Podcasting: What is it? Should you be doing it?

24/03/17Podcasting: What is it? Should you be doing it?

Podcasting: Some dark art that only generations X and Y understand, or something more useful for building profile and generating enquiries?

For the uninitiated, Wikipedia defines a podcast as: “An episodic series of digital media files which a user can set up so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer or portable media player.”

In plain English: A podcast is an audio broadcast, usually in the form of an interview, discussion or presentation, downloaded onto a computer, tablet or mobile, which the user can listen to at a time and place of their choosing.

Podcasts are relatively new to many people. So, it’s probably worth investigating their usage before we give some great examples.

Who listens?

Figures from Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) showed that in 2015, 3.7 million adults in the UK listened to podcasts; equivalent to 6.5% of the population.

The majority (57%) of podcast listening was done on smart phones. For me, this illustrates one of their main advantages; they can turn otherwise dead time, in the car or on the commute, into really constructive hours.

Edison Research provides some more up to date figures from the US, where listening has grown recently, with 21% of people now having listened to a podcast in the past month. The largest proportion of users are perhaps unsurprisingly under 55. But, the same research showed that podcast users were more affluent and educated than the average consumer.

Should you be podcasting?

Podcasts have some key advantages over other content options:

  • In many ways it’s more personal than a blog, as the listener can hear your voice
  • An informative and entertaining podcast will hold your listener’s attention for longer than a blog
  • Providing a written transcript of your podcast on your website, will be useful to those who prefer to consume content by reading, whilst keeping Google happy with unique content
  • Once someone has subscribed to your podcast they will receive a notification when you add a new episode

I’ve always advocated hanging out where your target audience do and communicating in a way which resonates with them.

So, if your target audience listens to podcasts then, yes, I would consider adding them to your marketing strategy.

If your target audience doesn’t listen to podcasts in great numbers, for example older generations, you will face an uphill battle to build a significant mass of listeners. But, if podcasts break through into the consciousness of older generations, being at the vanguard will pay dividends.

There’s another reason to consider podcasting too.

The internet is awash with blogs. The noise is deafening. Yet there are very few people in the UK (I can count them on the fingers of one hand) producing financial related podcasts for the consumer.

My favourite financial podcasters

In common with last week’s article this isn’t a scientific exercise, just my view (for what it’s worth) on the best financial podcasts out there.

Financial Well Being Chris Budd – Financial Wellbeing

Supporting a book of the same name, these podcasts take the form of a panel discussions often with guest interviews.

They are chaired by David Lloyd who keeps the conversation flowing and leaves Chris, Tom and guests to discuss the subject at hand without the distraction of compering the podcast. The podcasts themselves have an air of informality (which I suspect belies the work involved) right down to Tom taking a call, mid-podcast, from his heavily pregnant wife!

The content is great, with some well-chosen guests. They are expertly edited too, so the listeners only get the most important points; this keeps the podcasts extremely sharp.

Download the Financial Wellbeing podcasts by clicking here

Meaningful MoneyPete Matthew – Meaningful Money

As I said, there are very few UK based financial podcasts aimed at the consumer. Pete, via Meaningful Money is the leader of the pack.

His podcasts are accessible, information and entertaining. They position Pete as an approachable expert and it’s not hard to see how they have become so popular. I believe, from reading his tweets, that Pete generates significant levels of new enquiries as a result of his podcasting efforts.

He’s also just recorded his 200th podcast; a truly herculean effort considering he has a day job too!

Download the Meaningful Money podcasts by clicking here

Informed Choice RadioMartin Bamford – Informed Choice Radio

Held on a recently rebuilt website, Martin’s podcasts take the form of an interview. The guests are always interesting and often high profile.

Again, his output is prolific, Martin is closing in on Pete Matthew’s 200 podcasts. The quality is excellent too, I particularly like the segment at the end of the podcasts which update the listener on Informed Choice’s new. This adds a really valuable and interesting personal touch.

Again, Martin tells me that podcasting helps with new client generation, as well as maintaining his already enviable profile.

Download Informed Choice Radio podcasts by clicking here

NextGen PlannersAdam Carolan & Rohan Sivajoti – NextGen Planners

The NextGen movement has gained impressive momentum over the past few months, in no small part due to their regular podcasts.

Although not aimed at consumers there’s a lot to love. The guests are excellent (with the possible exception of episode 4; I can’t think why they invited him on) and they are always useful; I never listen to a NextGen podcast and fail to come away with a nugget of information or an idea I can put into practice in my own business.

Download the NextGen podcasts by clicking here

Podcasting is here to stay

Podcasting is a unique way of producing and consuming content, which has some key advantages over other options. I’ve no doubt its reach will only grow.

There’s some real quality out there. But very little quantity. For advisers willing to make the effort, the window of opportunity to make their mark before the inevitable increase in noise levels is wide open.

Carpe diem!

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  • Thank you for including Informed Choice Radio in this list, along with our most excellent peers. It always surprises me how few Financial Planners in the UK are taking advantage of the opportunities of podcasting. Yes, it’s hard work, but nothing worth doing is easy :-)