Eight years ago I met a consultant who had been experimenting with podcasts. They were relatively rare at the time, but he was convinced it was the “next big thing” for bloggers. He was having fun and enjoying the opportunity to share expertise with a wider audience. He made it sound simple so we gave it a try, and More than a Few Words (MTFW) was born.
Over the years we have experimented with a variety of formats including occasional pre-recorded interviews with other marketing experts, live shows with call-in options, short solo-casts or conversations with the Roundpeg team on a weekly schedule. Although we had a regular audience, we weren’t sure exactly how the podcast fit within our business model, so we took a break.
Now after almost two years, we are back with a clear vision and a format that fits how we operate today. We are recording short programs and distributing them through our blog, social media and as part or our weekly resource kits. Instead of treating MTFW as stand-alone content, each episode is matched with a blog post containing supplemental information or a resource page with complimentary videos and worksheets.
I have even begun reaching out to owners of other digital agencies around the country to be guests on our show. It is win/win as they get an audio interview to help promote their business and we introduce our show to a wider audience.
Our podcast integrates well with our other digital marketing efforts. Not only do we link to the podcast from our blog, but we can talk about new resources and blog posts from the podcast. This integrated approach is paying off as we see weekly downloads are on the rise. Our next objective as we reach a wider audience with the podcast will be to build our email list and webinar registrations.
Why Podcasts Make Sense for Small Business
People are listening to podcasts
While the podcast audience was fairly small a few years ago, it has grown steadily over the last few years. Podcast subscriptions on iTunes surpassed 1 billion last year as people listen from their desktop or from their phone on the go. The vast majority of downloads will come from people who subscribe, so the latest program will automatically appear in their news feed. You don’t have to actively fight to get in front of them as you do on social media.
Podcasting on a shoestring
Starting a podcast doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment or sophisticated hosting programs. Sure some people are podcasting from studios, but also from their home offices, garages and even in the streets. We actually record many of our podcasts directly into the recording function on my iPhone from my office or our back deck. (Listen closely and you might even hear the dogs next door barking.) We use Audacity (which is free) to edit and host our podcast on Podbean. There is a free version if you are just getting started, we do pay a small subscription to have access to more storage capacity. I like that it interfaces directly with iTunes and creates a simple embed code so we can easily add the recordings to individual blog posts.
More Podcast Tips
As we restarted our podcast adventure I went back and reread some of the blog posts we’ve written over the years. Here are a few of my favorites, which you might find helpful if you are thinking about launching your own podcast.