Podcasting – why should I?

7 February 2022 | 5 min read | Digital
Helen Fripp
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“There’s a level of dedication that comes from podcast listeners that you don’t otherwise find… Podcasts aren’t a bubble, they’re a boom

– Miranda Katz, Wired

The words ‘personal brand’ may strike fear into the hearts of many, or perhaps mean opportunity to the few. Whatever way you see it, it’s difficult to be a business leader today without sharing how you got to where you are, and communicating something of what makes you, well… you.

Podcasting and it’s big sister, vodcasting, can be a brilliant way of doing just that. It’s an opportunity to communicate directly with your audience, on a platform that allows a personal connection with the listener like no other – stats show that 92 per cent of podcast listeners are listening on their own, giving greater focus and connection with your messages than any other platform available to you.

I have a face for radio – I’m interested.

You should be; the numbers are irrefutable. The government’s most recent policy paper, Digital Radio and Audio Review (October 2021) cites that 25 per cent of all adults are podcast listeners, and growing fast. In fact, podcast listeners in the UK are expected to grow to 16 million by 2024, whilst worldwide, the listening population is forecast to top 387 million in 2022. The US is one of the biggest markets, with the current 117 million listeners expected to increase year-on-year, to over 142 million by 2025. 

Despite the big numbers, the amount of podcasts out there in the world represent only 0.1 per cent of the number of blogs that exist, so it’s still a great way to stand out from the crowd. 

Maybe, but why would anyone want to listen to little old me?

People want to hear from business leaders. They want to know how you got there, the challenges you faced; they want to hear your take on what your guest speakers are doing, and they want to hear from you directly. Other platforms are important, from social media, to blogs, press interviews and talks, but nothing is quite so up-close and personal as a podcast. 92 per cent of podcast listening sessions are done solo, and 68 per cent of people listen to all/most of the podcasts they download. 

When asked about why people listen, the majority state that it keeps them company, improves their mood, and keeps them in touch with the world. That’s three out of three – better than Meatloaf, and that can’t be bad!

I love Steven Bartlett. Can you make me sound like him?

No, that’s the whole point. A podcast gives your listener insight into you. It’s time to be your authentic self, relax and enjoy the conversation. Of course, we all have several different ‘selves,’ and it’s worth taking the time to consider your audience.

Who are they? What have you got to say to them that they’ll find interesting? If you run a successful business, you are very used to defining your audience, and this is no different. Outline your perfect listener’s persona – demographics, their motivations and interests, values and beliefs, why they’d potentially be interested in hearing from you, and engage with them in your own way.

And of course, it’s no use creating something brilliant and interesting, uploading it onto all the appropriate channels and leaving it there. You’ll need to find a way of letting people know about it, with clips, teasers and promos. This is where a blend of platforms can really work for you, and getting all your messages and digital assets working together across social, press and digital can really build up a head of steam.

What about all the tech? Do I need a blanket for good sound quality?

We actually work with some brilliant presenters who have been known to use this technique, especially if they’re working from home and the kids are having a disco in the next room! However, you don’t need to go to such lengths. 

Zoom/Teams is the basic requirement, and you and your guest can record on your phone as a back-up in case the internet drops out, or alternatively you could invest in a podcast programme like Zencastr which is specifically designed to minimise glitches and maximise quality. If you can find a good editor who understands you and your audience, that’s gold-dust, as it can be difficult to assess your own work dispassionately. 

If you and your guest have a little more time, podcasting studios are a good option, but still don’t underestimate the value of a good editor, and a plan for getting it listened to within your networks and beyond.

It can be lonely at the top, where can I get help?

Clearly work with lots of business leaders to produce, edit and promote podcasts and vodcasts, as well as connecting them with guests and presenters. We love doing it, and we’ve learned a few things along the way, so give us a shout if you’d like to hear more.

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