Mario Sundar's Speakeasy

Twitter's 1st evangelism comms guy, Linkedin's 2nd PR guy. These are my thoughts on tech, public relations, and life.

3 Stages: Creating great Corporate Podcasts

This is a continuation of my earlier post where I gave an overview of the state of Corporate Podcasting and an example of a Fortune 500 company that’s tried it out successfully

If you’re wondering how to get started on Corporate Podcasting for your corporate marketing team, here are the 3 stages:

Stage 1: Questions to ask your marketing team
Stage 2: 9 Steps to Corporate Podcasting
Stage 3: 5 Things to remember

Stage 1: Questions to ask

1. Is podcasting appropriate for your target audience? Don’t just do it because everyone’s doing it.
2. If YES, check if your marketing communications (marcom) plan permits it. Does your team have the time to plan, record, edit, publish, and promote podcasts? Do you have the budgets to pursue it?
3. If YES, integrate podcasting into your marcom mix, plan accordingly and pursue it aggressively.
4. Now the question that most smart marketers will ask “what is the ROI of Podcasts?” My take is, do you calculate the ROI of a brochure? or the ROI of a white paper? If you do, then apply the same rule to a corporate podcast
5. Also, evaluate which components of your existing marcom mix permit the integration of a corporate podcast most easily?

Most corporate communications
include tons of collateral that can be very well converted to a much more compelling podcast. Of particular interest should be the Q&A type collateral – think success stories, case studies, investor relations, etc…

Stage 2: The 9 Steps of Corporate Podcasting

I chanced upon this great post on podcasting for librarians. Interesting how similar the process is to creating corporate podcasts: Here are the 9 steps:

1. determine content and format
2. assemble equipment and people
3. record
4. edit and export to mp3
5. listen!
6. upload file to server
7. generate your RSS feed (which is what makes it a podcast)
8. publish feed URL
9. promote. respond. repeat. (need to provide a way for people to give you feedback about it and then you need to respond)

Source: the Shifted Librarian

Stage 3: 5 Things to remember

1. RSS compatible (without RSS it’s just an audio file — not a podcast)
2. Keep It Short & Simple: The average user prefers anything between 5 – 10 minutes. (Source: Universal McCann – Knowledge Storm Survey)
3. Background music: Select a musical piece for your intro and outro and stick to it. It defines the brand of your podcast.
4. Voice over:

a. Interviewee: Single voice (yet again, defines the brand of your podcast)
b. Interviewed: Multiple voices helps engage the user

5. Allow for comments: Definitely the single most important aspect to engage the audience.

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The Rise of Corporate Podcasts – 5 Facts

Well, we knew this was going to happen, but the speed with which it’s happening is surprising even to me (Full Disclosure: my current agency dabbles in corporate podcast production).

Some of you may have read my earlier post where I predicted the future of customer references gravitating towards multi-media and this analyst report is further proof that the transformation is actually taking place. For those of you from Corporate America, I’d recommend reading the entire FREE report. But for the time-strapped among you, below are the five facts I found encouraging & useful to all corporate marketers.

1. Podcast usage gains momentum

Duh! moment, but “hear” are the numbers. 53% – Have experimented with podcasts in varying levels

Among those 53%, 41% claim to have listened to more than one podcasts and is the fastest growing segment. What interested me the most was the fact that 32% of those who listen to podcasts have seen a “significant increase” in podcast usage over the past 6 months.

2. Preferred choice for listening – Computers NOT iPods!

I have written about the ambiguity caused by the term “podcasting”. I’ve seen that in effect while talking to corporate marketers as well. Everyone mistakes podcasts as being suitable only for their iPods or mp3 players but it is now proven that:

68% – listen to podcasts on their computers
32% – listen to podcasts on iPods/mp3 players

3. Majority listening to technology-specific topics

Of those who listen to podcasts regularly, 72% are listeners on technology-specific topics. Of course, that’d have to be true since the survey was conducted among business/IT professionals. But, the fact remains that they ARE listening to tech-relevant podcasts.

4. White papers are podcast-friendly

Paul Dunay, Director of Global Field Marketing for BearingPoint (his blog) had experimented with utilizing podcasts to increase white paper downloads and had met with considerable success. This McCann report further validates that.

Here’s why?:

60% – would rather have white papers delivered as podcasts

5. If you want me to listen, better make it worth my while!

If you are in the business of creating content you better create podcasts that are hear-worthy. I hear this all the time: first from Scoble and now from this report, which proves that “among “frequent listeners”, 57% reported there aren’t enough podcasts of interest at this point”.

And remember: If you don’t make it interesting, nobody will listen. As always, CONTENT rules!

(Source: Emerging Media Series: The Influence of Podcasts on B2B Technology Purchase Decisions Analyst Report by KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann via Dana Gardner’s Blog)

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