You may be seeing a lot about podcasts in the news and on social media lately. There’s good reason for it. They’re rapidly becoming a popular and effective means of delivering entertainment and information and they’re on-demand.
For those of you who remember the early days of television, imagine that we are in the era when black and white TV was the norm, but one or two families in the neighborhood had this exciting new color TV. Some old fuddy-duddies might have said, “Bah! Who needs color? Our old Zenith shows the Colgate Hour just fine!” (My chronology may be a touch off in this example, but you know what I’m saying). Podcasts are color TV, but BETTER!
Or maybe you go even further back and can remember the time when families stopped gathering around the radio and began to gather around the TV. Many people thought TV was a passing fad and it will never replace movies or radio. They were, of course, gravely mistaken as history has proven. Podcasts are any old TV, but BETTER!
In either case, you’re probably way too old to care about this article and are probably enjoying your retirement. Good on ya!
In the meantime, this article is geared towards the people who are still out there trying to make it in the daily grind. You’re a business owner. You’re a realtor, or personal trainer, or lawyer, or a tailor of custom suits, or a music teacher, or film buff, or whatever and you have a firm grasp on your industry and a personality to grab the attention of your target market. Or maybe you don’t, but someone on your staff does. Regardless, you need to understand the importance of adding podcasting to your existing social media marketing strategy.
I know, “but why do I need a podcast?” or “what even is a podcast?” As my friend and creator of The Big Box of Magic, Jeff Burnett, said to me, “It used to be a badge of honor that I didn’t know what ‘Instagram’ meant or what a podcast was, but, now, as a business owner, shame on me for not keeping up with the times.” Jeff’s right.
I’m not trying to shame you with this article if you’re someone who wears your ignorance of 21st century marketing as a badge of honor. Quite the contrary. I’m trying to open your eyes and help you navigate the rapidly changing and awfully treacherous waters of doing business today. There are two things that will become true with each passing year: 1) you need a solid social media presence and 2) podcasting has become an effective way to connect to your customers and is only going to become more effective and, by default, more necessary.
Let me throw some stats at you brought to us by Edison Research. (Read full report here. My comments in italics.)
- In-home Ownership of Over-The-Air Radio receivers has dropped, with 79% of respondents saying they have a radio at home. That number was 96% in 2008. Among 18-34-year-olds, that number is down from 94% to 68% over the same time period. 18-34 year olds are future homeowners, business owners or people who just spend their money on hobbies, etc. Advertising to them on the radio ain’t gonna cut it for much longer. As the people who listen to radio as one of their main sources of information die off or tighten their belts when they retire, your customer base will dwindle. In order to reach the younger, up and coming generations, you must first identity how they get their information. (It’s not TV, Radio or Print like in the old days.)
- 50% of respondents age 12 and older listened to some sort of online radio in the last week, a rise from 44% last year. With 57% of Americans using online radio monthly, the conversion of monthly to weekly users is now 88%. See? It’s shifting
- Mobility makes podcast consumption…well, mobile! In 2016, 64% of podcasts were being listened to on some mobile device. That’s a huge flip considering that in 2014 about that many were listening to podcasts on a computer. Your laptop or desktop restricts your movement thereby restricting your ability to listen. Your smartphone does not restrict your ability to listen. The train, the car, on your walk or hike, while you ride your bike, go boating, fishing, horseback riding… you get the point. Wherever a person goes, he or she can listen to a podcast…YOUR podcast.
- Smartphone Ownership has increased from 71% to 76% of all respondents. Among 12-24-year-olds, smartphone ownership rose to 93%, while even respondents age 55 and older cracked the “more than half” barrier, up 45 to 51%. Is it sinking in yet?
We’re in an “on-demand” society. We want our content, be it entertainment or informational, yesterday. Smartphones have contributed to that impatience and enable it to grow. Unlike radio or television, the consumer does not need to have his or her butt in the chair at a certain time on a certain day in order to see the content they desire. With podcasts, the consumer can listen to you on their own time and at their own pace. For example, I know someone who listens to one of the shows we at the New Jersey Podcast Guys produce called “Checked Out In Jersey”. It’s a 90-120 minute show. He has roughly a 30 minute commute. He breaks up and episode over two days during his week and enjoys it in his car. Many, many other consume their podcasts in the same way.
I know it sounds like a scary, daunting, uncharted ocean for you to set sail on, but, fear not. We at the New Jersey Podcast Guys are going to help you through them and we highly recommend that you read more of the study by Edison Research.
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