Category Archives: Podcasting Tips

Blogging Your Enthusiasm – Social Media Week DC Presentation

I hope to see many of you at our presentation on blogging and podcasting today.  But for those of you who cannot make it in person, you can watch it on Livestream at noon today.

Here is the blogging presentation.  If you download this presentation from SlideShare, you can see the notes.

And here is the handout for today’s session on blogging

Register for our Social Media Week DC workshop on podcasting and blogging

social media week dc 2013

Register for our free session at Social Media Week DC.

What’s the one thing you enjoy talking about more than anything else? Some call it a passion, a hobby, a career, a cause, or special interest.  Have you thought about sharing that interest online?  You can, of course, with a podcast or a blog.

Shared passion creates community, untethered by geographic boundaries. In this free, Social Media Week DC session, full-time podcast producer Ray Ortega and blogger yours truly will show you how to translate your enthusiasm into a blog or podcast.

The event takes place at noon on Tuesday, February 19 at Thomas Jefferson Public Library (main meeting room), 7415 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church.  For those of you who don’t live in the area, I will make the session available live on Livestream — and if the time isn’t convenient for you, I’ll videotape the session and upload it to YouTube.

Here is a little about Ray and me, and our podcasting and blogging backgrounds.

Ray_Ortega-Chi-Sun-Burst-small-300x240Ray Ortega is a professional podcaster, experienced in producing both audio and video podcasts.  He shares his expertise on The Podcaster’s Studio and Podcast Quick Tips.

Ray launched his first podcast in early 2007 (Produce Picker Podcast), a video podcast about how to identify, select and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables.  In 2008, Ray and his podcast were featured on celebrity chef Emeril’s television program for the Planet Green channel.

In 2008, he began work with the American Society for Microbiology to help with their audio and video podcasting efforts and has spent the past five years producing both audio and video podcasts full-time.

Ray speaks frequently about podcasting and was a featured speaker at Blog World and New Media Expo 2012.  He has also been interviewed for the following programs and articles

4882007553_f041404bf2-300x268Mary Fletcher Jones has produced dozens of blogs, YouTube Channels, Facebook Pages, podcasts, and branded Twitter profiles for clients and for her own interests. She has 27 LinkedIn recommendations for her social media and marketing work.

She has launched blogs, pro bono, for The National Capital Chapter of the PRSA, The DC Ad Club, and the Bahrain Coordinating Committee.

Mary has spoken about blogging for Social Media Week DC (view blogging presentation), the DC Government Video Expo, Digital East, TIVA-DC, the UNCF, Capitol Communicator, the DC Podcaster Alliance, the Regatta Hospice Alliance, and George Mason University.

Some of her personal blogs include

When she is not blogging or producing YouTube videos, Mary manages Fletcher Prince, named one of the Washington, DC metropolitan area’s top 25 public relations firms by The Washington Business Journal in 2012.

A mother of a teen with autism, she also produces Living Well With Autism, a free online parent support site featuring a website of tips, printable visual schedules and social stories, a Facebook Page, a YouTube video Channel, and podcast.

Before launching Fletcher Prince in 2007, Mary worked in marketing and public relations positions for the American Red Cross, Greater Reston Arts Center and Wolf Trap.  She is a member of Washington Women in Public Relations, the Social Media Club, and the DC Podcaster Alliance.

5 Ways to Use Twitter to Promote YouTube Videos and Podcasts

Curious about how to use Twitter to promote your YouTube videos?  Or podcast?

There’s a free presentation and meetup on “Connecting Audio and Video to Twitter” organized by the DC Podcaster Alliance this Saturday.  If you are in the DC area, I recommend you attend.

I have used Twitter to promote my own YouTube series and podcasts, such as Conversations in Public Relations and Living Well With Autism.  If you can’t make the meeting, here are some tips for using Twitter to promote your YouTube videos or podcast.

1. Create a free Twitter Profile for your Podcast or Video Program.

My Twitter Profile for Conversations in Public Relations

2. Set your show or podcast blog to auto-feed updates to your Twitter profile.

3. Scope out, follow, and list related reporters, bloggers, trade media, groups, and associations on Twitter that might be interested in your content.

4. Locate and follow subject matter experts who might agree to be guests on your program, or provide ideas for future videos and podcasts.

5. Post interesting Twitter updates (“tweets”) to your Twitter profile.  

Examples:

  • Share quick, helpful tips related to the topic of your podcast or video program.
  • Announce upcoming episodes and videos, mentioning participants (if any) by their Twitter handle (e.g., @rhedpixel)
  • Ask your Twitter followers for advice for future videos or podcast episodes.
  • Post links to current episodes or videos.  Remember YouTube video plays right on Twitter —  no need for your follower to migrate to another web site to view your video.
  • Crow about reviews you get on iTunes and other directories.
  • Link to blog posts of bios of guests on your podcast.
  • Ask guests to cross-post the video or audio on their Twitter profiles, or to mention that they appeared on the video or podcast.
  • Thank guests and helpers, as well as people who promote your show.
  • Pose factoids or trivia-style questions related to the video or podcast.
  • Using Twitter search, insert keywords related to the topic of your video or podcast. Find links to blog posts or online news articles mentioned on Twitter, and comment on them, and post your podcast or video as a link, when relevant.
  • Celebrate a milestone, such as 100th episode, anniversary, or so many views.
  • Spark interest with “insider” photos.  Share photos of producing your video or podcast on Twitter, with TwitPic.  Snap photos of your guests (try to get some of the cameras and lights, mic and lights in the shot), or for an audio podcast, photograph the guest or host with microphone.
  • Share interesting statistics about your podcast or videos.  Which video gets the most views?  From which countries are most of your subscribers?  You might be surprised by these findings!

For more ideas, attend the meeting this Saturday.

How have you used your Twitter profile to promote your videos or podcast?  Please share your ideas in the comments!

Target your podcast audience

Planning A Podcast: Identifying Your Podcast’s Target Audience

With a little advance planning, you can create an outstanding podcast that is meaningful for your subscribers. But first, you have to know who they are!

Think about your podcast’s audience in terms of real people. Which magazines do they read? Which websites do they visit? What kinds of music do they listen to? Where do they shop for clothes? Examine those magazines and websites for podcast episode ideas and inspiration for graphics. Visit the places where they shop to see what appeals to them, marketing-wise. You might even develop a profile of whom you imagine your typical listener to be.

Who is the target audience for this podcast? This can be as detailed as you like. You may elect to research and identify their age, gender, occupation, location, buying behavior, preferences and podcast experience level.

Keep in mind that downloading a podcast is a deliberate and decisive act; much more difficult than just passively watching a television program. For this reason, your podcast’s content has to be especially compelling. Think about the reasons why your target audience would want to take the time to tune into the podcast. What’s in it for them? What needs does the target audience have that the podcast would help meet? What would they expect when they tune in? What do they want to hear? How can you make it easy for them to find and subscribe to your podcast?

Thinking about your podcast’s target audiences will help you set an appropriate tone for the podcast; select images, music, and other assets that they will like; and plan episode topics that will be meaningful for those audiences.

Podcasting

New media marketing is all about engagement, and nothing engages customers and constituents like blogs, social networks, and podcasts. Have you tuned into a podcast lately? A podcast is an audio or video broadcast made available on the Internet. What’s special about podcasts is that people can subscribe to them (almost always for free) through XML feeds and RSS.

Arbriton assesses that 13% of all Americans have listened to an audio podcast, not counting the millions who have tuned in to “You Tube.” This desirable market segment is well-educated and affluent, listens to news and public affairs shows, and shops online. Gender-wise, podcast audiences are almost evenly distributed between men and women. About half of all podcast enthusiasts are 35 or older, while the other half of podcast listeners and viewers are between the ages of 12 and 34. Arbitron Report on Podcasting (2007)

If you’d like to incorporate podcasts as an element in your next public relations campaign, consider partnering with Fletcher Prince. We are podcast pros! You can see our podcast at http://fletcherprince.podomatic.com.

Creating your podcast logo

The First Impression Is The Most Important One

Your podcast’s logo is part of your podcast’s “brand” and is the first impression you make on potential subscribers, since the logo for your podcast will appear as the “album art” on iTunes and in other podcast directories. Importantly, iTunes considers the attractiveness of your logo as one consideration when deciding whether to prominently feature your podcast. So, it’s worthwhile to create a simple and appealing logo.

Good Logo Design
When designing your logo, select an image and/or type face that works well in a variety of sizes, and that is legible when reproduced in a small size (it will be appear quite small if it is featured in iTunes and in embeddable podcast players). It should also look well when expanded. iTunes prefers square .jpg images that are at least 300 x 300 pixels.

Logo Symbolism
Your podcast logo should reflect the tone and content of your podcast, as well as the preferences of your audience. The symbolism associated with the logo may be personally meaningful for you, and may subtly convey characteristics about your podcast to your subscribers.

For example, the logo for my podcast “Living Well With Autism” features a “Brady Bunch”-style font that suggested “family” to me. My target audience is parents of young children with autism. I made the words “Living Well” larger than “with Autism” because I want my subscribers to understand that having a child with autism doesn’t preclude a good quality of life. I made the words slightly askew to suggest a child-like playfulness–which my podcast advises as an approach to engage children with autism.

Living Well With Autism LogoFP_logo_lg.jpg

I wanted the Fletcher Prince logo to appeal to everyone, of course, but it was specifically designed with another target audience in mind–busy professional women (one of our most important target customer groups). David had the inspiration to make the design a bit askew, which put our unique twist on it. To some, the logo suggests a flower, to others, that creative “oh, yeah!” moment when you get a brilliant idea, to others, a way to highlight a key point. All those connotations worked for our business.

Selecting Logo Colors
Your colors of your logo can be especially meaningful. For simplicity, you may want to select one or two colors. For my Living Well With Autism logo, I chose two upbeat, friendly shades–lime green and citrus orange–because those colors are popular on the web right now, are associated with health, and convey the positive tone of my podcast’s content. The color orange is also associated with RSS feeds.

For the Fletcher Prince logo, we chose to use light apple green, curvy fonts (the serif is important), white background, and an asterisk design. These are design elements that you will find in publications, advertising, websites, and packaging marketed to this group of consumers. So, we knew that this approach would be appealing, familiar, and accepted by our target audiences. The green is exceptionally on-trend, but it also suggests vitality, health, and financial prosperity. The white background was equally important. Most websites these days feature a white background. Sometimes “white space” is as an important graphic element as any other part of the design.

Creating Your Logo
So, now that you know about logos, how do you go about creating one? If you aren’t the artistic type, you can hire a professional graphic designer to create a logo for you. The price for a professionally designed logo starts at about $1,000.

Uploading and associating the logo image (in .jpg format) is pretty straightforward if you use a program like GarageBand (for Macintosh) or a podcast host such as Podomatic. iTunes also has online instructions for podcasters who can do programming.

And don’t forget…you can put your logo on t-shirts and blog posts!

The audience for podcasts

New media marketing is all about engagement, and nothing engages customers and constituents like blogs, social networks, and podcasts. Have you tuned into a podcast lately? A podcast is an audio or video broadcast made available on the Internet. What’s special about podcasts is that people can subscribe to them (almost always for free) through XML feeds and RSS.

Arbriton assesses that 13% of all Americans have listened to an audio podcast, not counting the millions who have tuned in to “You Tube.” This desirable market segment is well-educated and affluent, listens to news and public affairs shows, and shops online. Gender-wise, podcast audiences are almost evenly distributed between men and women. About half of all podcast enthusiasts are 35 or older, while the other half of podcast listeners and viewers are between the ages of 12 and 34.

If you’d like to incorporate podcasts as an element in your next public relations campaign, consider partnering with Fletcher Prince.  You can see our podcast at http://fletcherprince.podomatic.com.

Five Tips for A successful podcast launch

Emarketer reports that in in 2007, 18.5 million Americans tuned into podcasts. In four more years, the analysts projected that this audience will more than triple in size.
Ready to hop on the podcast bandwagon? Great! Check out these tips for launching a successful podcast.

  1. Podcast on a regular basis. You’ll earn loyal listeners if you podcast on a schedule, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Try to upload your shows on the same day of the week.
  2. Keep your podcast episodes short and sweet. Online audiences have short attention spans. Five minutes is long enough. Anything over ten minutes is pushing it.
  3. Stick to informative and entertaining content. If you talk about information listeners really value, you can slip in a little promotion. A rule of thumb for email marketing is 85% useful content and 15% promotional content. It would be unwise to devote more than 15% of your air time to promotions.
    Submit your podcast to iTunes.
  4. Create a compelling podcast website. Your website or blog can feature your podcast schedule, announcements, and special offers, archive show notes, answer audience questions, and promote products or services.
  5. Measure your success. Some measurement tools to try:
    • Google Analytics: tracks users and audio file downloads
    • Feedburner: measures the number of unique subscribers per episode
    • Podtrac and Volomedia: behavioral and demographic data

Plan the tone and content of your podcast

Planning the Tone, Content, and Format of Your Podcast

It may seem obvious, but determining what kinds of attributes you want to have in your podcast is an important planning step. Before you podcast, decide what kind of tone, content, and format is right for your message and audience. This will ensure that your podcast has focus and appeal.

Tone and Content. How will your podcast be different from other podcasts (or related media)? Originality is important, especially if you want your podcast to be prominently featured by iTunes and other podcast directories, or if you’re contemplating monetization.

Check out other podcasts and websites that relate to your podcast’s subject. If you find a well-produced podcast on your topic, then consider ways to differentiate your podcast. For example, decide if your podcast have a serious or humorous tone. Will you restrict the content of the episodes to specific themes or subject matter not explored elsewhere?

Format. Just like radio and television programs, there are many types of podcasts. Considering your subject matter and your audience, which format of podcast would work best? Or be most original? These are just some examples…

  • A monologue-style podcast, featuring commentary by a single host.
  • A duo-style podcast, emphasizing conversation between two hosts.
  • An interview-style podcast, featuring studio guests or on-the-street, “live” podcasting
  • Entertainment podcast, featuring music, drama, readings, or other performances.

One aspect that will affect the tone of your podcast is whether you will work with a well-rehearsed script or if you will produce a more spontaneous show, with an outline and notes, but some degree of ad-libbing.

Another basic decision is determining whether your podcast will be audio or video, or enhanced audio (enhanced with images and photographs). Which format do you believe would be most enjoyed and most easily accessed by your audiences?

How long will your podcast be? Online audiences have brief attention spans. If you’re planning a videocast, and you also plan to put your video on YouTube, keep your individual video podcast episodes to ten minutes or less.

The duration and frequency of your podcasts may be largely affected by how much time you can dedicate to podcasting, especially if this is a hobby for you. In some cases, such as when you are first starting out, a five-minute podcast can take more than a week to produce and edit!

Keep in mind that your subscribers may appreciate it if you podcast on a regular schedule, usually no less frequently than once a month. Few people have the time or energy for a daily podcast, although those exist. A weekly podcast is only for the truly dedicated. This might be a good time to think about whether you will podcast indefinitely, or end your programming at a set number of episodes, or for a certain amount of time, such as a year.

Planning Your Podcast: First Steps

Planning for Podcasting: First Steps

Like relationships, the best podcasts start with passion. If you are planning to podcast about something that is important to you, and you have a burning desire to share that knowledge or viewpoint with the world, then you are on the right track for creating a dynamic podcast.Podcast Girl

But, just as with relationships, podcasts can’t endure on passion alone. Before you hit “record,” take the time to identify the objectives, target audience, and desired characteristics of your podcast.

First Step: Answer “What is the Big Idea?”

The first step is to define the podcast’s key message for your audience. The key message is the whole reason-for-being for your podcast. It should describe how you think the podcast will benefit the people who may tune in. The key message may be stated in your show’s description and it will be the foundation for all the episodes of your podcast. For example, I produce a podcast for parents of children with autism. My key message is that parents of children with autism have the ability to improve the quality of life for themselves and their children by taking the time to learn free (or low-cost), fun, and easy strategies.

Next Step: Identify Objectives for the Podcast

This step takes your big idea a little further. Why do you want to produce this podcast? Who are you trying to help, inform, or entertain, and why? What results should the podcast accomplish? Identify the specific personal, business, or organizational objectives associated with this podcast. Think about what the podcast will persuade the audience to believe or do.

Stay tuned for more ideas on planning your podcast.

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