Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video The benefits of podcasting, part of Producing Professional Podcasts.
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- As you've heard me talk about RSS feeds and all of these different hosting sites, you might be thinking, well isn't YouTube just so much easier? Well, yes. Some of these different platforms have become easy, but they don't give you the same level of control or potential online, offline engagement that podcasting does. So, let's talk about some of the benefits of podcasting so you see why it might be worth the extra work of setting up. After all, what you're creating is a very specific targeted distribution platform.
One that allows people to get just your content and not be distracted by a bunch of advertisements from other people or pulled into other people's shows. So, the main benefit of podcasting is that it is an opt-in audience. This means that everybody who is consuming the podcast chose to get it. Now, this can be pretty important for a lot of different legal reasons as well as just ethical ones. Remember, opting in means that it was the person's choice to come there. You don't have to worry about spam acts or other things that are designed to allow people to not get inundated with a bunch of content they didn't ask for.
Podcasting is considered opt-in. The person asked for the content. This is great because it means that you are delivering what the person wanted and that leads to deeper and more loyal types of engagements. Podcasting is an emerging technology with less competition. Now, it's been around for a long time, but when you compare it to things like broadcasting and traditional radio, it's still pretty new and what's the great advantage here, it's a leveling effect. I would never expect in my wildest dreams that my podcast would occasionally spike up to the top.
Maybe I got featured by Apple or I just hit on a great topic that really resonated. I have got to tell you, finding myself on the front page of iTunes being featured and beating everybody except Oprah, after all no one can beat Oprah, but it's okay, I still felt pretty good to be outperforming major television networks and even when I'm not featured on the front page of iTunes and I'm just doing my thing, releasing podcasts about photography which I'm quite passionate on. It's really reassuring to see that people with much larger budgets and huge distribution networks and traditional television networks and magazines not necessarily doing as well.
It's not about winning. It's about reaching your audience and the great thing about podcasting is it's real people media. People like to learn from people that they enjoy. People respect people that look like the guy next door or the woman that they work with. It's not about being a television anchor when it comes to podcasting and this is a great fact because it means that you can compete with people that you might not normally have a fair chance against. You can also target very specific markets as well as track that engagement.
This means that you can go after specific topics because of the lower cost associated with podcasting. You don't have to buy advertising time or worry about expensive distribution platforms. Compared to things like direct mail marketing or producing DVDs and trying to get a distribution deal through a retailer, much, much easier when it comes to the world of podcasting. It also gives that "walk away" brand extension. After all, what other web content works when you're not connected to the Internet? For the most part when people go online, they have to be connected to consume things.
YouTube doesn't work when you don't have an Internet connection, but a podcast will. For example, maybe you're at the airport and you open up your laptop for a moment and got a few things that you wanted. Well, while you were connected, in the background your favorite shows and programming that you subscribe to as a podcast are downloading to your device. When you get on the plane, you've got em. Even if that plane doesn't have Internet or you don't feel like spending $25 to have access in the air. Particularly since it's not always that fast.
The great thing about podcasting is that "walk away" capability. That when the user has the Internet, they get what they need, but they don't have to choose it. They don't have to remember to go get it. They don't have to do anything. It just downloads in the background. Then, when they're offline or when they think about it, the content is waiting for them. Another thing that's nice is that it can be relatively viral. Good content is shared freely, given comments, pushed to friends. The nice thing here is that there's no barriers.
Because podcasting is typically free, people are very likely to push that content out there and, generally speaking, the only ads that will appear on your podcast are ones that you put there yourself. Most podcast networks, since you're paying for the hosting service, don't insert random advertisements that detracts people from your content. I understand when I use a service like YouTube, which is covering all of the hosting costs, why they need to use ads, but those ads sometimes turn people off from my content and they don't like them.
So, even though I might have earned that view, or attracted somebody to the content, the ad scared them away. So, what can you use this technology for? Well, it's great for things like special interest topics, radio and television content, software training. While I produce a lot of courses here for Lynda.com, I regularly share free content through podcasts to try out new ideas or to put quick tips out there. It's also a useful way to take existing content and redistribute it. For example, a lot of folks working with religious television or maybe simulcasting of church services will turn that into a podcast or public access content will get turned into a podcast.
The network news programming will get cut down into segments and redistributed. This is a great way to take that content that ran once and to make it into a friendly offline, online format. This works well for distance learning as well as brand extension. Distance learning allows people who are removed from a location to learn and because podcasting works with slower Internet connections, this is often quite useful for international audiences as well as people who don't have high speed access all of the time.
For brand extension, podcasting allows you to integrate brands into the show. Now, some podcasters are a little bit blunt with this. I'm fairly transparent about sponsors on my shows and let people know that they are partners in what they're doing. Other podcasts could be more subtle. Integrating a product or something into the show to make sure that people see how to use it. For example, I've had some podcasts that I've produced that have been sponsored and I disclosed that and I teach you how to use a product in a situation. It's not that the company has bought my loyalty, but rather as an expert, they've underwritten an educational tutorial for me to produce and I might use that product in a way that helps you understand it.
Now, there's lots of different types of podcasting and for some people it's about money and for others it's about the freedom to produce and to have no restrictions. No one's telling you what you can and can't do. That's one of the beautiful things about podcasting. And it's really good as a public awareness tool to raise awareness about issues or things that people need to know. So, who's podcasting? Well, the answer's just about everybody. You'll see that all sorts of things from public broadcasting groups to major broadcasters that are traditional, magazines, cable networks, but it's not just the traditional outlets.
There's a whole bunch of others as well. You'll find that government agencies podcast. Political candidates have podcasts to connect with their audiences. These days just about anybody can podcast. You're going to see in just a few moments some demographics about the podcast audience and what you might be surprised about is how podcasting cuts right to some of the best people you'll want to reach online. As such, from a business point of view, podcasting often makes a lot of sense.
In this course, you'll learn how to create a podcast to match any budget, using proven techniques that get listeners and results. You'll learn how to set up a small studio; record audio, video, and even group video chats; edit your podcast; and create a podcast feed (aka an RSS feed). This class is taught by Rich Harrington, who's produced, hosted, or consulted on several podcasts that are routinely featured as the best of iTunes. Watch and learn how to get your own podcast up and running in less than a day.
- What is podcasting
- Leveraging existing content
- Analyzing the competition
- Outlining a podcast budget
- Setting up a studio
- Setting up an RSS feed
- Recording interviews, screencasts, and Google Hangouts
- Editing podcasts with Adobe Audition and other audio editing software
- Optimizing audio and video for podcast delivery
- Hosting podcast files
- Branding and promoting your podcast feed