“Why your small business should care about content marketing” was a post I wrote last year. It may be an overused phrase, but content is still very much king when it comes to marketing. That’s because content can help generate awareness for your small business, attract people to your brand, and convert prospects into customers – not to mention build loyalty among customers.

Podcasting emarketrAlong with written content – articles, social media posts, customer case studies – and video, also consider podcasts as part of your content plan for the year. In fact, if research firm eMarketer is correct, 2013 will continue to a significant growth year in the popularity of podcasts.  In 2009, in “Podcasting Goes Mainstream,” the research firm forecast that podcasting growth would continue through 2013, when there will be 37.6 million people downloading podcasts on a monthly basis.

With nearly 38 million people listening to Podcasts on their desktops or on the go with their laptops, tablets and smartphones and a headset, there’s a lot of potential for your small business message to be heard.

Your audio recording can be an interview – formal or conversational — with you or customers, partners or industry experts. You can use a podcast as a way to address questions from customers or bring them up to date on your company.  Post podcasts on your website, blog, social media channels or send them out in an email marketing campaign.

Five tips to create quality podcasts

  • Set yourself apart:  Try to find an angle to your podcast content that is unique to you or your small business. Give your audience useful information or your opinion or perspective that they can’t find elsewhere.
  • Be prepared: Don’t try to improvise. If it’s an interview – with you or conducted by you – prepare questions in advance. Have a structure so that your podcast doesn’t get off track. If several people are involved, make sure they know the agenda and the goals.
  • Keep it simple: Short is better especially while you are building up your following. People will be more included to give your podcast a try if its 20 to 30 minutes or even less, rather than an hour. If the audience likes your shorter podcasts, you’ll be in a better position to engage them for an hour later.
  • Aim for quality:  Use a quality microphone, editing software to remove pauses and other unnecessary sounds, and record in an area that eliminates background sounds. (You also can use Skype for recording your podcast if you want to record conversations with others. All you need is a headset.)
  • Maintain a regular schedule: Be consistent about when you release your podcast whether it’s once a week or once a month. You set an expectation with your audience when you stay on a schedule. Having a regular schedule also helps you plan your features with enough time to make sure you get the content or guests you need.

What is your experience using podcasts for promotion?