By Robyn Levin, President
R. Levin Marketing Group
For those unfamiliar with the term, podcasting is the process of creating audio and video files and then distributing that content on the Web through RSS or direct download. The term “podcasting” originates from the fact that many outlets for these feeds are iPods, the ubiquitous devices from Apple Computer. But podcasts also can be fed to many other devices: You can download files and listen from your desktop or laptop, and from some cell phones, just to name a few. And podcasts are not just for music. They can consist of news clips, radio shows, Webinar archives and your own content intended to reach a highly targeted and engaged audience.
RSS stands for real simple syndication and is actually a file extension, (e.g., xml). The process is related to how blogs are read by search engines, and was traditionally used by news professionals to share content online. Now, RSS can serve as a communication channel to any Web-based audience. For more information on RSS, please use the forum below.
Now, back to podcasting. Here’s an easy, six-step process for how to get started using this marketing technique:
Think of yourself as the host, producer and director of your own audio show. Podcasting is another vehicle to get your marketing message heard, and it just may reach the ears of prospects with whom you’ve been trying to connect. You can even record two- to five-minute segments of news bites, as not everything has to be a 30-minute program. Tip: Create a series of short news clips and feature them throughout the year in your online newsletter.
1) Content is king on the Internet, and it’s the same with podcasting. Think about your message from the listener’s standpoint. Perhaps you recently helped a client with a complex transaction and you want to share an interesting success story. You could podcast your results and distribute them online. Or, you may have breaking industry news that affects your clients and prospects and this is great audio content for you to share with them – and even attract new prospects. Include your podcast in your online newsletter, post it on your Web site and offer it to industry associations.
Tip: It’s also a good idea to let your listeners how long your podcast is so they know what to expect
2) Create a recording using your phone, PC mic, Skype™ or upload an existing recording.
Tip: Use a high quality microphone for the best results and plug it into your computer via the USB port. I use an external microphone from Logitech, which delivers great sound quality. You can also purchase computer headsets with microphones for about $20 – $30 from electronics stores Radio Shack. Here are two free resources to help you out get started: Odeo.com and Evoca.com both give users the ability to record podcasts and make them available on the Web.
3) Editing is optional, but can definetly enhance the quality of the podcast. The software Garage Band comes with most Mac computers, but you can also use Audacity, at Audacity.com. Consider adding music before and after your message to enhance the user experience.
4) Save the file as a .wav or an MP3 file if you are not using the Web-based sites listed above. iTunes for Mac and PC can convert recordings to MP3 for free.
5) Distribute your podcast simply by posting it on your Web site with a link, or post it on your blog, or send it via e-mail as a link. Promote your podcast on top podcast portals such as Odeo, Yahoo and Podcast.net. You can also create an RSS feed, which people can subscribe to through an RSS reader. For more about this, visit Websiteservices.com, select “Blog” from the main menu and search for “RSS podcast feed.”
Imagine creating an archive of your recorded Webinars or Teleclasses and offering them on your Web site that people to download for free, in exchange for their email address. This is another creative way to build your email list and offer quality content to your database. If you want to grow your business using new media marketing such as Webinars, email campaigns, online PR and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), please use the forum below to request additional information.
And you don’t need an iPod or MP3 player to listen to a podcast, as 80 percent of podcast downloads are consumed directly from the desktop, according to a survey by Bridge Data.
6) Add a podcast to your press release. Utilizing online press release services helps you instantly distributes your news over the Internet. I use Prweb.com, which includes an optional podcast interview feature. Let’s say you are promoting an upcoming event or seminar. Why not highlight the details with an interactive interview?
Now is the time to leverage digital media to get your message heard. Give it a try.