Why your business should be podcasting.

Here’s an article I recently wrote for my friend Paula over at the fabulous Marketing Vision (would highly recommend if you need a marketing peep!)

The power of radio

A few things I love about radio. It’s direct. It’s intimate. You can consume it wherever you like, increasingly so these days with our phones being so clever and a plethora of other hand held devices around to accompany us in our day to day business. Whatever your preferred station, radio is our friend. We can listen to whatever interests us – and more importantly, we can turn it off when we’ve had enough (if only children worked that way too…).

Reach over 500 million potential customers

For anyone unfamiliar with podcasting, it is basically your own radio show. Just open iTunes, click on the podcasts button and have a look. It’s actually exhilarating. There are podcasts on a myriad of subjects – but – and this is the exciting thing, the saturation level is nowhere near as much as your Twitter or your Facebook. There are over 500 million subscribers on iTunes, that’s a lot of potential new customers. And companies are increasingly turning to podcasting to drive new clients to their business. So have you thought about turning to podcasting to grow your customer base yet?

Although it looks pretty busy on iTunes, in the grand scheme of things podcasting is really still in its infancy. That means you stand a good chance of building a reputation for yourself as an expert in your field.

Podcasting keeps up with busy lifestyles

Now, I have always been geeky about radio. One of the brilliant things about radio is that it doesn’t require all of your attention, you can multitask at the same time, so it’s convenient for anyone who is busy. Which is most of us right? A podcast will work on exactly the same level. You download it and then listen at your convenience. In the car, at the gym, lying on your sofa with a nice big glass of Sauvignon… I digress.

Reach, engage and share solutions

Podcasting is a great way to keep in touch with your customers and allow your message and brand to reach new consumers. You can highlight services and share solutions plus really get your business personality across. You make an emotional connection with your customer in a very human way.

Listeners subscribe to your feed, which means that only people who want to listen will do, and they receive the latest podcast automatically, a brilliant way to keep your business on their radar.

You can publish as often as you want, for as long as you want. Much depends on how long it takes to get your message across. I’d recommend keeping the duration quite short, as there is only so long you will hold people’s full attention. Once you’ve decided on a programme length, try and stick to it. Consistency is beneficial both for you and your listeners. Imagine if the Today programme was two hours one day and ten minutes the next. Not good.

Getting started with podcasting

There are a few questions I’d recommend you ask yourself before you embark on Mission Podcast.

  • Consider your content. Do you have enough material to sustain an entertaining and ongoing show?
  • Who is your target audience? Are they likely to be found loitering around the podcast section on iTunes?
  • Does your audience buy online?

Let’s say you’ve decided that podcasting is the way forward. How to proceed? You could either give it a go yourself, or (if you are lacking either time or confidence) you might consider hiring a producer or production company to create your podcasts for you. It might sound daunting, but recording your own podcast is pretty straightforward. All you need is a half decent mic and a computer with an application such as Garageband or Audacity to edit on. Just remember, this podcast will reflect your brand – so make sure it sounds professional.

You will also need to spend some time and effort initially on the technical set up. Apple have a comprehensive guide explaining things like RSS feeds and tagging. The good news is, once that’s done, the upkeep is easy.

Join the podcast revolution

There are many different ways you can make audio work for your business. I often talk to clients about producing their own weekly radio show for them to upload to their website. If you currently mail out a weekly newsletter, why not have it recorded and email it out? This is especially useful for companies who routinely convey large amounts of information to their employees. Imagine if that information was in an audio format? Employees could then download it from iTunes or receive it by email, and then listen to it at their own convenience.

Podcasts are a much more palatable and dynamic form of delivering information than email. So why not think about joining the podcast revolution and extend your marketing reach and online visibility?

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