Podcasts are short audio files that can be used to easily share information with others through your business website or via distribution tools like iTunes. Podcasts are generally available to users at no cost and represent a way for businesses to share expertise that can serve to market their products and services. There are both advantages and disadvantages to the use of podcasts.
No Professional Equipment Required
One of the big advantages of podcasting is that it does not require any special equipment. Businesses can easily create their own podcasts by using the audio functions found on most computers. This advantage can also create a disadvantage, however, in that sometimes the sound quality of the recordings may not be exceptional; depending on your intent with these podcasts, that may reflect negatively on your brand. You can improve the sound quality of your recordings by investing a dedicated microphone for your computer or a good headset.
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A Forum For Your Small Business
Podcasting allows businesses to share information with key audiences and, in some cases, to establish themselves as thought leaders in a particular area or on a particular topic. The downside of this benefit, though, is that there are a lot of podcasts out there for people to choose from; you will need to work hard to find a specific niche that will allow you to stand out from the crowd. If you search the iTunes store, for instance, you will find literally thousands of podcasts on every topic imaginable.
Podcasters Benefit From a Mobile World
An increasingly mobile world--where many consumers rely heavily on their mobile devices to access information--is a big benefit for businesses wishing to connect with consumers via podcasts. Podcasts can be listened to in a variety of settings--in the car, at the gym, waiting in lines, etc. A potential downfall, though, is that as technology becomes more sophisticated, consumers' demands are increasing as well. Combining sound with images in the form of videos which can be easily accessed through mobile devices represents a step up from listening to sound only.
Keeping Your Audience Engaged
Podcasting represents a great way to connect with key audiences to provide them with useful and relevant information. Keeping that audience engaged, though, can be an ongoing challenge. Committing to podcasting requires that your business produces new material on a regular basis; that material must be relevant and interesting to your audience. Since podcasts, unlike blogs or material you might put on social media sites, are one-way forms of communication, you do not have the ability to engage in two-way conversations with your audience, which may also be a drawback.