Five Tips for Starting a Company Podcast

Your company probably has a website, blog and social media presence, but do you have a podcast? If not, it may benefit you to consider creating one. A podcast is a digital audio file that’s available via internet for downloading or streaming. Research shows that 40 percent of Americans age 12 or older have listened to a podcast at some point.

Anyone with an iPhone has immediate access to a wealth of podcasts, making them a powerful marketing tool. Podcasts can help you reach a new audience for your business, or they can help familiarize your current customers with your products or services. Plus, they’re easy to create. Use these five tips to start.

Determine your purpose or message. What’s the theme or goal of your podcast? What you teach or discuss depends on your industry, but your message should align with your company’s overall marketing strategy.

Map out a content strategy. What subjects are you going to talk about? Who are you going to talk to—industry experts or regular customers? How frequently will you upload a new episode? Ask these questions before you hit “record” the first time, so future episodes can be consistent. Outline each episode with an introduction, the main featured content and then a concise wrap-up.

Purchase recording and editing equipment. If you’re the only one speaking, you can use the built-in microphone on your computer or the voice recorder on your smartphone. Remember to put on headphones to reduce the ambient background noise, then start talking! If more than one person is speaking, try using Google Hangouts, a WebEx meeting app or Skype.

Once you’ve finished recording, you’ll need to edit and produce the podcast. Adding music to the intros and outros are a nice touch, but it’s also OK to publish your podcast without tunes. Software programs like GarageBand and Audacity are free and easy to use. Just load in your audio recording and add music at the beginning and end.

Tip: Never use copyrighted music in your podcasts. Browse royalty-free music at websites like Instant Music Now or the Free Music Archive. Better yet, create your own catchy intro music.

Host your podcast. To get your podcast on iTunes or Stitcher (an alternative to iTunes for Android users), you’ll need to host your podcast on a hosting platform—your podcast’s home on the web. A podcast hosting service makes it easy to upload audio files, and it will generate your RSS feed for you. Some podcast hosts will even provide metrics about your listeners, so you know the demographics of your audience. Check out hosts like Libsyn, which has plans starting at $5 a month, or SoundCloud.

Share! Once you’ve uploaded your podcast to your hosting provider, submit it to websites like iTunes and Stitcher. Your hosting service will provide instructions on how to submit your podcast. Once it’s up and running, get the word out! Share the news about your most recent podcast episode on your company website, blog or social media channels. Send an email to current customers, informing them of your latest content channel.

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