Podcasting Top 10 Best Practices:

by Jennifer Osborne November 13th, 2007 

Recently a client asked me for some Podcasting Tips. I was surprised at how little information is out there on Podcasting compared to other forms of internet marketing. This is surprising given that advertisers are expected to spend will spend more than $400 million on podcasting by 2011 from $80 million in 2006 (eMarketer). Our podcasting clients have found that their Podcasting Series has helped to position them as a leader in their industry.

In any case, being the good Account Manager that I am, I spoke to a few of our marketing and technical specialists, and pulled together this top 10 list of Podcasting Best Practices:

10. Prepare to do the Podcast in Advance. This sounds basic but make sure you have an outline of what you want to talk about before you start recording. Or if you are doing an interview then have the interview questions in advance. Note, its probably not a good idea to script the entire thing as it will come across as too contrived / stiff. It will be more interesting to the listener if the conversation can take different directions and sounds natural.

9. Podcast Length. 30 to 60 minutes seems to be an appropriate for a Business Podcast. I personally like 30 minutes as it fits into the average commute / time at the gym, etc. Or maybe I just have a short attention span <smile>.

8. Produce a quality Podcast. This is not something that is going to differentiate you from other Podcasts. Its pure Table Stakes. The technology is really inexpensive these days so make sure that the sound quality is up to snuff. Also, make sure that you reduce background noise. Your goal is to develop a loyal listener-ship. Poor sound quality will not entice people to come back and listen to another Podcast.

7. Dont be too Salesy Its okay to introduce your company and the work that you do. A brief introduction is actually a good idea because it helps to support your credibility on the topic. But this should be a brief introduction not the first half of the Podcast.

6. Provide Show Notes Show notes are not only helpful from a Usability point of view by providing a descriptor of what you will be discussing but they provide search engine with crawlable content.

5. Syndicate your Podcast. There are many quality Podcast directories. These directories are all additional opportunities for your content to be found. Thanks Mr SEO for a great list of Podcast Directories http://www.mr-seo.com/wordpress/?p=45

4. Give your listeners a reason to visit your website. Refer to a related article, white paper, etc and give your url. Remember that people may not be finding your Podcast through your Website or by Search Engine. If youve syndicated your Podcast then they may be coming from iTunes or another Podcast Directory. You must give them a reason to visit your website.

3. Make it easy for your listeners to find links to content you mention during the podcast. This is related to #4 but not the same. Often podcasts will discuss content but never refer to the actual URL in their discussion. Make sure that you state the URL. If youre doing show notes then put all related URLs in the show notes.

2. Socialize as appropriate " Although your Podcast may not be sensational or sexy enough for Digg or Stumble Upon, putting it on the appropriate social media will help to drive additional traffic to your site.

1. Optimize the Podcast by providing appropriate Title, Description, Tags, etc. Further, make sure that you use your keywords in the RSS description.

Hope you enjoy these tips! Happy podcasting!

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11 Responses to “Podcasting Top 10 Best Practices:”

  1. Shana Albert says:

    Wonderful post. I was looking for some details on PodCasting the other day. It is one of the social media activities that I have yet to dive into and I would really, really love to.

  2. Jennifer Osborne says:

    Thanks Shana! That's exactly why I put this together. I couldn't find much on Podcasting either. Nice to know I wasn't the only one. Thanks for taking the time to comment – I hope to run into at the next conference.

  3. Utah SEO says:

    They actually offered a "podcasting" class in my undergrad. One of the most important things is to plan your template for your titles, summaries, descriptions, etc. When you subscribe to a podcast in iTunes and every title is in disarray it looks very unprofessional.

    It's also important to be sure to fill in all the tag data on your MP3 files. MP3Tag by ManiacTools is a good program for this.

  4. Jennifer Osborne says:

    Thanks so much! Great ideas!

  5. Doug Taylor says:

    Great post Jennifer!

    There are also great services out there such as PodCast People ; that make it very easy for people to get started podcasting. Best of all it's free and there's no software to download. We also offer free phone support!

    My apologies for the shameless plug but the service is really good and I believe it would benefit your readers that are just getting into the space.

    If you'd like more information on podcasting services I'd be more than happy to talk with you about it. I can be reached at 610-388-9911

    Thanks for putting such a well thought out list together.

    Doug Taylor
    Founder / CEO
    PodcastPeople.com

  6. Dave Jackson says:

    #10 is Sooo Crucial. I've done some podcasts "off the cuff." Oofah. Not a good idea.

    Dave Jackson
    http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com

  7. Leesa Barnes says:

    All great points. Point #9 in terms of length is perfect for an audio podcast. For a video podcast, you have even less time. The benchmark is less than 5 minutes.

    With #8, I agree that having a good sound is important, but it also doesn't mean stepping into a studio. You can get a decent sound on an $80 microphone plugged into your computer. If your audio or video sounds or looks too slick that will turn off people as well.

    One thing I don't agree with is eliminating the background noises. It's often the ambient sounds that give life and realism to your podcast. I can think of a variety of audio podcasts where the hosts record in a coffee shop. As a listener, this makes me feel as if I'm invited into the conversation.

  8. Erica Bontje says:

    Voices.com has lots of information on podcasting, including the history of podcasting and detailed steps on how to create your podcast.

    Plus, if you'd rather someone else do the talking, we have a database of freelance professional voice talent you can search through.

    http://www.voices.com/podcasting.html

  9. Aerosmith says:

    I must say this post is very good and helpful to others. Nice information on PodCasting. I think you have listed all points here so don’t have much new to post here.. Thanks. Really a very nice post!

  10. [...] April 5, 2008 Recently a client asked me for some Podcasting Tips. I was surprised at how little information is out there on Podcasting compared to other forms of internet marketing. This is surprising given that advertisers are expected to spend will spend more than $400 million on podcasting by 2011 from $80 million in 2006 (eMarketer). Our podcasting clients have found that their Podcasting Series has helped to position them as a leader in their industry. In any case, being the good Account Manager that I am, I spoke to a few of our marketing and technical specialists, and pulled together this top 10 list of Podcasting Best Practices: [...]

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