Blogs and podcasts are two marketing tools that have the potential to boost brand awareness, garner trust amongst prospective buyers, and obtain leads. Each of them is powerful in its own way, and each likewise has its drawbacks. How can you decide which option is the best for your business?
Let’s take a closer look at both formats, to help you decide.
Blogs have been around for a long time. And they’re not going anywhere, anytime soon. Good blogs still enjoy a solid readership, and their usage is still increasing over time. In fact, better than half of marketing specialists trust blogs as an effective medium.
One of the biggest benefits to blogs is the high return on investment. That’s because producing a blog doesn’t cost much at all. All you need is a basic CMS such as WordPress, and a knowledgeable person to write the content. The cost-effective nature of blogging as a marketing tool is the reason why tens of millions of blog posts are published every month.
There are a lot of great benefits to blogging. For one, it’s a medium that’s very good for supporting SEO. And there’s little question that search engine optimization is a vital part of effective digital marketing. Next, there’s very little need for technical knowledge to manage a blog. So, the learning curve is short, and the need for specially trained personnel is little-to-none. And effective blogs are proven lead-generators. According to one study, businesses which make blogging central in their marketing efforts draw 67% more leads every month than those that don’t.
Of course, as with anything, blogging has its drawbacks, too. For one, there’s a ton of competition out there. With literally millions of blog posts going out every month, you can bet that somebody else in your industry is already doing it. That can make it challenging to offer real value to your readers. But you can bet that without real value to the customer, your blog won’t get read.
Podcasts and similar audio content are another format that is proving incredibly effective for reaching out to consumers. Research shows that more than a third of Americans over the age of 12, actively listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. Age is a determining factor for the consumption of podcasts, however. The biggest followership is amongst young people, and particularly millennials. 49% (that’s nearly half!) of people between the ages of 12 and 34 are active listeners. The numbers start to drop off as ages increase, but 22% of even the oldest group measured, those aged 55 and older, follow podcasts.
Interestingly, the nature of audio content makes it possible for it to be consumed more readily away from home. In fact, that’s the case with the majority of consumers. Most of the podcast audience listens either at work, or on the commute to or from work.
Among the benefits of podcasts is the fact that it gives your business a real, human voice. A knowledgeable human being can help to facilitate more natural connections – which is vital in an environment where relationships are a key to marketing success. And it’s a growing format – with more and more people following podcasts each year.
On the downside, podcasting is a little more technical than blogging. This means there is a certain amount of equipment to invest in, as well as a longer learning curve to produce podcasts. Furthermore, the actual time spent in production is significantly greater. With podcasting, you have to coordinate with guests and record the content. And, of course, there is some editing involved. Furthermore, a call-to-action is not as easily actionable by your audience. In a blog, for example, all a prospective customer has to do is click on a link. But someone listening to a podcast casually in their headset will have to follow up later.
On a side-note, just because producing a podcast may be temporarily out of your reach doesn’t totally restrict you from publishing audio content. There are tools such as vooozer which allow you to make your written content, such as your blog, audio-accessible.
HOW TO DECIDE
So, how can you decide which format is best for your business? Well, just like any form of marketing, the first step is to evaluate your market. Who is your audience? As we mentioned, podcasting is best suited to young people, for example. You have to figure out who your consumers are, and then meet them on their turf. Next, you need to evaluate your internal skillset. Do you have the skills, or do you have people on staff already, who have a technical foundation to publish a podcast? If not, you’ll have to consider the investment to make it happen. In the meantime, a blog is an easier format to manage. Third, you have to evaluate the cost of the tools you will need. This includes both hardware and software.
In conclusion, both blogs and podcasts are fantastic formats for building relationships with customers, establishing your subject-matter expertise and for generating leads. But they each have benefits and disadvantages. Evaluate the cost of production and the potential return on investment to decide what’s best for your business.
Once you’ve decided which course of action is best for your company, Virtual Done Well would love to help you implement your plan effectively and affordably! Click here to contact us and discover how our professional staff can help you produce and manage a blog or podcast that can help you develop leads and make sales.