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|Dave Pelland has extensive experience covering the business use of technology, networking and communications tools by companies of all sizes. Dave's editorial and corporate experience includes more than 10 years editing an electronic technology and communications industry newsletter for a global professional services firm.|
Promoting Your Small Business With a Podcast
As more people listen to podcasts, the format is emerging as a powerful way for small businesses to generate leads and build their credibility.
A podcast — a short audio show delivered online — may not be a good tool for every small business, but for companies in specific industries or regions, a podcast can provide a great format for promoting a small businesses.
Podcasts are a popular way for the audience to, depending on the type of show, do their jobs more effectively, learn about industry developments, hear from experts in their field, or explore the places where they live and work.
As a podcaster, providing this type of information and advice can be a good way to reach new prospects, build relationships and generate new leads.
Decide on Your Purpose
An important early step in the development of your small business podcast is determining why you’re interested in the project and the benefits you hope to gain. While some leading podcasts sell sponsorship opportunities, most companies advertising on podcasts are less likely to invest in a new show with a relatively small audience.
Instead, position your podcast as a lead-generation and branding platform that will help you get your company’s name into the marketplace, where your content, ideas and advice will highlight your expertise and lead to new opportunities. As your podcast builds momentum, it will play a larger role in your company’s marketing mix.
Pick a Format
Another important decision you’ll have to consider as you develop your podcast is your show’s format. A show format can be:
An interview show can be a good way to start, because you won’t have to develop all of the content yourself. In addition, if you speak with someone who’s known in the industry, you’ll benefit from exposure to their audience (which further promotes your credibility).
You’ll also have to consider how long you want your podcast episodes to be. The average length varies considerably, with most shows falling in the 20-30 minute range. While you can vary the length of your podcasts depending on an episode’s content, it’s good to pick a show length and try to stick with it so people know what to expect.
The frequency of your show will depend on a variety of factors, including how much time you can devote to it during an average month. Most podcasts release new episodes weekly, but that can be tough to maintain at first as you develop a routine for producing your show. You may want to start producing podcasts twice a month, and build to a weekly cadence over time.
The best equipment to start with is the devices you already have. You can record an interview show, for instance, with a videoconference or VOIP call service. You can record in-person interviews or two-people conversations with your smartphone or tablet, or you can use the microphone and camera built in to your laptop.
The quality may not match dedicated audio-recording equipment, but using what you have will let you get started and help you decide if podcasting will be a useful tool in promoting your small business.
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