Interested in a new, cutting-edge tool that can reach millions of potential customers? Then you are looking for PODCASTING!
And unlike radio shows, which are transferred through the air in radio waves, and regulated and controlled by the FCC, there are no regulations or rules for podcasting, as long as you don’t use copyprotected property.
A podcast is an audio file stored on the Internet that customers can download to their computers or MP3 players and listen to whenever they want.
Now, you may be thinking, “So what – MP3 files have been available for download from the internet for years!” Well, what makes podcasting different and truly useful as business tool is that customers can subscribe to programs they are interested in. This means that free and easy-to-use podcasting software automatically downloads new podcasts to your customers’ computers as soon as they are available.
Just how big is the potential reach of podcasting? Consider these numbers from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. According to their research:
[o] More than 22 million US adults own an iPod or other MP3 player – 13% of men and 9% of women
[o] 20% of the lucrative 18- to 28-year-old market owns an iPod or other MP3 player
[o] 29% of the people who own an iPod or MP3 player have downloaded a podcast
This translates to 6 million U.S. adults who have downloaded podcasts – a truly impressive figure considering podcasting is still a relatively new technology.
The keys to the early success of podcasting is that it offers great choice and convenience, plus ANYONE can do it with the right tools.
o Offer Your Customers Choice
Podcasts can be about any topic you can think of. They might be music, a talk show, a lecture, a recorded tele-seminar, a sermon, etc. Possible applications for podcasting include:
– Interviewing authors and leaders in your industry, then offering the interviews through a podcast on your website.
– Offering late-breaking industry news.
– Offering in-depth information to niche customers.
– Medical organizations can offer podcasts on such topics as bariatric (weight loss) surgery, diabetes control, glaucoma, alternative medicine, and more.
– Religious organizations can use podcasts to distribute weekly sermons, missionary updates, extol their beliefs and offerings, and otherwise share their message, globally, as long as listeners have an internet connection.
– Preschools and Day Care Centers can offer parenting tips.
– Universities can offer audio lectures, student calendars and orientation, and campus tours.
– Travel agents can offer audio tours of popular cities.
– Chambers of Commerce can introduce potential tourists, conventions, and businesses to their cities.
– Museums and historic sites can offer private guided tours of their facilities.
– Conference presenters can offer podcasts of their sessions for people who were unable to attend the live events and save on postage and fulfillment costs.
– Companies and non-profit organizations can offer training to their employees and volunteers.
o Offer Your Customers Convenience
If you publish or plan to publish any type of audio file for your customers – whether audio newsletters, teleconference calls, interviews, lectures, etc. – podcasting simplifies everything for both you and your customers.
Once customers subscribe to your podcast, you won’t have to worry about sending them an email to download a new MP3.
Instead, your message will land directly on your customers’ desktops every time you create a new podcast.
The convenience continues even after the download. Once the podcasts are downloaded to your customers’ computers, they can synch them to your MP3 player, burn them to a CD, or simply listen to them through their computer speakers. In other words, customers can subscribe to your podcast, download it, and take it with them as they go out jogging or commute to the office.
Best of all, not only are podcasts themselves generally free, but so is most of the podcasting software your customers will need to listen to podcasts!