How to Create a Crowd Pleasing Podcast in 5 Easy Steps
Posted by Amanda DiSilvestro on October 5, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice [ 1 Comment ]
Advertising is done best when it can appeal to all five senses. While this is difficult to achieve in one advertisement, many companies are discovering that this is possible if spread across an entire marketing campaign. Unfortunately, there are still many companies who use only visual marketing to help develop their brand and bring in new customers. While I agree that appealing to smell is difficult, taste is tricky, and touch is puzzling, there is one sense companies still leave behind, and with no excuse—sound. Marketing through audio can be just as simple as marketing your product visually, yet it is not nearly as popular. Fortunately, an old technology known as podcasting is starting to emerge onto the scene of small business marketing.
So what exactly is a podcast? A podcast is a short video that discusses some of your company’s new ideas or specials. A podcast can be directly uploaded onto a person’s hard drive, whereas another type of audio snippet or online video is streamed from another media server. If you are familiar with RSS feeds, think of a podcast as simply an audio component in the enclosure field. This allows customers or potential customers to download your message right to their portable audio device. According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, “more than 22 million US adults own an audio player, and 6 million of them have downloaded podcasts.” In other words, your business WILL benefit from taking the time to create a podcast.
However, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind when creating a podcast. Below answers the question: How do I get started?
How to Create a Podcast That Rocks
1. Content—Begin by creating the content of your podcast.
When it comes to podcasts, the shorter the better. Most podcasts are only a few minutes long; however podcasts designed for small businesses usually last about 15 to 20 minutes. This is just long enough to give consumers some great information, but not so long that it will not fit into the average worker’s commute. When creating the actual content, you will want it to be informative, yet not boring. In addition, think of a company podcast like a radio show as opposed to a commercial. You have 15 minutes, not 15 seconds, so do not feel like you need to stuff in a sales pitch right away. A podcast should not sound like you are trying to sell something because you are not. The goal is to inform and entertain, not sell. It is appropriate to explain why someone may need your product or service, but do not go into detail about the specifics of that product or service.
2. Record—Once you know what you’re going to say, it’s time to record your podcast.
When it comes time to record your podcast, you will need a microphone and headphones. Most computer microphones don’t have the greatest sound quality, so purchasing a microphone will help you sound more professional. However, all microphones are not created equal. You can find microphones for as little as $12 to as high as $150. I recommend not trying to cut costs on a microphone because the difference is sound quality, and this is something that will certainly be noticed by listeners.
You will also need recording and editing software. Although this may seem a bit overwhelming at first, do not get discouraged. If you have Windows Vista, Sound Recorder comes with it. This is a great software that will help you edit your audio and is easy to use. Another very popular choice for many podcasters is the software Audacity. Audacity allows you edit and record your podcast while also allowing you to use a variety of sounds, such as music, to help your podcast stay interesting. The best part: It’s free!
3. Convert and Save—After recording, you must save the podcast as an MP3 file.
Once you use the software and equipment to record your podcast, you need to save it and export the file into an MP3 format using the “export as MP3” option. If you use Audacity, this should all be part of the software. If you are using a different software, check to make sure it can be converted into an MP3 file. If not, you will need to download an MP3 converter, which you can likely find online for free. Once again, this is easy to use!
4. Publish—Once your podcast sounds like a winner, it’s time to start uploading.
Once again, you will need to enlist the help of some free software. An RSS feed lets people pull the content from your server automatically once you have uploaded a podcast, so downloading software to create an RSS feed will be necessary. However, most of the editing and recording software out there will include this feature, so if this describes your software then the publication work is done.
5. Market—Let people know that you have a podcast to help answer their questions.
If customers are not subscribers of your RSS feed, they will have no way of knowing you have a podcast to offer. In other words, you need to market this marketing tactic. Do this by blogging and commenting on other blogs discussing podcasts (like this one!) to help get the word out there. Also mention your podcast to your existing customers through your current marketing efforts such as newsletters, brochures, or e-mail messages.
Although this may seem a bit overwhelming at first, once you get going you will find that the software is easy to use and easy to set up. In fact, many companies find that creating a podcast is actually a lot of fun. Podcasts allow your marketing department to get creative in a way that is likely different than their usual 40 hour work week. After all, advertising to different senses isn’t only beneficial for the consumers.
Photo Credit blog.eogn.com
Editor’s Note: This “How To” blog geared towards small business owners will run each Wednesday, the goal being to assist small business owners in their day-to-day operations. As a small business owner, is there a topic you would like to see covered? If so, email: Amanda.DiSilvestro@resourcenation.com