One of the most pertinent questions faced by businesses in terms of their digital marketing strategy is whether to invest resources in maintaining a blog or start a podcast?
Which is better? Will blogging bring in more diverse and localized traffic? Will podcasts help improve conversions and lead generations?
As a business you need to look at this widely debated topic of “blogging vs. podcasting” from a strictly ROI (return on investment) point of view. The time, effort, and resources you invest in either method should give you the specific results you are after.
Now, the answer to blogging or podcasting is not as simple as “this not that”. You need to understand the profile of your target audience and what they really want, which mediums they prefer, and whether the platform gives you enough opportunities to promote your content.
For instance, if your primary audience is comprised of millennials, then podcasts might be a better choice. But then again you need to look at other factors as well. Here is an in-depth run down of blogging vs. podcasting – which one is better for your business?
Why Choose Blogging Over Podcasting?
The easiest and more popular choice to create and publish content is to start and maintain a blog. And, it is not hard to see why people prefer this modus operandi.
Starting a blog is pretty straight-forward. All you need is access to internet and the ability to type. Although, is it really that simple? Statistics state that one-third population finds it difficult to pen their thoughts and portray it in a way that does justice to their initial opinion.
Blogging could be a hazardous venture for your business if you are part of that one-third segment. However, this problem is easily dealt with since you can always hire professional content creators.
This makes blogging no more difficult than updating your Facebook status or sending out a tweet since you are essentially just uploading posts.
Here are some reasons why you should choose blogging over podcasting:
Barriers to entry
Blogging has low barriers to entry as compared to podcasting that needs a lot more. Blogging is an accessible arena to enter, and although podcasting has become easier in the recent years, it’s still not that simple.
For starters, you will require special equipment to record your audio, editing skills to remove white noise, and the ready funds to invest in a host where you can upload your episodes.
Technology is really cutting it in making things easier since most smartphones are equipped with decent recorders. But, where your brand is concerned you would want to make things a bit more professional.
You can easily record episodes and upload it to one of the free platforms, like SoundCloud. You won’t be able to create an extensive podcast series on a limited budget, but it is doable.
The fact is that blogging has fewer hurdles than podcasting. It simply involves writing and publishing a blog. Also, for most people typing seems much easier than talking into a microphone, and much less intimidating.
People are far more familiar to typing than recording their voice since everyone is essentially writing since school.
However, you need to make sure you are decent at articulating your thoughts into words, or your blogs would be an epic fail.
Blogging earns points when it comes to searchability. Search engines, like Google find it easier to crawl through text on blogs as compared to audio, making blogs more discoverable than podcasts. Currently, audio cannot be crawled by search engine bots, except through written descriptions, titles, and shownotes.
However, there are some tricks that can be employed to make your podcasts more discoverable. Show notes are like complementary blog posts. You can edit these notes once you have uploaded the podcast.
You can make the most of this space by including keywords and optimizing it for search engines.
Show notes can range from 700 – 800 word summaries or simple bullet points on the content of the podcast episode. Some businesses get each episode transcribed, which can rack up to thousands of words. There are many ways to get your podcast to hit the search rankings. And, you can choose whichever way works best for you.
However, with blogs you always have a better chance of having people stumbling across your content while searching for similar information or articles. You can also employ some tried and tested SEO techniques to improve search ranking of your blog. Make sure your blog post is the right length.
If your basic purpose for content creation as a business is to satisfy search intent, then blogs are the answer for you. From an end-user perspective, written content is quicker and handier for someone who is urgently seeking answers.
Articles are easy to be scanned through to arrive at the exact part where a visitor gets what they are looking for. This could be information, entertainment or solution to some nagging problem.
Podcasts can quickly get frustrating when users are seeking quick answers. Most episodes are 20 – 25 minutes long and your consumers may not have the time to wait around. This may cause them to visit your competitor’s blog for answers, resulting in you potentially losing a lead.
Why Does Podcasting Make More Sense than Blogging?
Initially, blogging may feel the better and less intimidating option. You would find it better to type a post as compared to recording an audio. However, soon you would find that podcasting widens your horizon significantly in terms of:
- Audience diversity
- Brand recognition
- Content delivery
- Engagement level
With time it will even become easier to record consecutive episodes making podcasting a breeze. No annoying typos or glaring grammatical error that slip by unnoticed during the editing stage.
Still, humans need big incentives to step out of their comfort zone, and podcasts offer many. Here is why podcasts are better than blogs:
You can literally reach your audience from anywhere. Most people have access to smartphones now and with increasingly dependable internet connectivity, podcasts have become the go-to source of driving away boredom while commuting, doing chores, cooking, traveling, and even before sleep.
Your captive audience can listen to your show with just a few clicks. Another powerful reason to make podcasting better than blogging is that only ears are needed. Listeners don’t have to be glued to the screen, which means they can listen to your podcasts anywhere, as long as they have discreet earphones.
Conversely, you won’t find many people eyeing blogs while jogging, cycling, driving, or taking a shower. Podcasts essentially remove all major obstacles for people to connect with your content and in turn your brand. In fact, podcasts are increasingly becoming popular due to these conditions.
People are hungry for anything to take their mind off mundane tasks, like mowing the lawn. Our core human wiring wants company and podcasts help satisfy that need. Your subscribers will have you as company when they are working out, traveling somewhere, or doing any other menial task.
On-demand audio is perfect when they are trapped in an environment where they cannot possibly consume visual content. And, podcasts are exactly that.
People are bogged under information overload these days which is limiting their attention span. There are all sorts of visual triggers, like ads, other relevant articles, and links etc. that act as diversions.
It becomes difficult for a reader to stay tuned mentally for the length of the article, when these diversions are doing everything they can to distract them.
Most readers find it a challenge to finish reading a blog post with newsfeed and sidebars begging for attention.
People would just as easily click out to another page in the pursuit of juicy tit-bits rather than finish the initial blog post. When they are through with an hour of browsing, they won’t even recall their initial intent, much less your brand.
Podcasts remove these hurdles since people are far less likely to float from show to show. Podcasts are usually in the form of a series and they keep subscribers hooked.
There are no visual distractions making it difficult for a person to click out to another page. Also, the inherent nature of podcasts makes them suitable for situations where the listeners already have their hands full. They won’t whip out the phone every 5 minutes to change the show.
When listeners are physically preoccupied with other tasks, they are unlikely to feel the urge to stop and change the current playing podcast. This gives you ample opportunity to connect with your target audience and say your piece.
Building relationships by connecting with people is one of the most powerful aspects of podcasting. The capacity to connect with your target audience is tripled in podcasts as compared to blog posts. Speech is a more intimate medium than words.
You essentially give your brand a voice and a personality when you create podcasts. Consumers can relate with your brand by relating to the voice in podcasts.
While reading text, it is not often possible to truly judge a writer’s tone or voice. This is especially true when you are imparting information.
Readers are often not sure whether the author is sincere, happy, sad, joking, or angry. These emotions are essential if you want visitors to relate to your content.
When users listen to podcasts, they make note of every single word the person says. After just a few episodes, they begin relating to the various nuances and inflections. Subscribers feel like they know the person behind the voice, and in turn behind the brand.
Also, there is more trust involved in podcasts. If your subscribers keep returning to your episodes, then you are obviously adding value to their lives. This helps build confidence and makes it more likely for the person to do business with the brand.
Low level of competition
The level of competition is still low where podcasts are concerned as compared to blogs. Most businesses have not yet shaken off the traditional approach of digital marketing, where textual content ruled. You may very well be the pioneer in your particular micro-niche.
Currently, there are over a 160 million blogs as compared to only a handful of 250,000 podcasts. Do the math and you will realize that there is a whole segment of untapped population that is just ready for the taking. It is a whole lot easier to earn the top podcaster spot than the top blogger.
By diversifying your digital marketing endeavors to foray into the world of podcasts, you can not only access a very different segment of audience, but also provide a refreshing content change for your existing clientele.
The Verdict on Blogging vs. Podcasting
As you have seen, there is no ultimate choice to promote your content and business. Both blogging and podcasting have their awesome set of features and striking limitations.
This means that both have their individual places in the world of brand promotion through content marketing. The choice literally boils down to your business objectives, aims, and the needs of your audience.
However, you need to understand that podcast show notes are essentially blog posts when you transcribe them.
There is no reason why you cannot reap the benefits of both mediums by combining them. You could also run separate podcast series and blog posts. However, you need to ask yourself whether you are equipped to handle both.
There are just so many hours in a day and it can become difficult to create high-quality content for both your podcasts and blog. Remember, this is not a one-off deal. Once you launch your podcast, you need to make sure that your audience remains interested by giving them valuable content consistently.
Here’s what you need to ask yourself to make the decision:
- How much time do you have to spare?
- Is this time solely for content creation, or are you including the hours you can grab while on a train?
- Do you have extensive budget?
The ideal choice would present itself once you answer these questions. For instance, if you are going to grab a few hours while on the train to create content, then you are better off with writing a blog post. Podcasting may seem like a big commitment if you are low on budget and on time.
However, if you feel that you have the time and your audience is essentially from the millennial group, then podcasting is the way to go for your business.