“Is podcasting something we should be exploring and expanding in our organization?”
This is a question we’re asked every week by Christian organizations and leaders all around the world. From our office here in the United States to our office in Australia, nearly every ministry we work with is searching for its place in this fast growing channel. With so much energy around the on-demand audio medium, we want to unpack three practical ways podcasting can benefit your organization.
Before we unpack the practical ways podcasting can help you, we’d be remiss to not mention a few key statistics that will help you be a champion inside your organization for starting or further developing a podcast effort.
The State of Podcasting
Are podcasts truly becoming more popular?
When we take a look at Google Search data from 2004 to the present, the search term “podcast” has seen a steady rise in popularity since its inception in the mid-2000s (see image).
According to Edison Research, 10 years ago only 23 percent of Americans (ages 12+) listened to podcasts monthly. Fast forward to 2020 and that number has now grown to 55 percent. As we look at the increased interest and usage of podcasting, it becomes clear that the medium is growing rapidly and has now become mainstream.
Among which age demographics are podcasts most popular?
Much like social media platforms, many associate podcasting with younger audiences. And while it is a platform that young people (ages 12-34) have been quick to adopt (49 percent listen monthly), people ages 35-54 are almost equally engaged (40 percent listen monthly).
Is the podcasting platform an effective way to reach people?
There are many ways to determine if a platform is effective in reaching people. One of the key data points we have been following is average time spent listening to podcasts. For the weekly podcast listener, the average time spent listening to podcasts in a week has risen to nearly an hour per day – up from just over 30 minutes a day four years ago. As this number continues to rise, we believe podcasting will show an even greater impact for organizations.
Three Ways Podcasting Can Help Your Organization
1. The Campfire – Sharing Stories of Impact
Every organization relies on sharing stories of impact to close the loop from financial partners to those their support is impacting. And if you’ve ever been around a campfire, you’ve also likely experienced the gathering of shared stories. Something happens when a group of people gather and begin sharing stories with each other. A simple way that podcasting can help your organization is by being a platform for sharing stories of impact with and about your community of supporters and those the work benefits.
2. The Bulletin Board – Distributing Critical Information
One of the most important challenges any organization must face is how to effectively distribute important information to its community of supporters and key partners. While digital tools exist to distribute information, we often have complex information we need to convey to our community that takes more time than an email or social media post will allow. These complex topics need a platform where people will engage for extended periods of time – and podcasting can effectively fulfill this requirement by being a platform for the leadership of your organization to communicate critical information to supporters.
3. The Boardroom – Exporting Culture and Vision
The culture and the vision of your organization is often created in the boardroom. While we spend many hours developing who we are, why we exist, and how we conduct our work, we rarely take time to communicate these things with our wider community. Podcasting can be a great platform for exporting your culture and vision by bringing your supporters behind the scenes in the planning of your organization’s future.
How have you seen podcasting used effectively in your organization or others? Leave a comment and let us know!
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