It seems like there are a lot of people jumping into producing a podcast lately. And for good reason! According to the 2016 ‘Podcast Report’ from Edison Research, listenership for podcasts has been steadily increasing, especially among younger demographics. This report estimates that 57 million Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis. There are approximately 250,000 active podcasts for them to choose from. Sounds like a lot of competition, until you compare it to blogs, with 500 million out there! However, this is a weak comparison because of the drastic differences between the two.
People typically read or skim blogs quickly for specific points and takeaways. A podcast, on the other hand, is an immersive experience, usually 30 minutes or longer. Since the medium for podcasting is audio, usually in earphones, there is a sense of intimacy which is very attractive if you have a host who is pleasant and engaging. Interesting guests can add a lot to a podcast by attracting their own following, as their audience often desires a more personal experience.
Podcasts are less time demanding for longer subjects than videos. The audio format of a podcast lends itself to being listened to during other activities such as exercising or driving. The listener’s ability to pause the program is a major advantage over real-time broadcasts. Not to mention backing up or skipping forward at will!
Is It Worth It?
So, it seems clear that podcasts are a powerful way to engage a sizable audience for an extended period of time. What is not so clear is whether your content will be interesting enough to build a following over time. Although a podcast can be quite inexpensive to produce, there is a serious investment of time and creative energy to get one going and build an audience. There is plenty of great information out there about all the ‘hows’ of doing this, so I won’t go into that here. Rather, I want to list some useful questions to consider BEFORE embarking on the production journey. Please don’t get discouraged! Our only intent is to make sure all the bases are covered so you have the best shot at creating a podcast that has the potential to attract and grow an audience.
- Are you clear about the topic for the podcast?
- Is there an audience for this topic?
- Are you enthusiastic and knowledgeable about this topic?
- Is the market saturated with other podcasts on this topic?
- Will this topic provide ongoing value for your audience?
- Are you capable of effectively hosting the podcast yourself, or do you have an engaging host available to do it? (This is essential, as studies have shown that listeners’ loyalty is largely dependent on the quality of the host.)
- Can you find interesting and engaging guests to have on the podcast?
- Do you, or someone on your staff, have the time to produce a regular recurring podcast? (figure 10-15 hours per episode once initial setup is complete)
- Do you have a clear strategy for reaching a sizeable potential audience with your podcast?
Once you’ve done your homework to establish a clear ‘YES’ for each of these questions, you are ready to jump into the podcast production game, with a high likelihood of success. Good luck and have some fun with it!
When you’re ready to get started here are some great links to get you going:
- Some basic step by step procedures
- A podcasting platform that helps simplify hosting and getting your podcast out
- A good example of a podcast process from an experienced podcast producer
Lynx | Digital Media Producers creates results-driven content and strategies to enhance your customer’s experience of your brand. Contact us today to discuss the best ways to use podcasts in your business!