Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Advantages of NOT Podcasting

Many online marketers have heard the buzz about podcasting, and it's only natural that they want to find out what it's all about and start their own podcast. What better way to promote your own product by producing the show? It does seem like a reasonable assumption, until the hosts experience burnout.

Hosting a podcast takes a lot of work. You'll need to come up with fresh show ideas, line up people to interview for the show and work around the schedule of those you wish to have as guests. You have to assemble the show into something that sounds professional. To gain listenership, you need to promote and market the show. Finally, you have to release the show on time and consistently. The more often your show is produced, the tighter your schedule is.

Many business podcasters don't take all these into consideration. After a few episodes, they lack vision on the content and lose the desire to keep the show.

Does that mean businesses shouldn't use podcasts? Not at all. There are other ways you can leverage podcasts. The key is to take advantage of the large number of podcasts already out there and to view them as mini internet radio stations.

Advertising on podcasts. Podcasts come in a wide range of topics from learning new languages to business related. No matter who your target market it, you're more than likely to find a podcast that is already speaking to the people you are looking to reach. One great place to find podcasts is to visit iTunes or any podcast directory and do a search for the topic you are looking for. Contact the podcast host and ask them if you can advertise with them if they don't already have an advertising plan set up.

Be a guest. Some podcasts are very influential. To listeners, guests seem important and by virtue of association, you and your company is viewed in a positive light - assuming of course the interview is a positive one. By appearing as a guest on a show, you also get a much longer time to present your product. In addition, guests come across as experts in their field. So this is a great advantage to build recognition.

Be a contributor. Podcasters are always on the look out for good content to help them fill up the time. Contact a podcaster in your niche and offer to be a contributor to their show. Depending on the frequency of publication, tell them you will send over short two or three minute segments filled with quality information. Advertise your product by mentioning your website URL in those segments. They would probably give you a chance since you help make their work easier, for free.

Though this means you will still need to produce your own segment and spend a little time doing so, it's nowhere near like doing your own show. Also, you can dig up your old articles or email newsletters and create audio versions of them. This helps you quickly generate segments.

Syndicate it. While you're already creating segments, why not distribute your segment to other interested podcasters. That way, you get more use out of your hard work and you reach a larger group of people.

Don't create your own podcast before you really spend some time thinking about how you can be contributing to other people's podcasts. By being a guest host or weekly contributor you will be building up your own personal branding without having to spend a lot of time or expense producing your own show.


Anonymous said...

Show creation can be easy. There are plenty of tools (Google alerts anyone) that can bring you fresh ideas to talk about on your show. There are ways to create a "shell" of your show with music in and out (and you just add the talking) to save time.

I always recommend to anyone looking to get into podcasting to record AT LEAST 3 shows so they can see whats involved. This way they don't record three, publish them and quit.

Many people trip up on the concept of RSS, once you get the concept podcasting is a breeze. It does take patience to build an audience, and I beleive that is one of the reasons why people quit prematurely.

Dave Jackson
School of Podcasting

Dan Schawbel said...

It really depends on your personality. If you are interverted, then podcasting isnt' for you. You need a fun and eccentric personality for success in this area.