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Blog or podcast? What's best for your brand

Consumers identify with a brand, to which they can relate. Building a brand identity takes time, consideration and steady stream of content. Layering multimedia assets across varying platforms, maximises visibility, relatability and generates leads. From blogs to podcasts, social media posts and live events, there are wide ranging ways to nurture, educate and entertain your audiences.

The most detail-rich forms of far-reaching content are podcasts and blogs. Proving successful in evolving brand loyalty enriching customer relationships and instating expertise, both forms of content offer value but also have limitations. To differentiate whether a podcast or a blog work best for your proposed content, determining who you want to reach and engage with, is of central importance. Study the average age range of your audience. Most podcasts are accessed on Smartphones and whilst older generations are becoming more prominent users of Smartphones, predominantly younger tech-literate users are more likely to be listening in regularly to your podcasts on their devices.

The number of people listening to podcasts on mobile apps increased by 60% between 2018 and 2019, and millennials are responsible for driving that growth. More than half of all US consumers above the age of twelve listen to podcasts with 82% of listeners spending more than seven hours a week listening to podcasts. That's a significant amount new leads. Equally, gender plays a role here; on average more men tune into podcasts than women. In the UK, more men (52%) than women (48%) subscribe to podcasts. Companies which benefit exponentially from podcasts are leisure and performance-driven industries such as travel, sport, fitness, design, finance, tech and startups. When conceptualising a podcast, consider if the narrative you create will inspire your listeners, if the energy isn't there, this could reflect poorly on the internal atmosphere of the company.

Conversely blogging is a high hitter with audiences interested in educating themselves, providing information to assist readers with essays, emails, presentations and journals. Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trustworthy source for gathering online information and companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites because people are there to learn. When authoring your blog posts, be sure to focus on content, which makes your reader's life easier at work and beyond. Typically readers will skim through articles picking up on keywords which navigate them to specific information. Use headers and bullet points to condense what could be strung out into long paragraphs. Consider using images to guide readers through the text.

The pros of podcasting

A well-orchestrated podcast should feel like listening in to a conversation between friends, or just the inner thoughts of a good friend. Giving your brand a voice allows the audience to gain familiarity, a powerful marketing tool, Through familiarity trust can be built, which forges a rewarding relationship between you and your consumer. Equally, a podcast can be a good way of discussing emerging issues and questions you anticipate your audience asking.

Podcasts resonate with younger listeners.
As we touched upon in the above paragraph, podcasts are very popular with younger listeners. Many companies invest in younger employees to keep them up to date with trend forecasting, placing yourself front and centre of the younger audience keeps you relevant.

Podcaster listeners are growing fast, increasing opportunities to reach audiences.
Statistics documenting the consistent increases in audiences downloading and listening to podcasts grow by the million, month to month. Between 2018 to 2019 the number of people who listened to a podcast at least once increased by 20 million. People are able to tune into podcasts whilst working, travelling or even sleeping. Digesting a blog post demands more attention, readers need to consciously make time to stop what they are doing to read the text.

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The cons of podcasting

Podcasts can feel intimidating and take some time.
The unknown always feels like a daunting entity. We have all typed on a keyboard, formulating a narrative for emails or essays. However, obtaining the correct technology to record your own or your colleague's voice and then researching topics and potential guests is not a task so many of us have undertaken. This requires time, money, and a leap of faith, if one of these three vital components is missing, the podcast will most likely flop.

There's a call to action gap.
People listening to your podcast may have you up close and personal as you speak directly to them, however, podcasts must be stopped, and a website revisited to make contact with an enquiry or to make a purchase. This fractious interlude lapses concentration. This action gap is not experienced when a consumer is physically on a webpage with a link immediately to hand, navigated by a hyperlink.

The pros of blogging

Blogs support search engine optimisation (SEO). Never underestimate the power of SEO. Blogposts drive traffic to your website organically and effectively
Blogs don't require as much tech knowledge
Blogs draw leads
Companies that blog earn 67% more leads on average per month than those who don't

HubSpot makes it super easy to upload copy and independently-run your own blog. From draft mode, tagging and sharing, authors can preview content and tweak the aesthetic to achieve a look and mission statement best suited to your brand.

The cons of blogging

Blogs face stiff competition and must offer unrivalled value.
People have been consuming blog posts in their millions for years. A hugely popular, well-established marketing asset, the drawback here is that competition is intense! There are countless blogs discussing and reviewing every industry, trend and product out there. To allow your blog to succeed, an innovating and intelligent angle must be navigated to draw in and secure readership of a significant proportion. Consistent high-value content will quickly attract a following that builds your reputation and customer base.

Blogs require intuitive, stand out copy.
Blogging isn't just about getting content out there. Spotting a gap in the market for copy which targets topics not widely covered online, anticipating subject matter which is driven by trend, is a hard-learned skill. Writing with a flow which draws the reader in, holds their attention and offers an entertaining angle takes experience. If you don't have that experience then consider mulling over popular blogs written by authors you admire. Note how they construct paragraphs, the frequency of adjectives and use of bullet points. Imitation is the most valid form of flattery!

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