How It Works: Podcasting

Podcasts are a manageable addition to an event marketing strategy. Boiled down to its simplest form, a podcast is a recording of someone speaking. It can be the audio piece of what was originally recorded as a video, or it can be recorded as an audio-only file. It’s likely your audience is already listening to podcasts and those devoted to your brand would welcome your podcast into the fold. The percentage of consumers indicating they listen to audio podcasts has grown 163 percent from 2006 to 2012, according to Edison Research. Many churches turn weekly sermons into podcasts for people to engage with during the week (check out Willow Creek Community Church or North Point Community Church on iTunes for examples). You can follow suit by making podcasts from event keynotes to share throughout the year. Or take a cue from Passion or Catalyst conferences and record podcasts throughout the year, releasing them at times when you need to boost engagement from your audience—most logically in the weeks leading up to and during event registration. Here are five basic tips for producing a podcast: 1. Decide on frequency. Podcasts can be released once a month, once a week or however often your audience would listen to them. They could also be available solely during the weeks leading up to your event to get people excited. While ramping up, think realistically and start slow. 2. Manage the content. Theme your podcast episodes by topic, or devote one specifically to answer FAQs you’re seeing on social media. Will you use recordings of last year’s keynote speakers? Try conducting a Q&A with those speakers when they’re on-site at your event and wait to release the recording until later in the year. 3. Record with quality equipment. If possible, invest in a digital voice recorder like a Zoom Digital Recorder ($200 on Amazon) or something smaller like a Sony PX-333 voice recorder ($60). Using your phone’s audio recorder or the microphone on your computer should be a last resort. Make sure you record in a quiet location that isn’t overwhelmed with background noise. Keep in mind that air conditioners and fluorescent lights make sound, and will be audible in the background of whatever you’re recording if you’re using a space that has them. 4. Edit wisely. Editing is where people get intimidated, but don’t let the idea of cutting and piecing together audio scare you. Download a free program like Audacity, or if you’re an Apple user, try GarageBand. Follow the program’s prompts to get rid of imperfections in your recordings. The beauty of a podcast versus a webinar is that it isn’t live, giving you the flexibility to perfect your message. 5. Promote. There’s no point in creating a podcast series if no one is going to listen to it. You can make the podcasts available for free through the iTunes store, and listeners can download them for access on their computers and phones. They can also subscribe to your channel to get alerts when your latest podcasts are available.