Starting a podcast is a rather simple process and can be done extremely cheap. But with thousands of podcasts already available, how do you get your podcast heard?
Make It Good
A good podcast makes word-of-mouth marketing a lot easier. Ask yourself if the podcast is focused and in a voice that’s unique? Make it sound professional by being prepared and doing your homework, especially if you are interviewing someone. It’s also important that you answer questions that concern your audience.
Also, don’t assume a listener knows everything about your business; be sure to include marketing plugs such as your Web address, phone number, e-mail address, or other contact information. You want casual listeners to find you later or to pass your information on.
Distribute It Well
Next, as with any consumer media product, you need to distribute it. Perhaps the most important and easiest distribution channel to get on is your own company Web site. Create a self-promoting ad on your home page and provide links and a player that make your podcast easy for people to access and listen to. People are more likely to stay and listen when it’s right in front of them.
If your Web site traffic doesn’t get the amount of eyeballs you’re looking for (or even if it does), research other distribution channels and get on board with them. However, becoming featured on iTunes or other premier “podcatcher” Web sites may prove difficult. Although Apple’s iTunes is a great place to be featured, there are a number of alternatives that people frequent where the competition might not be as tough. Other popular podcasting sites include pocast.net, Podcast Alley, AmigoFish.com, and podcastpickle.com. All of these sites allow you to upload your podcast and create a profile explaining the gist of your show.
Once you’ve begun to reach an audience, you’ll want to keep them coming back and spreading the word. There are a number of new technologies that you can apply to your own Web site, such as the social bookmarking tool from Add This, which allows visitors to bookmark and share your site with others. This will allow you to drive more traffic and, in turn, gain more listeners.
Next to your Web site bookmarking button add an RSS (Real Simple Syndication) button. You can find a variety of color choices at Feed Icons. Sites such as FeedBurner help you create the feed and get it out to the world. FeedBurner also includes statistical analysis so you can monitor the growth of your audience.
Market It Thoroughly
Be creative with your marketing. Through FeedBurner, you can add your podcast feed to your e-mail signature. Imagine, every time you send an e-mail, you’re advertising your podcast. Blogs are another venue to spread the word. Your own blog can carry notes from the podcast episodes and allow your audience to comment, make suggestions, and share ideas.
With all of these tools and marketing techniques working for you, it’s only a matter of time before your business podcast becomes a top-ranked show.