Podcasting advice for businesses

Dec 2, 2014 by
Podcasting advice for businesses

In our previous article we showed that there are plenty of great reasons for including audio content as part of your digital marketing strategy. That was the why, but what about the how?

Mic2Out of all the different ways your business can utilise audio content, podcasts are arguably the most effective at reaching a wide audience and expanding the presence of your brand on the web. But before you jump in headfirst and start recording, here are some tips to ensure that your podcasts are high quality and easy to find for your target audience.

Audio quality

Don’t be tempted to record with the microphone embedded in your laptop – it will sound unprofessional and will push potential fans away! Conversely, you won’t need to blow a fortune on the kind of microphone that would be found at a top-end recording studio. There are plenty ofhigh quality USB microphones which can plug directly into your computer which are perfectly adequate for the job, all for £100 and under. To record the audio, a free program such as Audacity is recommended, and Skype may be required if you are planning on doing interviews which are not face to face.

Editing

While no one is expecting the mixing precision of a platinum album, there are numerous techniques you can deploy to maximise the professionality of the recording, such as clearing out pops, using compression to level out the volume of the vocals and even adding effects such as reverb if and when appropriate. Most importantly however, don’t go overboard with the editing. Editing should not be noticeable, so if the edits distract from the content rather than allow the content to flow more naturally, go with the rough version! Aim tp have the final piece sounding as natural as possible.

Meta data

Audio frequencyItunes is arguably the best platform for podcasters, and there is even a “New and Noteworthy” section that newcomers can use to gain notoriety. As with blog posts, it’s important to fill in all the meta data if you want your work to be found. It might be a pain, but doing the basic steps such as setting the language to English, choosing relevant categories and finding an appropriate image might be the difference between yet another underexposed podcast and a horde of loyal new customers.

Length

It’s important that a podcast is long enough to discuss all the relevant issues around your topic, but not so long that discussions become circular and people are tempted to click away prematurely. Nathan Hangen, writing for Social Media Examiner, states:

“If you’re the sole host, then I recommend keeping it to 15 minutes maximum. You can extend the time by adding a series of interviews, but even then I recommend that you keep it short enough so you don’t exhaust a topic.”

While others recommend anywhere from 20 minutes and up for a podcast, the general consensus is that an hour is usually sufficient to discuss most topics while keeping people engaged.

Deliver value

When determining the topic for a podcast, it always helps to place yourself in the shoes of your audience. If you’re tuned in to the needs of your customers, and especially if you have a blog, you’re probably already aware of the kinds of topics which gain traction. When inviting guests to your show, it not only pays to consider the kind of expertise and insights they will bring to the table, but it’s also worth doing a bit of online research to see how much social media influence they have. If a guest has a massive following on Twitter or Facebook, having them feature on your show should be a priority (providing that they will deliver content which is relevant to your audience), since they are likely to share the podcast with their own networks, raising the presence of your brand exponentially.

Conclusion

While podcasting is an exciting medium for disseminating content, there’s no need to abandon other forms of content marketing such as blogging. In fact, you may wish to dip your toes in by doing a blog in the form of a podcast and gauge people’s reactions. Podcasting may not be appropriate for your niche, but if it is, client feedback and site metrics will tell you whether or not this is a medium that is worth pursuing.

Photos by Kris Peterson and picaland

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