Highlighting The Podcast

If you don’t know what a podcast is then you are not alone. In business or any online/offline venture, the marketplace for tools and applications to assist are vast and it is difficult to know what is available. This is the same with marketing your brand/ideas/hobbies; there are multiple avenues to go down and podcasting is just one of them. But maybe because you haven’t had the need to delve into that topic or it isn’t relevant to your business model, there are a number of reasons why podcasts are not utilized as much as they should be.

I had no idea what a podcast was. Sure I had heard about it, knew it was something to do with media recording and was very popular at one time but it wasn’t an area I had explored. I have built business models, designed marketing materials, developed a brand name and widened the awareness of it through social media but I had never worked with podcasts. Strangely enough, many people I have spoken to did not really understand what a podcast was which makes it surprising that it was very popular.

What is a Podcast?

According to the great online encyclopaedia giant Wikipedia, podcasts are a type of digital media that provide information in segments as part of a series, it is a means of broadcasting. The media used can be anything from video or audio to ePub files or PDFs. They are then available to download to end user’s computers or streamed live over the internet and are given in the form of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. So the user is alerted when there is a new broadcast in the series to download.

The podcast series is uploaded onto a server as a web feed and then the viewer will watch/listen to these using a podcatcher which is a software application specifically designed for podcasts or through a similar application such as Windows Media Player. A podcatcher will check the web feed for updates and download them onto the user’s computer or other device so they can access them at any time, even when not connected to the internet.

Podcast Users

And podcasts don’t have to be used just for businesses, bloggers can use them to connect with their audience and provide them with their lifestyle updates. News stations and reporters can utilize podcasts to entertain viewers on particular subjects that can be watched over a series of days/weeks.

A weight loss site could also use podcasts to show a person’s progress during their battle to lose weight, example of these can be found at Venus Factor Weight Loss. This will feature them calculating their starting measurements and what changes they are intending to make to their diet, followed by the difficult journey to reach goal. This makes it extremely interesting to followers of the site because it provides them with motivation when watching the progress of somebody else going through exactly what they need to do themselves and also seeing it visually or reading about it can be done for them also.

Education institutions also use this feature for academics to either deliver updates to their course material or discuss a specialized area of research. In fact any organisation including business, educational or social can make good use of these podcasts to reach out to their audience and involve them with their latest broadcasts.

To Use or Not to Use

Now having more of an understanding what a podcast is and what it can be used for does not really encourage me to want to incorporate it into my business model. Yes it is an added feature but it generates more attention to keeping the broadcasts going, and sourcing and reporting information to your readers is time consuming enough without having the added job of finding content for your podcasts.