Many companies – from Fortune 500 to start-ups – are beginning to rely on podcasts to communicate with consumers. Likewise, more consumers are turning to podcasts.
According to The Infinite Dial, the longest-running survey of American digital media consumer behavior, 37% of Americans listened to or watched a podcast in the past month (2020).
This number is up from 32% in 2019, and has been steadily increasing each year since 2013.
As more Americans listen to these podcasts, it becomes more important to create them.
The market has noticed this. As of April 2021, there are over 48 million podcast episodes released. In April 2019, there were only around 30 million episodes.
While any type of consumer communication is beneficial, video sets itself apart. Video podcasting can be effective and help your business reach new heights.
Connecting through visuals
Communication is more non-verbal than verbal.
The most accredited study of this was done in 1971 by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, a psychology professor currently teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Mehrabian developed a philosophy called the 7-38-55% communication rule.
This rule states that 7% of communication is spoken word, 38% is tone, and 55% is body language. Most communication and psychology academics think this is a good estimate.
According to this philosophy, audio without visual misses out on around 55% of communication.
The addition of body language leads to both clarity and relatability.
- If a customer can interpret body language, the intent of the message becomes easier to see. This limits miscommunication.
- People find it easier to connect with a face. As people become familiar with the host’s body language, they become comfortable with the messages. This leads to consistent viewership and rapport with consumers.
Any form of communication is better than nothing, but if you want to resonate with your audience, it pays to shoot a video.
If your goal is to establish a brand, then video podcasting is a great option for two reasons.
1. Establishing a brand ambassador
Brand ambassadors have been used to spearhead marketing campaigns since the Marlboro Man in 1954. Fictional or physical, having a face associated with your brand helps it become trustworthy.
As your brand grows, it is important to keep it grounded. In most cases, you want consumers to view your business as friendly and personal, not a steely corporation. By associating your brand with a face, your public image is immediately more trustworthy.
For this purpose, video podcasting is a cheap and effective option.
2. Public relations
Public relations are often handled through press releases. These are used to respond to a situation or inform the public about new developments in a company.
Press releases can be stagnant. An explanation without emotion.
An effective podcast feels like a conversation. It is less about telling the consumer about what is happening, and more about including the customer in your journey as a business.
To see the effectiveness of podcasting in public relations, look no further than some of America’s leading corporations.
Blue Apron is a meal-kit production company that was frequently accused of environmental irresponsibility . In 2017, they started the “Why We Eat What We Eat” podcast, which focuses on sustainable eating and food trends. As a result, Blue Apron no longer receives public criticism for their environmental practices.
McDonald’s released a limited-edition sauce in 1998 called Szechuan sauce. Due to overwhelming demand, they revived the sauce in 2018, but the limited supply angered customers to the point of rioting. Later in 2018, they released “The Sauce”, an investigative podcast that served as an apology to customers. McDonald’s removed the podcast from the internet in 2019, but it calmed down the customers at the time. They have not needed to address the controversy further.
These are not the only examples of major companies producing podcasts for public relations. From eBay’s “Open For Business” to ZipRecruiter’s “Rise and Grind”, corporations are starting to recognize the benefits of PR podcasting.
One of the benefits of video podcasting is convenience for both the producer and the audience.
Setting up a podcast is when you incur the most costs – equipment, training, and production services. It also takes a while for a podcast to grow. It is not immediately effective.
However, in the long run, digital production is cheaper than the brick-and-mortar option.
Podcasts avoid printing, postage, and distribution costs. Once on the internet, they are there forever. No need to redistribute.
Once you cross the first hump and learn how to produce a quality podcast, it becomes simple. Video podcasts can be done from home, and completed in just a few hours.
The audience also enjoys the convenience of watching anywhere, anytime. A podcast can be watched on any device and doesn’t require full attention. Most people love to multitask, and podcasts are perfect for watching or listening during meals, in traffic, or on walks.
Rather than having to manufacture posts, micro content can be taken from a video podcast – video or audio snippets, images, and captions. Quotable clips are almost inevitable when filming a video episode, and each clip can be easily redesigned and redistributed through any social media platform.
As of June 2021, there are above 18.9 million posts with #podcast on Instagram.
Convenience and video podcasting go hand-in-hand. From social media to cost to time, podcasting proves to be one of the most efficient forms of business communication.
Video podcasts, communication with a human touch
Some would argue that communication is the most important piece of running a business. Video podcasts can reach a large audience with a human touch, and set up personal connections without face-to-face interaction.
Podcasts are on the rise. Viewership is growing and more production is taking place each year. With the amount of time it takes to establish a podcast, the earlier you start, the more effective your message.
But video podcasting is not easy. The learning curve is steep, and the competition is growing. However, the benefits of promoting with video is well-worth the effort. Once you get past the first steps, the convenience and effectiveness will leave no regrets.