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Podcast Content Ideas to Captivate Your Audience

Aubrey Beck

Podcasts aren't a new form of media, although recent pop-culture darlings Serial and Startup have re-introduced the idea of audio material as a popular form of storytelling.

*This post first appeared on ClickZ

Podcasts aren't a new form of media, although recent pop-culture darlings Serial and Startup have re-introduced the idea of audio material as a popular form of storytelling.

NPR heavyweights Radiolab and This American Life have been at the forefront of the field for some time now and the resurgence in demand for podcasts appears to be a fruitful place for creative content marketers to grab more ears.

podcast marketing

Why Podcasts?

Edison Research found that 39 million Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month--an all-time high - and Americans spend an average of 4 hours and 5 minutes each day consuming audio content with pre-programmed audio comprising 26% of listening time.

"Podcast listeners are a highly sought-after demographic for marketers, largely because it's composed of well-educated, social sharers. In short, it's the type of demographic many marketers are vying for given their disposable incomes and affinity for social sharing."

In addition, the audio format often assists with eliminating the tech-focused multi-tasking and skimming-over-material syndromes that plague other types of content because listeners often choose to engage in podcast listening while driving or working out, for example.

In fact, you can even encourage consumption at these "captive" times by building suggested listening times into the content offer CTAs. Optimize your audience's commute by giving them something to focus on while they navigate gnarly stop-and-go city moving.

How to Implement?

Offer the option for people to download the podcast from your desktop site to their phone or music player, but you'll also need to find a way to offer the content through a streaming service like SoundCloud that can be accessed easily from mobile devices.

If your organization has a mobile site, you could include a new menu section dedicated specifically to audio streaming content, maybe within the Resources or Blog sections.

What to Cover?

Behind-the-scenes insight into your organization is a great way to launch a podcast series. If you're in manufacturing, you could break up your product's manufacturing process into 7 steps, for example, and have different team members tell stories based on each step of the process. The content can be educational without having to be dry. Encourage interviewees (or storytellers) to talk about funny, scary, exciting, or off-the-wall moments that have happened in their experience.

Customer stories are the power punch of podcasts. There's the built-in (assumed) testimonial that builds trust amongst prospective customers, the chance to create warm-and-fuzzies with your current clients by showing them love, and of course - powerful case study proof wrapped in an exciting storytelling format.

Company leaders talking industry trends shows everyone who is paying attention that your organization is deeply involved in the industry and helps put a check in that little box all marketing departments love to check off - the thought leadership content box. Leaders can be the CEO or VP or Product Development, of course, but you can also tap top talent from the rank and file. Grab the engineer leading a group on building out new product functionality and ask him what the company and its customers can look forward to in future roll-outs. Pick the brains of your best sales people to see what trends they see looming on the industry horizon.

As you're putting together content marketing plans for 2015, don't overlook the possibility of including podcasts in the mix. The audio-only aspect of a podcast increases concentration because content is not spoon-fed on both audio and visual levels - listeners have to create the story (the visuals) in their mind's eye.

And on the effort scale, they rank pretty low. Recording conversations with people isn't difficult and really the only area that could possibly require more time is if you choose to edit sound bites together after the fact.

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