A podcast or vidcasting is a pre-recorded audio program that's posted to a website and is made available for download so people can listen to them on personal computers or mobile devices.
Podcasting takes its name from Apple's popular iPod line of products, but it isn't limited only to iPod owners and listeners.
What distinguishes a podcast from other types of audio products on the internet is that a podcaster can solicit subscriptions from listeners, so that when new podcasts are released, they can automatically be delivered, or fed, to a subscriber's computer or mobile device.
Usually, the podcast features an audio show with new episodes that are fed to your computer either sporadically or at planned intervals, such as daily or weekly. Just like the old radio serials of the 1930s and 40s, this format encourages listeners to subscribe so they can find out "what happens next."
Many smart offline businesses use this cheap and free means of talking about their business, to a targeted audience. When you make their podcast interesting, you'll be able to interest your audience into buying your product or using your services and ideas
As long as you listen to podcasts only on your computer (the vast majority of podcast subscribers do), you don't need any special software other than the audio player, such as a Windows Media Player or RealPlayer, you already have on your computer. But if you want to subscribe to a podcast feed, you'll need to install "podcatcher" software on your computer. The most popular podcatcher software is iTunes.
What makes the mp3 a podcast is when the audio file is included into an RSS feed that is subscribed (free) to by using a feed aggregator to scan the feed and look for and download the audio file. The aggregator downloads the latest audio file available in the feed to your computer and locates it in your iTunes music player, Windows Media Player or other music players library.
If you own an iPod or an mp3 player, you sync the player with iTunes or WMP and the audio files are automatically transferred to your mp3 player for you to listen when you want.
The great thing about podcasting is that you do not need an iPod or an mp3 player. The feed aggregators download the file to your computer so you can listen to the podcasts on your computer whenever you want.
What makes podcasting special is that it allows individuals to publish (podcast) radioshows, that interested listeners can subscribe to. Before podcasting you could of course record a radio show and put it on your website, but now people can automatically receive new shows, without having to go to a specific site and download it from there.
What Podcasts Are Used For
Podcasts Started our as links to news feeds and other informational sources, there are many other uses being utilized today. Digital media can convey a lot of different messages, and you can create a commercial that is much longer than the standard thirty seconds long. Some of the ways podcasts are used include:
- Business Commercials – Companies are now using advertisements on podcasts to introduce their business, tell their potential customers what they have to offer, and even introduce the people who work for the company.
- Interviews – Some interviews with celebrities are made into podcasts so that people can listen to them if they’ve missed them on television or the radio
HOW TO PRODUCE A PODCAST
STEP 1: Create a Podcast Recording
Create content (speech, music, etc.) using your favorite sound editing program. GarageBand and Audacity are popular options. Save the file as an MP3 and set the ID tag information; this can be done with iTunes (Artist, Genre, Date, Comments, etc.).
STEP 2: Upload your Podcast
You need to be able to upload (sometimes using FTP) your .mp3 file to a host somewhere that will allow downloading of the file using HTTP protocol.
For example: http://www.97marketingsecrets.com/public/mypodcast.mp3
STEP 3: Post a blog entry or web link that references your Podcast file in an RSS2 enclosure tag
Add a tag that looks like this to your RSS feed:
<enclosure url="http://www.97marketingsecrets.com/public/mypodcast.mp3" length="5221964" type="audio/mpeg"/>
(length is the size of the file in bytes)
Podcast should be used to spread your marketing message to an audiance who's looking for more information about what you are selling.
Adding podcasting to your advertsing and marketing plan mix will give you a proven method of marketing your prodcuts and services.
Budget: Recording of podcasts $200 - 500 per month. Distribution of Podcasts, $100 - 250 per month