Podcasting for Small Businesses
Last year Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report predicted that podcasting was “set to explode in 2013.” 24 percent of respondents indicated that they wanted to increase their podcasting activities while 32 percent expressed an interest in learning more. Whether that prediction has come true or not remains to be seen. However, podcasting is a compelling option for many small businesses.
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What is Podcasting?
Podcasting involves broadcasting your message using either audio or video. Early podcasts were listened to on iPods; thus the term “podcast.” Though many podcasting platforms support video, podcasting is typically considered an audio communications method.
One way to think of podcasting is to consider it an audio-based blog. Just like a text-based blog, podcasts are series of short, informative messages centered on various categories related to your business. Like blogs, individuals can subscribe to podcasts and be notified with each new entry.
Depending on the podcasting platform you choose, you can distribute your podcasts on your existing website, iTunes, on the hosting platform, RSS feeds, and more. It’s also possible to create a Facebook tab specifically for your podcasts.
How do Listeners Access Your Podcasts?
Again, this depends on how you distribute them. Some will download them via iTunes while others may subscribe to them and access them through a podcast app. The beauty of podcasting is that it allows your message to be heard on computers, smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players. People can listen to your podcasts while commuting to work, jogging, working out at the gym, or even when taking a shower.
Because there are so many ways to consume podcasts, it’s smart to add podcasting to your marketing toolbox. This allows you to reach an audience that may not have the time or desire to read a lengthy special report.
In addition, some people prefer to listen to information rather than read it. For some, audio is a more efficient learning mechanism, for others it’s all about convenience. In either case, adding podcasting to your mix is a great way to get additional exposure.
What to Podcast About
If you are involved in any form of content marketing including (but not limited to) the creation and distribution of blog posts, special reports, press releases, articles, and whitepapers, you already have a wealth of material that you can convert into podcasts. For example, if you have a popular blog post on a given topic, consider recording yourself talking about that topic and turning the recording into a podcast. This doesn’t mean reading the blog post word for word but rather talking about the same topic in a conversational manner.
Here are a few more ideas for podcasting:
- Product instructions or training
- Company news
- Industry analysis
- Behind-the-scenes interviews with your employees
- Interviews with experts
- Product reviews
- Seminars, lessons, or workshops
- How-to discussions
- Questions and answers
Podcasting is yet another method for sharing information with your customers and prospects. How will you use podcasting to grow your social presence this year?