Writer Steve Hart has been podcasting since 2009. He has written a book to help beginners launch their own podcasts and here he touches on the benefits of starting one about your business, industry or trade.
Podcasts have been around since 2004. Adam Curry and Dave Winer are credited with doing the firs t one, and writer Ben Hammersley (of UK newspaper The Guardian) is credited with first using the term ‘podcasting’.
There are millions of hours of podcasts produced every year, the audience for them is building fast, and that has been well established by Edison Research in numerous annual surveys it has carried out.
I started podcasting in 2009, a weekly wrap of the New Zealand Sharemarket for the now defunct NZ Investor magazine.
The gear I used was modest. A cheap microphone I happened to have hanging around; a basic mixer with two inputs (I only needed one) and some the free recording app Audacity. And from nothing I created something that not only helped increase awareness of the magazine but gave me some professional experience and raised my profile too.
I learned how to record properly, do basic editing, and get my show across all podcast distribution platforms; from Apple to Stitcher and more recently iHeartRadio and Spotify.
What I learned is that there is an audience for well produced factual podcasts. Making hour-long podcasts was not for me (don’t have the time). So I keep my podcasts down to around 10 minutes. If pushed, and I was interviewing someone, then I’d aim for around 25 minutes max – because that should allow people to listen to the whole within average commute times.
Talking of which…Where are people when they listen to a podcast? You might be surprised. According to Edison Research 90 per cent of people listen to podcasts at home. In a car/truck (64%); walking around (49%); at the gym (43%); at work (37%); while on public transport (37%).
With basic gear and a quiet location you can record a podcast today. But where to start?
First decide on your genre; and that could be industry news and trends. And you start by starting – by deciding the key points of your first podcast and talking into your microphone like it was a friend; or maybe someone you’ve never met before.
Keep your delivery chatty, informative, clearly separate opinion from facts and avoid ‘selling’ too much. Remember, this is not an advert – a podcast is a sharing of information to promote you as as an expert in your field and your company as one to trust.
All the available evidence points to a rosy future for podcasting – which means any doubt you had about podcasting being a worthwhile venture should be extinguished.
It is also clear that people earning well above average annual incomes will be your audience..
People who like listening to podcasts also listen to them more than they do other forms of audio, such as radio and music. They are a captive audience that’s fully engaged with the medium – they have chosen to listen to you. The audience is king.
Steve Hart is the author of ‘Podcasting Made Easy’ and can be found at www.SteveHart.co.nz