Are Podcasts Retro?

So, it’s 2021 . . . why am I about to talk about podcasts? Even though podcasts have been around for a while, they are more relevant than ever. Why?

We’re a busy lot, and for some reason we have this constant desire to multitask. Are we able to just watch our favorite TV show with texting about it? Can we exercise without our headphones? Can we drive anymore without eating, drinking coffee, or listening to something? Indeed this is the age of video, but there are clearly times when our eyes are busy. That’s when podcasts come in. As an audio-only media format, they are a great way to keep our ears and minds busy while we’re multitasking. Hmmm, why our minds are available during some tasks begs another question about how well we’re performing that original task . . . but that’s another topic for another article. For now, let’s just assume we can multitask effectively and efficiently. Wow, I’ve never wanted to write two articles at the same time like I do right now. See? Ok . . . back to podcasts.

First, podcasts are a media form BEGGING for a new name. The name originally derived from the iPod, a device that has nearly disappeared from our arsenal of must-have devices. So podcasts DO seem a bit retro in name, and they clearly could benefit from a more modern identity in 2021 (I sense another article in the making), but most of us carry a phone and/or a tablet with us at all times, and those are the perfect delivery mechanisms for audio-only content. As such, they are still very much a modern phenomenon.

So what can we do with podcasts that we can’t do with other media formats? Well, once we’re engaged in a task that is “partly” engaging our senses (brief pause while I add a rant to that “other” article) . . . we are a captive audience. And our attention span is partly dictated by the duration of the original task. For instance, if we have a half hour commute, we’re seemingly happy to fill that time and we have a far better chance of focusing our attention. Whereas a 30 second promotional spot can feel like an eternity on the receiving end, a 15 or 30 minute podcast does not. As a result, it’s an opportunity to deliver more detailed and nuanced content to your audience. Also, a podcast represents an effective way for your business to reframe or bundle its value proposition into a more “interesting” presentation.

As you might have guessed already, a podcast is not just a 30 minute commercial you punish your audience with while they’re prisoners of their cars. Podcasts need to be interesting pieces that tell a story, engage the listener, and encourage them to return for future episodes. They are also a great way for your target audience to learn about the depth, expertise, and other important aspects  to your company’s brand. A good podcast is interesting, informative, and offers value in-and-of-itself. And, it brings clients and/or potential clients closer to the personal side of your business.

Moving forward, consider a podcast as part of your content strategy. As usual P/M is here to answer your questions and help you take the next steps toward effective content.

Be well,