News alert! According to the Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, a dedicated source to tell you what type of Disney character you’d be, is officially shifting most of its podcasting resources over to video.
Now, I love a good marketing podcast as much as the next person, but this is a smart move for BuzzFeed. According to a memo sent by Shani Hilton, vice president of news and programming at BuzzFeed News, most of their podcasts are shutting down, including “See Something Say Something,” “The News,” and “Reporting To You.”
Due to missing digital ad spend targets by upwards of 20% last year, BuzzFeed is focusing on more original content via video to improve audience engagement to improve and diversify its revenue streams.
“We’ve decided to move to a production model that is more like our TV projects — that is, treating shows as individual projects, with teams brought on as needed,” Ms. Hilton wrote in the memo.
Marcus Sheridan, one of IMPACT’s owners and author of They Ask, You Answer, provided a great response to this news on Facebook:
“I love #podcasting as a medium for businesses. I do. But there is no way it will ever (in the huge majority of cases) match video when it comes to #sales, #marketing, and #customerexperience. Just ain't happening. For example, when was the last time someone on your sales team said: "I'm going to send this prospect our last podcast episode, that will close the deal!" Yep, it never happens. Podcasting and audio are nice, but video and visual are our future.”
He has a point, and that’s why we’ve been building out our video arm over the last year.
Should you go out and cancel all your podcasts and switch to video too?
Just as BuzzFeed’s quiz-style content may not be right for your audience, blindly adopting their no-more-podcasts strategy may not be right for you either.
Our advice for you is to consider your audience and the content of the show when choosing the medium that makes the most sense.
For example, my co-hosts of MarketHer and I made the decision to make a video show over audio-only last year because we knew we were at times going to talk about some pretty heavy stuff.
When Britt got emotional over losing her home to Hurricane Harvey or when Angela discussed her financial struggles while trying to be the main breadwinner, you couldn’t feel the emotion in those stories as much without seeing their body language and facial expressions.
However, if we had been planned a five-minute daily industry news show or if we framed it around something to listen to while you work out, audio could have been perfectly fine.
The point is, always choose your content medium strategically based on which will most effectively deliver your intended message.
Video offers a strong ability to connect with your audience and for them to connect with you.
Plus, adding an element of programming like a TV show can make your content downright addictive.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds for BuzzFeed.
For now, take stock of your current content mix and ask yourself if you’re missing the opportunity to incorporate more video. Chances are, you probably are.