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7 Insightful Podcasts You Should Start Listening to Before 2021

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By now, we’re all tired of Zoom calls and webinars. So, when your eyes need a break, why not relax with a podcast?

Informative, entertaining, silly, or thought-provoking, podcasts let you choose exactly what you want to hear and empower you to listen on your own time. No fiddling with password-protected meeting invitations or sitting through virtual keynotes — just the quality content you need whenever you’re ready to hear it.

Although great podcasts are worth every minute, bad ones make every minute feel like 10. If you want to get the most from your podcast time, don’t waste your ears on boring hosts or dull topics. Get the most from every listen by optimizing your downtime with engaging content that entertains you, teaches you, or helps you escape for a while.

Here are the top podcasts you should start before the end of the year:

1. HawkeTalk

Great stories make the world go round, and HawkeTalk is filled with some of the greatest stories from the greatest people. Host Erik Huberman, founder and CEO of Hawke Media, goes behind the scenes to reveal the origin stories of the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, and more.

HawkeTalk is a newer offering, so you still have time to catch up before more big names create a crowded backlog. Listen to former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman detail his difficult journey to the top, then see what drives Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price to pursue his vision. Be sure to check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s episode to hear how the Wine Library entrepreneur got his start shoveling driveways at seven years old.

2. Home Cooking

For many, quarantine became an opportunity to fine-tune their skills in the kitchen. Everyone needs to eat, so taking some time to develop your cooking skills with a bit of help from the masters is always a worthwhile investment.

Listen to Samin Nosrat (author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat) and co-host Hrishikesh Hirway as they help you decide what to cook and how to cook it. Pleasant conversations and humor mix with food insights to deliver a can’t-miss podcast experience for home cooks of all skill levels. Learning to cook may not help you grow a business or get a promotion, but if you’re going to feed yourself anyway, you may as well do a good job of it.

3. Decoder Ring

If you ever find yourself daydreaming about questions that start out, “I wonder what…” then this is the podcast for you. Willa Paskin brings a delightfully curious approach to answer nagging cultural questions that range from the mundane to the extraordinary.

Never could figure out why “Karen” became the most popular insult of 2020? Too afraid to ask about the history of unicorn poop? Wondering what happened to the term “metrosexual” and the scores of people who embraced it? Whatever your curiosity, Decoder Ring probably shares it and is willing to do the legwork to unravel the mystery.

4. Bodies

Despite the fact that everyone has a body, all bodies seem to work differently and experience different problems. Every other person has a story about an issue that medical professionals had trouble diagnosing. Some, of course, have more trouble than others.

Bodies follows the trickiest stories to provide a practical yet personal examination of stories of women who have struggled to get the right diagnosis or treatment. This podcast not only brings some sobering and necessary insights into the medical world, but also challenges each of us to examine our biases. Why do we think what we do of others? How do we decide what to believe and what to doubt? Bodies is a masterclass in thought leadership to help answer these questions and more.

5. Entrepreneurs on Fire

First off: no, this is not a version of Hot Ones aimed at entrepreneurs. Rather than eat spicy wings and try to withstand the pain, entrepreneurs appear on Entrepreneurs on Fire to reveal the stories, strategies, and worldviews that helped them grow their businesses. Past guests have included Tony Robbins, Amy Porterfield, and more than 2,000 others.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur yourself, a professional, or someone who just enjoys great stories about amazing people, don’t let this one slip by. It may be difficult to catch up with all 2,000-plus episodes before New Year’s, but don’t let the immense back catalog discourage you. Find a few names you know, then kick back and listen to stories you never would have suspected.

6. Reply All

Reply All is a podcast about the internet. Kind of. In reality, Reply All starts with a focus on technology, then uses that as a launching pad to talk all things modern life and the ways in which technology has reshaped what it means to be a person.

The show has more than 150 meaty episodes to dig into, but new listeners can check out the Where to Get Started page for a curated collection of some of the show’s best. It would be impossible to cover the range of strangeness that Reply All manages to dig out from the corners of the human experience in one paragraph. Push past the deceptively boring title and dive in headfirst. You can thank yourself later.

7. HBR IdeaCast

In case you were unaware, Harvard Business Review tends to attract some fairly smart people. HBR IdeaCast gives listeners a direct line to those smart people’s brains with episodes on everything from remote management to trauma recovery.

The hosts are not all Fortune 500 CEOs, either. Megan Rapinoe, U.S. women’s soccer star and World Cup champion, shared her thoughts on leadership and allyship earlier this year. Two prominent psychologists joined forces for an episode to argue against the modern concept of work-life balance for working parents (hint: leading and parenting are a lot alike).

Two decades ago, people would have paid top dollar for the insights that podcasts give away for free today. Why let all that value go to waste? Listen to a podcast while you exercise, take a walk, cook dinner, or tune out of a Zoom meeting you didn’t need to attend in the first place. Your eyes could use the break, and your brain will thank you for the change of pace.

Image credit: Magda Ehlers; Pexels

The post 7 Insightful Podcasts You Should Start Listening to Before 2021 appeared first on ReadWrite.

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7 Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

marketing trends

There is no doubting the effectiveness of quality content in driving more clicks — regardless of what your niche is. Nonetheless, since 90% (demandmetrics dot com) of all organizations leverage content in their marketing efforts, producing engaging, just informative content is no longer sufficient to cut through the noise.

It is critical that you learn about what type of content you must create and what channel or what medium you must target to increase exposure and drive more clicks.

In 2020, as older trends taper off, and older marketing techniques are rendered ineffective (especially after COVID, the economy, and the riots) your success in marketing is contingent on leveraging current trends to push content to more users.

Here are seven content marketing trends you must watch out for in 2020.

#1. Podcasting

Image: Podcasting-Example.png
Image Source: https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/listen/

Podcasts have exploded in popularity in the past decade. As reported by Statista, the number of podcast listeners has almost tripled over the decade, and it is anticipated that the number of podcast listeners in the United States alone will rise to 132 million by 2022!

With more and more listeners tuning into podcasts across niches every day, it is crucial that you begin to leverage podcasts to expand your reach exponentially. Digital marketing podcasts are gaining momentum and a lot of experts are sharing their practical tactics to help online companies.

Creating a podcast is of prime importance if your industry demands it. Even if there are already big players in your niche or no podcasts are covering your niche at all—you must put up an informational podcast episode regularly.

Similar to blogging, consistency is key to thriving in the podcasting space.

It is also crucial that you create a podcast intentionally. Creating a podcast only for the sake of marketing isn’t going to be effective. You’ll lose traction and plateau at times, and only being passionate about your niche will keep you going. 

Lastly, sticking to a particular facet of your niche is essential—since switching subjects will confuse your listeners regarding your area of expertise.

Opined Brendan Hufford of 100 Days of SEO.

 

#2. User-Generated Content 

Image: User-Generated-content-example.png
Image Source: https://www.canva.com/

User-generated content is content created and published by unpaid contributors. 

Typically, these contributors are fans that promote a brand based on their own experience with it. The brand does not promote itself. You can find user-generated content on social media, blogs, and forums as comments, images, or testimonials.

One good example of marketing using user-generated content is Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke� campaign. Users would find a Coke with their name on it and share a picture of it on social media. 

Although it may not seem like a huge deal, you must realize that with this campaign, the company managed to create a source of free viral content for the brand—since people were essentially showing off images with their drink.

You can leverage user-generated content from the ratings, reviews, and comments from e-commerce sites, blog posts, and social media depending on what suits your business model and niche best.

Over 90% of consumers trust the recommendation of another person, even someone they don’t know, over branded content—which is why you must find ways to leverage user-generated content. 

Opined Brent Trotter of Clique Studios.

#3. Voice-Activated Content

With the adoption of smart devices proliferating, there is an upsurge in demand for content optimized for voice-activated devices. Voice-activated content opens up a wealth of opportunities for you to intervene and leverage the newly popular platform. 

Many marketers are only now starting to realize the potential for profits of this trend, it is vital that you begin curating voice-optimized content right away, while you still have the upper hand. There is only one thing you must discern to make the most out of the opportunity you have now. 

You must understand the nuances between how users search for content when they type and when they speak. 

Gaining mastery over these subtle differences will enable you to craft better headlines and focus on including specific long-tail keywords in your content.

Although voice-optimized content must be informative and engaging (just like blog content), the style of writing must be much simpler.

Analyzing patterns and trends in voice searches—similar to what you practice when looking for keywords and content in demand—can potentially amplify your exposure.

#4. Chatbots 

Image: Chatbots-example.png
Image Source: https://www.intercom.com/customizable-bots

Introducing a chatbot to your site has a range of benefits—which is why you will notice a surge in its adoption.

By setting up a chatbot on your site, you can engage your visitors in conversation. Hooking in your visitors in this way enables you to

  • learn more about their persona,
  • understand their intents and goals when they visit your site, and
  • analyze their specific needs.

Asking visitors to fill in a form is now a dated marketing tactic and is largely considered tedious. A chatbot is a sophisticated tool that enables you to accomplish all the same objectives faster, all while keeping your visitor engaged in stimulating conversation. 

Conversational marketing, in the form of a chatbot, also minimizes the downtime throughout your relationship with the visitor. This increase in efficiency, in turn, allows you to achieve the following:

  • Minimize the time needed to learn about your target audience
  • Minimize gaps between engagements 
  • Minimize the time and effort needed on the visitor’s end
  • Minimize costs (since you don’t need to hire anybody)

Chatbots minimize costs, time, and effort required to understand the goals and intentions of your visitors. 

They are so effective because, unlike when using forms, a chatbot makes the user feel as if they’re being treated as an individual.

Opined Daniel Cooper of Lolly.co.

#5. Augmented Reality

While AR content is an entirely new form of content, it opens up scores of opportunities for you to use it to revivify your content marketing campaign. 

Companies like Starbucks, Facebook, Google, Sephora, Ikea, Apple, and Microsoft are already putting the new technology to good use.

Ikea launched Ikea Place—an AR application that improves the customer’s shopping experience by showing them exactly how a product will look and fit in their room.

Image: Augmented-Reality-Ikea-Place.png
Image Source: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/

On the other hand, Sephora has an AR-supported app that enables customers to try on eyelashes, lipsticks, eye shadows, and all kinds of other beauty products without needing to purchase them first.

AR still remains to be a largely untapped avenue for marketing, with only mainstream companies diving in headfirst. 

Regardless if you blog, run an e-commerce store, or market products for others, you must remember that the only lapse in AR marketing is currently on the marketers’ end.

Almost all devices on the market are AR-ready, and adaptation to it is only increasing. With only a few companies leveraging it to market products, altering your content marketing strategy to involve AR can help drive more traffic and sales. 

Opined Isaac Hammelburger of SearchPros.co.

#6. Video and Live-Stream Content

Image: Live-stream-content.png

The modern customer increasingly expects to receive video content from their favorite brand. Video content also tends to keep users engaged for a longer time than written content.

Posting videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your own website is a great way of engaging customers for longer periods. While you do have their attention, marketing products and services shouldn’t be too difficult anymore.

On the other hand, you can upload short videos on platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram and supply snack-sized content with high potential to go viral. 

You can also leverage these platforms to create user-generated content. Sending your products to reviewers and having them create a video is an excellent tactic that almost always brings in more customers.

You can also leverage live-streaming platforms in your content marketing campaign. Now, more consumers prefer to watch long-form video streams than read a blog post. 

Holding Q&A sessions, webinars, product demos, or interviews are some of the best ways to create engaging long-form content.

Regardless of what platform or video style you decide to leverage, remember that more exposure translates to more sales. 

Opined James Norquay – Content Marketing Director Prosperity Media.

#7. Google Snippets

About 62.5% of Google searches on mobile now end without a click. 

Ever since Google (and other search engines) introduced the SERP snippet that has featured content, users tend not to click on links since they’ve already found what they were searching for. 

If you want your web page to stand out from the competition and be featured in the snippet, you must create content that stands out.

Image: Google-Snippets.png

Users now know that using long-tail keywords will almost always cause Google to answer their questions in the form of the snippet. Therefore, you must focus on creating solution-focused, long-form content that can answer the audience’s questions. 

Targeting “How do I…� questions in your niche is one of the easiest ways to get your content featured on the snippet. Also, you must make sure that your content is straightforward and that you’re not rambling. If you must choose between straightforwardness and cleverness, always go the straightforward route.

Another important characteristic of quality content is that it attracts both “no-click� and “click-happy� users. If you write engaging content, there’s a good chance that you will drive more clicks.

Regardless of which trend you decide to hop on and take advantage of, you must remember that analytics is just as important as the content in content marketing.

You must aim to deliver content on the basis of your analysis of search intent. Furnishing quality content that’s already in demand will help you drive more clicks to your site, which will translate to more sales. 

The post 7 Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2020 appeared first on ReadWrite.

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10 Entrepreneur Podcasts Every Founder Should Listen To

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Podcasts are one of my favorite content mediums, and I know I’m not alone. Podcasts are inexpensive, typically free, they’re incredibly diverse, they’re usually updated on a daily or weekly basis, and you can listen to them while doing other things—like driving, doing chores, or exercising. Here are ten entrepreneur podcasts every founder should listen to.
As an entrepreneur, podcasts are even more important, since they’re perfect ways to feed your ever-growing hunger for more information. But with more than a million podcasts with more than 30 million individual episodes, it’s hard to know where to begin if you’re looking for an entrepreneur podcast to help guide your entrepreneurial endeavors.
I’ve assembled this list of my top 10 favorite podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Top Entrepreneur Podcasts

These are some of the best podcasts for entrepreneurs currently available:
Entrepreneur Cast

1. The Entrepreneur Cast

The Entrepreneur Cast is an aptly named entrepreneur podcast hosted by renowned marketing experts Jayson DeMers and Sam McRoberts. Both have started multiple businesses, and they tend to focus on entrepreneurship from a marketing perspective, while also often diving into relevant aspects of psychology, such as persuasion and incentive.
They give a firsthand perspective on the biggest challenges new entrepreneurs face, and they offer a fresh, front-line perspective as business owners who have both created (and sold) successful businesses, authored best-selling books, and are currently active in their own businesses.
Tim Ferriss Show

2. The Tim Ferriss Show

Consistently one of the top-rated and most popular podcasts in the world, the Tim Ferriss Show features Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Workweek. Ferriss often talks with special guests, including rockstar entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley, professional athletes, and even politicians—all sharing their perspectives on success, productivity, and living well.
Marketing School

3. Marketing School

The podcast, Marketing School is hosted by well-known marketing experts Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Episodes are released daily, and each episode usually ranged from 4-8 minutes. Truly, straight-forward, bite-sized content.
Neil and Eric pack a ton of useful content into each episode, cutting out all the fluff until all that’s left is pure, dense, knowledge from the minds of two marketing experts.
Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

4. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

The term “thought leadership� gets thrown around a lot, but Stanford University’s podcast series, Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders attempts to explore it right. With it, you’ll hear one-hour speeches from Stanford faculty, venture capitalists, and of course, entrepreneurs. It’s a perfect length of time for a workout or long commute.
Planet Money The Indicator

5. Planet Money: The Indicator

Planet Money is a great podcast by itself if you’re interested in learning more about the economy, but The Indicator is even better for entrepreneurs. Every weekday, you’ll get a bite-sized chunk of content, which can include interviews, news, and even interactive games.

No matter what, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of the current economy, and some new things you can try as a business leader.

Smart Passive Income

6. Smart Passive Income

Do you think passive income is just a buzzword, or an urban myth? Try listening to Smart Passive Income. Hosted by passive income millionaire Pat Flynn, Smart Passive income will help you learn marketing, business. You’ll also get investment tricks you can use to increase your income and reduce your number of working hours.
How to Start a Startup

7. How to Start a Startup

In one of the most aptly named podcasts on this list, How to Start a Startup teaches you… well, you can probably guess. Hosted by Sam Altman and a variety of other people from noted incubator Y Combinator. The podcast isn’t regularly updated—but there are 20 informative lectures you can listen to from years back, and they definitely hold up to current standards.
James Altucher Show

8. The James Altucher Show

The James Altucher Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world and has been host to business leaders like Mark Cuban, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Peter Theil. You’ll hear personalities and entertainers like William Shatner, Coolio, and Tony Hawk.
It’s all about achieving greatness, establishing financial freedom, and finding your own path.
How I Built This

9. How I Built This

Another great podcast from NPR, How I Built This is hosted by Guy Raz, who takes deep dives to explain how some of the best-known companies in the world got to where they are today.
It’s always a great way to remind yourself that amazing companies and entrepreneurs often have humble beginnings and there are solid lessons to learn from each episode.
Gary Vee Audio Experience

10. The GaryVee Audio Experience

Hosted by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, the GaryVee Audio Experience is a podcast that explores the startup mentality, motivation, and practical advice for entrepreneurs. It’s a nice blend of interviews, speeches, and fireside chats, so try a few episodes to get a feel for the format.

Discovering New Content

These entrepreneur podcasts should get you started on the right track, but if you’re like most listeners, they’re going to whet your appetite for more.
Ask for podcast recommendations from your colleagues, and keep an ear out for exciting new podcasts as they start getting distributed. Please write in and let me know the real hidden gems out there we all are still waiting to discover.
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels

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