Podcasts are still a major marketing channel for some companies. As the Internet became more relevant as a powerful business tool, corporations began to adapt their content to this form of syndication, pulling away from public broadcast radio shows in favor of something that could be recorded and played back at the listener's leisure. It was all the rage until video took the stage as the next phase of the content evolution, and although some companies made the switch to this flashy new option, others lingered.
When you can record your own commercials and give people something to watch while they're listening, why bother with a radio-style podcast? The answer is simple: the ubiquity of smartphones. Now that mobile devices have swept the nation, people are syncing up to their favorite stations on their commutes to work, while they're sipping coffee at their favorite cafes and even while they're sitting at their desks, toiling away at their computers.
With this option, the freedom to multitask is back - you won't miss anything if you aren't glued to the screen, and if you're listening to a master podcaster, you know that all of the information you need to understand the subject is there. If you haven't looked into this inexpensive marketing option, consider the following small business tips and tricks to launch a successful podcast now:
Develop an idea and stick to it.
As a small business owner, you know your brand the best. This can be a boon, as you'll always have content to talk about, but it can also be a bane if your topics are too scattered. No matter what your product entails, whether it's a tangible object or a service, make sure you're sticking to one set of information to keep everything crystal clear for your listeners.
Have a conversation.
Even though it's possible to record podcasts, you shouldn't script them - completely. Having talking points prepared is a good way to guide your ideas, but make sure that you're still keeping the information light and conversational. People are tuning in to hear what you have to say about the matter, after all, and it's easier on them if you talk to them rather than at them.
What does your audience think?
As you slowly amass a following of loyal listeners, you might notice that people are responding to your opinions on your website or through various social media channels. This is an excellent opportunity for you to respond to them directly. That way, an actual conversation can be generated, allowing you to act as a guide for the topics, rather than a professor dictating information.
Make it easy for people to submit ideas.
In keeping with the above point, streamline your website so that audience members can respond to you. Do you already have a comments page? Make it easier to find. Are you comfortable with live-action chat during your podcast? Include a link to your preferred method of text-based conversation. When you feel comfortable enough in a topic, you might even consider allowing a few of your followers to dial in, making them part of the experience. Be careful, however - people might surprise you. Restricting conversation is poor form, but do what you can to screen people ahead of time to make sure they know what your discussion guidelines are.
Keep it fun.
No matter what your subject matter is, make sure you're keeping it light. Running a successful podcast can be draining after a while, and for your own enjoyment, make sure it's entertaining to you and to your audience.