Blogging vs. Podcasting: Which is Better for Building Brands, Followers, and Trust?

by Marcus Sheridan

podcastingI fly a lot these days. And for those of you that fly much, you also know that flying with a friend is way better than flying solo. Luckily for me, I’m often accompanied by Mitch Joel. We fly together a bunch. When Mitch isn’t available, Pat Flynn may step in, or possibly Srinivas Rao,  Jay Baer, or my friend Michael Stelzner.

OK, maybe these guys don’t actually “fly” with me, but after listening to their enlightening conversations and words for a few hours, it certainly feels as though we’ve just engaged in an incredible dialogue.

You see, all 5 of these gents, as many of you already know, are prolific podcasters, and despite the fact that I don’t physically “talk” to these men much, I sure feel as though we converse all the time.

And that’s the magic to podcasting. It’s also exactly why I started the Mad Marketing Podcast w/ The Sales Lion a few months back. I wanted to provide others with an intimate picture of the inner-workings of my mind, just as Joel, Flynn, Rao, Baer and Stelzner have done with their podcasts so very well.

That’s also why it brings a massive smile to my face when I get emails like this one that hit my inbox today:

Hi Marcus,

I took you and Michael Stelzner with me on my afternoon hike the other day, and have to tell you how much I enjoyed listening to both of you.   Your honest, transparent, personable style really resonated with me.  I had to stop at the top of Upper Granite Loop and send a quick email to  a couple of my clients to ask them to come up with a list of their top 10-20 most asked questions by their customers. Since them, I have sent them the link to that podcast and asked to set up a meeting with them to discuss it further…

Thank you again, for you content and for sharing your passion and wisdom.

Your new fan,

Susan

 

Pretty cool, huh?

You see, I’ve been creating textual content for 3 years now on The Sales Lion. Currently, this blog has about 19,000 comments. But never have I received emails like the ones I get from listeners of my podcast.

Blogging vs. Podcasting: Which is Better?

All this being said, trying to compare blogging and podcasting and answering the “Which is better?” question is no easy task—nor  is it possible considering like so much in this industry, the answer is “it depends.”

The thing about podcasting is that for those who are podcast listeners, it’s incredibly effective in terms of building a brand and trust from listeners. With blogging, we’re lucky to get someone’s attention for more than a couple of minutes. But with podcasting, they’ll hang around and listen to our thoughts for 30, 45, even 60 minutes sometimes.

Plus, a connection with the podcaster is deeply personal—as voice flection, sarcasm, humor, and enthusiasm can all be portrayed and understood so much easier than when they’re done in textual form.

The Elephant in the Room

Despite this, podcasting has one major “elephant in the room” that no one can ignore—not enough people listen to podcasts. Heck, some folks reading this article have never even heard the word until now. Furthermore, podcasting doesn’t have the potential shelf-life and reach benefit of SEO like textual content can offer.

If I were to break out efficacy of business communication platforms for the “average” business (again, this can vary drastically), I’d  rank the top 3 as follows:

1. Textual Content (blogging makes up a large portion of this)

2. Video Content (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

3. Audio Content (podcasting is obviously the core here)

But if a business really understands how consumers think, act, shop, and feel—they’ll also know that it’s important to communicate in ways that consumers “get it.”

For some, that will be text.

For others, that will be video. (percentages are growing more and more in this arena every day)

And for another small sector, it will be audio—the podcast listeners.

learning styles

Just as children have unique learning styles, so do consumers, and the most effective businesses no how to tap into each.

The question then becomes one of focus. Where should companies spend their time and resources in their content creation?

One Thing First

Personally, I always go back to this rule:

Get good at one thing first. Once you’ve gotten really good at that, move on to the next.

Remember, being GREAT at one marketing element is way more effective than being terribly average in 3 or 4 areas.

On a personal level, I spent about 6 months with textual content/blogging before I dove into video. I didn’t get around to podcasting until 3 years later.

Today, I absolutely love all 3 for their unique capabilities.

I’m not saying this should be your timeframe, but I am saying that in an “ideal” world, it’s great for you and your business to be able to spread your message to match as many consumer communication styles and preferences as possible.

Frankly, we could carry on this conversation comparing blogging and podcasting for quite a while. But hopefully you see my point. Both have value. Both communicate in a different way, often reaching a different audience and set of people.

Ultimately, the key is a willingness to experiment with both, stay diligent, and then watch the results. Pat Flynn often credits podcasting with his brand explosion. For my swimming pool company, video played a HUGE role, along with the blogging. For TSL, it has been a mixed batch, each holding their own.

So although the answer to the blogging v podcasting question is, “It depends,” one thing is for certain—both can do wonders to build your company’s brand, followers, and consumer trust—and that’s all that truly matters.

Your Turn

What’s your take on podcasting for business? How do you feel it stacks up to text and video? If you don’t listen to podcasts, why not? And if you have any general podcast questions, now is a great time to ask.

As always, your comments and shares are valued and appreciated.

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