Marketing with Audio Podcasts - dummies

By Alexander Hiam

Podcasts are a good alternative to editorial publicity in traditional media because you get to create the content and produce the “show” without having to convince some journalist that your content is newsworthy. But, of course, your content should still be newsworthy! Keep your podcast informational and avoid hard selling, or else no one will choose to download and listen to it.

An audio podcast is a radio program that people may download and listen to at their convenience (however, many are subscribed to and broadcast on specific schedules). Podcasts play on a variety of portable media players, such as iPods or other MP3 players.

You can also listen to a podcast on your computer and store it in iTunes or a similar music management program. For marketers, podcasts are a way to make informational or educational radio-style broadcasts available for anyone interested in them. You can advertise on other people’s podcasts or you can try your hand at creating your own podcast.

Here are some tools you can use to produce your very own podcast:

  • Final Cut Pro X: Many professional web designers and audio and video producers favor this cool desktop production software by Apple. It’ll set you back around $500 and require you to have plenty of memory.

    But even if you have to upgrade your hardware to use the program, you’ll be able to produce audio and video for the web for less than $1,000 in editing equipment, making this option a must-have for the contemporary marketer.

  • ePodcast Series: Industrial Audio Software offers this podcast producing software for less than $200.

  • Hipcast: This audio and video podcasting service is perhaps the simplest way I’ve ever heard of to produce an audio recording. If you don’t want to have to learn new software and make and edit your own recording, just contact the folks at Hipcast and let them record your podcast message.

Don’t forget the obvious: Make your podcasts available on your website so regular visitors (who include your core customers) will notice them. Also consider linking to the latest podcast or video blog from a QR code.

You can also post your podcasts at a site like Podcast Alley, one of a new breed of sites on which you can post your podcast and make it available for members to rate and listen to. (You have to register on the site to post podcasts, but at the time of this writing, registration is free.) Try posting on such a site if you want to broaden your audience beyond your own list.

You can also create video podcasts, terminology sometimes used to refer to on-demand video clips and web television series.