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Podcasting Tips

By | July 27, 2007

Up this week I’ve got some great info for you corporate podcasters out there. If you’re thinking about podcasting, stay tuned because I’m gonna talk about some of the most common mistakes of corporate big wigs, and I’ve also got another podcast review.

Welcome to the show everyone, you’re listening to the podcast that tells you how to podcast, otherwise known as The Podcasting Blog. This week, we’re gonna look at some of the common mistakes that corporate podcasters and marketers make.

Podcasting is a great tool for marketing and it’s something that can really help your company out in many ways. You can showcase product, you can provide education about your services, there’s even some companies out there doing internal podcasts as a way to reach employees and not have to coordinate meetings. But having a successful podcast can be tricky, especially when you see these common pitfalls.

What I wanna do is help you not to make those mistakes, and of course we do podcasts for a number of organizations and having a professional service do the actual production is definitely something that you should consider, but in the event that you’re wanting to try to make a go at it with inhouse staff, consider those that have gone before you and learn from their blunders.

First of all, don’t completely look to the IT department to produce the podcast. Now, that’s not to say you don’t have some talented people in there, you may very well have the next Casey Kasem, but chances are you don’t. IT people are generally NOT the marketing type. Now, they might know what an RSS syndication is, they might know how to encode an audio file to MP3, but they’re not marketers.

What you’ve got to understand here is that usually, it takes a concerted effort and you’ll have to pull resources from different groups inside your company. If you’re thinking about podcasting or you’ve pretty much made up your mind to do it, meet with IT and Marketing. Have them work together. You’re gonna want a people person behind the mic, you’ll want somebody that is pretty bright, but friendly and understands your marketing objectives.

Even if your podcast is going to be a weekly update from the CEO or if it’s going to talk about products that you offer, and have guests from within the company that were involved in creating those products, you’ll want to have a host. That host should probably not be of the geekier sort, even if you’re a tech company.

On the flip side, don’t let Marketing run the whole show. I’m stressing here that you need a well rounded effort by at least two departments, possibly even more. The marketing people will know what works and what will attract your customers and achieve your goals, but they probably don’t know a whole lot about multitrack mixing, or video compression codecs. So again, work together. Even within our consulting firm here, I don’t handle everything and Bob doesn’t handle everything. Bob knows way more about SEO and some of the more technical site aspects, he knows what works to get traffic. Bob doesn’t know very much about audio.

I’ve been doing computer work for 15 years but I chose to focus more on the presentation aspect of things so I do audio and graphics. I don’t like spending my time figuring out keywords and phrases, I’d rather be behind a mic or creating training in Photoshop.

The picture that I wanna paint here is, don’t leave it up to one individual. Work as a team and draw from each other’s knowledge.

Now, that considered, I’ve got an eye opener for you. Even though most techies love gadgets and marketing people love working with people, podcasting is a whole new animal. You’re delving into the realm of audio and that involves knowledge of hardware, software, and technique. Buying audio equipment isn’t the same as buying a hard drive or video card. Connecting a phantom powered condenser mic to a USB mixer is not the same as plugging in a USB printer.

Learning mic technique mic doesn’t just come naturally. There are things you have to learn, so my advice would be that if you truly want to make your podcast successful, seek out a podcast consultant that has a great sounding podcast. Of course, the one that pops into my mind is…well, me, but you need to get somebody that can blend everything together and help out with the unknown stuff. Believe me, you can go out there and spend weeks reading and researching and you’ll learn something, but you don’t actually learn until you start doing it yourself. Save yourself the time and the learning curve by having someone show you, or at least talk to you over the phone and be there for you when you run into trouble.

That brings me to my next point. If you’re gonna do this, do it. You know as well as I do that for something to be successful it takes effort. If you’re gonna make it work, you’ve got to do real planning and you’ve got to spend real money. It doesn’t have to cost a whole lot, but look at it as any other marketing investment. Budget for it. Plan on doing it for 6 months at least, before expecting results. You’ve got to allow time for people to know about the podcast because it’s not like you’re throwing them a commercial on TV or the radio. They’ll only know about your podcast if you make it known to them, or if somebody tells them about it. And then, they’ll only hear it if they go to your site or if they subscribe to the feed.

Let me outline it for you. If you don’t spend time and money in doing it right, it won’t be successful. So there’s no point in doing a ‘one timer’, just to get a feel for it, because it’s not gonna work. Again, if you’re not sure if it’s gonna fit the bill, talk to a podcast consultant and see if your company has something to offer or if you should just stay in the ‘90s.

And I alluded to something a moment ago when I said that podcasts aren’t like advertisements on TV or radio. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. You have to promote your show, look at it as advertising for advertising. You’re gonna have to spend some of your efforts on getting listeners to know about your podcast. That doesn’t mean that you spend lots of money on a billboard with your podcast feed on it. It means you do things like setup a blog and have somebody in your company regularly blog, as in daily. This is where the IT department comes in, do the normal promotion and optimization stuff that you’d do for other pages that you want to get traffic for.

Submit your podcast to popular directories like iTunes. Getting your podcast listed in popular directories is a big step towards generating a listener base.

One thing to think about is ‘What are you going to podcast about?’. What will you be giving listeners that will make them want to come back and listen or make them subscribe. Does your company offer software security products and you want to talk about what’s going on in the security world? Do you sell tennis shoes? You could sponsor a podcast covering sporting events, or you could just make your own podcast.

Let’s take a quick break and when we come back, I’ll have another podcast review.

Podcast Review
This is Ken Walker with The Podcasting Blog, and I’ve got another podcast review for you this week. Now you all know that I’m big on audio quality right? So what I decided to do was find a podcast that features great audio quality, not to mention they have good content as well. It’s another instructional podcast, actually teaching you Spanish and since I’m still here in Mexico, for another few days anyhow, I thought it only appropriate.

But there’s one totally neat thing about this podcast. It’s very well done, I like the format..but the hosts are…get this…Irish. I mean, I think they’re Irish, if they’re Scottish, please forgive me. I didn’t take the time to go to their website and read much about them, but listening to them is very entertaining because of course I love the whole Celtic scene and then to hear them speak very good Spanish is pretty neat indeed.

Again, this is an example of a very well done podcast, it’s got great audio and I couldn’t find anything wrong to be honest, but next time, I promise to review a podcast that is totally opposite and has tons of problems…and believe me, no problem finding one of those. Now I typically stay away from the big corporate podcasts like CNN type stuff because those people have been in the radio and TV business for years and it’s not too hard for them to make the transition. So I’m trying to stick more with your Indi type podcasts, and this one is called, oddly enough, Learn Spanish with Coffee Break Spanish. I’ll post a link in the show notes but for you iTunes users, just do a search for Learn Spanish with Coffee Break Spanish and you can easily subscribe or at least give them a listen and hear the excellent audio quality, along with those lovely accents.

This episode of The Podcasting Blog was prerecorded on location in Ensenada, Mexico. For questions, comments, or offers of money, please send an email to podcasting@seocompany.ca. The Podcasting Blog is sponsored in part by the SEO Company. Please visit their website at www.seocompany.ca. The Podcasting Blog is a weekly podcast featuring helpful podcasting information. The views and opinions expressed on the show have absolutely no warranty and may be deemed dangerous. Children should not podcast without adult supervision.

 
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Topics: How to Podcast, Podcast Promotion, Reviews | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Podcasting Tips”

  1. SCOTTISH Mark from Coffee Break Spanish Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    Ken! Delighted to get the plug but have to point out that we’re Scottish. Born and bred. No offence to our cousins across the wee stretch of water (as opposed to the bigger one!) but we are very much Scottish and do try to make it fairly obvious…

    Anyway, I was delighted to get this review and to hear that you have nothing but positive things to say about our show. Unlike the CNN type stuff we’ve definitely not been in the business for years, but we’ve been thoroughly enjoying creating Coffee Break Spanish and our other podcasts (http://www.radiolingua.com) since October last year.

    iTunes link: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=20159 8403

    ¡Muchas gracias!

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