Podcasting Thrives in COVID Times

When COVID arrived, I wondered how it would impact clients who use podcasting as part of their digital strategy.  People stopped commuting. Would they find time to listen to podcasts?

Apparently yes. Data show that podcasting is thriving during COVID times.

The podcasting industry is strong. There are more podcasts and more listeners. More tools and platforms have come online to help creators and consumers.

Podcasting Stats Show They Are COVID-Proof

Here are 5 stats about the podcast industry shared by Resonate, one of many podcast production services.

1. The podcasting industry is projected to be more than $1 Billion by 2021 (https://www.iab.com/insights/third-annual-podcast-ad-revenue-study-by-iab-and-pwc-reports-significant-growth/)

2. 90 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly (https://www.convinceandconvert.com/podcast-research/2019-podcast-statistics/)

3. 43% of monthly podcast listeners say they have listened to a podcast on Spotify, and 35% on Pandora (https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-2019/)

4. 51% of Americans 12+ have listened to a podcast (https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-2019/)

5. According to a study conducted in the UK, most podcasts are listened to on weekday evenings. (https://www.acast.com/uk-audio-intelligence-report)

Consider Podcasts for Your Marketing Strategy

Podcasts connect people and ideas, entertain, inspire, and teach. Do you have content that fits with these goals? It may be time to look into podcasting as part of your digital strategy.

Learn More: Podcast Secrets From Behind The Mic

Prepare for Ongoing Investment in Your Website

Guest Post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group

A website is not meant to be built to last. That may surprise you coming from me. I create terrific, well-built sites, but even the best websites don’t last forever. They just don’t.

Your website is an investment, not a one-off purchase. It is not “one and done”, and needs to continuously evolve. To stay relevant, a website requires routine maintenance and more. There has to be a plan to keep things fresh and vital.

Software and Code Must Be Maintained

Just about every website uses third-party software. This includes a CMS, like WordPress, and plugins that add functionality. Sometimes, there is custom code as well.

Software and coding all need to be regularly updated. Coding standards evolve. The requirements for best practices and user expectations do too.

Your Business Changes

Websites are created to address current and anticipated business needs. But, our ability to predict the future is usually limited at best. Who could have predicted the changes COVID would bring!

Your website needs regular evaluation to make sure it is keeping up with your business. You don’t want your website to ever be out of sync with what is making your business grow today.

The Web Is Evolving Still

You already know that technology evolves at break-neck speed. How often do you need to replace your cell phone, update your laptop software and hardware? The changes just don’t stop.

Websites aren’t different. WordPress changes, plugins change, and new options come online all the time.

User needs and expectations change right along with technology. Your website needs to adapt!

Get Expert Help

The work is far from done when you launch your site. You need to keep on top of how web opportunities are changing so that you can keep you on top of what matters most to your success. That means standard maintenance as well as larger improvements.

The best way to make your site last is to hire a professional web developer to pay attention to these needs for you. Your site won’t last forever, but a developer partner can help you never be left behind!

Effective Marketing Via Zoom

Marketing Via ZoomEverything you do online creates your online presence and impacts your marketing. Consider Zoom and other online meeting and networking platforms as part of your marketing strategy. Be intentional about creating a thoughtful, inclusive space that represents you and your brand well.

Make Your Brand Clear

Carry your brand into your online meetings. Incorporate both your name and your company in your screen name. Consider using a background that includes your business name and/or logo. This can be on the wall behind you or an image you use to mask your actual background. You can also wear branded apparel.

Verbally connect yourself with your company and make sure everyone understands the goal of the conversation.

Use the chat feature to share contact information and extend an invitation for follow up and 1-1 conversations.

Plan for Inclusiveness

Video meetings can also exacerbate  inequalities that exist in physical meetings and introduce new challenges. For example, you can’t read body language or facial expressions as easily, so it’s more difficult to tell if someone is uncomfortable or disagrees with you.

Here are some simple tips you can use to make sure your video meetings are inclusive and welcoming for all.

  1. Create an agenda. Let everyone know the plan for the call before it begins.
  2. Give participants a say in the schedule. With remote work, you can’t assume that everyone is keeping M-F 9-5 hours.
  3. Handle interruptions with grace. Find the funny in moments when a child, animal, or parent interrupts. We’re all doing our best.
  4. Make cameras optional. Not everyone is comfortable sharing their home turned into office space or has the ability to isolate from distractions.
  5. Give everyone a chance to speak. Internet connections can create lag, and folks with slower speeds can be hesitant to interrupt the flow.

Be Personable

Be as personable online as you are in face-to-face meetings. (Remember those?!?) Be sure to give everyone time to settle in and meet each other. Give them a chance to feel welcome before diving into the planned agenda.

Use hand gestures to help people follow your conversation. Watch their faces for reactions that may tell you to move on or slow down. Take pauses to ask questions and get reactions.