Podcasting is a wonderful way for businesses to communicate ideas. It’s compelling. Intimate in a way text can never be. And producing a professional show is surprisingly affordable.
It would be easy to assume that podcasting has been eclipsed by social networking over the past few years and is no longer a compelling medium. But this is just not the case. In fact, podcasting can be particularly effective when used in conjunction with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you think of a podcast like any other type of online content, then you can approach it the same way on your social networks. Create great content. Promote your episodes directly on your network feed. Watch your audience grow.
Here are some specific tips for making the most of podcasting in the Facebook era.
Best Practices for Podcasting Today
- Choose your format wisely. Audio or video? Each has particular advantages, so choose based on the type of show you want. Audio is quicker, easier and cheaper to produce. And it can be consumed on the go. Video is, obviously, more visually compelling. Which should you select? Ask yourself what kind of story you want to tell. If your show is one person speaking in a studio, audio may well be stronger. If you’re out and about, video can bring your viewers there with you.
- Keep episodes short and sweet. While there’s no definitive rule on the perfect length of a podcast episode, a good rule of thumb is to keep it as short as possible. There are, of course, exceptions, such as in-depth interview shows. But generally, keep your episodes tight enough for listeners or viewers to consume in one sitting. We are talking primarily about business podcasting here, so be mindful of the needs of your audience. Businesspeople want their information quickly.
- Make sure your episodes are useful. If people going to take the time to listen to or view your show, make sure they’re getting something they can use. Podcasts are a great way to share ideas and teach the skills you’ve developed over the course of your career. Structure your show in a way that highlights information your audience can put to use. A self-centered or promotional show won’t get you anywhere.
- Build a good web home for your show. In order to take advantage of social network promotion, your podcast has to be set up correctly. That means not only does it need its own home on the web — complete with RSS feed — but each episode must have its own, unique URL. This way, you can promote each episode on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. And if each episode has a URL, you can also use SEO to make your episodes easier to find.
- Make subscribing easy. Most people still don’t know what an RSS feed is or what it does. So, you’ve got to make subscribing to your show dead simple. Create big, bold buttons for subscribing via RSS feed and subscribing via iTunes. Make it possible to subscribe via email, for those who still prefer getting their episodes the old-fashioned way. Also, make sure there’s a download link for each episode for those who want to consume your content manually.
- Promote. Promote. Promote. By all means, put your show on iTunes so that anyone with an iPhone or iPad can download your episodes easily. But, don’t stop there. Make sure you are constantly promoting your podcast through your social networks, linking to the podcast episodes themselves. Some social networks even have plugins that can be used to embed episodes directly into your social media feed.
Podcasting is still going strong in the Facebook era. It’s a highly convenient and easy-to-use technology that allows you to tell complex stories and push them to a receptive audience that’s interested in what you have to say.
Through podcasting, you can establish yourself both as an authority and as a personality people want to hear. Give it a shot.