We all get caught up in the latest “shiny” thing. Sometimes it’s best to sit back and see how it plays out instead of investing our time and energy into something that might go away. Some might have even thought this about podcasting when it first emerged… boy, were they (we?) wrong!
While the original version of podcasting was called audio-blogging back in the 80’s, what we consider podcasting now started to emerge in late 2004. The data shows that more and more people are listening to podcasts in droves these days, which means it could be a very valuable place to spend some resources.
Of course, stats are always changing, but according to this article by MediaKix, over 35 million people listened to podcasts in 2016. And with the continued growth of mobile usage, this number is likely to continue to climb. 80% of people in a survey done by Edison Research indicated they listen to podcasts on mobile devices in their homes.
5 More Reasons Podcasting Matters:
- Mobile. People download the podcasts and listen to them everywhere (so they need not be “connected”). Between 2012 to 2015 the amount of podcasts that were downloaded (not necessarily listened to) almost tripled from 1.2 billion to 3.3 billion downloads.
- Invested. 4 hours and 10-minutes is the average listening time per person each week. This means you have an interested, captive audience.
- Affluence. Podcast listeners in the U.S. earn (on average) $10K more than the average American… this means they’re more likely have money to buy your products.
- Ad Revenue. They’re invested, and they have money, which means more and more businesses should be sponsoring podcasts.
- Emerging. It’s not completely unchartered, but apparently 9 out of 10 marketers believe this is “relatively unchartered territory.” And this presents an opportunity to start moving some of their radio ad-buying dollars over to podcasts.
Want to take the leap into podcasting?
Perhaps podcasting is something you or your organization might like to get involved with? Maybe set out as a guest first, and then determine whether it’s something you’d like to embark upon yourself. There’s no denying it’s a way for people to get to know the real you. If you’re doing it right, you’re prepared, but not scripted. You are authentic. There’s great appeal in getting to know people on a level where they want to hear you talk.
What is your end game, though? You’ll have to think about what you’ll be trying to accomplish. You’ll need to remember this is not a transactional thing. The only thing close to being transactional is the sponsorship element — you get paid by a sponsor to be mentioned on your show. Keep in mind, however, that your listeners need to find some value in what your sponsors are promoting.
Podcasters are helping people in some ways by imparting thoughtful opinions, data, and advice. And that’s absolutely part of why people listen… But they also want to be entertained! If you’re having some level of fun on your show, that means your guests and your listeners are too, which is like gold. But also understand that it’s a long-play; it’s likely going to be only one element of everything you’re doing with your business (or events).
Podcasting, like social media, is still quite new
I’ve been attending Social Media Marketing World for the past four years. It’s put on by Social Media Examiner, which has seen great success from their Social Media Marketing podcast. They’ve been giving a hat-tip to podcasting and providing sessions since the start, and I must admit I didn’t see how it related to me. I never thought I’d get involved at all.
Cut to today, and I’ve not only been a guest on four different shows, but I’m now on the crew of a podcast. I’m even hosting shows on live events and marketing, and I love it! Having a few guests and a crew for an hour-long show puts us in a unique position to have some fun. But I know it’s possible to also have fun and provide value to your listeners with just one guest at 15-minutes per episode.
Are EventProfs podcasting?
How can we apply this to the meetings and events landscape? Well, there are already a handful of eventprofs who are really doing it right:
The Meetings Podcast – the “OG” podcast in our industry. They’ve recorded more than 500 episodes! There’s a great depth and breadth of knowledge shared on these shows.
Event Tech Podcast – this is a really insightful podcast that makes technology accessible. John Federico asks great questions, and has fantastic guests who know their stuff.
EventIcons – this is a Webcast that airs live, and is then published the following week. Will Curran, Laura Lopez, Brandt Krueger, and Alex Plaxen help out with the show from hosting to live tweeting the show content as it airs.
The AV Life – this podcast has a large crew of pros who rotate between the different shows. They cover both integration AV and live event AV / technology.
There are a handful more, but not many. Doesn’t that show there’s a huge opportunity here?
It might seem like a daunting prospect. What kind of gear do I need? Will anyone listen? Let the excitement of the potential overcome the fear you might have. Here’s a great resource list for the equipment you’ll need, along with tips and tricks regarding how to podcast.
Every podcast expert I’ve heard speak has this piece of advice: just start. Your first podcast will be worse than your second, and your second worse than your third… you get the idea. They’ve all agreed that it might be scary at first, but you won’t get anywhere unless you start.
In my research for this post (which I had already titled) I came across a conference called The Podcast Movement — how appropriate! This will only be the third year they’re holding it, and I quickly decided I’m going to attend. Just as social media is still very new, so is podcasting. All of this new media is changing so rapidly — unlike anything else in the history of business — and we all have a ton to learn. Being a part of the movement is something I find really exciting.
I challenge you to explore the opportunities that podcasting provides. Dig in, check it out, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe your association can do a monthly show? Maybe you could interview keynotes or other speakers on your podcast to generate buzz regarding your events?
Check out Mike McCallen’s Website where he offers resources to help you get yours going. Look into attending The Podcast Movement – it’s super affordable, and will be in Anaheim August 23-25. And listen to a lot of different kinds of podcasts to determine who is doing it right, and what kind of show you think you’d like to have. In addition to considering a new professional avenue, you might find your new favorite thing (and something else to listen to while you’re driving to work or running!)
BONUS: The “Podcast Man” is selling these equipment kits to help us get started – smart dude! Check it out.