more H2H i.e. Human-to-Human connection.
More than half of the smartphone users engage with voice technology on their mobile devices, as per the reports of ComScore. Brands can optimally utilize the inclination of the audience towards voice content for their branding.
If we speak about the big brands or celebrities or marketers or influencers, people from all walks of life are banking on the podcast for branding and promotions.
So how are podcasts helpful in branding?
Podcasts can bring a more H2H approach to your business.
When you speak to the people, you can efficiently address their pain points, and the audience also relates to your theories. You can build a favourable perspective of your brand in consumer minds.
If you own a business, you can give a better overview of your products and services via voice content.
You can fascinatingly deliver impactful narratives and build a bond with the listeners because voice leaves a lasting impact on the listeners.
As voice content brings out emotions, humour and every sentiment in a precise manner, it influences people way better than other textual marketing copies.
You can invite influencers and collaborate with other podcasters to cross-promote your brand.
Branding is making the audience feel and resonate with your brand, and when you speak, the audience naturally feels your brand. They connect with your emotions and have a clear picture of your mission and vision.
9. Podcasting Aces Your Marketing Strategy and Attracts Potential Clients
Marketing strategies ought to be dynamic as people’s interest change every single day. A robust marketing plan addresses to audience’s changing interests and serves them with the most preferable products/services without spamming their inboxes.
Why is Podcast Beneficial for Business Marketing?
Voice search is growing, and podcast is a convenient medium to top the game in voice search results.
Voice searches are more specific and in a conversational tone rather than text searches. This brings a twist in SEO strategies as you must target for long-tail keywords, and also based on search intent.
As podcasts are in a conversational tone, they get promoted for related queries by Google. For SEO of podcasts, it is essential to publish the transcription of the episodes as well.
Ranking on #1 on SERP is not so sufficient these days. You must aim for #0th spot on SERP i.e. the Featured Snippets. Featured snippets appear exclusively on top of SERP and are well-differentiated from the other results. Websites and blogs in the featured snippets get much more visibility. Additionally, the content on the featured snippet is also read aloud by Google Assistant and hence when your content i.e. podcast is already in voice-form and suitably optimized, there are higher chances to rank on the #0th spot.
Once a listener is fascinated by your podcast episode, there is a huge probability that he/she will subscribe to your podcast.
Add your website link in the podcast description to direct increased traffic to your website through the podcasts.
You can ask your listeners to connect with you on social media thereby, extending the relationship.
This virtual relationship formed attracts potential clients.
10. Advertising on Podcast yields Profitable Outcomes
Digital advertising is one of the fastest-growing industries in recent years. Whether it is a social media platform, search engine, website, blogs, online store or any online platform, it gets saturated with advertisements. And a podcast is never an exception to this.
How can advertising on podcasts be beneficial?
These days, people are least interested in watching ads in-between the consumption of content, irrespective of text, image or video. Either they subscribe to the premium plans of the online platforms or install adblockers to get rid of those spammy ads.
As per the reports of Statista, 45% of respondents aged below 25 use adblockers. It hinders the advertisers from their mainstream income from PPC campaigns.
But when advertisements get played in a podcast, either in the pre-roll, mid-roll or outro, they perform better and drive traffic as well.
Podcast ads produce maximum ROI as the stats show that nearly 54% of listeners think about buying an advertised product and pay more attention to podcast ads rather than the ads on other media.
When a podcaster builds a loyal community of listeners, they will purchase the product endorsed by the podcaster.
When brands build a loyal relationship with the listeners, they can market their products/services via episodes rather than advertising.
11. Podcast Monetization Opens-up a Source of Passive Income
Most of the social media platforms offer monetization opportunities. Hence a question arises whether can podcast make money.
Once you build a good community of listeners for your podcast, you can monetize it. A platform like an Anchor allows monetization even in the early stages, but it is limited to only a few locations. Though the CPM is low at the initial stages, once your listener community grows, the rates increase, and top-notch brands connect with you for advertising.
Apart from the sponsored advertisements, you can sell your own products, courses, e-books; and ask your listeners to make donations. You can create and share a premium version of your podcast only to those who pay and subscribe to it.
12. Podcast Aids Scalable Growth as It isn't Oversaturated Yet
Are you aware of the saying, strike while the iron is hot? If you realize the underlying meaning of this saying, you’ll agree with the fact that as podcasts are still growing in our country and expanding their reach to people, it is the right time to get into it. When you get into something at an early stage, you have the benefits of establishing yourself in that field as the competition is comparatively less and your chances of getting popular are high.
Have you witnessed the level of competition on Instagram? It has now become a little difficult for a newbie to establish oneself on the platform. A good deal of research and strategies are to be incorporated to enhance the brand’s visibility. The same could happen to podcasts soon. The competition in the field of podcasting is doubling every alternate day. Undoubtedly, this is the right time to get started with podcasting. Just give it a start and then figure out what works.
Having mentioned all the advantages of a podcast, I would suggest you to just give it a try. Just start recording one or two episodes, publish them and reflect upon how it boosted your confidence level and brand awareness.
You can also listen to my podcast Exploring Career Opportunities on all the major podcast applications.
And yeah, if you are planning to start a podcast, please do drop a link to your podcast in the comments for every one of us to listen to it.