I will tell you that, for example, easily 60-70% or more of my knowledge in online marketing I have acquired in this way. You can imagine that I can no longer conceive of my activity without them.
And my experience is not an isolated case; If you talk to other people who follow podcasts regularly, they will tell you wonders, whether it is with professional or leisure content.
So what do podcasts have to make people who follow them become such fans of them? What is the secret of this format? And why, in my case and in the case of many other people, do they spend even more hours on podcasts than on video?
Today I am going to answer these questions; I will explain in detail what a podcast is , how they work, tips to enjoy them to the fullest and I will give you references to some of the best and most popular podcasts, both in Spanish and English, in the online marketing niche and other topics.
In this post I am going to focus on the perspective of following and listening to podcasts, although as a content creator that you will be as a reader of this blog, I will also give you some hints of the keys to assess whether you may also be interested in being the author of your own podcast. , an issue to which we will dedicate its own post later.
And if you also want to know how to create a podcast , take a look at “this other post:
So let’s stop with more preludes and to the bull ?
What is a Podcast and what is it for?
Podcasts are a multimedia file distribution format via the web and with an RSS feed system, the same one that is used to follow, for example, blogs via a feed reader such as Feedly , for example.
The term podcast was coined in 2004 and is born from the union of the words iPod (Apple’s music player) and broadcasting (broadcasting in English).
Although there are also video podcasts, when we talk about a podcast we usually refer to audio programs , similar to a YouTube channel , that periodically publish new episodes (typically 30-60 minutes each).
By using the podcasts also RSS feeds , the listener will be able to automatically receive new publications through a podcast player with which he subscribes to these feeds.
How podcasts work
The great advantages that differentiate them from more traditional audio broadcast media, such as radio, are, above all, three:
- The possibility to subscribe with a podcast reader to a podcast program and thus receive automatic updates via RSS.
- As it is not a live broadcast, you can listen to them whenever you want .
- The possibility of being able to download the audios automatically, which allows them to be listened to offline, once downloaded.
Why are podcasts succeeding now?
These three advantages are already, by themselves, compelling arguments to be interested in podcasts. However, the first years were not a resounding success; they were more of a “second fiddle” format compared to text and video.
The boom in podcasts really came as smartphones were introduced .
Although the concept of smartphone already existed before, it was with the presentation in 2007 of the iPhone that the era of smartphones really began and they turned out to be the perfect ally for podcasts.
With smartphones, podcasts were able to really unleash the big ace up their sleeve: audio is the only content format that can be consumed in a really comfortable and safe way (without causing dangerous distractions) in the background .
Think for a moment about what it is like to listen to audio versus read or watch a video, while doing other activities such as sports or driving a car. Obviously, there is no color.
Along with a growing supply of content, this was the key factor in the podcast boom that started around 2010: suddenly you could listen to them very comfortably anywhere thanks to the fact that we usually always have our smartphone with us.
And here I leave you an infographic with very interesting information (in English) about podcasts and the characteristics of the people who listen to them:
What can having your own Podcast bring you?
As I said before, in this post I am going to focus on the perspective of the podcast consumer, but being the reader profile of this blog what it is, I can’t help but also give a few brushstrokes about the possibility of creating your own podcast, something extremely interesting.
What could your own podcast bring you then?
It is a relatively easy and quick format to produce
First of all, the audio format is a format that many people find easier to produce than text or video content. In addition, many people find it more rewarding to speak than to write or make a video.
In this there is logically a large subjective factor , that is, there will be people who do not agree with this statement and it may even be the opposite in your case. However, it is worth trying to find out which is your case.
The small “but” that can be put is that you need a minimum equipment: at least, a decent microphone (around €50 approx. You already have semi-professional options ) and an audio editing program, although there are excellent options here free ones like Audacity , which is the one I also use for audio work.
Now, with this minimal investment you can already achieve very professional results .
The podcast in Spanish created by an individual person (that is, not by a radio production company and the like) with the best “finish” in terms of production and sound quality that I know of, the one that most closely resembles the work that podcasters do in the US (you can see examples below), it is the podcast of “The Success Academy” by Víctor Martín .
I leave you as an example an episode (which was also the premiere episode) that he and I recorded a few years ago and in which he interviewed me.
In this episode, he’s wearing a Blue Snowball microphone and I ‘m wearing these headphones with a built-in mic (actually the older model, which is similar). Currently, the microphone he uses is the Blue Yeti :
A podcast allows you to reach new audiences
On the other hand, it is important to be aware that there are many people with very marked preferences in the way they consume content. That is, they use a certain format almost as the only option.
In that sense, just as there are people who prefer video over reading, there are also more and more people who prefer audio as the No. 1 option (myself included).
I would say that most of the time (as in my case) it is for a simple matter of time , because they don’t have much more opportunity than those moments when they go to work in the car or do some sport in which it is impossible, or at less very uncomfortable, use other formats.
What does this mean to you?
Well, something as important as, if you already have a blog or a YouTube channel, for example, with a podcast you can reach a totally new audience that you would never reach with your current channels , an audience that is growing.
You connect more with your audience
There is a golden rule that is always followed: the closer people feel to you, the more they will connect with you . And that is not only rewarding, but in practice it is also a great advantage for your online marketing activities.
Here’s a very simple hierarchy, in order of “degree of connection” with your audience. The highest degree of connection you can achieve, in order from least to most, is:
That is, compared to a blog, you will usually get a greater connection with your audience via a podcast. This is so because they hear your voice, you are “closer”.
However, with a podcast you don’t come close to a video where you are seen as a person. If we are talking about video tutorials in which you do not see your face, we would have a situation more or less similar to that of a podcast, because in both cases only your voice is heard.
Therefore, take into account that additional engagement factor with your audience that a podcast provides.
Multiply the game you get from your content
And lastly, if you already have other channels up and running, such as a blog or a YouTube channel, you have a very big advantage , which is being able to “recycle” your content.
Perhaps now you think that this is going to look bad because, ultimately, you are duplicating your content.
Believe me, it is not. Being different channels, on the one hand you will be addressing to a large extent different people and on the other hand, even with the same people, they will perceive it as something natural and coherent; Being on different channels, they perceive them as different content.
In the case of already producing video content, you will have it especially easy. There are many videos whose audio, if you extract it, can perfectly be a podcast episode as it is.
But of course it depends on the type of video. A video tutorial where you are performing actions on the user interface of an application would obviously not be suitable for recycling as a podcast chapter.
Now, the typical “talking head” style video, in which only you are seen talking about a certain topic, will be a perfect candidate. What’s more, I personally prefer a thousand times to listen to content like this in the background than to be paying attention to everything on one face.
Even if you don’t do video, but just text on a blog, for example, you’ve got a lot to gain. There are many posts that are a perfect script to make a good podcast chapter.
Of course, for the result to look good, a very important piece of advice: even if it costs more at the beginning, do a free speech, that is, do not read the post. The result has nothing to do with it, even if you make little mistakes in the speech, it will be a thousand times better than something read.
How to listen to podcasts
If you’re new to podcasting , locating and following podcasts can be a bit confusing at first . Unlike a blog or YouTube channel, you can usually find the same podcast on different sites. It may even cost you something to locate it if the author does not have his own website.
What are the most important Podcast platforms?
This is so because podcasts are often hosted on platforms , similar to video: everyone is on YouTube , many are also on Vimeo , and relatively few are also on others or only others.
In the case of podcasts, iTunes (the iTunes application must be installed) would be the counterpart to YouTube.
At the time it was a quasi-monopoly (96.5% of the market in 2007) as YouTube is now, but platforms like SoundCloud , Spotify and iVoox are gaining more and more ground. However, iTunes remains the clear leader with a 55% market share (2017 data).
Unlike YouTube (where many people are only on YouTube), in podcasts it is normal to also be on SoundCloud and iVoox (in Spain). The rest of the platforms are already much more marginal, but on iTunes, SoundCloud and iVoox you will normally find the majority.
You can search for the podcasts that interest you, either from the websites of these platforms, from mobile apps to follow podcasts or from a web podcast search engine, among which the most popular is Listen Notes :
How to Listen to Podcasts on a PC or Mac
A desktop or laptop computer is not, in general, the most comfortable device to follow a podcast, but there are situations (when you are working on your PC, for example) in which you will want to follow a podcast or simply access a specific episode from your computer.
There are different ways for this:
- The author’s website : normally, podcast authors also have a blog where they publish new episodes, you can even listen to them directly there. On this website you will normally also find references to the platforms on which they are hosted.
- The websites of the platforms : as I said, normally you are going to locate everyone on iTunes and/or SoundCloud, with the search engines of these platforms.
- The iTunes application : you have it for both Mac and PC , that is, you have to install it on your computer, it is not a web application.
How to listen to Podcasts on mobile (iPhone and Android)
The ideal way to follow and listen to podcasts are smartphones, because in this way the podcast always accompanies you wherever you are and allows you to take advantage of those ideal situations to listen to a podcast, which can hardly be used in any other way, such as when you are driving your car, for example.
On mobile devices, of course, you can follow and listen to podcasts via the web, but here the ideal is, of course, to use specific Apps for podcasts. There are specific and more general ones, for Android and for iPhone; A little further down I will review a few.
The operation of all these applications is always the same: they all have a search engine to locate the podcasts, to which you want to subscribe to receive their episodes.
Once this is done, they begin to download the list of episodes that the podcast in question has published and it is only necessary to choose the episode you want to listen to and hit the “play” button.
In any case, since this is one of those things that is much better understood with a short video-tutorial, here is one to give you an idea of ??how this type of App works:
Recommended Accessories for Listening to Podcasts
You do not need any special equipment beyond your smartphone to listen to podcasts, but I do want to make a small important recommendation : it is well worth investing in good mobile headphones, since the ones that come standard are usually quite bad, even in high-end terminals.
In my case, I have purchased the BlitzWolf BW-ES1 , “in-ear” headphones with a graphene membrane, very affordable and with impressive quality for their price. They are headphones that include a microphone and are compatible with a long list of mobiles.
The difference between these headphones and the original LG ones has been really big. Listening to a podcast like this changes a lot; yes, only if the audio quality of the podcast itself is also up to par, of course. ?
And if you want a recommendation for PC speakers, I currently use a Creative unit, also very affordable and that has given me very good results. My model is no longer available, but the Creative A250 has succeeded it .
The best Android and iPhone Apps to listen to Podcast
There are countless Apps to listen to podcasts on mobile devices, both for Android in Google Play and for iPhone in the App Store.
It is practically impossible to create an objective list with the “best” since there are many good ones, even among the free ones, although I have not yet found any “perfect” ones 100% to my liking.
So it’s more of an issue that becomes very subjective, subject to personal preference.
In my case, I use BeyondPod and it has seemed to me to be one of the best alternatives I have tried, Podcast & Radio Addict and Podcast Go .
Also interesting are applications such as TuneIn Radio , oriented to online radio (streaming) that also incorporate a podcast player functionality. The problem is that they tend to be poorer in the podcast part than specialized Apps.
In any case, I prefer to recommend more than specific applications (although we will see some later), very important features in my experience , in an application to listen to podcasts:
- A simple, fast and very visual user interface : this is obvious, but not all of them comply.
- Good Podcast Finder – A must for quick and easy discovery of interesting podcasts.
- Multi -platform: that allows you to listen to podcasts from any platform. In other words, Apps like iVoox or SoundCloud will only give you access to the podcasts hosted on their platform. You cannot access all published podcasts with them.
- Playlists – Playlists allow you to select multiple episodes from different podcasts and put them into a single play queue. Very comfortable and essential to organize the things you want to listen to.
- Download episodes offline : there are times, such as when you travel through areas with poor coverage, in which it is essential to have the episodes downloaded. In addition, you will save a lot of data consumption if you create playlists when you have a WiFi connection and mark the episodes so that they are downloaded and do not have to be streamed when you listen to them.
- Download Policies – Downloaded podcast files can eat up a lot of space as they accumulate. That is why it is important that the application allows you to adjust that, on the one hand, they are stored on a micro SD card or, on the other hand, that you can prevent automatic downloading with a mobile data connection and not with a WiFi network, to avoid consuming bandwidth in this way. band on your mobile data connection.
- Being able to adjust the playback speed – Being able to adjust the playback speed is very useful. If you have little time, being able to play the content 20% or 30% faster and listen to it just as well, will be something that you will greatly appreciate.
- Being able to mark favorites and navigate by favorites : essential to always keep those episodes that you do not want to misplace. In addition, it is important that you can easily navigate through them later. There are applications that allow you to bookmark, but do not allow you to easily navigate through them later. Thus, the concept of favorite makes almost no sense.
- Being able to organize by categories : It is normal that over time you follow multiple podcasts, so there comes a time when being able to organize them into categories is essential.
How to download a Podcast to your PC or mobile
A frequently asked question is how a podcast (one or several episodes in MP3 format or other formats such as AAC, for example) can be downloaded locally to a computer or mobile phone.
Here again there are several ways:
The easiest way is to use one of the mobile Apps mentioned above. Almost all of them integrate a download option that is usually found in the tab of the episode you want to listen to or in the list of episodes. It’s usually as simple as marking one or more specific episodes for download like this.
You will be able to recover these episodes as audio files from the directory that each specific application uses for it, in case you want to transfer them to another machine, for example.
On the other hand, on many of the authors’ websites you will also find entries (posts) from which the author himself leaves a link to download the episode in question as an audio file (usually in MP3 format).
On platforms like SoundCloud or iVoox you cannot download the audio as a file, you have to use the platform itself to listen to it.
The best podcasts in Spanish
And for you to start enjoying podcasts right away, nothing better than giving you some recommended podcast references to start with.
The typical question is again which are the best podcasts in Spanish. This one I also consider impossible to answer, because there are so many and with such diverse themes that it makes no sense to speak of “the best” .
So we are going to do two things: since we are in an online marketing blog, I am going to name the podcasts related to this topic that, personally, I like the most.
On the other hand, without limiting myself to a specific theme, I am going to give you a reference to some rankings of the most popular podcasts (in total number of listeners) in Spanish.
And by the way, it goes without saying that practically all major radio stations publish their various programs in podcast format. Here I leave you the example of Europa FM .
Entrepreneurship and online marketing podcasts in Spanish
A small personal selection of the entrepreneurship and online marketing podcasts in Spanish that I have followed the most:
- The Success Academy , by Víctor Martín
- La Academia del Marketing Online , by Óscar Feito
- Digital Entrepreneurs , by José Miguel García
- Online Marketing , by Joan Boluda
- SEO for Bloggers , by Borja Girón
The most popular podcasts in Spanish
To have a list of podcasts in Spanish, I recommend you use the rankings of the big platforms; for example, the weekly ranking of the 100 most listened to podcasts on iVoox or the iTunes list (you need the application), which is very practical as it is organized by categories and subcategories.
You can also use the Apps to browse popular podcasts by category. In this case, of all the ones I’ve tried, Podcast Go seems to me the best because it allows you to filter by language , so you can really limit yourself to podcasts in Spanish.
The best podcasts in English
As for podcasts in English, I am going to limit myself to the online marketing podcasts that I follow; I’m not going to go into other topics here, but if you’re interested, it’s easy for you, simply by looking at the rankings on iTunes.
90% or more of the time I spend on podcasts, I listen to one of these:
- Online Marketing Made Easy, de Amy Porterfield
- The Smart Pasive Income Podcast, de Pat Flynn
- Authority Hacker, de Gael Breton and Mark Webster
- The Art of Paid Traffic Podcast, de Rick Mulready
If I had to give you just one reason why you should definitely start listening to podcasts, it would be how they allow you to make the most of your time .
Listening to podcasts on mobile has been for me like adding hours to the day . Suddenly, I have been able to get hours that are as productive as they are entertaining from downtime in car rides, cycling, waiting at the doctor, in paperwork and in a thousand other places.
I’ve been like this for about five years or so, since I started following my first podcast, which was David Cantone’s BloggerCast (unfortunately no longer active). So, the Citizen 2.0 project had barely started and was completely unknown.
In my case, by combining a job with the Citizen 2.0 project and having very tight time, I have focused 100% on professional content. If these podcasts did not exist, I could not have consumed half, perhaps not even a third, of the content that I have been able to listen to like this.
So, if this blog has been able to become what it is today, it has been largely thanks to everything these podcasts have allowed me to learn, making the most of my time.
Don’t you think that this alone is a more than good reason to start following podcasts right now?
And remember: if you want to take the plunge and create your own, take action with the steps explained in this other post ?