How to Setup a Podcast to Market Your Brand
Setting up a podcast can be a great way to publicise your product or service. You can use your podcast to fire up customers' imaginations with uses for your product -- for example, a hardware store could have a regular feature on DIY, a business selling art and crafts could talk about projects and techniques, a landscaping service could have a phone-in gardening programme. You can incorporate entertainment into your podcast to keep people tuning in, perhaps with a serialised story that will grab listener's interest.
As well as simply offering informational podcasts to let people know what you're offering, you can use podcasts to interact with your customers -- asking people to call in with feedback, interviewing users of your products, inviting them to appear as guests on your show -- creating a strong connection between your business and your customer base.
Anyone can set up a podcast. Some favour an ultra high-tech approach, where the podcaster attempts to duplicate the slick feel of a professional media broadcast with a studio and expensive equipment. This is not strictly necessary, however -- all you really need (aside from a computer and an Internet connection) is a good pair of headphones and a decent USB microphone. It's a good idea to spend a bit more on these items as they will make a big difference to the quality of your podcast. Talk to the staff in a PC store or electronics hobby store to get their recommendations.
Most operating systems now come with some basic audio recording software; you might want to invest in a more sophisticated package if you find the built-in software too limiting. If this is too expensive, you can find free audio software online -- this is typically less user-friendly but saves you some money.
Once you have recorded your first episode, you'll need to begin promoting your podcast. You can publish your podcast on your website; you can also make it available via podcast networks. One of the best places to promote your podcast is Apple's iTunes store: once you have registered an account and downloaded the iTunes software to your computer, it's easy to add your podcast episodes using the iTunes interface. Other networks include BlogTalk Radio and Podcast Alley. Offline, you can get business cards printed up with the name and web address of your podcast. Handing these out is sure to net you even more listeners.