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Podcasts - Why They Matter to Your SME

With podcasts, you can reach your audience through the use of voice. They’re much like your own radio show but listeners can tune in any time they want to. Being able to express emotion and bring personality to your marketing communication can be very powerful. From public relations, customer relationship management, thought leadership, branding, training, to generating leads and sales, all can be done through podcasting.

Podcasts are increasingly used by organizations of all sizes. Why? Compared with text, voice provides a more personal dimension and immediately creates a closer relationship. Compared with video, recording a podcast is less demanding (requiring neither acting talent, cameraman, lighting, nor a teleprompting) – and hence less costly, cuts are seamless, no streaming problems regardless of the Internet connection…). I invite you to read various articles highlighting the benefits and the use of podcasts by many well-known organizations.

There are now numerous podcast directories: Yahoo, Podcast alley, Podcast.net, Podcast.com… and of course iTunes. The June 2005 iTunes release really changed the podcast industry. For the first time, podcasts were marketed to millions of iPod fans. Only days after the release, podcast subscription reached one million!

Indeed, this little industry is maturing: eMarketer estimates that the U.S, podcast audience will grow by 23% annually, from 28 million listeners in 2008 to 65 million by 2012, among which 25 million individuals will listen to one or more podcast(s) per week. 

Companies have stopped using faxes to reach their customers, and are slowing down on emails and advertising. Why? Because they reach and connect less and less with their customers through these means. Podcasting finally puts a person behind your website and your offering, allowing you to establish a real connection with your audience. For Canadian companies, more so for Quebec-based ones, podcasting is still an innovative way to communicate. In fact, chances are nobody in your niche is doing it… Take the lead, be the first and the best at it, and benefit from that first-come advantage.

Here are sev eral benefits of using podcasting:
1. an additional communications tool to your marketing mix
2. increased Internet visibility to your target market
3. increased Internet visibility from search engines
4. increased Internet visibility and traffic from RSS, blog and podcasting directories
5. communication medium more human and powerful than text
6. increased mind share from your target market since people can listen to it on the go, even while doing other things
7. improved level of perceived expertise from your target market

Podcasts are now so easy and inexpensive to produce that SMEs should follow suit and benefit in turn from this human communications tool. Some of the above benefits might seem questionable to you, but in fact, podcasting might be just right for your business and give you the edge you are looking for.

Podcasting examples:
Scotiabank - Find the Money podcast (one million subscribers)
Pepper Hamilton LLP - POD Center

POD Media podcasting examples :
• Interview recorded by phone - a serie of podcasts on LinkedIn (French)
• Interview (French)

Related content:
What Should You Talk About?
How to Keep the Conversation Going?
A Law firm using podcasting with great success

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Simon Hénault   B.Comm, MBA - Corporate Journalist - LinkedIn Profile
I help businesses in the production and delivery of content allowing them to be found on the Web,
be perceived as experts, strengthen their clients relations and increase their revenues.        

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