3 incredible benefits of podcasting you've probably never considered
You may have found yourself wondering, what's with all the hype around podcasts? Every day there are new podcasts being released, adding to the 1,000,000+ shows already out there.
You might have thought about making one yourself, or you might work for an organisation that is considering starting a podcast. So should you?
The answer to that question is going to depend on several factors. Do you have a clear and compelling concept? Do you have an existing audience, or the potential to grow one around your topic? Do you have the resources to produce it yourself or engage external support to bring it to life? What would success look like in your context?
You shouldn't just make a podcast purely for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon. Podcasting is an investment, and it's going to take significant time, energy and focus that you should consider with care.
But having said that, there are some incredibly strong reasons to consider making a podcast.
These are three of the reasons why I've personally been so drawn to this medium in recent years, and why I take great delight in working with organisations to produce podcasts that meet their desired outcomes. If you're on the fence, these might help you decide whether to explore it more seriously.
1. Podcasts nurture nuance in the age of the soundbite.
I'll be lucky if you read every word in this short blog post. We all know the experience of pretending we 'read an article' when we really just read the headline and skimmed the headings. Facebook measures video engagements based on 3 second views (!) We live in a time of hurry, distraction and an onslaught of information and advertising coming from every direction, every moment. But podcasts buck this trend, producing a different level of engagement. 80% of podcast episodes played are listened to the whole way through. Podcasts are commonly listened to while people are commuting, doing household cleaning or exercising, activities that can create an uninterrupted stretch of time and available brain space. This creates an opportunity to stimulate much deeper engagement than mindless scrolling does, and gives you as an individual, organisation or brand the chance to actually take people on a significant journey of learning and reflection. If your podcast aims to educate, inspire or generate cultural influence the power of this kind of engagement can't be overstated.
2. Podcasts prioritise dialogue over monologues.
This is particularly true of interview-based shows, but broadly speaking the medium of podcasting is more like a roundtable than a soapbox. There may always be a place for the one-to-many communication style of keynote talks, lectures, sermons etc, but they will also always be limited in the perspective they can offer on their own. Podcasts provide fantastic opportunities for hosting panels, facilitating healthy disagreement and exchange, and highlighting a diversity of voices. Curating a selection of the right guests can be a chance to introduce your listener to a mix of perspectives they would not normally engage with. This is made particularly possible when they have a sense of familiar connection with you as the host. A sense of trust is built over time, that can be leveraged to expose an audience to new ideas and learning.
3. Podcasting provides a masterclass for your own learning before anyone else listens.
I've produced podcasts on a broad range of topics including evolving gender roles, the creative process and how to make and break habits. I've interviewed academics, CEOs, founders, musicians, poets, artists, coaches, scientists, lecturers, financial advisors, teachers, refugees, small business owners...the list goes on. On a personal level, the wealth of learning I have experienced from these conversations could never be quantified. I always feel like a good podcast interview is just a fantastic conversation I got to have, that I can then share with others who would have loved being at the table also. This can be applied organisationally also. The process of outlining themes, preparing questions, engaging with guests and seeking to present valuable content will assist you in articulating your purpose, sifting through your ideas and finding your sweet spot. At its best, your podcast will provide deep value to your listeners, while refining your own messaging and expertise.
What do you think? Does the idea of creating nuanced media, generating dialogue and clarifying your own thoughts appeal to you? Maybe it's time to explore making a podcast.
Lead by Story offers a full range of podcast production services covering everything from concept development, to producing and publishing content. Whether you need support capturing your ideas or producing a whole season I'd love to have a conversation with you about how we may be able to help. Get in touch here.
Getting into the nuance with one of my pod-partners in crime, Benj Gould.