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Social Media Marketing: Podcasting to Build Your Online Community (Part 2 of 2): Marketing Your Podcast

August 30, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Marketing Your Podcast with Social MediaIn the previous posting (Social Media Marketing: Podcasting to Build Your Online Community) we discussed how to create a podcast and how you can use it for developing your online community of raving fans! In this posting we will discuss how you can market that podcast, so you can start growing your audience. Without an audience, you won't have much of a reach to spread your message!

The most obvious place to start is the most popular directory for podcasts in the world, iTunes! iTunes is the first place you should list your podcast, in order to take advantage of the massive number of potential subscribers who sync their iPods to it every day! The first step you should take to add your podcast to the list is to link your podcast RSS feed to Feedburner.com. When you sign up to Feedburner, you will receive a custom link (such as http://feeds.feedburner.com/AdayInteractiveInc). Feedburner allows you to track subscribers, statistics, optimize your feed, and monetization via Google adSense. After you have your RSS feed setup on Feedburner, you can redistribute your content (text, audio or video) in a format that can be used in iTunes and the Zune Marketplace.

Once you have your Feedburner link set up, you can submit it into iTunes. First you will need to create an iTunes account, and download the iTunes software. You can go to Apples support site where they provide detailed instructions on how to publish a podcast on the iTunes Store. Remember that the iTunes team does review every podcast submission, so it may take a day or two before you finally get it approved. After you have submitted your podcast and get it approved, you will receive a special iTunes web address that you can share on your site for people to subscribe to.

Submit a Podcast to Zune

Along with iTunes, the next place you should submit your podcast is the Zune Marketplace, which is the Microsoft version of iTunes. People who own a Zune audio player, or a Windows 7 Phone use this to download podcasts, music and other content. Similar to iTunes, you will need to create an account and download the software in order to submit your podcast to their Podcast Marketplace. Once you download the software, you can go to "Marketplace>Podcasts", scroll down to the center and "Submit a Podcast". This is where you will fill in the same RSS feed as you submitted to iTunes.

In addition to these two directories, there are many other websites where you can submit your Podcast feed to publicize. These include Podcast Alley, Zen Cast and Yahoo Audio. There are many other directories you can check out as well. Just look up "podcast directory" in Google and see what you find. Remember the more directories you can post your podcast in, the more exposure you will get for your podcast!

Once you have submitted your podcast to at least iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, you should start promoting it on your blog. When posting to your blog, you should include your title, description and link to the podcast. You should also include show notes, which you can reference when recording your actual blog (i.e. see the notes for more information). This is not only great for a listener who wants to learn more about the topic of your podcast, but it is also great for search engine optimization (SEO), as it adds additional content for Google and other search engines to index.

Marketing Your PodcastAfter your blog, you should promote your podcast on social media networks, starting with your your Facebook fan page. I would suggest you create a fan page specifically for your podcast, but you can also add a custom tab for it on your current fan page as well.This tab can be branded with your podcast icon and logo, include an archive of past podcasts and you may even be able to embed your podcast directly into your page. You can also post each podcast onto your "Wall" and ask your "fans" to share that post on their walls, to get exposure to their Facebook friends. If you are more advanced using Facebook fan pages, you can also import your RSS feed using a custom add-on application, like "RSS Feed" from Involver, or some other RSS feed connector. If you have your Twitter account connected to Facebook, when you post the podcast to your wall, it should also post to Twitter automatically, to promote to your followers on that network. Finally, if you have that Twitter feed automatically updating your LinkedIn profile, it will Update your personal profile as well, exposing it to your LinkedIn connections! Finally, if you have done all of that, and are on Google+, you should also share across your various Circles, and ask them to share with their circles.

After publishing on your blog, and promoting on social networking sites, you should start promoting your podcast via email. This includes your e-mail subscriber list (if you have one), your e-mail signature, and any email auto responders you have set up for people who e-mail specific accounts or fill out forms on your site and have opted to receive e-mailed updates. You can send special one off e-mail blasts specifically to let subscribers know that you have published a new podcast, or you can include it in any current newsletter campaigns you are running. The newsletter can also be used to hype your future podcasts, especially if you have special episodes with expert guests who are well known in your target audience’s community. In each case, you should try to include the title, topic and a short description, with teaser copy on what your podcast is about. You should also include a link to your podcast archive or RSS feed, for people to download older podcasts, or to subscribe to the RSS feed to receive them automatically.

Now hopefully after some time, you will have grown an audience and increased your reach, if you are executing the above tactics well. If you have achieved some level of recognition for your podcast, you will likely gain fans who are enthusiastic about what you are doing. You should build relationships with these audience members so you can nurture them further, with the goal of turning them into raving fans of your podcast. These extremely happy listeners can help market your podcast for you (or any other service for that matter), extending the reach of your potential audience members. Don't be shy to ask your audience members to invite their friends, or to encourage them with contests, promos or some other exchange of value that will motivate them to share your message with others. This also goes for partners and guests on the show. Make sure they are promoting the episodes they are participating in to their own social media networks, email lists and on their blog. This will not only maximize their own exposure, but also promote your podcast to a whole another network of people.

For more information on promoting your podcast, check great podcast on marketing your podcast by the Podcast Answer Man. You can also read up on the subject with these books: Podcast Academy: The Business Podcasting Book: Launching, Marketing, and Measuring Your Podcast, Promoting Your Podcast: The Ultimate Guide to Building an Audience of Raving Fans and Podcast Church. Of course, feel free to call or email with any questions you may have about this topic: blogcomments@adayinteractive.com.

In conclusion, promoting your podcast will not only help spread your message, but it will also help you build an image of being an expert in your field. Don't be shy about promoting your hard work, and don't forget the great tools available today to share your message. Utilize social media, email newsletters, your blog and word of mouth marketing to reach the largest possible audience, at the lowest possible price!

Next post, we will discuss the ORIGINAL social marketing: Word of Mouth Marketing!

 

Social Media Marketing: Podcasting to Build Your Online Community (Part 1 of 2)

August 22, 2011 by Brandon Aday | 0 comments

Podcasting to Build Your Online Community – Part 1Compared to other forms of social media, podcasting has been around for quite a long time. This posting will be the first in a two part mini-series that will give an overview of podcasting, and how you can use it to develop your online business community. Podcasting first became popular in the mid-2000's, with the introduction of Apple's iPod, and other personal audio listening devices. The name combines both the "pod" from iPOD and "cast" from broadcast. However, it is not only consumed via iPOD's, and it is in no way a broadcast in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, podcasting combines the use of MP3 audio files, with the syndication and distribution capabilities of RSS feeds. This combination of technologies allows podcasters to create audio files that are automatically pushed to subscribers. Listeners subscribe to your feed by clicking on the RSS icon, which pulls up a feedpage where you can subscribe. They are downloaded either manually, or by using special "podcatcher" software, such as iTunesZune or even a generic RSS reader. When you sync your audio device with that software, it will automatically transfer the files to your device to listen to (depending on your settings of course).

Podcasting is a great way to connect with your target market in a familiar delivery medium, due to its similarity to radio talk shows. However, podcasts are “on demand” and can be consumed on their schedule using any device that plays an MP3, including iPOD'sZunesTablets, and PC's.  It can also be a powerful marketing tool if executed on a consistent basis, especially if your podcast provides valuable information to listeners. Publishing a podcast on a periodic basis will allow you to create a connection with potential customers, and they will feel they are getting to know you and your philosophy on business and industry. Building this trust with your target market is crucial for building your online community!  People will be more likely to want to work with you, or recommend you to others, if you sound like you know what you are talking about. So how do you get started podcasting to grow your online community?

As with any marketing endeavor, it is important for you to plan out your podcasting efforts to ensure you make a positive impact with your customers. Your first step should be to connect your podcasting strategy, with your overall digital marketing strategy. This will allow you to determine what you want to communicate and who you want to communicate with. Do you want to share your expertise, discuss industry news, or have interviews with knowledgeable people on topics related to your business?

Once you determine your target audience and theme, you will want to consider what format you will use for your podcast. Some podcasts are short, with online the principle person speaking about topics of interest to their target market. Other formats may include interviews with industry leaders, tutorials, advice or even an online talk show format. By determining the format of your podcast, you will also be able to determine how long you want to have each episode be, as well as how often you will publish. Some of my favorite podcasts are short, 15 minute monologues with only one person speaking about a focused topic, while others I listen to are more like radio talk shows, where there are 1 or 2 hosts, who interview people for 30 to 45 minutes.

Obviously, it may be easier to publish a 5-10 minute monologue, as opposed to an interview based podcast, so you must keep this in mind when developing your plan. Of course, if you are producing an hour long interview show every week, this will be more difficult to complete than a shorter one on a daily basis. Before you decide, you may want to listen to other podcasts, and see how they approach their content and format. To get an idea of what other podcasters are doing, you can check out Blogtalkradio, which is a Podcast and social networking site that offers the ability to broadcast your own online radio show. Other similar podcast sites you can check out to see what others are doing includes PodBean.com, PodOmatic, and Libsyn.com.

After you have made some initial decisions on target audience, content, style and format, you should start considering the types of equipment you will need to start your new podcasting initiative. Often, you can obtain the software for little money, if not for free. This includes audio capturing software (which you most likely have on your computer), and some form of recording device, such as a microphone. If you have an iPhone or Android based phone, there are applications you can download to capture audio, and send to your PC for editing. Finally, if you are doing a long distance interview,  you may want to use a tool like Skype to record your conversation, so you can both communicate and record digitally at the same time. The main point is to ensure that you can create files that are easily transferred to your computer to edit, if not already recorded to your hard drive. Once you get your audio files onto your computer, you can use a program like Audacity, which is a free and open source software program for editing audio on both MAC and Windows/PC based computers. There are many tutorials on how to use Audacity, so I suggest you check those out as well.

Of course if you want to take your podcasting to a higher level, you will need to obtain some higher end equipment and podcasting gear. A great option for the beginner podcaster is the Behringer PodcasStudio USB, which is a low cost "out of the box" solution, that comes with podcasting software, mics and a mixer, along with guides and tutorials. Another similar product is the Technical Pro PM-22 Podcast System (Silver), which also comes with software and hardware components. For information on this, you should check out the Podcast Answer Man website. For more information on podcast tools, you can check out the Podcasting Toolbox from Mashable, which has a list of 70+ tools for podcasting. You can see a more in-depth video on Podcasting on Common Craft, a website that has many great video tutorials. You may also want to read Podcasting for Dummies, Podcasting Bible , or Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Audio and Video Podcasting for step-by-step guides on creating your podcast. Or you can contact Aday Interactive for assistance on developing your podcasting strategy.

In the next posting we will talk about publishing your podcast on iTunes and Zune Marketplace, and how you can promote it via your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn!

 
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