Throughout the last year, video conferencing platforms such as Teams, Zoom or Skype have become the unsung heroes of lockdown. The whole experience would have been much harder if it wasn’t for the internet and video chat platforms allowing us to speak to colleagues, friends or family on demand.
However, as we approach an era of hybrid working, we may need to reconsider how we are communicating with our teams. Whether working from home full-time or taking a mixed approach, shortcomings in video conferencing such as too much screen time, poor video quality and weak audio not only prevent us from having natural conversations but can also become exhausting.
A recent study found that the psychological impact of spending hours each day on a range of video calling platforms is actually quite high. The study found people often reach ‘non-verbal overload’ with too much eye contact. This means we need to work much harder than normal to send and receive all those non-verbal signals that are lost when many of us are just a head filling a screen.
This is where audio can come into action.
The beauty of a podcast is its intimacy. Unlike other forms of digital media, a podcast can allow the listener to feel a level of trust and closeness with the host. This not only keeps people coming back week in week out but also makes branded content such as endorsements and host recommendations so valuable. More B2B businesses are starting to realise the marketing power of audio for external communication, however the value of a podcast as an internal-facing resource is also becoming more apparent.
Privately streamed podcasts let employees exercise, make breakfast, or even just give their eyes a well-earned rest from screens whilst still consuming relevant information. Not only is it an innovative way to consume material but audio can be engaging, approved ahead of time, and edited to provide streamlined information, cutting out any ‘waffle’ content. The host of a podcast is also generally conversational, differentiating from newsletter or corporate written copy, shaking up traditional forms of communication.
Beyond using audio internally, a podcast could also be an effective tool for businesses to use for their clients. A packaged-up podcast could replace webinars, newsletters, or other forms of content that users are used to seeing, completely flipping the external communication narrative on its head.
Whether being used within a company or as a marketing tool, podcasts are here to stay, remaining a valuable medium in the post-lockdown era. As more and more brands unlock the potential of audio, there has never been a better time to experiment with new forms of communication.
Do you think your company would benefit from an audio communication platform? Speak to one of the team about MeCast, a complete HR Wellbeing Audio Package, consisting of 12 months’ worth of wellness content in podcast format.