Podcasts and Audio Content
Prodcasting in the Video Age
At a time when video is the most sought-after form of content, podcasting is just beginning to find its feet. According to a 2019 PwC report, India is the world’s third-largest podcast-listening market (after China and the US).
In India, podcast listening has increased markedly in the past few years. As per the study, monthly listeners (defined as people who listened to at least one podcast in the last month) totalled 4Cr at the end of 2018, up a sharp 57.6% from 2.54Cr in the previous year. This growth is set to continue over the forecast period with listener numbers set to increase at a 34.5% CAGR to 17.61Cr by 2023. Contributing to the rise of the medium is radio fatigue, and the need for a digital model for contemporary journalism.
As the second largest market for smartphones, and with Internet becoming ubiquitous, podcasts are at an inflection point, in India. It stands to serve as a viable alternative to ad-riddled radio programs, by delivering informative, intelligent audio entertainment.
Yet another mode of audio content to consider are audiobooks. Unlike e-books which require time (exclusively) from readers, audiobooks can be consumed while going about one’s daily tasks. From a marketing perspective, it is positioned as a more affordable and practical alternative to e-books.
What are Podcasts and Audiobooks?
Podcasts are a type of audio content, generally broadcasted over the Internet, designed to inform, and entertain its audience.
The recording of a narration of a book, is an audiobook.
How Does Audio Content Help?
Podcasting and audiobooks can help fulfil quite a few of the organization’s marketing objectives.
Humanizes the Brand
Podcasts lend a voice to the brand. The information is communicated directly to the listener, resulting in a more intimate way of connecting with your customers/listeners.
Alternative to Video
Video production is time-consuming, and expensive, while also requiring technical resources. Podcasts and audiobooks are quick and easy to produce with the potential for high gains.
Easy to Consume
Podcasts and audiobooks are an easily consumable form of content. Once customers have subscribed to your podcast, new episodes can be automatically downloaded to their devices.
Podcasts can be listened to, at one’s convenience. This will help brands get their message across without having to ‘push’ it.
Efficient Way of Communication
Customers can listen to your podcast or audiobook even while driving, or exercising, or cooking, without having to dedicate time specifically for it, saving time and improving productivity. They’re also a portable means of communication since it can be heard on mobile devices as well.
Speaking on a topic with authority and depth, will allow you to position your brand and the in-house expert as thought leaders in the industry. This can also be achieved through audio interviews and panel discussions in the form of talk shows.
Avenue for Revenue
These indirect benefits of including podcasting in your content marketing strategy, will eventually lead to monetization of your content. Either through increased traffic and brand awareness, or by direct monetization through sponsors and paid subscriptions.
Steps to Create Great Audio Content
There are primarily three areas to focus on when creating a podcast:
The content theme of a podcast can be informational, instructional, or entertainment. While all three themes can be combined, it is advisable to follow a specific theme to maintain continuity and consistency across the series.
Some podcasters choose to alternate between the themes to introduce variation but there’s always a risk of alienating sections of your audience. Consistency in content can help draw more listeners. Specificity is key to keeping your audience tuned in. The topics in discussion should target a specific section of the online audience, keeping them hooked to your consistent content.
- Presentation: It is a simple narration or monologue on a subject. Usually not done live in order to trim pauses, and dead time from the original audio.
- Q&A: An interview format where the host asks the guest(s) questions on myriad topics to provide listeners with insightful answers.
- Co-hosted: Unscripted and organic conversation as much as possible, between the speakers.
In theory, a podcast can be recorded in just a few minutes. Practically, however, it takes time, effort, and equipment. The first and most important tool that is required is the microphone. A good quality microphone will determine the sound output of your podcast.
Secondly, an audio recording/ editing software is required to clean the recorded audio and add music, and effects, if any. Finally, once the editing is done, select the platforms on which you wish to upload your podcast, and upload.
Audiobooks are simpler in the sense that it requires just a narration. A setup equipped to record podcasts will suffice for audiobooks as well.
Tips and Techniques for Professional Audio Content
With low barriers to entry, podcasts are an attractive marketing tool for organizations. However, to differentiate oneself from the rest a few pointers need to be considered:
The speaker should have minimal fillers in their speech, with good command of the language, and strong vocal presence.
Talk, Don’t Act
A podcast conducted in a relaxed manner facilitates conversation. A fullfledged script could make your podcast sound artificial and dull, while no outline could make it sound unprofessional. Stay relaxed and create talking points.
Keep the conversation focused and to-the-point. Repetition or stretching of content can cause fatigue, or worse, loss in subscribers.
If a lot of editing is required to remove fillers, consider re-recording. The lighter the editing, better sounding is the podcast.
Brief music in your podcast, lends it a professional touch, and adds an element of engagement with the audience.
We, at LexiConn, have worked with clients across various domains and have subsequently gained insightful subject matter knowledge. Our strict adherence to processes and best practices lend us a competitive edge.