Podcasting is a term that was only coined in 2004, combining two words: iPod and broadcasting. Ironically, this definition is somewhat of a misnomer since neither component is completely accurate. Neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or other portable player. In fact, podcasts can be listened to on any mp3 enabled device including a desktop computer. The name association came about simply because Apple Computer’s iPod was the best-selling portable digital audio player when podcasting began. What’s more, no over-the-air broadcasting is required either.
Podcasts are radio shows that you can subscribe to or download at any time. It is a web feed of audio or video files placed on the Internet for anyone to subscribe to or download. If you search online, you will find a variety of podcasts available on nearly any topic imaginable. They range from entertainment focused to educational to business oriented and everywhere in between.
Podcasts differ from a simple file download in that new content may be automatically delivered. Users do not need to go to your website since the podcast may be automatically downloaded. A podcast show consists of a series of individual episodes that you can listen to and view on-line or offline whenever and wherever you want.
Even though you can listen to podcasts on your MP3 player you don’t have to. You can ”subscribe” to an entire podcast series using software on your computer or listen to a single episode at a time by using a web browser or listen to them on your smart phone. Subscribing to a podcast ensures that all new shows are automatically downloaded as they are published.
If you do use your MP3 player to listen to podcasts, the next time you sync your device, your podcasts will be downloaded for listening on the go. If you don’t want to subscribe to the series then you can just click the “Download” button to save to your hard disk. Once the podcast is downloaded you can then manage it and play it like you would any other audio file. What distinguishes podcasts from other audio or video media is that the content is accessible to its audience whenever, wherever and however they want.
Business Benefits of Podcasting
With podcast listening rising exponentially, podcasts offer you a very powerful tool for promoting your products or services. The great thing about podcasts is that they are relatively easy and inexpensive to create. Podcasting can help ensure a closer relationship with your target audiences by providing them with engaging, informative and frequent updates about the goings on in your industry. If you have a website then there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a podcast available as it’s not difficult to set up and can bring a significant increase in traffic to your site. So in short podcasting should be a vital component of any online marketing campaign.
If you are interested in learning how to use podcasts in your business, then I recommend you take Kelly McCausey’s Smart Podcasting course. Kelly has been podcasting since the beginning of podcasting. Her Smart Podcasting course includes six lessons. You will have a successful podcast up and running in 6 weeks or less. If would like to listen to one of Kelly’s podcast, then you can listen to my podcast interview. My topic was “Being Super Intentional About Growing Your Business”.