Podcasts have quickly grown into a major communication platform. For good reasons. [Look at the popular Pro Gun Podcasts streamed at AmmoLand News]
They are pointed towards specific topics. Come in all different lengths and formats. It can be stopped and started at the listener’s convenience. And from a production standpoint, there is a very low cost to entry.
Standing out amongst the crowd is an issue, but if you know who your audience is and cater to them, no matter how large or small, your podcast can drive the outcomes you desire.
On November 8, 2016, Election Day, I sat down with Missouri’s then Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon in his office to record my first podcast. There’s nothing like starting big. When the interview was over, I remember feeling surprised at how fast the hour went by and how easy the process was. Basically, I just had a conversation with an interesting person, so there was no problem coming up with questions to ask. The only difference is that the conversation was recorded. The first step was simple.
The second step is the editing, and the third is distribution.
There are different trains of thought on editing. Some people choose not to edit at all. Their podcasts leave in all the imperfections. I don’t like this. I’m fortunate to have a partner on the Driftwood Outdoors Podcast in Shags who is an excellent sound editor, so he takes out most of the crutch words our guests use, like “um” and “you know.” As a listener, I appreciate cleaner audio, but that’s just me. It’s totally up to you.
For distribution, several platforms, like Speaker or SoundCloud, make it simple to distribute across multiple platforms with one click of a button. They charge small fees, which are worth it in my opinion. There are some free software options, but you typically get what you pay for.
At a recent Professional Outdoor Media Association conference, I was part of a panel discussion about podcasts. My fellow panelists were Randy Newburg and Sam Ayers, both of whom are experienced and respected podcast hosts in the outdoor space.
One of the first audience questions asked is one I hear often. The question was, “Are podcasts too saturated?”
Randy and Sam agreed, for some of the same and some different reasons, that “yes” podcasts are too saturated. The large influx of new podcasts is crowding the market in their opinions. I think they were primarily thinking of podcasts for entertainment purposes. I disagreed. I was last to speak. When handed the microphone, I opened with, asking a question back;
“Are websites too saturated?”
The answer is no. Websites are not too saturated because no matter what type of business you are in today, you are expected to have a website. I feel podcasts are similar. Companies and organizations should have podcasts today to serve their customers and members. Marketers say content is king. Podcasts provide a very easy means of creating and publishing compelling content for the audience you are trying to reach. Remember, podcasts are basically just recorded audio.
Let’s say your business is selling fishing lures. On your website, why not have a podcast covering the different lures you are selling? You could offer tips for fishing a spinner bait. What makes one jerk bait better than another? Have a tournament angler on to discuss seasonal patterns. The topics are endless. But as a consumer, you are giving me information that helps me become a better customer of yours. It takes only a little time and very little cost. This applies to any business selling a product or service.
Your goals must be realistic. If your expectations are to launch a podcast and build an audience of millions of listeners who tune in to every episode, then you are probably not going to be successful. Joe Rogan and Steven Rinella should not be who you measure yourself against. What you should do is set realistic goals and expectations. Education should be the key. And remember, podcasts live forever. You can add podcasts to your website and leave them there to answer questions your visitors may have for as long as your website stays live. You can send links out through your social media channels.
Podcasts have become my number one way of consuming content. I usually have one on any time I am driving, and often playing in my office as background noise while I work. If you want to reach more people with your message but you don’t have a podcast, I suggest you consider starting one soon. Customize it to fit your needs and give your listeners the information they are looking for.
No matter what your outdoor passion is, there is a podcast, or 10, covering that topic. A simple search for podcasts about whatever topic you desire will turn up several options. Quality is an issue, as many podcasts are poorly put together. But when you find one that delivers good information in a compelling manner, I think you’ll be glad you stumbled on the title and will find the information valuable.
See you down the trail…
For more Driftwood Outdoors, check out the podcast on www.driftwoodoutdoors.com or anywhere podcasts are streamed.