A podcast is little more than an audio file (usually an mp3) placed on a website and combined with an RSS file that allows people to subscribe and automatically download any new content recordings.
Podcasting is a very powerful small business tool, but people are frightened off, thinking it is complicated. It’s not! It’s a method of introducing your products or services in an audio form. This can greatly add to your web site’s desirability and professionalism. You can showcase product and service information, interviews of key employees and industry moguls, if you think it appropriate!
Do remember that when we hear or see something in isolation, we only absorb a percentage of the information. When visual and audio are combined in a message we are able to absorb more. Therefore a podcast on your web site combines these elements and enables your message to be absorbed in greater depth. What a wonderful marketing tool!
Objective Marketing assist with producing the script for your recording and can provide all the facilities associated with making, publishing and distributing a Podcast.
Technically speaking, podcasting is easy to achieve and does not require extensive expertise. However, from a marketing perspective Podcasting was born with iTunes and the iPod as Apple made a Podcast directory a main component of iTunes. That said, Podcasts and Podcasting can be separate from iTunes and can work equally well on either the Windows or Mac platforms.
Podcasts are typically published with a blogging tool like Blogger, TypePad, or MovableType or via Wordpress. If you already use one of these blog services, creating your podcast is as simple as linking to your audio files and using a service like FeedBurner to automatically convert it into a podcast friendly feed.
Most podcasts are formatted much like radio shows and you should do the same where possible. Hosts will interview guests or simply decide to talk about a subject that they feel is of interest to someone. From a business standpoint it can be a very powerful way to produce content that will make your website more interactive. It can truly show your expertise and extol your virtues.
There are a couple of other very good reasons to host a podcast that may not directly have to do with content or selling your products or services. Think about interviewing your clients on the benefits of using your service and posting those interviews as a podcast. That might make your best client even more loyal and encourage new clients to take you seriously.
What about referral partners? What if you identified business owners that also serve your target market and invited them to be guests on your podcast. You could instantly build a network of leading businesses with you as the hub.
When you publish a podcast, whether you have a local, national or global audience, you become a member of the media. You are a publisher in cyberspace!
When you are the publisher of a podcast you have the opportunity to gain access to the decision makers inside your biggest prospects - by simply requesting an interview. Do you see the potential in that?
A podcast is a digital recording, so one of the steps you must complete for each session is to record your podcast. There are many ways to accomplish this task. You can use a portable mp3 recorder, use a service to record a phone interview, record an interview using any number of VoIP services or create a recording set-up for your computer. (Obviously, you can go into a professional recording studio too if you require top quality.)
This article is not meant to explain in great detail every element of working with digital audio files, but there are many ways to accomplish this step when you determine what your podcast needs are.
A great set-up for recording your own voice is to use a professional mic and a free software program called Audacity (Audacity has some very useful editing functions as well). http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
There are a number of conference call specialists that you can employ to create a phone bridge line, recording, editing and even the hosting of your mp3 file.
VoIP is a PC to PC, or PC to phone service led by a service called Skype. This is a particularly good option for International calls. A host of add-ons are cropping up to build even greater functionality into Skype and especially in version 3.
You may find that after you conduct an interview you want to add some music or cut out segments. Again, look no further than Audacity - it’s free and works very well.
Once you record your podcast you must upload the file to a server. There are services that offer recording and hosting options, but, all you really need is enough space with your current web host to upload your mp3 files. Either way, you will simply link to the mp3 file from a blog post or web page. Below are some other options.
Liberated Syndication https://www.libsyn.com/index.php?&mode=logout&message=
One of things that makes a podcast something more than an mp3 file is the addition of a podcast format RSS feed. This is simply a file that is updated every time you add an mp3 file so that subscribers through iTunes or some other Podcast service, like those mentioned above, can automatically download your new content.
Podcasts do require a specific kind of RSS feed, but the only thing you need to do is go to a free service called FeedBurner and allow them to convert your blog feed, or other RSS feed to work for podcasting. They can also set your feed up the way that iTunes and Yahoo Podcast want it set-up.
Submitting your Podcast
Just like websites and blogs, podcasting has its own set of directories. We will therefore need to make a point of submitting your Podcast to an approved directory!
We hope you found this information useful. We would like to remind you that this subject is best served, and more effective as part of a complete marketing plan or strategy, rather than in isolation. For further expert advice please contact us to discuss your requirements or post a question in our blog.
Be Seen, Be Found, Be Accessible, Be Successful!podcast or podcast feed to the major podcast directories and engines.
podcast or podcast feed to the major podcast directories and engines.