Podcasting, no excuse!

Paul Boag

Back in July of last year, I posted an entry, which talked about the potential of podcasting to promote your business. Now here we are in January 2006 and not only has podcasting hit the mainstream but even my own dad is using it to promote his business.

Okay, I could understand if back in July of last year you had your doubts about the potential of podcasting. Many people were describing it as a fad and it wasn’t simple to create your own podcast. However, six months on, the podcasting landscape is very different. I would once again encourage you to consider podcasting as a marketing or communication tool.

What has changed?

So what has changed over the last six months?

Bigger players

Podcasting is no longer exclusively the domain of the enthusiastic amateur. The last six months has seen podcasting start to attract larger organisations such as the BBC, Disney and Fox (to name just three). It is also attracting some serious sponsorship as advertisers look for other mediums beyond the declining TV market.

Wider audience

In my original article I suggested that podcasting was most suited to those trying to reach a younger demographic. However, the last six months have seen a dramatic widening of the audience listening to podcasts. The fact that BBC radio 4 has three of its podcasts in the top twenty listing on iTunes is a fair indication of this change.

Easier to publish

The last six months has also seen the arrival of several services designed to make the publishing of podcasting much easier. From software like propaganda, to sites like podomatic and libsyn, podcasting has never been simpler to do.

A classic example

Now is the time for your organisation to consider using podcasting as another marketing or communication channel

Probably the best example I can give of this change over the last six months is my own dad. My father is a well-known wildlife author, photographer and lecturer. He has numerous books on the subject of natural history and is an internationally recognised speaker.

Now six months ago podcasting wouldn’t have been worth his while. The majority of people that follow his work wouldn’t have been podcast listeners. The demographic was too narrow at the time to be of interest to him. Equally, none of his potential sponsors would have been interested in supporting his podcast because the return on investment would have been too low. Finally, the technological barrier was too high and my dad wouldn’t have been interested in editing RSS feeds and faffing around with podcast aggregators.

Today things are very different. Dad published his first podcast on Tuesday of last week and already his subscriber base is growing nicely. There is definitely an audience interested in what he has to say and we are confident that when his subscriber levels are high enough that companies will be interested in sponsoring it. However, probably the key factor in my dad adopting podcasting is just how easy it is to do now. Although the recording quality is still a bit rough around the edges (but then who am I to talk!) the process of uploading and publishing his podcast is a snap.

So, if you dismissed my article last time, I would encourage you to take another look. Maybe now is the time for your organisation to consider using podcasting as another marketing or communication channel.