If you’re not familiar with the term “Podcasting,” it is the use of audio or video to broadcast a message. Though experts disagree on where the term came from (some say it came from a combination of the Apple iPod and the term “broadcast,” while others say it comes from “Public on Demand” + “Cast”), the medium is growing exponentially as a tool businesses use to communicate with customers and potential customers.
Think of it as an audio blog or an audio e-newsletter. Like both of those tools, podcasts are an excellent and cost effective way to reach your target market in a personal and informative way. Additionally, podcasts can be distributed through RSS format, which is a subscription service that announces and delivers the podcast to your subscribers like a blog or a newsletter.
One of the reasons for the popularity of podcasts is that users, your customers and your target market, are able to easily access the information and listen to it on their computer, mobile device, mp3 player or just about anywhere.
How you benefit from podcasting or adding audio/video to your website:
1. Podcasts increase your marketing reach and online visibility. You will expand your target market because different people prefer different mediums. Some customers like to read company information, others prefer videos or live communication and still others like to download your information and listen to it when they have time. Many podcast users listen to downloaded podcasts on their way to work or while they’re working out.
2. Podcasts can improve your sales and conversion rates. Podcasts are yet another way to reach your customers, and the one-on-one communication provides the kind of personal touch that customers crave. People are more likely to buy from someone that they feel they have communicated with directly, and podcasts enable you to do just that.
3. Podcasts provide a consistent line of communication with subscribed listeners. It has been proven that regular communication with your customers improves both your overall relationship with them and their buying frequency. A regularly distributed podcast can strengthen your relationship with your buyers and help to build a community with your customers.
4. Podcasts provide beneficial and value added content, which increases customer loyalty. Podcasts can offer a different kind of content to what you can provide with a blog or an e-newsletter. This kind of content can be extremely beneficial to your customers.
5. Podcasts allow you to distribute industry news and trends, which sets you apart from your competition and establishes you as a respected leader in your niche or industry. One of the best ways to get repeat purchases and loyal customers is to become the “expert” in your industry. Once your business is established as the place to go for quality information, services or products, your profits will grow.
6. Podcasting, or adding audio or video to your website and email messages, enables customers and prospects to access information in a more personal way. You can add video or audio testimonials, quick “how to” segments, and even a special promotional message. Adding audio or video is a unique way to add a personal touch to your website.
7. A podcast or an audio file can be used as a giveaway to build your opt-in list. Consider recording either an interview with an industry expert or a seminar or workshop, and then offering the audio file as a free download. In return, you get their email address for future mailings.
Let’s move on to how to begin podcasting and increase your profits in the next post!