Welcome to re-discover your brand podcast episode #10 brought to you by ArtVersion interactive.  I’m your host Kip Russell and today we are discussing podcasting how to do it and why.

Wikipedia describes podcasting as a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of files (either audio or video) subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication. The word is a neologism derived from “broadcast” and “pod” from the success of the iPod and its role in the rising popularity and innovation of web feeds. Some people like to call them netcast but majority of us know this medium as podcasting.

The history of Podcasting

Podcasting began to catch hold with the public in late 2004, though during the 1998 – 2001 dot-com era there were multiple “podcasts”.Many individuals and groups including Dawn and Drew of The Dawn and Drew Show, Kris and Betsy Smith of Croncast, and Dan Klass of The Bitterest Pill contributed to the early emergence and popularity of podcasts. Former MTV VJ Adam Curry is credited with coming up with the idea to automate the delivery and syncing of textual content to portable audio players. The first application to make this process feasible was iPodderX, developed by August Trometer and Ray Slakinski. Since the 1930s there have been radio talk shows and news programs. Today, through the evolution of the internet capabilities, along with cheaper hardware and software, audio podcasts are doing what was historically done through radio broadcast stations.

Podcasting attracts people who want the ability to choose their own content (much like using the Internet), instead of the TV and radio model of broadcast where you tune in and select from one of the programs playing. It shares common ground with other time-shifting technologies like TIVO, YouTube, and blogs which allow you to download programs and watch whenever you want. Many people like the convenience of always having fresh material loaded on their iPods or personal music players, and listen to their podcasts throughout the day.

Why Podcast

Podcasting is an easy and powerful way to communicate your ideas and messages. You can potentially reach anyone with a broadband connection who is searching for podcasts and subscribes to your show. People who start podcasts usually want to deliver their content in a series stretched out over a period of time. There are minimal equipment and start-up costs if you already own a computer, and so this allows anyone who ever dreamed of owning a radio station (and some who didn’t) the chance to transmit their ideas far beyond the reach of a radio transmitter.

Podcasters often start shows with the intention of building online communities and often solicit comments and feedback on their programs. People use web blogs, social media, and forums to communicate with other listeners and the show’s producers. Businesses are beginning to realize that podcasting is a cheap way to advertise to groups with very specific interests. Many large companies are starting to produce podcasts, both to communicate with their customers, and also with their own employees.

Many consider podcasting an alternative to commercial radio and TV because the low cost of producing a podcast allows more voices and viewpoints to be heard. Also, unlike TV and radio, which produce programs for mass consumption, podcasts are “narrowcasts,” where only those interested in a certain topic seek out programs and sign up to listen. There are thousands of podcasts which target very specific niche interests, producing communities around topics which are too obscure for traditional broadcasting to cover.

Podcasting is a great way to expand or grow a personal brand. People like relationships and much like talk radio listeners grow connections and context with the podcast producers.  If you gain a large enough audience per episode you can attract sponsors, advertisements, endorsements, or sell merchandise.

How to start a podcast

There are many ways you can create content and upload it to the web. Our company ArtVersion uses Apple’s built in software. We use garage band to record the audio threw a blue microphone and a pop filter which we bought for $15 bucks on amazon. This gives a little better audio than just using our macs built-in mic.  Once we have recorded the audio and edited it we can use the share feature in a garage band to upload it to the web directly or create an mp3 which we use to upload it to our WordPress blog.

The basic resources you need are a means of recording audio or video if you prefer,  a computer to upload your content to the web, and a platform to distribute your content to your audience. After that, we recommend promoting via social media outlets such as Facebook, iTunes, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Reddit, or StumbleUpon.

A few steps to take before you start podcasting.

Research and Strategy Development

Before you start producing your own podcast, you should always research what shows are currently available in your area of expertise. Research other podcasts first to discover:

What audio content is already available in your field?

Which topics and angles the current hosts cover?

How often the most popular podcasts publish?

What you like and dislike about the hosts’ demeanor?

What level of engagement the current podcasts have?

Where you might best carve out a podcasting niche?

Engaging your audience.

Podcasts without an engaged listenership will inevitably fade. Producing a weekly or even monthly podcast is a tremendous amount of work, and without working with listeners in order to develop and promote content, the production effort can outweigh the results. Keep listeners engaged and yourself energized by keeping a constant flow of conversation with your listeners. Consider rolling out the following to engage with listeners:

A feedback email address (e.g., [email protected] )

A listener comment line

A Twitter account for the podcast

A Facebook page for related content

Forums for listeners to engage with each other

Live meetups when you travel to new cities

Listener survey

A podcast is nothing without its engaged fans, so consider engagement your number one development and anti-pod fading tool. Your download statistics will tell you your most popular content, and the feedback mechanisms will inform which topics are the most controversial and can be revisited.

And finally…

Remember that podcasting is supposed to be fun! If you aren’t having fun, your listeners will be able to tell, and they will eventually unsubscribe. Love your topic and love your listeners and your podcast will succeed.

…That’s it for EPISODE #10 of REDISCOVER YOUR BRAND.  If you enjoyed this episode, please take a minute to rate the show on ITUNES.

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If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to send us an email, we would love to hear from you.  To get more information on ARTVERSION, visit our website at ARTVERSION.COM.

Next time on the REDISCOVER YOUR BRAND podcast EPISODE #11, we’ll be covering marketers are the new publishers. That’s next time, until then, Thank you for listening – I’m Kip Russell helping you REDISCOVER YOUR BRAND.