One way to expand your audience and reach more potential clients is through podcasting. With recent hits like Serial, Ted Talks and Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar Radio, the popularity of all Podcasts has spiked.
This presents a great opportunity for small business owners to share their expertise and reach more potential buyers and partners. Getting started in Podcasting, while a big project that takes planning and commitment, is easier than you may think. I’m working on creating my own podcast for a side project and thought I’d share what I’ve learned about setting up a Podcast for small businesses.
Decide your Podcast topic, intended audience and point of differentiation
Like any small business marketing strategy, the first step is planning. What will you bring to the marketplace that’s different? What unique perspective or angle do you have on your topic? Who do you want to reach?
Commit to your Podcast marketing strategy
Marketing takes commitment whether you’re creating an email marketing campaign, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy or advertising campaign. Understanding up front that you have to commit to a marketing tactic for the long term is crucial to your success. This is especially true with a Podcast: it will take time to create the content and build your audience.
Invest in good Podcast recording equipment
Good audio is going to be critical. No one wants to listen to something that’s muffled, crackling or too low to hear, so investing in the right podcast equipment is a must. You will need a good microphone (USB or analog), mixer (for analog mic) and maybe even a new computer.
You will need audio editing software
Mac comes with audio editing software, Garageband (iit’s installed as part of the free iLife suite). If you don’t have Garageband you can get free editing software like Audacity or you can spend a lot for a premium editing software package like Adobe Audition or Sony Acid. Some mixers and microphones come with free software, so it might pay to shop around
Record your Podcast
Once you’re ready with your Podcast topic(s), equipment and software, the next step is to start recording. You may or may not want to use a script for the first few to get used to speaking into a microphone. But don’t practice too much, you don’t want to sound scripted. It’s a good idea to do create some practice recordings and learn how to edit and adjust volume controls. Once your recording is done save your Podcast to your computer as an MP3 file with a bit rate of at least 128 kbps for a talk-show podcast. If you’re going to use music in your podcast you will want a bit rate of at least 192 kbps. You will also need to tag it, give it ID information like Podcast title and date and create album art.
Setting up and hosting your Podcast
Next you will need to create your RSS Podcast feed and get your Podcast hosted so that you can start distributing it to online directories. It’s best to use a service like Libsyn or Podomatic for this step or you can use a blog. Once you have an RSS feed set up you can then move on to the next step and work on getting your Podcast added to iTunes!
Getting your Podcast on iTunes
There are a number of Podcast directories you can submit your Podcast to, but we all know – iTunes is the Golden Grail. The good news is; it isn’t that hard! You simply need to copy your Podcast RSS and URL, download and open iTunes and paste them into the Podcast Quick Links and click next. The next step is to wait; it can take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks for a Podcast to show up in the iTunes Podcast directory. For detailed instructions on how to set up and submit your Podcast to iTunes, click here.
My goal with this blog was to give you a general overview of what it takes to start a Podcast to promote your small business. For more in depth instructions you can refer to the sources I used, listed below.
If you would like help creating a Podcast or marketing strategy for your small business, contact a Fortune Marketing Marketing Consultant. We’re here to help!