Blogs and podcasts are powerful marketing tools. Corporate blogs are well-established inbound marketing channels, while business podcasts are the emerging companies that are causing a lot of buzz in the industry.
A few stats in the blog corner:
- 59% of marketers find business blogging valuable. (DemandMetric)
- By prioritizing blogging, companies got 13 times the ROI compared to companies that didn’t prioritize their blogs. (HubSpot)
- About 70 million new blog posts are published each month on WordPress alone, with 77 million comments being added per month. (WordPress)
And in the podcast corner:
- 37% of Americans 12 and older listened to a podcast the previous month. (Edison Research)
- Podcast listening is more common among younger Americans. 49% of 12 to 34 year olds listened to a podcast in the previous month, followed by 40% of 35 to 54 year olds and 22% of 55 year olds and over. (Edison Research)
- The heaviest podcast users are listening when they are away from home. often at work. (Nielson)
Both blogs and podcasts cultivate customer relationships, validate specialist knowledge, deepen brand loyalty, record searches and generate leads. But each tool has advantages and disadvantages, and you are probably wondering which one has the most significant ROI for your small business marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of blogs and podcasts, audiences for everyone – and if it’s best to offer both.
Advantages and disadvantages of podcasts
The benefits of podcasting
1. Podcasts are personable and make connections easier.
Your podcast host or hosts give your brand a human voice. Podcasts bring a knowledgeable person from your company into a conversation with industry experts to bring up topical issues and share advice, often with a touch of light-hearted humor. You can also ask your audience what to cover and if they have any questions they want to answer.
2. Podcasts reach a younger audience.
An entertaining and informative podcast is an opportunity to build brand awareness among Millennials and Gen Z.
3. Podcast listeners are growing fast.
The number of people who listened to a podcast at least once increased by 20 million between 2018 and 2019. The number of weekly listeners rose by 14 million during this time.
4. Podcasts increase the opportunities to reach your audience.
People can listen to podcasts while driving, exercising, or doing the dishes. Reading a blog post requires pausing and reading on a computer or mobile device.
The disadvantages of podcasting
1. Podcast technology can be intimidating.
Getting familiar with podcast technology can be daunting. Learning the technology and starting a podcast takes time and money, and companies with small marketing teams and budgets can put ROI into question.
2. Podcasts take time.
Once you’re comfortable, podcast production still takes a significant amount of time. You need to elaborate on topics, reach out to guests, and record before moving on to post production and marketing.
3. There is a call to action.
People listening to podcasts in their car or on a walk cannot hit the CTA button once inspiration kicks in. Instead, they must choose to return to your website to browse and fill out a form.
Advantages and disadvantages of the blog
The benefits of blogging
1. Blogs support search engine optimization (SEO).
Including keywords in authoritative and helpful blog posts can drive traffic to your website.
2. Blogs don’t require that much technical knowledge.
For a blog, you need a strong writer and someone who knows how to get the post published on your platform.
3. Blogs attract leads.
Companies that blog, on average, earn 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t.
The disadvantages of blogging
1. Blogs face tough competition.
It is not enough to choose a topic based on the keywords that are searched for in your industry. There are tons of blogs in different industries and subject areas. To make your blog stand out, you need to go deeper, look at topics from a unique angle, and share important expert advice.
2. Blogs need to offer value – and it’s not an easy task.
With so much pre-existing online content, you need to get an above-average return on your reader’s time investment. Once you’ve caught the attention, it’s important to provide consistent, high-quality content so that your blog becomes a knowledge-building destination rather than a one-off find.
3. Blogs require a strong copy team.
Overcoming the drawbacks of blogging requires a creative group of content strategists, writers, and editors who recognize opportunities for incorporating blogs that will help readers solve real-world problems.
Determine who to reach out to.
Blog readers, podcast listeners, or both? To determine the ideal medium for your content, make sure you know who you want to engage with, what they want to know, and how they will access their content.
The number of people listening to podcasts on mobile apps rose 60% between 2018 and 2019, and millennials are driving that growth. A third of listeners between the ages of 25 and 35 clicked on at least five podcasts a week. Reasons for listening to podcasts range from entertainment to updating to learning something new.
Podcast users also differ slightly by gender: 39% of men and 36% of women in the US heard a podcast in the previous month.
Escape Fitness is an example of a corporate podcast that knows the fitness industry audience and produces audio that engages. Weekly episodes of the Escape Your Limits podcast feature discussions with entrepreneurs about health, exercise, productivity, and the mindset needed to be successful.
The HubSpot 2017 Content Trends Survey found that 18% of consumers in the US, Germany, Colombia, and Mexico want blogs from the brands they support. While this percentage may seem small, it is powerful. Companies that blog get more website visitors and get 67% more leads than companies that don’t.
Of those who regularly read blogs, 34% read to learn something new, 20% for entertainment, and 12% to catch up on news and trends in their professional field.
Since people are there to learn, focus on content that will make their lives easier at work and beyond. The grammar blog does a great job of adding value for students, job seekers, and people for whom English is a second language. You will find articles that get to the point on writing compelling essays, giving author feedback, and common writing problems such as passive language or subsequent sentences.
Instead of reading carefully, people skim articles for information. Your blog posts should be easy to skim through with headings to help them understand the topic better and pictures or graphics to act as stepping stones from top to bottom. Listed items are easy to skim through and break into bite-sized pieces, and many marketers say they are performing well.
When should you consider both a podcast and a blog?
Choosing between the two isn’t always necessary, and some companies benefit from offering both if they have the budget and time. REI Co-Op has produced four podcasts and has an extensive blog dedicated to the area, equipment, and instructions.
Here are the first steps to help you make a decision and lay the foundation for a successful start, whether you are sharing your brand through one or both media:
1. Evaluate your marketing team.
Over the past year, has anyone pushed your company to blog and throw topic ideas your way? Maybe you’ve even written shorter posts for LinkedIn.
And maybe someone else on your team is devouring podcasts and has heard enough about them in your industry to understand what works and what doesn’t. Experienced and passionate marketers make the development of blogs and podcasts clearer and offer better chances of success.
2. Discover tools and platforms.
If you already have a CMS like HubSpot, it’s easy to add a blog. You can focus on creating a content calendar, graphic design, and blog marketing plan.
Recently, podcast platforms have also gone online to optimize production and publications. For example, Casted offers a podcast marketing platform that integrates with a company’s existing customer relationship management (CRM) and content management system (CMS) tools.
The podcast platform also offers a service that allows companies to create their podcasts from scratch so that marketers can learn the tools while moving on to production.
3. Understand that voice content will stay here.
You saw these stats above. As with videos before, the language content quickly changes from “nice to have” to “must have”. But if producing a podcast from scratch is not in your wheelhouse or budget, don’t fret. You can make your blog content accessible to audio.
For example, Vooozer is an audio marketing solution that extends the reach of a blog through real people narration and audio players embedded in the blog. Employees can learn and seek advice from your company while driving or on their lunch break, and the CTA is on the same page.
4. Evaluate the competition and clarify your worth.
You need to know what’s out there so that you don’t produce content that has already been covered in depth. Look for long-tail keywords to work out niche topics that separate you from the package on both platforms.
Blogs and podcasts increase your reach in inbound marketing and maintain customer relationships. Choose the strategy that makes the most sense for your company, your in-house talent, and your customers and you will see results.