This past Thursday I attended the AIMS Canada podcasting conference, with speakers Mitch Joel, Michael Seaton, and Judy McAlpine. A crash course in Podcasting, the afternoon dispelled myths on podcasting, and illustrated two successful Canadian cases of its employment. The event explored a variety of ways the technology could be deployed, and demonstrated effective techniques for creating a successful podcasting campaign.
Mitch kicked off the conference, describing how he felt there were three different types of podcasts:
- Independently produced content
- Repackaged traditional media
- High quality, highly targeted content
Multimedia case studies provided by Mitch illustrated how with podcasting content is your media. Mitch also explored the economic incentives of podcasting, noting that “costs are cheap, and your distribution is essentially free”. He concluded in the style of his podcast, with 6 elements to having a successful corporate podcast:
- Think in terms of tribes – people congregate around topics they love
- Create an editorial calendar – know what, and when, you are going to say
- Don’t be a talking horse – an analogy alluding to the ‘wow factor’ of a talking horse, and not the content itself
- Bring in help to create and promote – guests, features, or exclusives
- Raise the bar – kick your podcast up a notch
- Passion trumps technology – bring your passion to the podcast and listeners will feel more attached
Following Mitch was teamster Michael Seaton, whose Scotiabank podcast, The Money Clip, was a presented case study. Creating information valuable to his customers, Michael illustrated how his podcast has a 98% retention rate, and reaches #1 download status on iTunes when new segments are released.
Scotia’s content is geared to have a long shelf life, and has a variety of listening options; RSS, Stream, and iTunes, which make it even more attractive. Closing his presentation, Michael left the audience with 10 things to keep in mind when creating a podcast:
- Reason for being – why are you podcasting?
- Spirit of the media – does it fit?
- Frequency – weekly, monthly?
- Choice: RSS, Stream, iTunes
- The little things – like keywords
- Sound quality – professional or not
- Metrics – it might not be all about ROI
- The halo effect for your brand
The final presentation of the afternoon was Judy McAlpine from CBC Radio. Working with an established brand, Judy discussed how the CBC uses podcasting as an integrated part of the not-for-profit organization. With 200-250,000 downloads a week, the CBC claims that most of its subscribers are not radio listeners, but rather organic sign-ups engaging with the brand. Judy closed her presentation by stating that a company that is podcasting needs to think of “the relationship of a brand as not just a distributor, but as a creator.”