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Podcasting for Your Business

February 19, 2007 by  

I’m an avid podcast listener. At first, I couldn’t understand why anyone would be interested. But after I tried out a few podcasts, I was hooked. While in the car, I playback content from my iPod through the car speakers. I never listen to the radio anymore.

I currently subscribe to over sixty podcasts that vary in topic:

  • Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Project Management
  • Sales
  • Technology
  • Mac-centric
  • Parenting
  • Humor

They all jockey for position in my list. It doesn’t take much for me to get burned out and start dropping the weaker ones.

This type of content has been around for years, but advances in the past two years have made it easier than ever for anyone to publish and distribute, as well as for consumers to access and playback.

What’s great about podcasting is that it is truly a when, where and how you want it medium.

I really enjoy producing podcasts. It’s an opportunity to be a bit more creative than traditional online marketing.

microphoneIf you are ready to test the waters by publishing audio or video content, you should take time to properly plan:

  1. Strategy
  2. Content creation
  3. Production
  4. Promotion via social media

You also need to set some expectations:

  1. Don’t make an unattainable goal/metrics for your podcast. Your podcast may be better at establishing affinity for your brand over the long term than measurable transactions in the short term.
  2. Results take time. You don’t pull the plug after three weeks. You’ll need to earn trust and credibility. Having a reputable brand name attached helps in credibility, but if the content is overtly/heavy handedly branded, it will put off viewers. Plan at least a twelve week editorial calendar to start.
  3. Make subscribing easy for the consumers and available in many different channels. It’s not all about hosting on a single Web site. The content should be distributed anywhere, any way, any how the consumer wants to get it. The consumer wants to be in control.
  4. Quality content needs to be short and digestible, as well as compelling and memorable. You can always drive people to a Web site afterwards to retrieve additional content (e.g. URLs/recipes/ingredient lists).
  5. Frequency is important. Weekly is best. If the podcast is good, subscribers will come to expect it. If you don’t meet expectations, consumers will unsubscribe to listen to other podcasts competing for their attention.
  6. Don’t let the lawyers cripple your efforts. There’s no better way to deflate the wind in your sails than to let the lawyers on your ship. ‘Nuff said.
  7. Respect copyrights — Yours and others.
  8. Don’t limit yourself to just video podcasts. Not everyone has a video iPod nor the time to sit in front of a computer to watch video. Audio is certainly easier and faster to produce and has less impact on your hosting/bandwidth expenses.
  9. Don’t underestimate the amount of work necessary to help consumers find your podcast. There’s no limit to the tactics and networking to help promote your efforts.

If your content is good, your subscribers will become fiercely loyal evangelists.

Please share your thoughts.
-Roland

Comments

2 Responses to “Podcasting for Your Business”
  1. Mack D. Male says:

    Great post Roland! One thing I would add is while proper planning and prepration are extremely important, some of the worst podcasts are the scripted ones. And outline is great, but a word for word script is probably going too far.

    Like you said, use podcasting as an opportunity to be creative!

  2. Thanks Mack. That’s a very good suggestion.

    While it might seem helpful, reading from a script is usually obvious to the listeners. It also restricts the talent’s personality from coming out.

    I typically advise talent to work from detailed outlines, which ultimately helps to:
    – maintain their focus,
    – reduce the “ums” and “ahhhs”, and
    – reduce editing time to trim and clean up the content in post-production.

    -Roland

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