Podcasting is a great marketing tool but tends to be under-utilised by small business owners. This article provides podcasting tips to help you get started.
What’s a podcast?
A podcast is a radio-style talk or music show that can be listened to on an iPod or other MP3 player at will. This form of listening experience has existed since 2006, and now millions of people are downloading and creating podcasts of their own on every topic imaginable.
The difference between the radio and podcasts is that podcasts allow the listener to choose their own content, which could be anything from music to weight loss tips or finance information. In a 15- to 20-minute podcast you can be entertained, informed or inspired.
Why not just publish articles?
One thing I love about podcasts is that I can multi-task while listening to them. Much as I would like to read all the new articles being written I don’t have the time. However I can listen to a podcast while doing other things.
Showcase your passion
Most podcasts are made by people who are passionate about their subject matter. For example, my own podcasts are about marketing small businesses. I interview small business owners and marketers and ask them the questions I am interested in the answers to. This provides a format for my show.
It allows me to reach a larger audience and show my marketing expertise. Podcasting is a great tool for building an audience and your credibility. It has emerged as one of the best ways to show your expertise to potential customers, and is a simple way to reach large audiences.
Isn’t it complicated?
Podcasting isn’t difficult. You can spend thousands on sound equipment if you like, but you don’t need to. You could do it today from your iPhone. With the right planning you can create your own radio show in a single day.
For example, a simple format that might work for you is to take some articles you’ve already written, add an intro and an exit, and simply record them as a podcast. If you have an iPhone you can record an MP3 file on it and then simply upload it to iTunes or PodOmatic. To make it more professional, you can import it into some editing software like Audacity or, if you use a Mac, GarageBand.
Podcasting tips to help you get started
- Define your goals: Do you want it to increase traffic to your site, build your brand, demonstrate your credibility, educate people or entertain them?
- Pick a topic and format, and stick to them: This allows your audience to know the sort of content to expect. It also ensures you don’t try to be all things to all people. If you can’t think of more than 12 ideas on your topic, you may need to rethink your idea. Suitable formats may include interviews, information, or tips and tricks. Typically I aim for 30-minute recordings.
- Identify your target market: Similarly, you need to know who you’re talking to. If you don’t, you’ll end up losing your listeners.
- Schedule your time: Consistency is the key. Set yourself a schedule and stick to it.
- If you’re planning to interview guests, you’ll need to be able to record online: I recommend Skype Call recorder.
- Preparation is everything: If you’re having a guest, get to know about them in advance so you can ask great questions. Even if you’re just podcasting your own voice, have a good headset microphone or be in a quiet space. Practice beforehand and smile when you talk.
- Have a clear call to action: Make your call to action very clear, regardless of whether it’s at the end of your podcast or somewhere in the middle. Examples might include inviting listeners to visit your website or sign up for your email newsletter.
Promote your podcast
Once you’ve recorded and edited your podcast you need to promote it. iTunes is a great site to list your show on. PodOmatic or PodBean are also excellent, because they create a RSS feed you can submit to iTunes and social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter automatically. You’ll also want to have a link to your podcast on your website or blog, and a sign up form so you can send people your new episodes automatically. You can also submit your podcast to podcast directories for free.
For more information, I also recommend checking out the podcast on this topic from the guys at Small Business, Big Marketing.
Do you use podcasting to promote your business? Please share your podcasting tips below.