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What’s the big deal about podcasts?

Sanina Kaur

SK Copy Co

PRO

This time last year, I never gave podcasts a second thought.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever given podcasts a second thought.

What a difference a year can make because now, podcasts are the ‘in’ thing, they’re everywhere and everybody seems to be tuning into them.

Even me.

I had the pleasure of listening to my first podcast two months ago. It was a business-related recording that I decided to dip into during my lunch breaks one week. Now, I’m hooked.

Admittedly, there’s nothing new about podcasts, they’ve been around for what seems like forever. There’s nothing particularly sophisticated about them either – you tune into them because you find the host and/or the topic appealing, press play or plug in your headphones, and you’re off.

However, this new-found appetite for them, which appears to be steadily on the rise, means that they’re fast-becoming the new darling of content marketing. Around 18 months ago, it was video, now it looks like podcasts are heading in the same direction.

According to Rajar, almost 10% of adults in the UK download podcasts each week, which equates to around 4.7 million people. So, what is it about podcasts that’s got so many people tuning into them?

Well, from a business perspective, podcasts are a great alternative to videos

Not everybody has the budget or technology to produce videos or are that comfortable about appearing in front of a camera.

Podcasts are far more straightforward to create, require less time and hassle and tend to be much cheaper than video marketing. All you need is a microphone and computer, headphones, recording and mixing software and internet access. Job done.

Podcasts are a great technique for building relationships with target audiences

Yes, they may be a one-sided form of communication, but they’re a really valuable tool in helping brands position themselves as thought leaders and getting their personality across.

Providing thought leadership on topical, relevant issues that are of interest to their target audience helps businesses build trust over time. Better still, as with all content, if they can focus on the pain points and challenges, then it’s highly likely that their podcasts are going to resonate with their listeners.

Now, this may just be me, but there’s something rather intimate about listening to podcasts too. You can’t help but feel that the host is talking to you and only you. This, in turn, can make it easier for listeners to connect with brands on more of a meaningful level.

We now live in a digital era. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we have access to a wealth of information at our fingertips, podcasts included

It’s anticipated that the number of smartphone users will grow to 2.5 billion by 2019 and it’s inevitable that, with this rise, will come an increase in the number of podcasts that are downloaded via smartphones and other devices. Figures published by Salesforce show that in 2017, the most popular way to listen to podcasts was via a smartphone, tablet or other portable device, with only 39% of people using computers to tune in.

If you’re looking to target people under the age of 55, then podcasts are where it’s at too. Figures, also published by Rajar, show that the lion’s share (40%) of podcasts are currently being listened to by 23 to 34-year-olds and 29% by 35 to 54-year-olds. And these figures are steadily creeping up by the day.

So where are you at with the whole podcast trend? There are widespread benefits to be gained from tuning into this content medium, whether you’re a podcast listener or creator. I know they’re something I know I’m definitely going to be making more time for from now on in both my professional and personal life.

What do you think?

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