I spend a lot of time in my car. From my hour-each-way commute in snarling Philadelphia traffic, to the evenings and weekends I volunteer as a coach, sometimes it feels like I spend as much time in the car as I do at home.
Even with a huge music collection, terrestrial radio and a premium Spotify subscription at my disposal, I still get bored. So I listen to podcasts — a lot of them.
For me, podcasts have become an exceptional way to take time that might otherwise be wasted and transform it into something productive. While I listen to a lot of podcasts for fun, I also try to squeeze in time during the 10 or more hours a week I spend commuting to hear some of the best voices in our industry wax poetic about SEO, content marketing and social media.
The numbers show I'm not alone.
A recent survey showed 17% of adults in the U.S. have listened to a podcast within the last month — that's upwards of 40 million people! The Peabody-Award-winning Serial became a cultural phenomenon that has been downloaded more than 60 million times. Podcasts are clearly becoming more mainstream.
People who listen to podcasts are among the largest consumers of audio media in general. The majority of them (me included) listen to five or more hours of media each day.
Portability of media is also a key factor in the growth of podcasts. In 2013, the percentage of podcasts being listened to via smartphones/tablets/portable audio devices was 34%. By 2014, that number jumped to 51% and it continues to grow with no sign of abating.
And those consumers are listening in volume. A recent study shows that 20% of podcast consumers listen to six or more podcasts a week, which gave me a handy target number for this post. Otherwise, I could have kept listing podcasts I enjoy all day.
So without further, ado, here are the six marketing podcasts (I believe) you can't live without:
1. The Lede
The Lede, hosted by Jerod Morris and Demian Farnworth. The Lede is one of the most polished and entertaining of the marketing podcasts out there. But what else would you expect from the fine folks at CopyBlogger? Jerod and Demian have a great rapport that carries over into the conversations, making you feel like you're listening to two colleagues around the water cooler. They take on challenging topics and have first-rate guests.
The Lede also spawned the great Rough Draft podcast, another of my "never-miss" shows (also hosted by Demian Farnworth).
SEO 101, hosted by Ross Dunn and John Carcutt. SEO 101 is a fast-paced podcast that takes elementary SEO concepts and makes them quickly accessible to listeners. Of the podcasts I listen to, this is the one I find myself going back to through the archives looking for specific topics most often. Ross and John distill SEO down to its bare essence and make the arcane and confusing parts of SEO easily digestible for newbies and veterans alike.
3. Marketing over Coffee
Marketing over Coffee, hosted by John J. Wall and Christopher Penn. Marketing Over Coffee is probably the most irreverent of the marketing podcasts on this list. It's also one of the shortest. If you only have a few minutes, this is the Podcast for you. John and Christopher take marketing seriously, but not themselves, and it's a blast to listen to their comments on current events in marketing. The pop culture references are an added bonus that really make the marketing concepts resonate.
4. Six Pixels of Separation
Six Pixels of Separation, hosted by Mitch Joel. It's title taken from the eponymous 2010 book written by host Mitch Joel, Six Pixels of Separation is a stripped-down podcast, but the bare-bones production values belie a treasure trove of in-depth insight. Joel is a natural interviewer and his innate curiosity allows him to unearth insights from his guests that other podcasters might otherwise have left buried.
5. This Old Marketing
This Old Marketing Podcast, hosted by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose. Full disclosure, I'm an unabashed Joe Pulizzi fanboy. He's one of my content marketing heroes. He and Robert Rose are a dynamic duo that can shift effortlessly from esoteric content marketing concepts to pop culture and seemlessly segue back again. Their deep dives into the top stories of the week are both entertaining and informative.
6. Social Pros
Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Jeff Rohrs. Jay Baer and Jeff Rohrs really shine the light on social media marketing as a profession. In placing the focus on people and brands making a difference in the industry rather than content curation, Baer and Rohrs really excel at telling stories. Hearing how a brand's strategy was created and executed first-hand makes the information far more impactful than a data-heavy case study or high-level article.
What are your go-to podcasts? Did I miss any that you listen to every week? Sound off in the comments!