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Case Study: Reaching a Wider Audience through Podcasting

Lori Halley 27 November 2007 0 comments

On July 15, 2005, after many, many months of planning – Jodi Diehl and Angela Parker launched their “brainchild” -- RemoteProfessionals.com. A networking organization for outsourcing professionals, Remote Professionals use teleclasses, webchats and podcasts to bring speakers and presenters on topics of interest to members. They also strive to help others who, although they may not be members, have an interest in working independently or who currently offer outsourcing services. Using podcasts is one way they distribute free content to people interested in the industry. They also offer articles on our website and a blog.

In this exclusive interview, partners Jodi Diehl and Angela A. Parker outline why they ventured into podcasting and the benefits it brings to their organization.

1. Why did you get into podcasting and what marketing or communications challenge were you trying to solve?

Mobile professionals absorb information in a variety of ways and we dovetail our workday to multi-task -- even during our free time. It becomes a lifestyle for many Remote Professionals and catering to that is part of how we serve our audience. Podcasting also allows us to archive the events in an easy-to-access format that can be played later on a computer, burned to a CD, recorded on a hard drive or sent to a portable MP3 player. Making it easier on our members and future members to get the information they want when they want it... well, that's what we do.

2. How has your use of podcasts helped connect you with your members?
Podcasts not only help distribute the information outside our membership circle, it also helps us to keep a digital library of past events available for current and future members to reference on particular topics. Some of our members-only content is recorded in podcast format to make it easier for our members to access the information at home, in the office and on the road -- even if they are not able to attend the event in person. Offering audio rather than just written transcriptions of these events helps to retain the flavor of the presentation and enables our audience to listen while driving or doing other things. This would be impossible with a print-only platform.

3. What are the benefits for nonprofits using podcasts?
The biggest benefits include:

  • Sharing your mission
  • Creating a platform for special events, stories and interesting topics to encourage major media to pick up your feed and request interviews
  • Giving particular information that boosts awareness of your projects, predicaments, and the people you serve
  • A new media format to access new audiences
  • The ability to market in directories and indexes that you cannot reach without audio content
  • Better SEO as a result of wider media coverage online and offline

4. How do you select topics?
We select topics based on the interests and needs of our membership. There are certain topics and issues that are of value to all small business owners and there are other topics that are particular to working remotely. We try to offer a good mix of these as well as regular "how to get started" topics for the general public.

5. What software do you use? What do you pay for podcast hosting?
We use a recording service bundled with our conference calling host's offerings to record the sessions and then download those for editing and podcast creation and distribution. Our podcasts are currently hosted by SunfrogServices.com.

6. How long is each podcast? Why not longer/shorter?
The podcast is the length of our full presentation. In most cases that is 45-60 minutes. We plan to experiment with other shorter podcasts in the future.

7. What's the podcasting frequency? Why?
We spend most of our time and effort creating content for our members. At this point, we offer occasional podcasts to the general public, usually intended to help those just starting an outsourcing career. The podcasts also help raise awareness of the industry for potential clients. Most of our free podcasts are presented by individuals who currently enjoy a successful career in outsourcing or who work with outsourcing professionals, freelancers and virtual assistants. 

We also want to try a few shorter podcasts and may experiment with this platform more in the future to create a tool to help our audience absorb the information in smaller, bite-sized topics and sub-topics. We will continue to offer the full-length teleclasses to our members in our audio archives.

8. How are you marketing/promoting your podcasts?
We are distributing our podcasts on iTunes. We are promoting them on the web with press releases and we are promoting them on our own website. Members are promoting them on their websites and we also promote them in our membership newsletter. We have also submitted them to feed directories.

9. If you were to give advice to others about creating and using podcasts, what are the five most important things to consider or do?

  1. Make sure the information you present is interesting and targeted for your particular audience. Good podcasts will be marketed listener to listener. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing and mentions in blogs!
  2. Be sure to get the podcasts distributed through iTunes
  3. Craft keyword-rich and accurate descriptions of each episode and of the feed as a whole.
  4. Submit your podcast to feed directories (but realize that several require you to have at least five entries before they will accept your feed submission)
  5. Don't wait, if you want to begin the podcasting process, do so now.  

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 9:00 AM
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