Although many people have heard the term podcast, it is still not widely understood how it can be beneficial to businesses. The points in this article should help explain why you may want to consider creating a podcast and how you can make it worthwhile for your listeners and your company.
1. What is a podcast and what can it be used for?
Quite simply a podcast is an audio file that can be downloaded and listened to on a PC, on the web, mp3 player or burnt to CD. They are typically produced as a series, but could also be produced as a one-off for promotions, staff training, newsletters, information articles and more. There is no fixed rule here and a little imagination and originality can help you stand out from the crowd. Podcasts usually last from 5-15 minutes but can be longer.
2. How do you create one?
Creating a professional sounding podcast requires recording equipment, a suitable venue, podcast recording experience and audio editing skills. As this is going to represent your business, it is a good idea to invest in professional services. Location podcast recording can be employed at your offices, clients offices, company trade shows and events. Adding sound effects, music and even background nature sounds can create variety and added interest for the listener.
3. What should your podcast be about?
Your podcast content is dependent on your target market and the information you wish to deliver. Delivering training to staff is completely different to a podcast aimed at clients or potential customers. What is it that your clients need to know? Are there regular changes to your industry? What news would be relevant to them? If you already have a regular newsletter, delivering the information in audio format can provide added value to your audience. This is a large topic on its own and the content of each company’s podcast will vary. However, the key is to provide value that is free to your target market and the content should not be too sales orientated. Another idea is to turn your company articles into audio podcasts using the services of a professional voice over.
4. Who should perform in your podcast?
From experience, I think that the best podcasts are conversational between the interviewer and interviewee. It is best to make a bullet point list of information you want to cover and not to rehearse it too much as this can make the delivery seem a little staged and forced; a literal turn off for listeners. If you really can not face being the voice of your podcast, a good alternative is to hire a professional voice-over, but you will need to provide a good script. A well recorded and edited podcast combined with music and even sound effects can sound very polished and reinforce your company’s brand and reputation.
5. ROI (Return On Investment)
As your podcast grows in popularity, there are a number of ways to monetise them, however, your initial aim should be to include a call to action and monitor the ROI. A quick example would be to include a phone number and discount code, or a special web page where your listener can get a free report. Whatever the call to action is, there should be an effective monitoring system in place.
6. Maximising your podcasts reach
Once you have a great sounding podcast, the next step is marketing it. Implementing a good marketing plan for your podcast is imperative to its success. Just putting it on your website is not going to do the trick. In brief, using mailing lists, RSS, social networking / media tools are vital elements of the mix. Creating an audio-visual version of your podcast (a vodcast) using video software can expose your content to a whole new audience via video sharing sites like YouTube, Viddler, Blip, Vimeo.
There is much more to podcasting for business than covered here, but hopefully, this has given you some ideas and thoughts about creating a company podcast to enhance your brand, retain customers and attract new ones via the web.
About the Author
Lee Pritchard is a professional podcast producer and sound engineer and runs Media Music Now, a web based business that provides royalty free music, on hold messages, voice-overs, audio editing and location podcast recording services. For further information Lee can be contacted through www.mediamusicnow.co.uk