Want a new way to spread the word about your biz? The medium of podcasting is an intriguing option.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
With a computer, mic and broadband connection, you can producean info-mercial or broadcast and distribute it through aggregators,such as Ipodder and FeedDemon, or web-based directories such as Podcast Alley.These podcasts are sent via topic-specific feeds to subscribers,who can download them to their digital music players orcomputers.
Twenty-two million American adults have MP3 players or iPods,according to a recent Pew Internet and American Life poll--a vastpotential audience. Chris McIntyre, founder of Podcast Alley inNashville, Tennessee, has seen double- to triple-digit growth overjust a few months in the number of podcasts being produced and thenumber of people listening to them. "One of the most popularpodcasts has about 28,000 subscribers from my site alone,"says McIntyre.
Steve Rubel, vice president of client services at CooperKatz& Co., a New York City marketing communications and PR firm,publishes a blog about persuasive technology (www.micropersuasion.com). He says entrepreneurs mayfind value in creating their own broadcasts, and sees multiplemarketing opportunities in podcasting, including:
- Sponsoring a popular podcast, much like a company might sponsora radio broadcast
- Using giveaways, contests and other promos that have proveneffective in traditional broadcast media
- Incorporating short ads within podcast feeds, which would bevisible as the program downloads
Since podcast culture eschews overt commercialism, Rubeladvises, "I certainly wouldn't put jingles or 30-secondspots as podcasts by themselves." But he adds that goodcontent attracts listeners.
Will it replace blogging? No way, says Rubel. "Radiodidn't replace newspapers. There's no shortage of interestin text."