Business Podcasting - Right Place, Right Time?

You hear the term "podcasting" all the time. But what exactly is it, and is it anything you should be thinking about?

What is it?
Simply put, a podcast is an mp3 audio download from a website designed to inform and entertain anyone who downloads it (think of it as an entertaining radio program that can be listened to on any computer or mp3 player at any time). Many businesses are offering podcasts on their websites that discuss issues important to their target customers.

What can it do for business?
For example, Swift Auto Repair may offer a podcast on its website that offers tips for keeping up on car repairs, or trends in the auto industry. Swift Auto Repairs podcast is offering a useful resource to its target customers. The ROI is the top-of-mind awareness created for Smith Auto Repair. When listeners need a product in relation to what was discussed, Swift Auto Repair is the first business that comes to mind. That customer may also send friends to Swift Auto Repairs website to listen to the podcast, resulting in viral marketing.

Who is listening?
If you have a website, anyone and everyone who visits could be a listener to your podcast. The amount of people in the US who listened to podcasts increased by 18.5 Million in 2007. This number continues to grow dramatically as more and more websites and businesses are offering podcasts to their customers. Its predicted that by 2010, the total podcast audience in the US will reach 65 million. Bottom line, "if you offer it, they will listen."

How is it done?
Luckily, you don't have to be a "professional broadcaster" to have your own podcast. Most business that use podcasting, work with a professional host that leads the show, with the business owner acting as the guest - sharing their knowledge on the topic or industry of discussion. These podcasts emulate radio programs, and have a true competent and professional sound to them. Featured guests from with-in a selected industry, listener emails and letters are also popular features of a business podcast.

What does it cost?
This depends on what is all involved in your podcast and who you select to work with. If you decided to record it yourself without the help of a professional, your only costs would be a microphone and sound editor software. If you wanted a truly professional sound, there are several companies that offer assistance. Prices vary from business to business, however on average it should cost no more than $500 per podcast (Beware of people who price gouge for $1000's of dollars for such a service). If you figured very conservatively "20- 40 peoplel listen to your podcast and use your services because of it" your ROI could be huge. For suggestions on professional podcasting companies, feel free to contact us.

Right Place Right Time
With the evolution of the podcast hitting the mainstream right now, we are sitting at the critical "Right Place, Right Time" state. With-in the next 1-3 years your competition will likely be offering a podcast on their website. If neither of you are podcasting at this point, now is the perfect time to beat them to the punch and create an established base of loyal listeners and customers who rave about your knowledge and service! If you are ahead of your competition's podcast by 1-3 years, you will be THE trusted source for information in the medium.

An effective marketing plan starts with an experienced marketing team. If you have any questions about TV Advertising or Radio Advertising call me anytime - (231)468-9972 or email us here. Or visit .  My company has been one of the most trusted names in Television Advertising and Radio Advertising for years.

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