Podcast listening is booming around the world. According to new research from Ofcom, six million adults of all ages are listening to podcasts each week in the UK. And that figure has doubled in five years. In the USA the numbers are even higher.
But have you considered?
Why? Well, we already know that audio is a very intimate medium and can go wherever you go, whatever you’re doing, from walking the dog, cooking a meal or having a bath. You don’t need to sit in front of a TV screen or hold a book or paper to engage with audio content.
This means its powerful in a number of ways. In a world that is becoming increasingly frenetic it’s harder to demand your customer’s precious time. Even with a values led business model where you’re focussed on serving your customers’ needs before profit and want to go above and beyond, how can you expect them to sit and read a report you’ve commissioned into the challenges their sector faces?
It might be excellent, it might provide exactly the solutions they’re looking for, but they don’t have the time sit in front of a computer screen at the end of a busy day.
But what if they can listen whilst doing the washing up, or the weekly shop? What if it doesn’t necessarily dominate their time? What if it feels more like learning than work?
Because of the nature of audio, a podcast can also help you take your customers into places in your organisation that they have never been before, forging stronger relationships. It can help reinforce your company values or introduce new values to your clients, it can even help you find new client bases. It’s your story, so you tell it as you wish.
Private or internal podcasts are also a brilliant tool for communicating with your staff. Often trying to cascade a message from your CEO through various levels of management structure can be problematic. One senior manager in a multinational construction firm once told me “The boss is hugely charismatic and is really inspiring when he talks at the Annual Conference but it’s not practical to get more than about 200 managers to fly in and hear him speak at any one time, so it’s then up to them to share the message with their teams all over the world and it’s impossible to replicate well. Nuances get lost and his message gets watered down.” A podcast allows you to communicate directly with your staff in a much less formal and rigid way, sharing knowledge and ideas whenever you need to.
Again, staff can engage at a time that suits them. They can catch up with the annual conference whilst sitting on the train to work or doing some filing. It’s intimate and efficient.
With podcasting, there are no rules. They can be three minutes long, sharing the latest press release or three hours long. You can release them every day, or twice a year.
It’s all up to you. The potential is endless.