How the Hell Do You "Skim" a Podcast? (Because 36% of Consumers Say They Are)

Inbound Marketing 2016According to a 2016 Hubspot consumer research study, 23% of consumers listened, and paid close attention to podcasts, while 36% admitted to ‘skimming’ podcasts. At the same time, 55% of the respondents stated that they thoroughly consumed video content. If your organization uses podcasting as a way to deliver your marketing message and develop relationships with prospects and current customers, this may be concerning. How is that people are ‘skimming’ podcasts, and what can you do to make sure they’re actively listening to your content? Should you completely abandon your podcasting efforts and move toward video, or develop a multi-channel content strategy? 

When it comes to the ways that your customers access and consume content, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Even for a single customer, they may consume content differently based on their schedule, current workload, or environment. For example, as a marketer and consumer of content related to business building, digital marketing and sales, I access information differently based on my location and schedule. If I have a long commute, I’ll listen to recorded audiobooks or podcasts during my drive. If I’m flying or riding the train, I may read blog posts or email newsletters that I’ve been saving. If I carve out time during the day for a webinar, I’ll watch the video and (if one exists) follow the related Twitter stream. So in essence, if the message the marketer wanted to deliver to me only existed in one form, let’s say a podcast, I likely would have missed it if I had not been driving much during that time. Yet if that same core message had been written into a blog post, shared via social media, and/or delivered via a webinar or recorded video, the marketer would have reached a substantially larger audience.

So, how can you deliver your message in as many formats as possible without spending hours and hours crafting unique content for each channel? This is where your inbound marketing strategy comes into play. Think of your content as a bike wheel – there is one core message at the center, and multiple spokes that connect to that message. Those spokes are all connected via the frame of the wheel, so there are many different ways to connect from any point on the frame to the center. First, develop your core message – what are you trying to share with your audience, and what do you want them to do when they get there? Then create the graphics that visually represent your message. Keep in mind that these should be simple and straightforward so that they can be reused on many different channels with little customization. For instance, a horizontal graphic at a size of 1200×630 pixels with a simple design can be modified easily for use in Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and any other social media channels you wish, and it can be embedded within your blog post and promotional email newsletter. Three or four pieces of data or key quotes from your core message can be easily shared as social media messages, or used as a title on the blog post, email subject line, podcast or video. The key is to not have to recreate the wheel, but to get as much use as possible from the core message.

If you have a strong inbound marketing strategy in place, it’s simple to plug this content into each of those existing channels, lead all consumers through different avenues to get to the core message, and incorporate a call to action that gets them to take the next step toward working with you. If you don’t have a strong inbound marketing strategy in place, well, then let’s talk about how to get you there.

State of Inbound 2016