Podcasts, originally known as audioblogs, are a relatively new content format. The first podcast didn’t launch until some time around 2004, so it makes sense that many organizations have not, historically, considered podcasting to be a top priority.
Now there are podcasts centered around almost any topic. From true crime to comedy, financial and pop culture, podcasts are quickly becoming one of the most popular mediums for learning and entertainment consumption, with 177 million listeners in 2022.
As the producer of the MongoDB podcast, I spend a majority of my time thinking about what folks in the database world want to know more about. I have had the privilege of meeting some incredible people in the tech community and have witnessed the impact a podcast can have. There are many reasons why your tech company should consider developing a podcast; let’s look at my top four.
Your podcast audience already exist
As a tech organization, you likely already know who you want to reach. Your audience is waiting for you to deliver more content, more learning and storytelling experiences.
If you are aiming to reach developers or technical leaders and thinkers, podcasting is an ideal way to achieve this goal. LinkedIn research shows that tech professionals engage with content that helps their skill development, that is relevant to their industry, and they enjoy hearing from influencers. Podcasts meet all three of these preferences. Tech podcasts revolve around tech-based stories or news, are relevant to others in the field, and many podcast episodes include a guest speaker to inform and influence listeners.
Another key driver of podcast success is its more relaxed and natural tone. Podcasts are conversational, and 8 out of 10 tech professionals say they interact more with quality information that is not “overloaded with jargon”.
Podcasts help you reach your communities and increase reach easily and effectively. Your audience is out there waiting for your expert thoughts to hit their airwaves.
Podcasts are flexible
One perk of a podcast is in its convenience and its flexibility. Podcasts meet people where they are–literally, anywhere they are. Listeners have a lot of flexibility with podcasting. They can listen as they work, exercise, or commute. They can start, stop, pause, and continue at the touch of a button.
Podcasts give you the ability to transform existing, well-performing content into a new format. People learn differently, and 30% of people are more auditory learners. Repurposing written content into a podcast format gives you the ability to reach new members of your audience and allows for expansion on the topic that may not already exist in the written format. Your organization is ripe with experts, partners, customers, stories, and content in other formats. Add sound to those ideas with a podcast.
Conversely, recording a podcast on video provides both an audio-only and a video asset. Further, transcripts from the episode can be reworked into a blog or infographic on the same topic. And using the podcast recording as a subject-matter expert interview allows you to write additional content around the same topics of conversation within the episode.
Moreover, listening to podcasts doesn’t feel like a chore or work. Podcasts blur the line between learning (in this case, about technology and your product or service) and entertainment, making listeners less resistant to your message.
Podcasts let your community connect with industry leaders
Ideally, you want your organization and its technical experts to be vocal, to be constantly sharing their opinions, thoughts, and discoveries. Podcasts are a great way to amplify your subject-matter expert voices and position your organization as a go-to place for learning and guidance. But it’s not just your own in-house experts that you can showcase; podcasts are also a platform to connect with other industry leaders and bring more diverse perspectives to the show.
Podcasts can also help leaders who are more comfortable as speakers than writers; they can take part in the development of content easily and with little preparation.
Your organization likely has a treasure trove of compelling stories and ideas, all living within the minds of your leaders. Hearing leaders and industry thinkers on your organization’s podcast helps to maximize a culture of excellence, inspiring others also to take part or suggest new topics or guests.
Podcasting helps grow your community
Podcast audiences are some of the most engaged audiences today. Research has found that 80% of listeners finish the entire episode each time and listen to an average of 7 shows per week. Podcasts have also been found to create more loyalty, making them 20% more likely to follow your organization on social media. This level of engagement leads to a community built around common interests and ideas, even to the point of mobilizing audiences.
For example, Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC podcast Note to Self, encouraged her listeners to join a challenge to detach themselves from technology and focus on creative projects. More than 20,000 listeners engaged in the challenge. When people with common ground come together, they are more likely to engage, react, and even donate to keep that community alive. Marc Maron, host of the WTF podcast, says that 10% of his audience pays up to $8.99 monthly to support the podcast.
Over the years, I’ve found that community engagement comes from responsiveness and interaction across several channels. I regularly engage with listeners to encourage feedback and respond to comments on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, in our community forums, and even at live events.This sense of community deepens the appreciation I have—and that I hope my listeners have—in our jobs and the technology industry overall.
Want to be a guest on The MongoDB Podcast? I will be live at AWS re:Invent 2022 in Las Vegas. Reach out to me if you have a great story idea and would like to take part in an in-person recording. Swing by the MongoDB booth, or, be sure to see me delivering the keynote demonstration on day one of the event!