John is your typical hard-working professional in his early 30’s. He’s also committed to lifelong learning. Unfortunately, his hectic schedule leaves little room for non-work related reading. But thanks to his long commute to and from his place of work and his recent discovery of the growing world of podcasts and online shows, he finds a way to acquire new skills, keep up to date on current events, and even brighten up his day. In a matter of days, he transforms his smartphone into a mobile university.
The question is, how can bloggers, reporters, and journalists not lose touch with the soaring numbers of individuals who are reading less and listening more with every passing day? We’ve compiled a list of the 6 reasons why content creators who want to keep up with shifting consumer preferences should consider supplementing their traditional text-only content with the audio:
1. Distribution Channels for Audio are Growing – Fast
Audio content is no longer synonymous with iTunes. Growing numbers of listeners are signing up to mobile-optimized portals like Stitcher, TuneIn, Swell, and Croice that make it easy and convenient to consume audio. These service are, in turn, making it easier for any show host to find and grow an audience.
Portability is one of the biggest advantage of audio over text. Unlike a show episode, an article or blog post cannot be consumed when a person is in a car, in the gym, or a run, or simply away from a laptop or PC.
2. Audio is a Powerful Way to Create a Personal Connection with Listeners
A lot of hosts cite the ability to connect with their listeners as one of the top benefits of running their show or podcast. Hearing someone’s voice is simply more intimate and personal than skimming another blog post, even if they both contain the same information.
The opportunity to captivate the listener by portraying a distinct personality is another point to consider. As Chris Ducker, a successful author and blogger writes, the audio format “allows you to convey your personality in a much stronger way than is possible through the written word.”
3. Marketer Interest in Audio is Surging
With the advent of smartphones, a significant number of digital marketers have indicated that they plan to learn or incorporate podcasting into their toolset.
As awareness in podcasting and live broadcasting grows, it will become increasingly easier to earn sponsorships, get advertisers on board, or monetize a show through other means.
4. Audio Can Serve as a Complementary and Consistent Traffic Source
No marketing channel or technique can compete with organic word-of mouth. And having a show or podcast with appealing content can be an extremely effective way to get your existing fans to recommend a business, product, or service to their friends, colleagues, and family members.
As Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income writes, “more and more people are discovering my brand through my podcast, and it continues to be the number one way that people discover me, more than SEO, Social Media, YouTube and links from other sites.”
5. Having a Show Can Be a Unique Differentiator
As Darren Rowse of ProBlogger says, adding a “tasty audio recordings” to an existing blog is an quick and effective way to separate it from “the unwashed masses of bloggers.”
And its not always necessary to create content for a show from scratch. Recycling, updating, and re-using existing content and material that others in the marketplace have already created can be a quick and dirty way to get a show going.
6. A Show Can Easily Generate Additional Income Streams
Committing to producing an online show is powerful way to improve one’s verbal communication skills. This skillset can then serve as a powerful foundation for winning public speaking opportunities.
As Louise Julig comments on Pat Flynn’s success in leveraging his podcast to secure speaking gigs and big-time publisher interest, “they [publishers] are looking for people who not only can write, but also can go on book tours, and who can speak on the radio, and the podcast is proof of that.”
Where to Learn More
If you’re excited about starting your own show, we recommend that you check out some of the guides we’ve written to help you get started: