In 2001, Apple’s tiny little iPod changed our lives forever. One reason why? The podcast. This humble medium has enjoyed an explosion of popularity in recent years. Should your business jump on the bandwagon?
What’s a Podcast?
A podcast, named as a blend of iPod and broadcast, is a digital audio file made available to an audience, usually free of charge. Most podcasts come in a series, and new installments can be available for automatic download.
In the early years, these episodic broadcasts were consumed on iPods only. But now, smart phones make them even easier to access, and many listeners also tune in from home computers.
The financial cost of podcasting is low, and new podcasts come available every day. The only limit to contents and structure is the creativity of its creators.
When people take the time to listen in, they purposefully engage in the content of that podcast. Imagine what that could mean for your company! You’re inside your customer’s ear on a regular basis for a dedicated time frame, and you get to control the conversation.
Recently, more and more companies are enjoying the benefits of connecting with customers and clients this way.
Brand development? Check.
Customer engagement? Check.
Networking booster? Check.
With so much available print content on the web, audio podcasting can give you an edge. Customers love valuable or entertaining information, and when you give it away for free, they view you as a reliable and trustworthy expert.
Should My Company Podcast?
1. Do we have valuable content that will improve a listener’s life?
2. Does this content reflect our position as reliable experts in our field?
3. Do we have a topic or theme we can speak to over several installments of a podcast?
4. Are we prepared to prepare, record and distribute a podcast series consistently?
5. Can we make the podcast entertaining and enjoyable?
If you answered yes to these questions, podcasting is likely a great avenue to reach your customers in a modern and innovative way.
How to Create a Podcast
Relax - you need not be a tech genius to succeed in this. The basics are simple and succinct, and the web is chock full of resources to help you thrive.
You’ll need the following to get started:
- a website or web publishing tool, like Blogger or Wordpress
- a file hosting service, like AudioBlogger or LibSyn
- recording software, like Audacity or Garage Band
- a microphone, like the one built into your computer or an inexpensive external mic
1. Develop a theme to govern your podcast.No one will listen to something disjointed, confusing and rambling. Plan your podcast’s contents with your audience (i.e. target customer) in mind.
2. Name your podcast and draft a succinct description of it.Ideally, your podcast’s name should drive people back to your website. Do not leave room for confusion. Your brand, website, company and podcast must all be unified.
3. Write the script.Even if you’re comfortable with extemporaneous speaking, write a script to insure your podcast is succinct and enjoyable.
4. Record, edit and post!The content is the most important aspect of your company’s podcast. Don’t fret if your sound editing skills aren’t pro level. Once your podcast goes viral, then worry about hiring professionals to further improve sound quality.
Tips for Success
• Ask your audience what they want to hear; it’s a great way to engage them and meet their needs.
• Be authentic and be meaningful. Don’t waste their time with fluff.
• Choose a length that works for you. 10 or 15 minutes of great content is a perfect place to start.• Look in your network for guest contributors or case studies to feature.
• Release installments regularly. Your audience will trust you less once they notice you’re not committed to the podcast.
• Promote your podcast anyway you can. Use marketing and social media to spread the word.
• Don’t be discouraged by a small audience at the start. Everyone has to start somewhere!