Almost as soon as the original Apple iPod was introduced, people in the marketing profession began to realize the potential of the medium to convey brand and product messages. Today, podcasting is a popular method of communicating corporate information that enables companies to deliver valuable content to listeners. Because the sound of the human voice conveys emotion, the medium can deliver content more effectively than text. In fact, some marketers believe that podcasting is more powerful than other means of marketing, such as direct mail advertising. By developing and incorporating a podcast into their marketing programs, companies can, for example, educate listeners about new and upcoming technologies in their industry, inform customers about upcoming products, and promote new services. Use the following guidelines to develop your podcast.
Your plan of attack
Before you even start recording a podcast, you need to decide what you want to say, what your target market is, and what your call to action will be. At the end of your podcast, you may want to direct listeners to a specific web URL that drives sales and measures how many people listened to your podcast. You should also develop a script that tells the person doing the voiceover exactly what to say. And because of people’s short attention spans, you should generally avoid creating a podcast that is longer than 20-30 minutes.
Get the right tools
To create your podcast, you will need a PC and a microphone. Many computers already have built-in microphones. But you may want to purchase an echo cancellation variety to ensure the highest audio quality for your production. Headphones are also a good idea if you want to listen to your recordings without hearing additional noise from your surroundings.
You will also need voice recording software, such as one of the basic or preloaded programs that came with your PC’s operating system. Or you can purchase a more sophisticated solution that allows you to edit the audio file such as ePodcast Creator or the easy-to-use Windows and Mac compatible Audacity program. Audacity is available for free download at audacity.sourceforge.net.
Go to the file menu of your program and select New. Test the input level of your microphone and then click the record button and get started. If you are using Audacity, the software automatically saves the recording as an .aup file. However, some programs cannot open this format, so you must export your podcast as an .mp3 file after recording.
Upload your file
Once you’re done with production, you’re ready to upload the .mp3 file to your website or post it to a blogging service like Podcasting.com or Apple’s iTunes Podcast Directory. If you want to post regularly, you will need to create an RSS feed. You can do this with an easy-to-use program like FeedForAll.
Advertise your podcast
To ensure that you get a large audience, you should send an email to your company’s database contacts to let them know that your program is available. Include some basic details that will get their attention. And be sure to include a URL where they can download the podcast. You can also maximize your audience by making sure your podcast appears on web search engines like Google and Yahoo and using RSS search engines, including Google Blog Search, Bloglines, Feedster, and Technorati.