podcastBy now, you have probably heard of podcasts; but what exactly are they and why should you care?

In 2005 podcasts were referred to as “the future of radio” and then they sort of disappeared for a long time. Today however, many industry insiders and marketers are again referring to these downloadable pieces of audio content as the next great thing to entertain, educate and consume.

With Apple recently surpassing 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts via iTunes, it may be time to listen to some and find out what you’ve been missing.

What is a Podcast?

First, some basics. Podcasts are essentially radio shows delivered on-demand over the Internet as opposed to the airwaves. Users download the episodes they want to hear and play them back on their computers, MP3 players and mobile devices.

Podcast-DMTPodcasts range in style, content, length and format in just about every way you can imagine. Some are just a singular host and a few minutes long while others are done in an interview format and last for an hour and 40 minutes.

The podcast format allows you to listen to long-form content from industry personalities and professionals you won’t hear anywhere else. Oftentimes, this creates loyalty between the listener and the host(s) because you spend so much time with them. It’s unique, it’s useful and it’s downright fun.

Plus, listening to podcasts gives you a competitive advantage over your competition since they aren’t mainstream just yet. As mentioned above, you spend a lot of time with the hosts of shows diving deep into issues that matter to your industry or interests. They also serve as a means to stay up on current industry trends and topics and provide detailed discussions and education at a price that can’t be beat: free.

You can find a podcast on just about whatever you’re interested in from marketing your medical practice (like ours) to technology, business, fashion, television, sports, finance and on and on and on until you’re blue in the ears (get it?). There really are podcasts about everything, so just pick an interest, search and you’re bound to find something you want to listen to.

Business or cat grooming – we won’t judge.

How Can You Listen to Podcasts?

Podcasts are becoming more mainstream, but listening to podcasts isn’t as easy as tuning into your favorite FM station just yet. Many of your favorite websites with podcasts attempt to make it as easy possible to listen to their podcasts by putting the link to their episodes on their front page or a dedicated navigation tab (scroll up, we’ll wait). Oftentimes you can just navigate to one of the episode pages and listen to an episode like this:

However, the most common way to consume podcasts is by subscribing and then having the episodes automatically download to your device of choice.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started:

  • A podcast app on your mobile device or a working iTunes account
  • Search for the podcast you’d like to listen to and press “Subscribe”
  • Download the episode to avoid any sort of buffering or interruption
  • Press play and enjoy at your desk, on your ride home or wherever you have a few minutes

Podcasts to Check Out

Once you’re all set up, it’s time to really dig in. Below are a few of the podcasts we listen to regularly around the Dr Marketing Tips office we think you may enjoy. Note: the links will attempt to open via iTunes on your computer.

If you do decide to try out podcasts and you would like to listen to the Dr Marketing Tips Podcast we have put together, here’s a few of our more popular episodes you can look forward to listening to:  

If you think you’re ready, click this link to subscribe to our show on iTunes. Happy listening!