When it comes to content marketing, keeping things fresh is integral to ongoing business success. As consumers, our obsession with visual and audio content continues to rise. To be precise, around 28.3 million adults listen to digital audio and watch 35 videos a week in the UK.
Two of the biggest forms leading the charge are podcasts and webinars.
Both methods are designed for avid listeners and are enabling brands to effectively increase engagement and extend their reach of consumers.
However, there are striking differences between these two outlets, each with its own pros and cons. So, the question is, which content marketing form should you be prioritising?
What’s the difference between podcasts and webinars?
Podcasts are audio-only, while webinars can involve multiple forms of media such as video, animation, imagery, and graphics.
Typically, podcasts are pre-recorded and are designed to entertain and inform. In comparison, webinars, short for “web-based seminars”, happen in real-time and bring an element of interaction between the prospect or customer and a business.
Podcast vs Webinar – a complete breakdown
The pros and cons of podcasts
In 2021, the monthly number of podcast listeners was set to increase by 15.5% worldwide. The US, in particular, boasts over 117.8 million podcast listeners which translates to 40% of their internet users.
But despite the growing popularity, are podcasts the right way forward for your business? Here are the pros and cons:
The pros of podcasts
Easy, cheap, and convenient
Podcasts offer ease and convenience with both production and reception.
Whether someone is driving to work, running, or just walking through town, listeners can enjoy a podcast at their own time and convenience.
Making a podcast is very simple for a business. All you need is a device with recording software that you can upload to the internet.
For this reason, podcasting is very cheap to produce. However, as a basic rule, if you want a higher quality recording, then additional microphones and advanced software is required. This has the potential to cost lots more. But as a basic rule, podcasting is cost-effective compared to other forms of media.
A big podcast pro is the personalisation aspect. This feature has the potential to work for both the brand and the audience. The significance here is that the podcaster has been granted the listeners exclusive attention.
The listener has made a conscious decision to tune in to your podcast, so you can expect their undivided attention. This is a personal choice of the subscriber, so you have an opportunity to appeal to them directly with your content.
As for the brand, the listener has granted you their time to show some more personality. Traditionally, a podcast is a long-form piece of content, enabling you to market your brand in more detail.
No time restrictions
Listeners can tune in to your podcast whenever they wish. They can even pause and come back to it if need be. During your podcast, your listener is not being distracted by other businesses competing with you, compared to other audio forms like radio where competition for airtime is rife.
This exclusive, personal time spent listening will create loyalty to your brand much faster than other forms of marketing.
The final podcast pro is its trackable nature. You can measure the listenership with how many downloads it received. From this, you can compare your most effective topics and popular shows to see what subjects your listeners want to hear about. You could even use it to create supplementary resources and blogs.
The cons of podcasts
If subscribers haven’t downloaded your podcast, they will need a Wi-Fi connection or 4G/5G to listen on the go. If you’re targeting an older, less-tech savvy audience, this could impact numbers.
Larger podcasts with bigger file sizes can also prove difficult to download. Downloading too many podcasts can clog up memory space and force users to delete files they may want to keep.
If the podcast is to remain inclusive, people with hearing difficulties will also require a transcript version of each episode.
Podcast Insights reveals there are around 2 million podcasts now available. No doubt, every subject you can imagine has already been done. So, if you do decide to enter the world of podcasts, you need to plan your episodes carefully and get creative with the format.
It proves difficult to protect original material on a podcast. Sadly, a competitor could easily copy your material for their own financial gain.
Podcasts are also not the place for people to share sensitive information. Be careful what information you’re putting out before recording it and uploading it online.
The pros and cons of webinars
Webinars allow businesses to share specialist skills and knowledge while also working as a marketing strategy.
But, despite the many benefits, creating quality webinar content that drives engagement isn’t always easy. In fact, Wyzowl reports that 83% of marketers find webinars effective, but only 43% attend or participate. Let’s explore the pros and cons of webinars in more detail:
The pros of webinars
Cost-effective and completely remote
Thanks to video conferencing technology, webinars can be conducted remotely. For this reason, webinars can be a cost-effective means of capturing vital data and starting an interactive conversation. There is no need to hire a meeting hall or travel.
Flexible and convenient
When it comes to things like training staff, webinars prove a very flexible and convenient method that can be applied anywhere. There is no need for physical gatherings or big books. All your prospects need is access to the internet.
Webinars allow for interaction with the target audience, which can lead to the possibility of both parties learning more from each other throughout the process.
Questions can be asked and answered from both sides, resulting in a productive real-time interactive experience.
Most webinars can be recorded and watched later. This might mean you lose out on the interactive element, but you can still absorb information and learn from the discussion even after it is over.
The cons of webinars
If you’re trying to enjoy and interact in a webinar in real-time, then technical difficulties can cause a real problem.
From connection issues to lost meeting passwords, you need to create a thorough email marketing campaign to keep everyone in the loop and informed in the build-up.
A lack of personal connection
Even though webinars are supposed to be interactive experiences, it can be very difficult for the host to gauge the mood and motivation of the audience.
The speaker doesn’t have the luxury of eye contact and expressions to work with, which can create a lack of personal context and a flat atmosphere.
Podcast vs webinar: Who takes first place?
When it comes down to the battle between the podcast and webinar, who wins the race for your business? Well, it all depends on what you’re trying to do.
If you wish to conveniently inform your customers via audio format and build rapport over time without breaking the bank, a podcast is ideal.
However, if you wish to interact more with your customer with multimedia, host live learning opportunities, generate greater direct discussion and drive more sales, opt for the webinar.
But at the end of the day, both forms have their merits. It all depends on what you and your business is trying to achieve.
If you require any support in deciding between a podcast or webinar, then get in touch with Flamingo Marketing Strategies. As multimedia marketing specialists, we can help you reach more customers, improve brand engagement and stand out from the crowd using video and audio content.