Could a podcast revival kill off blog posts?
Whenever there’s a challenge to an established marketing channel it usually comes from a new innovation in communications. In recent years we’ve seen popular social media platforms like Twitter losing out on user numbers and interaction to newer competitors like Instagram; just as traditional print media outlets have had to move online in an effort to retain readers. However, in the case of podcasts, it’s taken a while for them to come of age. Now there’s a possibility that the podcast revival could kill off blog posts.
The coming of age of podcasting
Podcasting, as we now know it, began in 2003 when a method for syndicating MP3 files online was invented in the US. Since then, it’s been picked up by individuals as a way of sharing niche views and expertise in a more personal way than the written word.
Businesses have been slower to take up podcasts. In the past 15 years marketing departments have been getting to grips with social media strategies, video creation, and SEO as methods of reaching their audiences.
However, many marketeers are now recognising the potential of podcasts, and even questioning whether they are more effective for engaging their customers than blog posts.
Why do people listen to podcasts?
Podcasts are long-form content that allows people to deep dive into a topic they enjoy or want to learn more about. Listening to the spoken word also gives them a stronger affinity with the podcast creator. It’s a different experience to reading a webpage or blog post, which people tend to do when they are searching for information fast. Podcast subscribers want the bigger picture.
What has made podcasts more relevant in recent years is that it takes minimal effort to listen to them and, with a smartphone, you can take them anywhere without the need for an extra device. Indeed, people can tune into a podcast when they are commuting, shopping, driving or exercising. This is where the challenge lies for blog posts, which require people to stop doing other things and focus on reading in order to take in information. I very much doubt you’re reading this while running a half marathon.
How can a brand benefit from having a podcast?
There are several benefits for brands that add podcasts to their marketing and PR plans:
- Podcasts are an excellent way to build relationships with customers on a more intimate level than marketing literature, blog posts and social media allow.
- If you host podcasts on your own website this can help to increase visitors and the time they spend on your site. This adds to a website’s credibility with Google and improves SEO.
- You can add links to product webpages in podcast notes and descriptions, again driving more internet traffic.
- Podcasts make great content for sharing on social media and this can broaden the reach of your content.
- Car infotainment interfaces, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, make it easier for people to stream content, like podcasts, from their smartphone, allowing brands to reach their customers on the move.
Have blog posts had their day?
Not yet. Blog posts continue to bring benefits for brands in terms of creating useful online content that brings customers to your website and gives them answers. Blogs are great for SEO too. They can also be adapted for voice search, which is set to become more important with the rise in ownership of devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. However, blog posts are not as mobile or easy to consume as podcasts and, in time, this may be what kills them off. And Google has plans in the future to begin indexing audio like podcasts in their search results.