To be technical, a podcast is a series of audio recordings arranged in episodes and received via internet syndication. What does that mean? In short, a podcast is like an audio blog or a video blog (vlog). There are many variations on the podcast. Some podcasts are audio-only, while others incorporate video or slides. Additionally, there are some podcasts that are readings of blog articles. One of my favorite examples is “Grammar Girl,” who maintains a regular blog and turns a few articles a month into podcasts. Podcasting is a tool that you can use to enhance your online presence. Why should you be podcasting?
- It’s easy. You know a lot about your business and your industry. If you can have a conversation with a prospective customer, explaining who you are and what you do, you can start podcasting. Plus, recording your podcast is becoming just as easy. You can download software, buy a microphone, and do it yourself, or write a script that can be read by a professional voice over talent.
- It’s engaging. If your company is active online by writing a blog, participating in social media sites, and maintaining your website, you already know how valuable it can be to form connections with your online audience. By starting a podcast, you can continue to engage them, this time connecting them to the “voice” of your company.
- It makes your writing more interesting. Words on a page are great. Search engines love them and they’re a useful reference. Listening to someone talk or watching a video podcast is a great accompaniment for the things you’re already saying in writing.
- It gives you a chance to expand on an idea. Often, people speak and listen faster than they read and write. When you’re podcasting, you can deliver more information in less time and with much less intimidation that looking at a block of text on a website.
- It’s good for SEO. When you start hosting audio files on your website, search engines take notice. When people spend a lot of time on your site, search engines notice that, too. Podcasting helps you accomplish both, increasing your ranking on search engines and driving more traffic to your site to listen to your excellent audio files.
- It helps you reach a growing tech-savvy audience. If the people you’re trying to reach are “plugged in” as a growing number of individuals are today, you should be, too. The same audience who listens to your podcasts might not be taking the time to read your blog. Expand your horizons and reach new audiences by embracing technological change.
- It’s instantly consumed. Because a podcast is generally delivered through some kind of internet syndication, people know instantly when you’ve posted new content. They go to your website right away and start consuming your content. Syndication also creates a log that your audience can reference later.
- It can be planned in advance. If you have ideas for several related podcasts, or even a few different ones, you can plan them and record in one session. Again, if you don’t like to record your own voice, you can have a few professionally recorded at once, too. Once you have a library of files that are ready to be published, you can spread them out over time.
- It can do double duty. You can record a podcast, accompany it with video, and transcribe it. You can then post the content on Facebook, link to it on Twitter, stream it on your homepage and write a blog about it. You can embed or link to one presentation from multiple areas on your website.
Podcasting can be a fun way to reach your audience. You can host interviews, ask clients to call in with testimonials, talk about your products and services, make business announcements, and more. It's an easy way to get yourself heard.
Are you podcasting? Why did you start? What tips do you have for new podcasters?