Have you ever heard about podcasts? Do you know what it is?
Before doing some research on that topic I only knew that I could download podcasts for example on iTunes and that even HWR offers them. Anyway, I never used nor cared about podcasts. But when we were supposed to think about our interests in relation to business and IT I suddenly came across podcasts again. That was the point when I became eager to know more about podcasting.
What is a podcast?
The term podcast is actually the mixture of iPod and broadcast. It´s a digital audio or video file, which is released on a regular basis. You can listen to those broadcasts by using your computer, iphone or smartphone. In order to download a podcast you need a software called podcatcher. Let´s imagine you enjoy listening to a particular podcast: then you can subscribe to it and the podcatcher will regularly check if there are new releases. If that is the case it downloads these files automatically on your computer or smartphone which allows you to listen to your favourite podcast whenever and wherever you like to.
Why should I care about podcasts?
This is what I asked myself after reading some (technical) descriptions of podcasts but then I read some other blogs and I got to know that they are entertaining and convenient.
What´s most striking about podcasts is that you get them for free (even by using iTunes). Mentioning iTunes, this is a platform where everyone is allowed to upload podcasts. Since interests and ideas vary, there are a lot of different podcasts on offer, which allows every single person to choose from a huge range of topics. Nowadays where there are a lot of people podcasting, of course uncommon topics that only appeal to a minority can be found too. Thus everyone will be able to find an interesting podcast. What I also learned from podcast-users is that they enjoy this type of media because podcasts are released periodically, which always keeps them updated and provides them with news.
Moreover podcasts are not only talk. They are informing, entertaining and they can be used as advertising too.
How can business profit from podcasts?
We already learned from Sarah how blogs and facebook can be used for online marketing although this is quite common and profitable they are other ways of promoting your product, like podcasting. As I already mentioned podcasts are for free, thus you as a company can save money. Moreover people get used to reading adverts; but with a podcast, where you speak enthusiastically and shortly to your audience makes people paying attention to it, because it is something new and different. Furthermore, if you are in a service based business you can simplify your website for your clients: instead of letting them read pages you could now offer them a spoken media file which can help them to understand the material. I even read about another idea how to use a podcast inside a company: They suggested that a boss can podcast things, too, like when the next meeting takes places just to make it more personal.
As you can clearly see podcasts have a lot advantages for both individuals and companies. You can listen to music or the news. You can learn a new language. You can listen to them any time you want to. You can use them for free. And even companies can profit by using podcasts.
Therefore I think: Podcasts are free, fun and for everyone!