A multimedia resource widely underestimated on social networks, sound is nevertheless a valid means of communication in its own right.
Sound can be a pleasing and fun way of distributing information. The most practical technique for distributing sound is the podcast. The podcast is a type of downloadable audio or video broadcast. The end user can sign up and receive a notification when a new file is available.
The user chooses
Unlike a traditional radio or television broadcast, users choose where and when they listen to or view a podcast. This method of communication makes it possible to establish the loyalty of an audience by offering valuable content, increasing the company's referencing and visibility on the Internet and bringing the company closer to its customers.
The production of podcasts requires certain basic technical knowledge, but is within reach of everyone. Like other online marketing tools, the podcast must be the subject of precise strategic planning:
- Podcast design. What do you want to broadcast? What styles and formats are best suited to the content you want to convey and your target audience?
- What is the objective of your audio communication? Determine your strategy as specifically as possible. Do you want to post on a regular basis? What do you want to broadcast? What subjects might be of interest to your target audience? What can you bring to the table that others are not bringing?
- What resources are available? Make sure you have the human, time and material resources necessary to achieve your objectives.
If you are broadcasting an audio podcast, use of an appropriate high-quality microphone is necessary. Since technology is constantly changing, it is better to take advice from a specialist electronics seller so that you make the right choice. Podcasts should ideally have their own style, recognizable to listeners. Their format should therefore be well-thought-out in terms of length, rate of broadcast, subjects tackled, etc. There is no ideal duration for an audio podcast, but it should be no longer than about twenty minutes: Internet users are used to getting information quickly and their attention span online is often limited.
Podcast content can be as varied as possible but, like written or visual productions, the best way of capturing listeners’ attention is to offer relevant and useful information about the company’s products or activities but also about an area of expertise. You can also interview experts or well-known personalities—a good way of demonstrating the genuine nature and renown of the company, but also of increasing traffic.
Podcast production and post-production are carried out using specialized programs which are easily accessible and often free. Podcasts can be hosted on online sharing sites or on the company’s server.
A few additional tips to optimize use of podcasts:
- Promote your podcasts. Whether your podcasts are broadcast directly on your company's main website or on a blog, make sure they are highlighted by links on all platforms on which you are present, including social networks. A short description should systematically accompany each podcast.
- Sign up for iTunes. While there are many podcast directories, iTunes is without a doubt the platform most often used to find podcasts. It is therefore essential to be on iTunes to grow your audience. Other platforms include Amazon S3, LibSyn and Blubrry.
- Measure the results of your efforts. Check on a regular basis whether the goals you set have been achieved using statistical tools, and adjust your strategy if required. Don’t hesitate to ask your listeners for advice.
Sources: Réseaux Sociaux et Entreprise: Les Bonnes Pratiques, Christine Balagué and David Fayon, Pearson, 2011; Le Marketing en Ligne, Jon Reed and Christine Balagué, Pearson, 2011.