Podcast listenership is on the rise in the UK, so why is this most portable of formats still largely untapped? Here’s my view on why podcasting suits all companies and some great business podcasts to follow.

I’ve been podcasting for nearly a decade, since experimenting for the format with the blog we ran at Rainier PR (now Speed Communications) around 2006-7. Back then it was a bit of a novelty: broadband wasn’t quite so broad, mp3 players were comparatively basic and mobile phones nowhere near as accommodating. Fast-forward to 2016, mobile phones are the device of choice for UK podcast consumers.

Why business podcasts are effective

I recently started podcasting again, thanks to some accommodating guests to my business podcast, and for me I’d summarise the business benefits of podcasting as:

  • Original content: By podcasting, you create and seed content that no one else has. It’s a totally unique experience
  • Personal voice: Being able to hear an organisation speak and give advice adds a real personal, authentic touch, can break down any perception barriers and build trust
  • Increase dwell time: If hosting podcast content on your site through a player, you can increase the amount of time people spend on your site. This not only exposes them to more of your messages, but also is good from Google’s point of view when it comes to ranking your site
  • New discovery channels: Invested audiences in the iTunes, SoundCloud, and other communities can find your content
  • Portability: Podcasts can be consumed anywhere at any time. You can learn French as you drive to work, you can go for a run and learn history. You can’t do that with video or blog content
  • Ease of creation: I use a simple clip-on mic to catch interviewees on the go, or record via Skype. So long as the audio is clean and the content is engaging and useful, people will tune in
  • Utilise your network: It’s incredible how benevolent and generous people in your network will be with their time.

According to a presentation I saw by podcast specialist Simon Dunnant at Google Campus last week, the UK is behind the US in podcast consumption but it is increasing in popularity as a medium.

Dunnant argues that there is a hunger for alternative content formats driven by blog saturation. Connected cars and TVs also make access to audio material easier, as does access to recording and editing equipment, and the fall in data costs.

Each year – especially since the breakout success of Serial in the US – we seem to have been promised that this is the year podcasting goes mainstream. Much in the same way every year was predicted to be the ‘year of mobile’. While mobile got there, podcasting has yet to truly go mainstream, but I agree with Dunnant’s assessment that now is a good time to start podcasting, there is more demand than supply just now.

My podcasts are currently only hosted on SoundCloud and embedded into blog posts but will be launching on iTunes soon.

Most of the digital marketing podcasts that I recommend are all from agencies and thought leaders, proving the value of podcasting as a piece of thought leadership content marketing:

It takes time to find your voice when podcasting, but equipment to create good podcasts is so widely available and publishing so easy that for me there’s no reason a company wouldn’t want to podcast in 2016.

If you’d like to appear on the Silvester & Finch podcast, please drop me an email. If you’d like training on how to create podcasts and other areas of digital marketing, check out our Digital Training page.


Kirsty Callaghan · 09/05/2016 at 13:31

I’ve always wondered why podcasts haven’t taken off as well in the UK in comparison to the States – I think brands and agencies are convinced that video content is more valuable perhaps? Personally, I think that iTunes in particular is a bit rubbish in sourcing new podcasts to follow. A simple search tends to bring content up from a few years ago and there is never any decent recommendations available once you’ve listened to something. I actually didn’t know there were podcasts ON Soundcloud so thanks for that! 🙂

Great post – will check out the podcast 🙂


Chris Lee · 09/05/2016 at 14:47

Thanks Kirsty, I agree on the iTunes discovery front, hence I’ve just used a simple SoundCloud iframe embedded player and will get around to iTunes soon. Those who were early pioneers (the ones I cite in the piece) have been publishing for years so obviously see a benefit. That’s just business, there are some great ones on BBC, too.

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