Podcasting has become one of the most popular forms of content. Most listeners juggle anywhere from eight to ten favorite shows. But what is the future of podcasting? And what do new podcasters need to know as they launch their show?
In this article, we’re talking about:
- What trends are we seeing in podcasting right now?
- Where is podcasting headed in the future?
- What can podcasters do to make sure they’re staying relevant?
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Where’s podcasting headed?
One of the most important things to pay attention to is the quality of podcasts. As technology gets better and more and more folks start podcasting, the overall quality continues to improve. This doesn’t mean you need to run out and build a fantastic podcasting studio. It does mean that you should be devoted to creating quality content.
The reality of the situation is that a few years back, you could just show up and hang out with a friend and banter. That was your podcast. Now, you’re fighting against 2 million other podcasts. Your content matters a lot more than it did before.
This means that you should absolutely plan out your show. You’ll need to have a structure and workflow for each episode so you can keep focused and organized. The good news is that having a show flow is also going to make it easier to repurpose your podcast. It’ll also help get your content picked up by search engines like Google. Remember that Google doesn’t hear audio or see video. You’ll need to include the transcript as show notes and/or create blog content from your podcast in order to be found in search.
The questions to ask yourself are: what is the content that you want to share? What is the value that you want to bring? What’s the best way to get that out to the most amount of people?
So whether you’re podcasting or video podcasting, the content that you share is always much more important than your camera or microphone quality or whether or not you have splashy intro music or cool graphics.
The other thing to be aware of as we’re talking about the future of podcasting is that podcasts are now being used as marketing tools. This means that more and more businesses (of all sizes) are launching podcasts to share insights, updates, and information on the products and services that they offer. For example, we’re Ecamm. We create an amazing live streaming and video production app called Ecamm Live. You can use Ecamm Live to create a video podcast. So we’re doing this podcast, The Flow, all about how you can get started with video podcasting. We’re not directly selling Ecamm with this podcast, but you’re going to learn more about who we are and what we do just by listening, watching, or reading.
This is going to be more impactful for us than running Google or Facebook ads or writing articles in Mac magazines or other more traditional types of Marketing. And we’re certainly not alone in doing this.
One of the major benefits of using your podcast as a Marketing tool is that it helps you directly connect with your customers. By having a podcast, you’ll be learning more about what your customers want, what their questions are, and what they like or don’t like about your business, products, and services – especially if you’re doing a live to tape workflow.
For The Flow podcast, our “live studio audience” has the opportunity at the end of each show to ask us questions that we answer live. We can even use these questions to build out future episode topics. It’s a bidirectional conversation. Really, podcasts are one of the best Marketing tools out there.
What trends are we seeing in podcasting?
One of the first (and probably largest) trends we’re seeing in podcasting is hyper niching. For example, rather than doing a show all about cars, you’ll see a show that’s specifically about 1965 Ford F-100 Series Trucks and how to restore them.
We all want to be Swiss Army Knives and “do all the things,” but it’s important to remember that getting specific and niching down is how you’re going to be able to find your audience and grow your show. If all of a sudden McDonald’s started selling big screen TVs, we’d all be a little taken aback, right? That’s just not what they do.
It’s okay to go off a little bit here and there and add your personality and those real, authentic moments that people can get to know you better, but remember that your audience is there to listen to you for a specific reason. Stick to your topic as best as you can. Figure out who your audience is, and really, really stay to that. That’s where you’re going to be able to differentiate yourself against the 2 million, the 3 million, the 5 million other podcasts that are out there.
The Rise of Video Podcasts
Another important podcasting trend is video podcasting. As more and more podcasts are launched and the market becomes more saturated, you’re going to see more podcasters leveraging video to expand their audience base and create a unique experience for their fans.
This could be adding video to an existing audio-only podcast or it could also be creating video experiences like pop-up Q+As with the host(s) of a show or live video episodes or tours. Sites like Moment are really taking this space by storm – partnering with some of the top podcasters out there to create virtual experiences for fans and listeners across the world.
We’re also seeing platforms like Spotify add on video podcasting, promoting that video podcasting helps creators “show their story.” It feels likely that giants like YouTube, Apple, and even Amazon will follow suit, creating a space where listeners and viewers can consume podcasts when they want and how they want.
How do podcasters stay relevant?
One of the most important ways to stay relevant as a podcaster is to really know your content. I know that sounds obvious, but it’s obvious for a reason.
Find your passion
Here’s the thing. Many of us lose the confidence we had when we were kids. Anyone who’s ever rolled up on a five year old and accidentally mentioned the word dinosaur knows they will get a 15 minute Ted Talk about the triceratops and the way that the triceratops technically should have been the most dominant dinosaur. Kids don’t overthink things. They don’t worry about how they look or whether or not they have all the answers. They just give it to you as it is. We need to regain that confidence.
What goes along with confidence is passion. What are you most passionate about? Excited about? That’s the topic that your podcast should be on. If you’re really passionate about something, you’ll find the confidence to share about that content effectively.
If you can niche down to the specific thing that you’re awesome at, you’ve found your place. Double down on that and you’ll see growth and you’ll keep relevant.
Challenge the assumptions
Remember that one of the ways to keep relevant is to challenge the assumptions. For instance, if the assumption is that to be a podcaster you just need a couple of microphones, challenge that assumption and start with a video podcast. Even if you delete the video.
Don’t always accept the assumption is correct. There may be a much better way to go about something that you’ll miss if you always follow the status quo. Challenging assumptions, regardless of what’s going on in your industry, is a fantastic way to stay relevant.
Be the NPR of podcasting
Whether you’re brand new or have been doing it for years, you need to believe in yourself. Stop telling yourself that you are just starting out or only have a few listeners or need this thing or that thing in order to be a “real podcaster.” Instead, start saying that you’re the NPR of podcasting. Treat your show like it’s being produced by NPR and has millions of listeners. Model yourself on the best and you’ll bring out the best in yourself.
Get Into The Flow with Ecamm
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