Anatomy of a Podcast - The Explore Your Voice Show
If you have not heard about podcasting yet then it's time to throw away all those useless SEO ebooks and make a start .Of all techniques I have used to build traffic and customers to my sites this one is by far best. By a mile. Podcasting ( a term coined by Adam Curry) is business of attaching an audio file, usually an mp3, to an RSS feed. An RSS feed is a simple XML file that lists content on a site. That content might be articles or news items or perhaps a chat show. It is invaluable in promoting your content if you have a website and equally useful for finding content when you are surfing. If you would like to find out about technical issues of how you make a podcast there are hundreds of articles out there that can tell you how to do it. This article is about my experiences with creating a marketing tool that works.
I started a podcast in April with my colleges called The Explore Your Voice Show. We were new to idea and were rather unsure as to how effective it might be. Our company Explore Your Voice provides a unique singing course that streams straight to your pc which is also available on CD.
The idea was to create a regular show that was about 30 minutes in length containing as much free advice on singing, performing and making music as we could fit in. The concept is strong from a marketing standpoint. You build relationships with your listeners over a period of time by establishing credibility through imparting something of value. Then they convert to buying customers as their confidence in your proposition grows. This needs to be done gradually without a lot of hard sell.
When we launched our first show it was a somewhat nervous affair. We were feeling our way and looking for a formula that would work. The first thing we discovered was that best sort of info podcast is one that is not scripted. It needs to have a certain informal feel to it, like a conversation between close friends. So three of us would get together once a week in evening and talk about what we wanted to discuss. Then we would fire up computer and record a half hour show stopping maybe once or twice to gather our thoughts before pressing on. Then we put some music as an intro and outro, mixed it to an mp3 file and uploaded it to our site. The last step was to update RSS feed with new episode.
It was all a bit disappointing initially. After we had done 3 or 4 shows downloads were very quiet, around 500 for month. I had listed it in as many newsfeed and podcasting directories as I could find on net but it took a few weeks before many of those listings showed up. That was not something I had allowed for. Then suddenly it all happened. At 3 month stage we were looking at downloads past 6000 per month mark and growing at an impressive rate. We started to receive a substantial amount of email feedback and plenty of kind remarks about our content. Sales of our singing lessons on CD and online have increased substantially and overall traffic to site is also up.