Why Podcasting Might Scratch Your Marketing Itch

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I’ve been kicking this post idea around for a few weeks now, and I’ve decided to pull the trigger. I talked to a lot of people on and off the Internet to get their takes on it, and someone made a comment that stuck with me: “Podcasting is so 2008.”

I have to disagree.

This person meant that podcasting has piqued, that it’s no longer a viable content strategy — nevermind the fact that almost everyone I meet and talk to on a daily basis (even outside my role as NBC Chicago captain) listens to podcasts. Enough to have a favorite one and to be opinionated about why it’s more successful than others.

There’s a few things to consider with podcasting and why it might be worth it, but I think the chief point among them is that you can generate lots of downloads in lots of countries in a way that written prose can’t. You’ll make your personality more well-known, and you’re also making yourself available to a different segment of the audience who might not stumble upon your existence on the regular Internet.

Also, well, it’s a lot easier than blogging. Or it can be, anyway. You might need to agonize a little more over audio editing and smoothing out transitions, but you don’t need to fret about the right words and flow. You just need to make it sound like a conversation — which I know is problematic for some entrepreneurs — and that will happen naturally if you have another person on with you.

Then again, there are a few things to consider when it comes to deciding against podcasting. For example, you should sit down and ponder whether anyone else will actually get value from your podcast — be it another business, a customer or anyone else in between. There are some industries that, no offense, probably just don’t need a podcast. Cab drivers. Plumbers. Grocery store employees. Something that’s too niche among the niches. And yet, I know there’s a few cab-driver podcasts and plumber podcasts. They aren’t very popular, even though some of them aren’t half bad. But they don’t need to exist.

That’s the main point about content strategy in general, though: Just because something can exist doesn’t mean it should. Give it some thought before carrying it out.

For more on the pros and cons of podcasting, check out this blog post from Reputation Capital on how podcasts can be used for marketing and franchise development.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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