But perhaps we should start with the question,
“What is a podcast?”
Simply put, podcasts are “internet radio shows.” That’s not a perfect definition, but many non-podcast-listening folks can easily understand it. Some refer to podcasting as audio blogging.
Podcasts are usually produced with a relatively simple and inexpensive setup. Usually in one’s home or office. Not in a professional studio.
Podcasts are portable. All you need is an MP3 player. You can listen on your computer, but the beautiful thing about podcasts is portability. Unlike radio, you can listen to them whenever you want, wherever you want. There is no lineup, no schedule that you have to conform to. You make your own schedule.
This is a HUGE reason to launch a podcast for your business. Your customers, potential customers, employees, the press… whoever… can listen to your wonderfully delicious content whenever they want. You’re on 24/7. And you never go away. Thanks to online archiving, podcast episodes are still available for download 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 years after they are originally produced.
Why should you consider producing a podcast for your business?
- Increase visibility in the marketplace and brand yourself as an expert
- Open channels of communication with your customers, potential customers or other target audience
- Reach a highly-targeted audience
- Provide relevant (and free) content to your listeners, which shows that you are helpful and worthy of trust in the marketplace
- Increase customer retention by providing valuable content
What kind of content could you provide on your podcast?
- In-house training / motivating your employees / communicating with sales force
- Strategic communication with the media / press
- Market-specific tips for your target audience
- Timely & relevant information about happenings & events in your market
- Inside stories concerning your market, providing behind-the-scenes information
- How-to instructions concerning your product or service
OK. Podcasting would be good for my business, but how do I do it?
How to start podcasting? I think there are two ways to approach this:
First, you could put the time and energy into learning the mechanics of producing a podcast: the kind of equipment to use, generating an RSS feed, submitting the podcast to iTunes and other podcast libraries, and post-production editing software and techniques. Just to name a few. True, this option is time-intensive. But you will learn a lot.
The second option is to hire a podcasting consultant to walk you through the process step-by-step, or to just set it all up for you. There are some businesses that contract podcasting professionals to host and produce their podcasts. Podcasting professionals generally have their own equipment. They are experts in producing effective audio content, and they are comfortable behind the microphone. Podcasting professionals will also market your podcast for you.
Podcasting is still relatively new, even though it has been around for a couple of years now. There are over 150,000 podcasts listed in the iTunes store. And new podcasts are being launched daily. This should pique your curiosity. And grab your attention.
Obviously there is a podcast-listening market out there.
Why not get your share?