By Princess Jones
Podcasting — the recording of sound content and distribution as episodes — is the fastest growing independent media content today. Like blogging and vlogging before it, many brands are using podcasting to reach new audiences. If you’re considering podcasting as a marketing tool for your small business, here’s what you need to know.
The benefits of podcasting can vary depending on what you’re podcasting about and how that relates to your business. The best way to set up your podcast is to craft your episodes to attract the same audience your business would appeal to.
Podcasts are just content and the most important rule of content marketing is to provide useful information. If you center your podcast around something that shows your expertise, that should be easy. If you have a catering company specializing in weddings, you could run a question/answer podcast about wedding food. If you run a food distribution company, you can interview food companies that are doing big things.
Get creative! Don’t be afraid of niche content, either. It’s not about the amount of listeners you have. It’s about attracting the right listener for your specific marketing needs. Specificity is better for conversions.
Make sure to brand your podcast complementary to your business. You should mention it in your podcast bio and in every episode. And if you’re centering your podcast around something related to your business, it should be pretty easy to mention your business without it being unnatural.
Podcasting can be fun but it’s definitely not easy. The equipment alone can be daunting. For bare bones podcasting, you’ll need a microphone, something to record on, and a program to edit the recording. You can find programs and equipment on the cheaper side and you can find them on the more expensive side. It really depends on what your needs and your budget are. Just remember that you get what you pay for but there’s also such a thing as overpaying for unnecessary features.
When it’s time to distribute your podcast, you’ll need to host it online so your listeners have access to it. And you’ll need to submit it to podcast distribution services, like iTunes and Pocket Casts, so listeners can find it through their podcast services. You can also use podcast hosting by Melon for free.
As a business owner, you’ve already got a lot on your plate. It’s not just the time it takes to record an episode–although that’s an important consideration when deciding the frequency of your podcasts. Depending on your podcast format, you may need to find interview subjects or write scripts. There’s also editing time involved and that will vary depending on your skill level. And finally the technical aspects of maintaining your episode hosting and distribution, which will also vary depending on which route you decide to take.
Keep in mind that you can contract out almost everything to do with your podcasting, though. You can also choose what works for you and pay someone else to do the rest. That will also depend on your budget for this project. You can either spend less money and more of your own time, or vice versa. It’s up to you.