Podcasting is the latest content format which has boomed in recent years. With a plethora of new shows and hosts rolling out daily every topic is covered.
From comedy, religion, sport, politics, heath, current affairs, business, self-help, science, careers, family, mental health, sales, marketing, media no subject is excluded.
According to the 2021 Infinite Dial Australia Report (a collaboration with Edison Research & Commercial Radio Australia) 5.6 million Australians (26% of the population) are weekly podcast listeners. This represents a 53% increase from 2020 with podcasting awareness sitting at 91% of the population. These statistics are generalist across all subjects and Mediaweek .
Interestingly , the No. 1 podcast in Australia is listed on Google as Casefile True Crime. Following rank is Hamish & Andy, Stuff You Should Know and Coronacast.
The push and dilemma
Alongside the growth has been a new business genre of podcast production. With that has come a push for businesses and brands to include podcasting as part of their marketing and content strategy. The pitch is that podcasting is a must have platform and if not embraced businesses are losing out on market share. The sell along with all other content formats is the elevation of personal brand authority and business brand recognition.
We are drowning in content with the sheer volume, range of platforms and mediums (video, written, audio) to wade through. We are all consumers but businesses are also content creators. It’s a real dilemma to choose the right avenues for maximum ROI and target visibility. Understanding content preferences of consumers is essential in those decisions.
So I wanted to find out the consumption habits of consumers listening to business and professional podcasts. Did the broad research from Edison show similar uptakes? Are podcasts really hot or not?
I placed a LinkedIn Poll in August asking “Do you listen to podcasts for business and professional topics? I encouraged comments to share the voting choices which resulted in a robust array of feedback.
With 893 votes the survey is a fair indication of current sentiment. Every industry was represented in the votes (employees and self employed) including lawyers, politicians, IT, HR, sales, design, accountants, consultants, engineers, NPO etc)
Age range, status, level or industry sector had no bearing on voter preferences. The gender split in each category was similar in Always, taking a rise in other choices for male voters, especially the Never/waffling votes.
Listening habits & impacts
The poll showed that a combined 27% never listen, 28% love them and 45% listen very occasionally.
A range of occasional voters felt there weren’t many great podcasts and if a particular person they followed was being interviewed they would listen. Some would like to listen more but didn’t have the time.
Many shared that COVID and working from home significantly reduced their podcast consumption. Once a regular commuting activity (car, planes, public transport) time wasn’t available now.
Unlike video and written content, podcasts are mostly consumed when doing other tasks such as cooking, exercising, housework and dog walking. People aren’t listening at their desks or whilst working.
For the 27% who don’t listen the quality, length and self-promotion turned them off. And some admitted that there attention span was short and podcasts just took too long to get the juicy nuggets of value. Reading for many was easier to get great learning and inspiration.
If you produce a podcast or are contemplating doing so there are some takeaways and considerations to factor.
Content in all formats is competitive for visibility and traction. Whilst a spoken voice is golden, consumer content preferences and learning styles are varied and not linear irrelevant of sector, topic, age or gender.
- Take a raw review of your intent, strategy and purpose
- The first 60 seconds must be amazing and attention grabbing
- Every minute counts for sharp audience value
- No ego posturing and heavy waffle and self-promotion
- Ideal length is 30 minutes
- Transcribe every podcast
Creating, consuming or being a guest on podcasts have all different motivations and outcomes. Horses for courses but from the poll they are hot for some, not for others and in the middle a swag of once in a blue moon.
Could you guess my vote? It may surprise you!
Footnote and further content polls
Polls on LinkedIn are a valuable feature and tool when used sparingly, with a solid topic and value add. The algorithm also gives Poll posts a good push due to the engagement focus.
Over the last 18 months I have run several polls on LinkedIn which provided great insights and value. Here is a article I wrote analysing voters feedback on what LinkedIn members content preferences were LinkedIn content preferences revealed
This article was published in part in Inside Small Business