7 Elements of Podcasting [Research/Charts]
Audio content brings an intimate experience to your audience enabling you to build a bond with them because it’s like talking to an individual directly – but bear in mind many listeners tend to be multi-tasking.
Podcasts are converged media leveraging audio, the web and a computer or mobile device. Able to be heard concurrently regardless of location or time, podcasts are a disruptive media format. They challeng location-specific terrestrial radio in terms of consumption, creation and distribution. Unlike traditional radio, the podcast audience is in control of what, when, and where they listen.
Who’s listening to podcasts?
Here are four research charts from Edison Research and Arbitron about the current state of podcasting in the US.
Just under half of the US population over 12 years of age knows what a podcast is. This percentage has remained relatively constant since 2010. This is contrasts with other forms of content marketing delivered via the Internet and connected devices such as blogs and online videos. Actionable Marketing Tip: Leverage your blog and other owned media to explain how to use and promote your podcast.
Slightly less than three in ten people in the US have ever listened to an audio podcast. Further, this percentage appears to have leveled off. In part this is attributable to the need to train an audience to find and download your audio content. Actionable Marketing Tip: Actively promote your podcasts and cross list on podcast search engines including iTunes to overcome the limited penetration of podcasts.
About one in eight has listened to an audio podcast in the past month or roughly 32 million people. This rate has remained relatively constant for the past five years. This means that, as a marketer, you’ll have an easier time persuading people who already listen to podcasts to listen to yours than you will to create new podcast listeners. Actionable Marketing Tip: Use the power of other podcasts to cross promote yours.
On average, podcast listeners consume six podcasts per week, or about one a day. Look deeper and you’ll find that people who listen to podcasts listen to a lot of them. About one in eight listeners consumes eleven or more podcasts. Actionable Marketing Tip: Try to find influential podcast personalities in your category and interview them on your podcast.
7 Elements of Podcasting
Unlike streaming or Internet radio that are considered pull media, podcasts use the metaphor of a blog post to package audio content. Here are seven elements of a well-executed podcasting effort:
- Provides branded context for your audio content. Podcasts by their nature add sound to your brand. Go further by incorporating your brand sound into your format and text presentation. For example create an audio logo like the sound that a PC makes when you boot up Microsoft. (Here are twenty tips to brand your blog.)
- Offers episodic content series. Podcasts like blogs posts aren’t a one-time event. They’re an on-going, regularly published form of content. They can consist of audio plus images, text and other media. (Podcasts don’t include songs, streamed music or movies.)
- Improves content findability by adding metadata to your audio content. Among the information elements to include are your publication date, the host, creator or author, podcast length, episode description and an associated image
- Distributes content through feeds (aka syndication). Podcasts can be subscribed to, downloaded or streamed. You can also use your feeds to deliver your podcasts through email.
- Leverages the power of the blog platform to extend your content reach. Integrate your podcasts in blog posts that include the text of your audio as well additional information of use to your listeners. This helps people who don’t want to listen to your content and helps search optimization.
- Requires a computer or mobile device to consume. Podcasts aren’t bound by physical location. They enable you to broaden your audience to people who’d prefer to listen to your content. This allows terrestrial radio stations to expand their reach to anyone in the world who has a computer or mobile device.
- Provides social sharing functionality as well as community engagement via comments. Socialize your podcast in the same way that you would a blog post. Like blog posts, you can expand your reach by leveraging your other content.
Podcasting adds an audio component to your content marketing strategy that can enhance your brand and support your business objectives. Like blogging, podcasting can take time to build an audience.
Have you tried podcasting? If so, what has your experience been and, if not, what has held you back?
Note: For details on the nuts and bolts of podcasting for your blog, check out this podcasting guide on Problogger.