Last week, I did something I never thought I’d do.
I started a podcast.
“Fantastic. Another random dude who thinks he can start a podcast because he listened to an episode of Serial and bought a Blue Snowball microphone on Amazon Prime Day.” – You, probably
I hear ya. I’ve even said the exact same thing in the past.
I’ve been carefully watching the market over the past year and, after careful research and deliberation, here’s why I’ve decided to jump into the podcasting game with Launchers – Build a successful web design business.
1) Voice search is the next evolution of SEO
This is the biggest reason why I’ve started this podcast. Podcasting is the new frontier of search engine optimization.
Our smartphones have had voice-activated assistants for years. Siri was launched way back in 2011. But, until recently, it (she?) has been useful for nothing more than quick weather updates, song searches in the pub and childish gimmicks like programming it to call your bud when you say “call Poopy-Head McDumby“.
But Apple, Google and Amazon have been collecting vast treasure troves of our personal data to refine and improve these voice assistants. (whether we like it or not)
As a result, these voice assistants are now far more effective at understanding language and the human quirks that come along with it. Almost to a scary degree.
Don’t believe me? Just check out this recent demonstration of Google’s Voice Assistant that left people asking serious questions about how far off we are from building Skynet:
In addition, Google has been experimenting with adding new forms of content into their search results.
Google began including YouTube videos in their search results years ago. But what they started doing recently is far more interesting.
Last year, I noticed that Google was beginning to offer up specific portions of videos in their search results. Not the just the entire video itself.
For example, if I’m searching for “how to embed vertical videos into WordPress“, I’m looking for a very specific article or video that gets straight to the point.
But, if the best option Google could find is a full 1-hour tutorial on how to build a website with WordPress, and my answer is contained at 36:57 within that video, Google will now point me directly to the 36:57 mark.
Here’s what it looks like:
You can probably see where I’m going with this.
This tells us that Google is analyzing the audio from YouTube videos to determine the content contained within it.
Google knows that people are becoming less and less interested in reading. Which means blogging is not the Holy Grail of content marketing that it used to be.
But what’s even more interesting is that people are looking for alternative ways to consume content. More specifically, they want to take in content in a more passive form.
They want to be able to multitask. To take in knowledge and information while they drive their morning commute, wash the dishes, or do the laundry.
Combine the increased effectiveness of voice-enabled assistants like Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa with consumers’ desire for more audio-based content, and you have a winning formula for Google to begin including podcasts and audio in their search results.
This is why I believe podcasting is the new frontier for search engine optimization. By starting this podcast, I’m prepping for this future.
2) Podcasting is the new blogging
When blogging burst onto the scene in the early 2000’s, there was a serious stigma attached to it. People viewed bloggers as nothing more than lonely, pathetic nerds typing away in their mom’s basement to an empty audience.
It’s safe to say that no one feels that way about blogging now. (except for a few of my so-called friends, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE)
Many people, and businesses, have made boatloads of money from blogging. It’s still one of the best ways to build an online brand and improve your search engine rankings.
And, as with most developing industries, it’s the early bird that gets the worm. Those who got in early on the blogging game were the most successful.
The same thing happened with YouTube. The first videos that were published on that platform were nothing more than regurgitated memes from the far reaches of the internet or awkward clips of people crying into the camera about Britney Spears.
Now? You’ve got Hollywood-produced movies and TV shows being published on YouTube. It’s a beast of a platform worth billions of dollars.
Podcasting has the potential to be that next big thing.
That being said, I’m not trying to make millions or find celebrity status here. I’m simply analyzing the potential ROI of a rapidly growing medium.
Which brings me to point #3…
3) Repurposing content
Content marketing is a ton of work.
And marketers often add to their workload without even recognizing it.
I started blogging about 4 years ago. And yes, I was terrible. My early posts were nothing more than 500-word, keyword-stuffed regurgitation of better content.
But, over time, I improved my skills and fine-tuned my craft. I quickly realized that if I was going to use blogging as a serious marketing tool, I needed to invest in it seriously.
And that meant creating in-depth, long-form and engaging blog posts. I’m talking 4,000 word articles filled with custom illustrations and personal stories.
After about a year of writing this type of content, something hit me.
I had been writing scripts for videos this whole time.
All I had to do was pick up a microphone and read them with enthusiasm. Then create some engaging visuals to accompany it.
And that’s when I started taking YouTube more seriously.
From that point forward, every blog post I wrote would have a video version to accompany it. I would then embed that video within the blog post, so my visitors would have the option to read or watch the post.
Of course, I grossly underestimated how much work is involved in creating those visuals. It turns out that it takes a significant amount of time to create a 10-minute video that keeps people watching through the whole thing.
With podcasting, however, I came to a different conclusion…
4) Very little extra effort required
As I watched podcasting take off in 2018, I started to think of other ways I could repurpose my content.
I’m sure by now you can see the obvious opportunity I discovered.
By now, I was writing blog posts, turning them into scripts, recording myself reading the script, then taking that audio and placing it in an awesome video.
Why couldn’t I take that audio and simply upload it to a podcast?
That’s right. I had been producing a podcast this entire time and didn’t even know it.
To make a podcast episode, all I have to do is strip the audio from the video, add an intro and outro, make a few edits and bam. A new podcast episode is ready for consumption.
And with Anchor (the likely future YouTube of audio), podcast hosting is completely free.
The total additional investment required to produce this podcast is nearly nonexistent. Now that’s my kind of marketing.
5) Giving my followers options
Everyone is different. Some people want to watch YouTube videos, others want to listen to podcasts, and the real weirdos are still into old-fashioned reading. (love you fellow weirdos!)
In order to reach as many people as possible who might be interested in my content, I want to give people options.
I know for a fact that I have followers in each of those categories. Some are so dedicated that they engage in all 3!
I want to leave the choice in their hands.
This podcast offers an additional option for people who are too busy to dedicate time to reading and watching.
Is it worth it?
Only time will tell.
I like to experiment a lot. It’s a big reason why I also launched a social network recently. Yes, seriously.
Launching and producing a podcast required minimal effort, and the potential ROI is much greater than any other channel I can think of.
Worst case scenario, I’m completely wrong about podcasting being the new frontier of SEO, the new blogging, and that my followers actually care about having options.
And I’ll have spent a grand total of a handful of hours over a few months on a marketing channel that didn’t pan out.
I’m willing to take those odds. Are you?