Published August 17, 2011

How To Use a Regular Podcast to Promote Your Small Business Online

As a small business owner, you should have an arsenal of online promotion strategies. Of course, social media is all the rage and should be a big part of your online marketing mix. However, one online marketing technique that is still popular with a broad audience is the podcast.

Podcasting is a simple idea that was designed as series of short audio recordings which could be played back on the popular iPod. The format is usually like a radio talk show with one or more people discussing a specific topic. But the advantage to podcasting is that it is not live, and your audience can listen anytime at their convenience.

Advantage of a Podcast

As an entrepreneur, you are passionate about what you do. You started your business with the idea that your product or service idea was unique and useful. A Podcast can help you get in touch with your audience and target market with more details and helpful advice.

With the right podcast promotion, you can help your business grow. The more popular your podcasts become, the more listeners you'll get, who will likely also be customers or referrals.

You will also help establish your expert status as a podcaster. If you are the only one publishing a podcast in your industry niche, you become the expert.

So how can you set up and distribute your own podcast for your small business? Here are a few helpful tips:

Establish Your Business Niche and Audience First

Before you begin, make sure you know what your podcasts will be about. That means getting in touch with what your audience wants to know. You should already know your business niche. Use it to narrow your podcast focus.

Avoid making your podcast a commercial for your company. A podcast is meant to be informative, helpful, and even fun, but not a pushy sales pitch.

Get the right Podcast Recording Setup

The good news is that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars for special equipment or studio space. In fact, you can get a simple USP computer microphone for about $50 - $70, and even a podcasting kit that includes mic, headphones, and software for about $100.

You can even use free software available for download. Audacity is one of the most popular free computer audio recording software that is easy to use, allowing you to save in your preferred podcast format.

When you do record, be sure to do it in a small, quiet space. This avoids echo or reverb found in larger spaces. And you don't want the sound of traffic, jabber, or construction in the background.

Set up a Podcast Format

Consider the gameshow, Jeopardy. There is the first round, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy, and even a bit of Alex Trebeck introducing the contestants. The format is the same every time.

You'll want to figure out your podcast format. Will it be a 5-10 minute event? Perhaps a half hour with interview and questions answers? Determining the length of your small business podcast and what elements will be included will make each podcast recording easier.

Invite Question Submissions

To help get your audience involved, you could invite them to submit questions that you can answer. Say you operate a hair & nails shop. Your audience may have questions as far as hair/nail maintenance, the best products, what do to in a "hair emergency", etc.

Invite Guests for Interviews

As part of your format, you could include special guests. Consider inviting other experts, and even local or national celebrities to join your podcast for an interview and to share their experience and knowledge.

Promote Each New Podcast

Don't upload your podcast and expect everyone find it. You have to promote it. Utilize your social media accounts, blog, website, and other strategies to inform your followers, friends, and customers that a new podcast is ready for download.

You might even consider uploading your small business podcast to iTunes, where an even bigger audience can subscribe and download.

A podcast can be fun for you and your team to share your knowledge and expertise, and gain a new way to acquire customers. As well, you can attain expert status with your podcast topics. Consider if you have the resources and time to create a podcast, and use our tips listed here to help you get going.