The popularity of podcasts has boomed very quickly in a short space of time. So, why aren’t more inbound marketers taking advantage and creating podcasts themselves?
If you fall into this group, it may the fear of being recorded that’s putting you off. Don’t let it! Podcasts are a great way of delivering content given how popular they are.
Paul spoke at a recent Manchester HUG event on how to get started with podcasts. Watch the video here:
Who Is Producing And Consuming Podcasts?
Did you know that podcasts are radio? You may be unaware that you are actually listening to a podcast, but they are everywhere. Whether it’s talkSPORT you enjoy or Inbound After Hours, these are all podcasts.
So, what exactly is a podcast? Well, it’s defined as - An episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download and listen to (Wikipedia)
And here are some key points. Are you ready for some stats?
- There are already 22.3 million weekly digital audio listeners in the UK.
- Podcasts have had a 40% growth since 2013.
- The number of weekly listeners is set to rise to 30 million by 2020.
Podcasts are part of a wider on-demand culture. People are in charge of what they watch or listen to. Take Spotify for instance, more and more people are turning off their radios and listening to Spotify as they are then in control of what they listen to.
It’s the same with what how we watch TV. On-demand, catch-up and Netflix have taken over. The only live TV plenty of people watch anymore is a sporting event, the news or other one-off events like the recent Royal Wedding. And who knows what device we will be watching the next one of those on.
New devices are entering our homes such as the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. With these devices people are downloading and listening to more and more podcasts, whether it’s a recipe to help you out in the kitchen or a podcast on inbound video. People are exploring what else they can listen to out of the devices mentioned above.
Having all of the above at the touch of a button or voice command, no wonder podcasts are as popular as they are and are growing at such a rapid rate.
Outbound Advertising on a Podcast
The peak of podcasts has interested big brands and advertising agencies. The main selling point for advertising on a podcast is that people have already taken the time to download the podcast and put their headphones in, a 5 second advert isn’t going to bother them.
It would take a lot more time and effort to skip the ad than it would be to let it play. Traditional advertising literally have the ear of the podcast's audience.
Inbound Marketing Purposes of Podcasts
We do things a little differently. From an inbound marketer's perspective, any listener who listens to your podcast has chosen to listen to the content you have created. If they have made the effort to listen to one of your podcasts, they will listen to more and choose to listen over reading a blog post - as long as you give them value of some sort.
When it comes to a blog post you need to get the reader hooked within the first paragraph, otherwise they will look elsewhere. When it comes to a podcast they are already interested as they have chosen to download this piece of content, therefore already invested in what you have to say. They will give you more of a chance to impress them.
Evolution Of Podcasts
2015 iTunes Data
- Christianity: 23,200 active podcasts
- Music: 13,100 active podcasts
- Comedy: 7,300 active podcasts
- TV and Film: 6,400 active podcasts
- News & Politics: 6,300 active podcasts
2016 iTunes Data
- Christianity: 39,000 active podcasts
- Music: 33,600 active podcasts
- Comedy: 14,200 active podcasts
- TV and Film: 12,800 active podcasts
- Literature: 10,600 active podcasts
Above are some stats collected from iTunes Data. It shows how popular podcasts have become over a period of just a year. Almost all of the active podcasts in each genre has doubled, showing the rate and impact of podcasts.
Back in 2013 computers were the devices most people used to listen to podcasts however, as mobile devices and speedier data have grown, the stats have changed also. Now these are what most people listen to podcasts on.
Many people listen to podcasts during their commute to work so listening to them on a portable device is essential.
If you Google 'how popular are podcasts' you may be surprised as to what the top result is. It’s not a marketing agency, it’s actually Forbes who talk about lifestyle, business and money in their content.
This kind of symbolises how mainstream podcasts actually are - even though on first though, many people don't think they listen to them.
Tools and Tips
You don’t need to be a video expert to film a podcast, all you really need is your smartphone and a good mic. Audio is essential so if you are going to spend any money on equipment we recommend a good mic. We use the Yeti.
It's always worth filming your podcast too, by the way. Mark Bryne has all the information you need of how to create an amazing video on a budget here.
Planning and Setting Up
Setting up your podcast can be tricky at first.
Firstly, you have to know what you are going to talk about. You can’t expect to sit down in front of a mic and expect conversation to just flow. Planning is essential, whether it’s a five minute plan of what you’ve been working on this week and decide to cover that topic, or you plan it all week and want to thoroughly cover a topic in depth with lots of stats and research. Having a plan is essential.
We advise you don’t use a script, have your podcast semi-scripted instead. Semi-scripted is when you make notes on topics of what you want to cover but everything is still very natural and conversational.
A script can make your podcast sound wooden and false. Let your personality come through then your podcast will be more relatable and enjoyable for the reader.
What should you have in your semi-script?
- What topics you are covering.
- Maybe what you are going to say for the introduction.
- Questions to cover in the podcast - you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything important and it keeps the conversation flowing.
Echo and Sound Quality
Echo is NEVER good on a podcast. It will sound like you're filming in a bathroom. Echo is also one of the hardest things to edit out after recording so not having it in the first place will make your life so much easier.
Believe us, when we started out, we struggled with this.
Here’s how to reduce echo:
- Put some plants in the room.
- Bring in some soft furnishings - in our case, a beanbag.
- If you are planning on podcasting, a lot of businesses invest in acoustic soundproofing for your walls.
- Bring in anything soft that will absorb some of the noise, giving a clearer sound on your video.
After you’ve finished your recording session there’s the editing and sharing to then concentrate on.
The more natural your content looks and sounds the better. Listeners will be more engaged with a natural conversation than a wooden one.
Quick tip - keep your podcast to 30 minutes as this is the average time people are commuting, we’ve found this has worked for us so it may work for you.
Having a designed-to-be-read version of your podcast is essential too as it pleases Google and allows people who can’t listen to your podcast at the moment the chance to read about it instead. We also advise you add in a transcript.
What We Have Found When Creating Podcasts
We’ve been podcasting for quite a while now and even though for all of those taking part it was daunting at first, this feeling has now gone, there is no awkwardness and being in front of the camera has become second nature.
We’re now getting more and more subscribers and are seeing people who have watched our podcasts stay and have a look around our site.
How Can HubSpot Help with Podcasting?
Luckily for us we have had some amazing guests feature on our podcasts which we also film, but did you know you can also track your videos through HubSpot? HubSpot is a great platform for all marketing activities including podcasting. If you're considering changing marketing platform but not sure where to start, don’t worry, we have put together a comparison guide. Check it out below.