Once an online marketer begins to think about podcasting as part of their marketing mix, they will often get nervous about it. The reason is often because they have so many unanswered questions.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about podcasting. This should help you decide whether or not it is right for your business.
What is podcasting?
Podcasting is a way of creating internet-based audio files for the purpose of offering information and entertainment to a wider audience.
How do I create a podcast?
You need a microphone, software to record the audio file, and a place to store the audio file so other people can listen to it.
What kind of microphone should I buy?
Buy a USB one for under $100 that has high-definition sound quality.
What kind of software do I need?
The industry standard is Audacity. It does take time to learn, but it is free to use.
What should I say on my podcast?
Choose a niche or specialized area or topic you want to talk about. Then think of how you can help people interested in that topic who have problems that need to be solved. Offer free information that will lead to paid product referrals. This could be your own or someone else’s, that will make you money with each podcast.
How will people find my podcasts?
A content provider will create a podcast channel or feed. Within that channel, they will create programs or tracks. Every time a new track is created, the channel will automatically update content on subscribers’ computers.
How can people listen to podcasts?
Your audience can listen to the files on their computer, or load them onto an MP3 player such as an iPod.
How can people subscribe to my podcast?
There are three ways they can subscribe. The most popular way is through an online service with software such as iTunes. Or, people can add your feed to their FeedBurner, that is, a program that accepts RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. You can also embed your feed into the pages of your blog or website and they can listen to them there.
How do people access the podcast recording files?
Most podcasts are saved in the format MP3 because it compresses the file so it will not take up a lot of room, while still maintaining high-quality sound. But the files are still pretty large and can lurch and skip if people try to listen to them directly from a file hosted on your blog to their own computer or player.
Therefore, your best option is a podcast file hosting service. Some charge a per month and per total bytes storage feed. But, since it is hard to predict how large some files will be, your best bet might be a service like SoundCloud. It’s a great service which offers unlimited storage for a low annual fee that works out to less than $15 per month. This will ensure you don’t eat up a lot of bandwidth on your site and your listeners get a great experience.
Can listeners hear podcasts in their web browser?
In most cases, yes. They could click on “play” and the player would start running the podcast. It does depend on the browser, though. In some cases, it might not play, but it will download the entire file to the person’s computer. If this is the case, searching in the downloads folder of the computer and clicking on the file will enable them to listen to it.
Can they listen to individual episodes?
They can listen to individual episodes by clicking on your title and/or link. Be sure to name each track something with relevant keywords in it. Also, make sure to write teaser copy so those people who are not already subscribers will get to hear your podcasts and might become interested in hearing more.
Now that you’ve reviewed these FAQs about podcasting, you’ll hopefully be feeling a lot more confident about adding podcasting to your marketing mix to boost your sales and profits.