Video, blogging and social media are all great ways to promote, but I believe that podcasting has advantages over every one of them.
While blogging might be the best format for easy of entry – because it feels easier and less intimidating to type a blog post than record a podcast or video – podcasting, like anything else, becomes easier and more effective with practice.
Podcasting holds an advantage over video here too. It’s easier to record your voice, on its own, than it is to record a video.
For example, with audio, you don’t have to worry about your clothes, the background or your lighting. You also don’t have to worry about remembering your material, because you can have notes right in front of you.
Accessing your audience
Another area in which podcasting excels is access. Through a podcast, you can reach your audience almost anywhere, at any time.
One reason for this is that most people have access to a smartphone or a mobile music device. They can be subscribed and listening to your show in a couple of clicks.
More importantly, one they’ve subscribed, your audience needs nothing more than their ears to consume your content. This is important: it means they can consume podcasts at times and in places where they couldn’t read a blog or watch a video.
You won’t find many people reading blog posts or watching a video whilst driving the car, cycling, jogging, mowing the lawn, or taking a shower. None of this is an obstacle when it comes to listening to a podcast however. In fact, this leads to the next advantage:
Filling wasted or bored time
The fact that they can listen alongside routine tasks, means that people are even hungrier for your content. They want to have someone with them when they’re travelling somewhere, working out, or doing a menial task.
Podcasting vs radio
I’m sure you’re thinking: “Well, that’s what the radio is for!” You’re right, podcasts are consumed in many of the same contexts.
But imagine being able to listen to a radio station which you have control over. You can choose the topic and the presenters. You can fast forward bits, or rewind to hear that part you missed.
Podcasting is iPlayer or Tivo for talk radio, and it’s talk radio for practically any subject you can think of.
Listen to the hosts you like, talking about subjects you love, at the perfect time for you.
You can be that person that entertains, enlightens or inspires them when they would otherwise be listening to songs they don’t like on the radio.
Speech is a very intimate medium. When reading, it’s often the case that you can’t truly judge the writer’s tone of voice. It takes good writing to convey sincerity, or to get across the fact that you’re joking, happy, sad, or angry.
In a podcast episode you hear and feel every single word that the host says. After listening to just a handful of episodes, you genuinely start to feel like you know that person.
Video obviously carries the same benefit, and has an advantage in that you can see body language and appearance. A good video presenter can connect with the audience deeply if given then chance. But, being given that chance is difficult. And, that brings us to the final podcasting advantage.
People are overloaded with information nowadays, with attention being split every which way. When someone reads a blog post there’s a plethora of articles and links alongside begging for their attention, such that it’s often just skimmed, or abandoned half way.
Similar with video. Watching requires all of your attention, and in a place where you could be doing so many other things. To watch a 5 minute video you have to dedicate yourself to it, and keep your clicking finger away from the temptations of Facebook, the lure of online shopping, the endorphin release that is email.
In podcasting, however, your listener is often there looking for entertainment when there aren’t many alternatives. The radio is there, but it’s playing songs you don’t like. Other than that, you have the view….?
In podcasting, people are far less likely to float from show to show without finishing anything. There are no distractions brought by other pieces of content, or links begging to be clicked. It’s just you, your task and the entertainment alongside.
Talking of that task, even that brings advantages. Your listener is often physically preoccupied, doing something by rote, whether driving, ironing or cooking. That means they’re less likely to immediately stop and change the podcast during a slow section (we all suffer from them from time to time).
Dr Colin Gray, CEO, The Podcast Host