By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)
Successful marketing agencies are offering podcasting as a service. It’s easy to podcast, if you know how. Podcasting is an effective way to extend the reach of your existing content to many more listeners, in an engaging way, at very little extra cost. Most of all U. S. homes have podcast fans who listen weekly or monthly. The listeners are mostly from about 12 to 34 years old, a very coveted age group. Those tend to have a household income of over $75k, per PodcastHosting.org, May, 2020.
You can repurpose the evergreen content that you have by putting it into a mobile friendly, on demand format, that people can listen to when it is convenient for them. Some are more inclined to listen than they are to read. They may listen when they are commuting, traveling or exercising. They like to learn about helpful advice from experts.
You can also try inviting guests with expert advice to offer, to be interviewed by you for a long-form podcast, for your listeners, about 15 minutes to an hour. You can position yourself as an expert and a market leader, by offering advice to share with a public that needs to solve a problem of some kind. Popular topics include lifestyle, health, events, issues, or education.
For decades, we have been producing hundreds of 30 to 60 second radio spots, strung together with an intro as a program, which we send to radio stations nationwide, who are grateful for filler on their programs. We started out sending scripts, which could be used individually or as an entire program, for the talent to read themselves in their local dialect, which some still prefer. Then we started sending CD’s which were professionally voiced in a studio, and now we also give them the option of downloading those as podcasts with links on our site to iTunes, where we post those.
I remember when we started offering scratch tracks, which we voiced ourselves in the old phone booth in our office, which we redesigned as a recording studio, with padding to absorb the ambient noise. That was just for the test, which we asked our clients to approve, before we went to the studio to get the professional version voiced by the talent. We were ahead of our time. Nobody else was doing it as we were. We have been earning hundreds of on-air placements per post.
Now it’s much easier for us to create and produce spots for our clients, using digital content delivery, with the help of modern technology. Some send us their own spots to distribute to our media contacts and followers, as part of our program. We can either patch the speakers in to record remotely, or use Zoom audio, if they can’t participate in person, or they could even use their mobile phone, or a laptop, which usually gives high quality sound, and record in a closet, preferably with a lot of clothing and pillows around to muffle the ambient noise.
Getting started is as simple as getting a few simple, inexpensive pieces of equipment, which you could get from B&H Audio , in New York, where a knowledgeable staff member can advise you, based on your budget and needs. The entry level into podcasting is much less than you might think. Here are a few items that you will need:
1- microphones, one for you and one for a guest, about $150 each.
2- headphones, about $100.
3- recording device, to record in stereo, about $200.
4- microphone stands, about $20 each.
5- cables, 8’, about $30 each.
You could go to Audacity Recording https://www.audacityteam.org/ , online, for a blue tooth microphone, and for editing software to help with mixing, including sound effects and music, they have a free download. The YouTube music library https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCht8qITGkBvXKsR1Byln-wA is a good source of music and sound effects.
PodBean https://www.podbean.com/ is a hosting company with a platform to carry your podcasts, that costs about $15/month. You could also have people find you and subscribe on:
1- Google Play
PodBean automatically sends your podcast to all of these places.
With some cross promotions on your other platforms, your blog and social media, you can easily create an awareness, by alerting your existing followers, to drive traffic to your podcasts. You may want to monetize your podcasts by soliciting hosts or sponsors for your content. With a weekly series of podcasts, you could soon build up a following that could snowball into more and more listeners, possibly thousands per podcast, or way more, depending on the popularity of the subject matter. If it is entertaining and informative content, you could soon be a podcasting star.