Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Podcast 101 for Marketers

I just read a post on “How to use podcasts to build brand buzz” by Paul Dunay on his blog and just realized this would be great timing for my 101 series on tech marketing topics to discuss this oft-repeated, oft-misunderstood term – Podcast! For those of you interested, you can also find my earlier 101 posts on RSS Marketing and OPML over here and here.

There has been a fair amount of ambiguity on the term podcasting with some back-and-forth between Seth Godin and Mark Ramsey in the recent past. Here’s my 2 cents on the topic. So for some of my readers who are wondering what the commotion is all about, look no further. Let’s set the record straight on what podcasting is all about. Most of my “101 series” posts are fashioned after – Intro, Benefits, and additional resources. Read on:

1. Intro to podcasting:

a. What is a podcast?:
Simply described, it’s an audio file that is broadcast over the web. Period.

Now the audio file can be an avi file, wmv file, or mp3 file – the most popular being mp3’s. The term pod has stuck with the technology, since the most popular mp3 player ever (as of 6/6/6 happens to be the iPod) and by extension the content on an iPod is a Pod?!

Important: The term podcast, like radio, means BOTH content and delivery, i.e. both pod and cast.

So you may ask how is a Pod, cast?: Through a technology called RSS. Check my RSS 101 post here.

b. What is a corporate podcast?: A corporate podcast is a podcast created for corporations with the sole purpose of enhancing the company’s existing traditional marketing communications content mix. A podcast is being increasingly used in addition to traditional media (print and web) to communicate more effectively with their target audience (C-level, IT executives, etc…).

c. What traditional messaging lends itself to corporate podcasts?:
On any Fortune 500 company’s website, you’ll notice a wide-range of marketing material that caters to different segments of the market. Most corporations have tons of printed marketing material and are now slowly moving those to the web. Multi-media is the final frontier in the creation of content for any kind of corporate marketing material whether it be white papers or customer testimonials.

2. Benefits of podcasts:

Since podcasts are based on the RSS delivery mechanism, you’d have to infer that the benefits of utlizing RSS translate to Podcasting as well. Here are the RSS benefits to any marketer outlined by the web’s premier expert on RSS Marketing – Rok Hrastnik.

On top of that, for any corporation, a podcast:

(i) enables you to distribute audio/video content in addition to printed materials (like brochures, white papers) and web content.

(ii) is a great tool for education – think tutorials, except this time its continual through yor RSS feeds

(iii) permits some of your company’s greatest success stories be told in the voice of your customer

(iv) allows some of your greatest sales successes to be described by your greatest sales person to enthuse the rest of the team

(v) articulates your company’s beliefs through an audio version of your annual report, which can now be articulated by your CEO rather than just be a 20 page report hosted on your website

(vi) benefits of portability: your team no longer has to be tied to the desk for information. They can now carry it with them as they move around – to a prospective customer or to a sales meeting! And I could go on…

3. Additional Resources on Podcasts:

(i) Definitions: Wikipedia defines Podcasting here and here.

(ii) Podcast Content Aggregators: Yahoo!, iTunes

(iii) Prominent Podcasters: iPodder, Podshow, Podtech.net

(iv) Tech news Podcasts: Business Week, CNET, ZdNet

(v) Fortune 500 Podcasts: IBM, Symantec, Microsoft

Filed under: Uncategorized

One Response

  1. […] If you want to know more about podcasting in general, check out my earlier posts here, here and here. Most importantly, Podcasting 101. […]

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