The power of podcasting and why businesses should take audio-on-demand seriously

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I’m an unashamed fan of podcasts. I’d probably listen to some six hours’ worth of podcasts per week which gives me a steady flow of ideas and inspiration in equal measure.

You may have read the articles recently about the ‘podcasting boom’ and the upwards trend of audio-on-demand consumption. Many of these articles were inspired by the phenomenal success of the podcast Serial, which boasts 5M+ downloads and streams.

(In comparison, podcast network PodcastOne offers 200 different shows that are downloaded 120 million times per month – SOURCE).

Podcasting is on the rise, as weekly audio podcast consumption grew 25% year-over-year, from 12% in 2013 to 15% in 2014.

But while it’s easy to get carried away by the success of the blockbuster podcast brands, it’s the ‘underbelly’ of the podcasting world that interests me – the niche-driven ‘minnows’ that are emerging globally.

These podcasts are fuelled by passion and more often than not produced by podcasting amateurs who are enthusiastic experts in their respective fields or topics of interest.

Some are building fantastic, engaged audiences, for example, Tim Reid’s Small Business Big Marketing podcast which is (more often than not, according to Tim) ranked as the #1 marketing show on the Apple iTunes store in Australia, and downloaded by motivated small business owners in over 110 countries, including Kazakhstan!

Audience’s attention

suzi dafnisCEO Australian Businesswomen’s Network and host of two podcasts (herBusiness and Social Media for Small Business), Suzi Dafnis (pictured), has been podcasting since 2010 and she loves it!

“There’s lots that is fabulous” (about podcasts), she says.

According to Suzi, podcasts make effective marketing vehicles because:

1. You have the audience’s attention for a longer period of time than if they were, for example, reading a blog post or watching a video and you’re right in their head! 2. Unlike other media, podcasts can be consumed while doing other things and our listeners report on tuning in from the gym, while cooking, driving, and generally on the go. So, I’m fitting in with their lifestyle and not counting on them to be behind a desk. 3. iTunes is a search engine in essence. The better you optimise your podcasts the more likely you are to be found. 4. They can be a great way to drive traffic to your website (to the show notes) where you an capture details and add people to your mailing list and have them enquire about other products and services.

So don’t take my word for it. Or Suzi’s! The wisdom of the crowd agrees with us! I asked the question on Twitter, and below is what I got back unfiltered:

I’m writing a post on podcasting, crowdsourcing comments: What’s the best thing about podcasting for marketing? 

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Thanks to those who contributed to the conversation! Love your work!

You want more?

The good folk from Convince & Convert have launched a dedicated search engine for marketing podcasts. It’s well worth checking out!

Oh, and here’s a nifty infographic from Social Fresh (SOURCE) that dissects the podcasting landscape:

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