One of the most effective marketing tactics has been to produce online content for people to read. Many people use websites and blogs to get their information found in search results. A major challenge is that Google changes the rules every time you turn around. But this time, Google made a significant change you need to consider.
Note: A version of my article was recently published by the Louisville Bar Association in its February 2020 Bar Briefs publication (page 12).
Your content marketing strategy typically involves creating pages for your website and writing blog post after blog post. The downside is no one wants to read long articles. It’s a combination of both interest and time. We simply don’t have time to look at a screen for an extended period – especially while driving, shopping or exercising.
So, how can you get past these factors and reduce the friction, thus allowing your market to actively consume your content? Google asked the same question.
As a marketer and business consultant, one of the ways I gather in-depth information and learn about topics is via podcasts. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years. Podcasts are very effective at engaging with an audience.
The issue I saw from a marketing perspective is that people often didn’t know or understand what a podcast was. Combine that with the fact that they may not have known where to go to find podcasts and explore the ease of use and the value podcasts deliver.
More importantly, if you couldn’t Google it, why would you invest time in developing content for a podcast episode? After all, blogging and social media posts seemed the best available alternatives for small business marketing. They were, until Google validated exactly what I’d been thinking.
Here’s what happened. Google has watched the growth of content being both produced and consumed. In a major move, Google announced that it has now begun actively indexing podcast content.
Just as important to the consumer, Google is now beginning to show podcast content in its search results. Understand, this isn’t only the show notes describing what the episode covered. Google is now “listening” to the actual spoken, audio content and treating it as equally relevant content compared to website pages, blog posts and videos.
Friends, Google just blessed podcasting as a legitimate and valuable way to deliver your content.
The Evolution of Content Consumption
People adopted the Internet as a valuable resource for gathering information about topics of interest. Early on, we used desktop computers, which later transitioned to laptop computers and tablets (e.g. iPads). At the time, the available content was generally text-based. This led marketers and business owners to launch websites and blogs.
Later, video-based content became extremely important for 2 key factors: 1) People often prefer to watch rather than to read, and 2) Screens were shrinking as more and more consumers used smart phones to consume content. Scrolling page after page on a small screen was cumbersome, but a video played fine on a smaller screen and yielded a much better user experience. This enabled the video content to be more effective for marketers.
Nonetheless, limited time remained a factor for the consumer. Busy people still had to focus on a screen to get the most out of the video-based content. That’s the inherent advantage of podcast content.
The Advantage of Marketing via Your Podcast
Because podcasts feature audio content, as consumers we can absorb the information on the go. Think about it. We listen to the radio while driving (assuming you like hearing the same 5 songs repeated every hour). Podcast content offers a friction-free alternative. Many people take advantage of podcast content during drive-times, workouts or other activities.
Text-based and video content requires us to watch the screen, but we don’t have time to watch in-depth videos. This constrains the marketing message and makes it difficult to fully explain various topics. However, audio-based content eliminates that challenge. It’s one of the reasons audio content is so effective. We tend to listen longer. This provides a better opportunity for the business to appeal its target audience. More importantly, because podcast content is consumed for a longer duration, if your information is compelling, it can lead to significant conversion.
For now, if you avoided video marketing because of the complex lighting and camera requirements, or maybe you simply didn’t want to be on camera, launching a podcast for your firm offers an effective tool to appeal to your target audience. Let your personality and knowledge shine through much more than a text-based blog post ever could.
You’ve earned the right to tell a great story. I’m in the business of making sure more people get to hear it.
Are you interested in learning more? The next question is how (or where) do you even begin podcasting? I invite you to visit: JimRayConsultingServices.com/PodcastProduction.