A podcast is an audio or video file (referred to as an episode) that can be subscribed to, downloaded, or streamed and listened to. As a podcaster, you have a platform where you can pick a topic of conversation, establish your brand, schedule daily or weekly releases, and use it as an extension of your current media profiles and efforts.

It’s easy to see why podcasting has become popular in current times. Regardless of which podcasting platform you choose to work with, it is out there on the Internet for a world of listeners to tune into. You can literally be anyone and talk about anything your heart desires.

You’ve done your HR management courses and are currently working in a great company and you love your day job. But your passion lies in protecting the environment and you consider yourself a ‘Captain Planet’ by night.

Find what interests you or what you love and know a lot about, never forget to do your research, and start a podcast to get it out there.

The statistics and audience

In South Africa, there are no substantial statistics on subscribers and podcast consumers as of yet. However, to give you an idea of the potential and current statistics of podcasting, here are some United States statistics of monthly listeners according to Edison Research on The Podcast Consumer 2017.

The majority of listeners are aged between 18 and 35 with a 38% increase in awareness of the term ‘podcasting’ between 2006 and 2017. Majority of listeners are employed and considered educated. Research indicates there is an estimate of 42 million weekly podcast listeners.

It’s clearly no secret that there is success in venturing down the podcast path when it comes to reaching a wide, young, tech-savvy audience to spread the word on environmental health or whatever it is that interests you.

Catering for an audience that basically lives online is a great way to market yourself, and have yourself marketed through social media. Make sure you integrate your website, blog, Facebook, Instagram or whichever platforms you are most present, to draw traffic to both to your podcast and from your podcast.

Technologically convenient

As technology has rapidly advanced since 2004, there is more room for podcasting to be optimised. It is easier for smartphones, today, to accommodate podcast applications that make it easily accessible and simple to download, subscribe, or stream podcast episodes in almost every and all situations.

It is now super convenient to listen to podcasts while in the car, over Bluetooth, or via an AUX cable. The reality is that you’re now able to listen whenever you want to through the touch of a button or, even easier, a voice command.

Apple will also be introducing analytics, monitoring ability for podcasters to have a clearer idea of their success based on how much ‘listening’ their episodes are received as opposed to just downloads. The new iOs 11 update will bring with it demographic analytics and will increase the competitive content market that makes up podcasting and radio.

Advertising

Advertising through the podcast medium is becoming a popular channel for advertisers these days. Mostly because people listening to a podcast are generally on the go and not in a position to skip the ad but also because most podcasters themselves read the ad. This turns the advertisement into a friend-on-friend conversation instead of a forced-upon marketing strategy.

Listeners don’t subscribe or come back for every episode only because they enjoy the topic of conversation. A connection is established, and there is a sense of trust in what the podcaster is talking about because it is either relatable, interesting, or factually correct. With this in mind, hearing about advertised products while listening to your weekly podcast will generally interest you and be relevant to what you are listening to.

Podcasting is a great platform for business and personal ventures, and your public speaking skills need only be as developed as your ability to speak is. Yes, you are potentially addressing a large audience, but they tune in because they want to listen to what you have to say and they trust the qualities of your voice.

You don’t need to worry about eye contact and what to do with your hands, just make sure you speak clearly, are well-researched, have warmed up your vocals, aren’t unnecessarily shouting, and are speaking slow enough to be understood and fast enough to keep your listeners’ attention.

Just think of it as a conversation, that’s all the people want.