Are podcasts are a viable way to promote your online business? Although the term podcast sounds very cutting edge, it's a very simple concept: you record audio content on a particular subject and give it to your audience to entertain, inform or sell a new product. Think of it like a cross between a lecture and a radio advertisement. Podcasts are considered one of the most innovative ways to market your business online, and yet the process is simple and direct.
Can You Create a Podcast Yourself?
Yes, podcasts can be done by anyone with a microphone and simple audio editing software. The podcast can be hosted by your business' website, or you can have it hosted by companies such as audioblog.com or podcast.
All you need to do is identify a subject for your podcast, write a short script of sorts to keep it lively and moving along, and then you can record your podcast whenever you wish. If you feel uncomfortable recording your own, then you can ask a friend with a pleasant speaking voice to help out. Ultimately, you can also hire a professional podcaster to record your dialogue. Sometimes it helps to have an interview or roundtable format, which breaks things up and keeps the material fresh and interesting to the listener.
The content is automatically delivered to your subscribers so they don't have to access your website directly and initiate a download. Updates are sent to your subscribers as soon as they are ready. It's a trouble-free way to get relevant material to your audience.
How Can a Podcast Be Used?
A podcast is a wonderfully flexible medium to transmit information to your audience, because it can be about any subject. You can use a podcast to educate consumers about current events, or dig deep into issues that are changing their lives. You can use a podcast to inform your audience of new products, or you can use podcasts to answer questions and establish a rapport with your loyal following.
Why Are Podcasts Effective as Marketing Tools?
Podcasts are unique because the listeners absolutely choose to listen to them. Unlike advertisements, which are forced upon a passive audience, listeners opt-in to podcasts and sign up for automatic updates. Podcasts expand upon the global marketplace cornered by the Internet: listeners from around the globe can opt-in to your podcasts at any time. Podcasts establish a regular line of communication with your customers, helping you to build brand loyalty. Finally, podcasts are cheap to produce and easy to change or update.
Podcasts are an ideal way to promote your online business, giving you one more way to connect with your customers and create a brand for yourself in the global marketplace. They are also one of the few cutting-edge marketing tools that is inexpensive to use and easy to set up. If you haven't given podcasting a try, you should integrate it into your marketing plan. You have nothing to lose and a loyal customer base to gain!______________________________
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.