Podcasts are recorded, spoken audio that can be downloaded or streamed at the listener’s convenience – and they’re growing in popularity. Countless podcasts exist on virtually every topic, including marketing, and with the evolution of digital technology they’re quite easy to set up. In this month’s podcast, we’ll go over the basics of how to publish your own podcast.
Content marketing is any form of marketing that is focused on educating people, rather than selling them on your product or service in particular. It draws customers in, attracting people who would like to learn from your expertise. The hope is that they will then want to do business with you at some point in the future. Prime Design Solutions obviously believes in the power of content marketing – just look at the Learning Center and the podcast/article you’re consuming now. You either searched for information on this topic, found it on Prime’s social media or e-newsletter, or happened upon it when you were browsing our website — but no matter how you encountered it, it’s a win for Prime.
Podcasts are an engaging, personal way to present content. People can listen to them on their desktops, or download them to a device to hear while driving, working, cleaning, exercising — in other words, many people like to multitask while engaged in something else that doesn’t require complete attention.
More than any other form of content marketing, podcasts are personal. People like people — we like hearing their voices. Podcasts make us feel more connected than most other forms of communication. They’re growing in popularity, too. According to Convince and Convert, 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, and a full 42 million listen weekly.
Ideally, podcasts should be accompanied by an article (like this one is), so that people who prefer to read or skim can also take advantage of the content. More to the point, Google and other search engines can’t scan podcasts. Any article you write for your company’s blog will be on a topic related to your business and will therefore be stuffed with keywords, which improves your site’s SEO (search engine optimization). Further, Google prioritizes websites that are updated often, so frequent publishing helps up your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Time and commitment. Most people jump ahead to the question of equipment, but the most important thing you need to publish a podcast is the time and commitment to publish regularly on topics of interest to people who might use your company’s services. Truly, this cannot be overstated! Developing a calendar of topics is an important part of the process, and can even involve several people from within your company. Create a plan on how you’ll get it done — it’s a better use of your time if you’re able to record a few podcasts in one session and then publish once monthly, for example.
An outline. Create an outline for each episode as a roadmap for what you’re going to say. Generally speaking, it’s easier and more natural to have a podcast that is a conversation between two people, rather than a monologue by one person. The give-and-take makes it more fun to listen to, as well.
Equipment. Basically, you need a quality microphone, a mixer, and a computer. For microphones, we use CAD C195 microphones, which are inexpensive condenser mics and work well for our needs (they often ship with a cable, but if not, you need to get cables, too). Add in stands and pop screens (those round screens placed in front of mics that help tone down “p” sounds and other hard consonants) and you’re good to go. For a mixer, we use the Behringer Q1204USB with four channels, which is more than adequate, and built in compression to keep levels consistent. Note that a USB interface option with a mixer is really important — it has a major impact on sound quality.
Software. There are a variety of digital audio workstation software packages available, but we recommend Reaper. It’s one of the most intuitive digital audio workstations we’ve ever used. Plus, because the download is available for free, it’s got a large user base, which translates to lots of online answers to questions you might have. The full license is just $60, and an excellent investment.
Intro and outro. This isn’t strictly necessary, but if you have the time and inclination, put together an intro and outro using stock music, using a resource like freemusicarchive.com.
Now you have the podcast recorded, what do you do with it? This depends a bit on what your goal with the podcast is.
You can host it natively on your own website (which is what Prime Design Solutions chooses to do). The advantage here is that the article is also on our website, so we get all those SEO benefits discussed previously. WordPress makes it easy to upload sound files.
You can also upload to a variety of hosting directories. These services incldue SoundCloud (which is free), Podbean, Podomatic, Stitcher or Libsyn, and then put the link on your webiste. Most directories offer a free version and then some form of paid version. If you host your podcast on a hosting directory, you’ll need cover art for it — analogous to a profile image for social media.
Consider iTunes. If you want your podcast to grow its reach, consider getting it listed on iTunes.By Brian Law. Read about Brian on our Meet Our Staff page or visit on Google+.