It’s time to consider incorporating podcasts into your marketing mix. Podcasts are a convenient, portable way to communicate with your audience and build your company’s visibility and brand. They are cost effective to produce and have a reputation of growing virally through users sharing links to podcasts.
“Podcast” is one of those terms often used synonymously with webcast or cybercast. There really are no definitions set in stone for these terms. For our purposes, a podcast is an audio file that can be accessed on demand over the Internet. Most browsers know how to handle and stream an audio file that is clicked on, and most users have the broadband connections necessary to deliver audio.
Users can either play the audio file right in their Web browser or can download the podcast to their hard drive, iPod or other MP3 device and listen to it later. That’s one of the advantages of a podcast from the user’s point of view: they can gain control and can listen to the content at the time and place of their choosing.
- Depending on your resources and available skills, you can create your own audio podcasts or you can use a third-party service that will record and publish a file for you. Examples of third-party services include blogtalkradio and Podbean.com.
- Develop a signature style that brands your company’s podcasts as uniquely yours. You might have the same host introduce all podcasts, use a few bars of music to begin each podcast, or come up with a name for your podcast series.
- Sound quality is of utmost importance. If you record your own podcasts, invest in a good microphone and eliminate background noise. Test different ways to record until you achieve the sound quality you need.
- Promote your podcasts on your web site with links and banners, from your company hub on GlobalSpec, in blogs, in e-mail, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, Twitter or other platforms you use to communicate with your audience.
What content to podcast?
As with any media, your success in podcasting will largely depend on the content you create. You must deliver relevant and useful information to your audience or people will quickly tune out. A good way to start is to review existing content to determine what might make a good podcast. You could summarize a white paper, discuss survey results, analyze industry news, etc.
Other podcasting ideas:
- Record interviews with an in-house or industry expert. The question and answer format lends itself well to podcasting because information is delivered in short chunks and the listener can hear more than one voice speaking. Don’t use too many people because the audience might have trouble distinguishing among the voices. The one-on-one interview is ideal.
- Podcast executive speeches or presentations—anything from quarterly results to product announcements.
- Develop a regular series of episodes that talks about technical issues your customers face, offering tips and advice on how to solve them.
- Use podcasts to deliver training materials to customers (or to employees).
- Develop a podcast to promote upcoming events, such as a Webinar or virtual trade show. After the event, create a podcast that summarizes the key takeaways.