I’ll never forget the silence of 2020 and most of 2021. People just weren’t driving around in my town because everyone who could was working from home. It’s crazy to think about how many parts of life were impacted when commutes ended.
At least the air cleared.
For many hosts having commuters staying home meant that their shows were potentially negatively impacted. These hosts might not have had a marketing strategy separate from having commuters listen to the show. In the podcasting groups that I belonged to I read constant comments with hosts asking if other shows had lower downloads.
I learned a couple of things during that time.
- Always be marketing your show
- Pivot your content in a way that makes sense (aligned with your topic)
- Your community and supporters are key to marketing your content
Why People (Still) Listen to Podcasts
There are so many types of podcasts out there that it will be hard to cover the numerous reasons why people listen to podcasts.
- To be entertained
- Learn something new
- Highlight historical events that might not be talked about
- Social issues that people care about but might not be “sexy”
- Digestible content
- Enjoy different types of creative work
- Hear unique perspectives with experts normally not used on regular media channels
- Grow their business-I listen to a lot of business content
- Learn about a place
- Storytelling as a long-standing social practice
- Not everyone has the time to watch video content
What’s so nice about podcast content is the ability to multitask seamlessly. You can ride your bike and listen to an episode. Go on a road trip and pod binge (listen to several episodes in row).
Related Podcasting Episodes
Podcasting is Not Dead
There are so many reasons why podcasting isn’t dead in 2022 and beyond.
- People are commuting again
- Listeners are looking for uniquely curated content
- High level experience with content creators, topics and spaces
- A great way to build a media platform that is owned by the creator (if self-hosted)
- Podcasts allow creators to design and develop unique content that highlights their expertise, knowledge and experiences.
A podcast can also be started for free or with a low financial investment. The entry point into starting a podcast is extremely low as there are free apps that can host your show. There are also very inexpensive companies to host your show on such as Libsyn, Podiant and Buzzsprout.
Experts at the 2022 Podcast Movement Evolutions in L.A. shared that companies are increasing their ad investments with aligned podcasts. This is huge because this trend silently signals a few things:
- Companies are noticing the value customer conversions on podcasts
- Companies are looking at adjusting their budgets to add this marketing line item
- It’s clear that corporate has finally begun to understand how to partner with podcasters
It’s important to point out that there were a number of corporate teams at that event and corporate podcast production teams as well. Companies are also investing in creating audio content that gets customers to learn more about the story of their brand, customer experience and the team behind the company.
Should You Start a Podcast?
There are a few things to consider before hitting record on your first show. In the beginning, just like any new project, podcasting can be time consuming. It can take awhile to build an audience and many hosts have unreasonable expectations around what success looks like with a newer show.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Before you start a podcast, begin by exploring why what your rationale is to begin a show.
- Why do you want to start a podcast? What’s the purpose? There’s no right or wrong answer.
- To learn something new and test out a new way to share content.
- Design content that you would like to be hired to creat
- As a way to collaborate and connect with other folks in your space.
- Adding a podcast to your content strategy to compliment the other content that you already share.
- As a monetization strategy
- Or, are you wanting to create a podcast as a top of funnel feature for your brand.
- To help your audience and future customers get to know you?
- As a list building strategy
Your reasons may change over time because…people’s goals change. If you decide to move forward with a podcast and are new to it, the #1 piece of advice many hosts would share (including me) is to keep things simple.
- Don’t worry about editing the show-just get it done.
- Keep your show short.
- Don’t complicate your episode release schedule. Respect your capacity. If you can only release one episode a month. Then do that and once you’ve gotten in the habit of publishing, you can reevaluate you publishing schedule.
A final thought, podcasting is a LONG-TERM project. You will have to put at least a year into building a show out, learn how to market your content and understand how to leverage the content that you’re creating.