We’re becoming more connected by the minute to our devices through our voice rather than our screens. We have smart speakers, connected products everywhere and even our very own personal digital assistants. We’re slowly becoming screenless and able to navigate the digital world through our voice, making it more powerful than ever. Rumour has it that 50% of all searches will be done with voice next year with the voice shopping predicted to skyrocket too. But when it comes to the screenless world businesses have to carve out new strategies not just to mitigate an impact on sales, but to carve themselves as the thought leaders in their space in a new way, devoid of video and the best way to do this is right now is undoubtedly a strong podcast strategy.
The World is Listening
The audio audience is rapidly expanding and if you’re to look at the statistics it is a well educated, largely affluent, gender-balanced and loyal audience. 51% have a household income over 75K with 61% holding at least a 4-year university degree. According to this study, they are also consuming up to 7 podcasts per week streaming up to 5 or more hours weekly. Imagine being directly in your prospective customer’s ear for even 10% of that time per week? Companies are not even scratching the surface of what is possible with audio.
Beyond this, we know the world of social platforms is becoming more saturated by the minute. I recently counted 1 in 4 posts being ads on Instagram feed (across 8 different accounts this was the same). There’s no doubt that without strong and engaging content on the social platforms that at this point you are probably draining your budget and falling to the wayside. It’s a narrow-minded approach to just create for the feeds. If you’re just creating for the newsfeed organically, how can that content really be maximised or even used again after 24 hours?
Repurpose with Purpose
Podcasting brings with it the opportunity to do something a lot of us haven’t in quite some time which is not writing for the robots. Google is moving to the world of voice led searches and is integrating the conversational approach required for this new form of search. Transcribing podcasts meets this need perfectly. The SEO opportunity from podcasts should not be underestimated. I have been genuinely blown away with how well this works and I’ve yet to finish even transcribing all the podcasts recorded to date. Also, Google is bringing up podcasts in the search results.
Secondly, you can’t just ignore your social feeds just because of the new world of audio. It still exists – so get the camera out in front of the podcast recordings and start making long-form content. Pull the snippets with little gems and push them into the feeds. Now you’ve gotten double bang for your buck yet again. Better again, get 2 cameras going, one vertical and one horizontal, record the podcast, use the long form for YouTube and Facebook, cut the gems out for the feed on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and snippets in vertical for Instagram stories, Facebook stories (and probably TikTok soon let’s face it!). Also, Google brings up video content in the search results.
How Companies Are Going to Mess It Up
The first rule of podcasting and probably one of the only ones is to NOT SELL. Here is a visual representation of what it feels when you’re listening to a podcast and they start selling.
Nobody wants to hear it and you won’t gain anything from it. Your audience won’t listen again. I have actively unsubscribed to podcasts I was excited to listen to just because of this. This advice is also dished out to companies who want to succeed in the newsfeed where this is also true, but it is often blissfully ignored to the detriment of the time and budget gone into the content. But, it’s never been truer than on a podcast. 30 minutes of describing how great a product or service is? No thank you. (This isn’t to say you can’t get sponsored ads once or twice in the podcast or do a shoutout to a product or service at the end – that’s normal.)
The second missed opportunity no doubt will be businesses not starting now and waiting until they see their competitors working on their strategy and then resort to a panic podcast strategy. Start now and stand out from the sea of companies in your industry.
Into the Crystal Ball
2020 is going to be a big year in the world of audio, from voice searches to an even bigger boost in the world of podcasts, every trend is looking that direction. Starting now is definitely the best way to leverage before the world gets truly saturated with podcasts. Start now, aim to tell stories and solve problems, as always provide value, avoid the sales pitch and the results will prove the worthiness of the time gone in.