What Are The Benefits of Podcasting?

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Podcasts are often overlooked by businesses. According to In-Stat, 275 million people will own portable media players by 2011. Do you really need another reason to start podcasting? We take a look at the benefits of producing podcasts for your business.

What is a podcast

A podcast is essentially an audio file that you broadcast or listen to. Much like a magazine subscription, podcasts usually have a subscription option whereby updates can be automatically downloaded to computers or mp3 players.

Podcasts enable you to listen to what you want, when you want. Podcasts aren’t just music either. There are podcasts available that cover topics ranging from gardening to programming, so whatever your interests, you’ll probably be able to find something that you want to listen to.

Despite the name, you don’t need an iPod to listen to a podcast. You can listen to a podcast on any MP3 player, or a computer with an internet connection.

It’s relatively easy to make your own podcast. To get started all you need is a microphone, a computer and a few ideas. Here are just a few benefits of producing a podcast:

Benefits of podcasting

Reach a new audience
People like to consume media differently, so including another media option could help you reach new audience. Unlike video podcasts, audio podcasts allow a listener to multi-task, so they could end up listening to you on the way to work on while they browse the web.

Build a relationship with your listeners
Podcasts put a voice to your company/website and help you avoid being just another logo. Because podcasts are also opt-in, it means that only people who are interested in what you have to say will listen.

Highlight your authority
Giving away useful information can highlight your expertise in your field and might make people more likely to trust you in future. You could also record seminars and conferences so that people who couldn’t make the event can listen.

Increase advertising potential
If your podcast becomes popular, you might even be able to start selling advertising slots.

Respond to customer feedback.
You can use your podcast as a chance to address any customer concerns or feedback you’ve received.

Is podcasting right for you?

People like to consume media in a variety of ways and a podcast can help you reach a new audience. Podcasts are also relatively easy to produce. A decent microphone and some audio editing software is all you really need to get your podcast started.

Despite the relative ease of creating a podcast you have to ask yourself if it’s right for you. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before creating a podcast:

Who do you want to reach?
This is a question that’s often overlooked by people. Who is your target audience? While you might think only young tech-savvy men download podcasts, this research by eMarketer.com indicates that the podcasts are popular with older people too:

On the whole, podcast downloaders tended to be male, young and educated. Notably, people between the ages of 35 and 54 represented about half of the podcasting audience.

Think about how you want to target before you start your podcast. If your target audience doesn’t want podcasts then it might not be worthwhile producing one.

Why do you want to reach them?
If you’re only going to use a podcast as an “infomercial” to hawk your product or advertise yourself, then you’re unlikely to gain any regular subscribers. If you want to teach people new skills or want to provide some insight into your particular industry then your podcast is far more likely to reflect well on you or your business.. Just think for a moment – if you’re not providing any value to listeners, then why make a podcast in the first place?

Can you produce a regular podcast?
It’s pointless offering a podcast if you won’t be updating it on a fairly consistent basis. Try to stick to a regular schedule if you want to keep your subscribers happy.

Later this week we’ll show you how to really make your podcast stand out and give you a list of podcasting resources that should help you to produce a great podcast. Signup for the RSS feed to keep updated.

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6 Readers have left their thoughts

  1. Good writing. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed my Google News Reader..

    Matt Hanson

  2. For me personally, I don’t have the time for Podcasts. There’s nothing I can take away from them in a literal sense.

    If there’s advice or tips, unless there’s a transcript, it’s a process of writing stuff down, which I find a massive hindrance.

    Having given thought to producing a Podcast for Blah, I just don’t think I can justify the time for something that would only add tangential value to my ‘blog while getting in the way of me producing the content that really matters.

    Plus, as an aspiring perfectionist, the Podcast would have to be a very professional product, which would soak up even more time.

    Just not for me, but I can see how it works for others, like movie reviews, interviews et cetera…

  3. @Matt Hanson – thanks.

    @Wayne Smallman. You’re right Wayne, I don’t think podcasts are for everybody.

    “Plus, as an aspiring perfectionist, the Podcast would have to be a very professional product, which would soak up even more time.”

    I definitely know what you’re saying here. I’ve been working on some audio stuff recently and it is always “just one more tweak” away from being how I want it to be. Thanks for the comments.

  4. When I first discovered free podcasts on ITunes, I thought it was the greatest thing. But it quickly became a chore to listen to all the podcasts I had subscribed too. Then I started feeling really guilty about my lack of interest. It just gets to be to much.

  5. For me, personally, I am a terrible speaker, and probably wouldn’t be able to deliver an effective podcast to get the message across. Also, podcast itself also require some promotion, as people don’t come across podcast very randomly. But I think it would be a supplementary advertising medium once my business has reach a higher level of online audience.