Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

Does Your Business Have a TV Show?

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Kevin Jordan – Enjoy!

If you watch any television at all, chances are you’ve stumbled across one of the many reality TV shows that turn the day-to-day drama of a small business into prime time entertainment. There’s TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress (starring Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan) and Cake Boss (featuring Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ), the History Channel’s Pawn Stars (Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, Las Vegas) and American Pickers (Antique Archeology in Le Claire, Iowa), and my personal favorite–the Discovery Channel’s Flying Wild Alaska (about the airline Era Alaska, based in Unalakleet, AK). These shows have turned the owners and employees of obscure small businesses into international celebrities, and generated tens of thousands of dollars of revenue for the businesses (if not more). What small business owner hasn’t watched one of these shows and thought to him or herself, “I wish I had a TV show about my business distributed by a media giant to millions of viewers around the world”?

Well, I’ve got great news for you. You can have a TV show about your business, and Apple will deliver it literally into the hands of 1.5 billion people around the world. It’s called a video podcast, and for the business owner who has the time and resources to devote to creating one, it’s a very effective way of delivering educational content to your target audience and establishing yourself as an authority in your niche.

iTunes Video BlogsWhat’s a Podcast?

Before I go any further, perhaps I should clarify what exactly a podcast is, because the name “podcast” actually is no longer a good way of describing it. You see, a podcast is basically a means of distributing content to an audience. That content can take the form of a radio show (audio podcast), a TV show (video podcast), or a newspaper (yes, you can actually distribute PDF documents using a podcast). The reason it’s called a “podcast” is that in the beginning many people were listening to audio podcasts on their iPods. However, there are now many different ways that people can consume podcasts, so that’s a little bit of a misnomer.

Just as is the case with more traditional forms of syndicated content distribution, people can either consume one “episode” of your podcast (like picking up a newspaper from the rack at the news stand), or they can subscribe to your podcast and have each episode automatically delivered to their favorite device when it is released (smartphone, laptop, iPad, iPod, etc).

Why would you want a video podcast?

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “I already have an email newsletter that people can subscribe to. Why should I have a podcast also?” Unlike an email newsletter, this method of delivering content to your target audience is completely spam-proof, and does not require someone to divulge any personal information (like name and email address) in order to receive it. Therefore, all barriers to entry are essentially removed. It’s a great way to let people “try out” your business at no risk–a key component of the Duct Tape Marketing Hourglass concept.

As to why you should consider a video podcast instead of an audio podcast, there’s a couple compelling reasons:

  • With a video podcast, there are fewer restrictions on the type of content you can produce–think live demos, screen capture videos, virtual tours of your facility, etc.
  • Your personality comes through more powerfully in a video (assuming you appear on-camera) than in an audio broadcast
  • In some cases (depending on your content), you can separate the audio from the video in your editing process and use the audio files to create an audio podcast without any additional editing, thus reaching a wider audience.
  • Right now, there are a lot fewer video podcasts than audio podcasts, meaning less competition. Also, Apple is actively promoting video podcasts in iTunes and has expressed interest in getting more of that type of content on their platform.

What will your show be about?

So, now that you’re convinced that this whole video podcast thing is at least worth investigating, the only thing left to decide is what your show will be about. Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Use your show to teach customers (or potential customers) how to use your products. For example, the Basic Brewing video podcast teaches people how to brew beer, and its host, James Spencer, has an online homebrew supply store.
  2. Use your show to establish authority and credibility in your niche. If you’re a speaker, author, or coach, a video podcast is a great way to position yourself as an expert. See the NutritionFacts.org video podcast for an example.
  3. Your show could simply be a method of broadcasting company events, messages and updates to your employees, strategic partners, vendors, and customers. For example, the White House publishes a video podcast that is simply a recording of all the president’s speeches.

If those examples don’t give you any ideas or inspiration, just go to iTunes and search for video podcasts about topics you are genuinely interested in (you can even find video podcasts about video podcasting). Subscribe to a few and start watching them on a regular basis. Chances are, before long you will start to view the hosts of the shows you subscribe to as experts you can turn to for trusted advice. You may even end up buying products or services from some of them! There’s no reason why you can’t be one of those “trusted experts”. Start a TV show for your business so you can share your knowledge and experience with the world, gain the trust of your target audience, and position your brand at the top of your niche.

Kevin JordanKevin Jordan is an authorized Duct Tape Marketing Consultant living in central Virginia. He’s also the host of the Small Business Marketing Minute, a daily video podcast for small business owners looking for simple, affordable, and practical marketing tips. He teaches several online courses on small business marketing, including video marketing.

Podcasting: The Referral Engine Multiplier

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Ben Krueger – Enjoy!

bigfishsmallpond

photo credit: HarryLeaks

When all the dust settles, marketing is about exposure and engagement.  Who has heard of your brand, and what opinions have they formed about your offering?

Your mission as a marketer, then, is finding and leveraging these opportunities to spread your message to new audiences and connect with them.

Imagine you have the good fortune to showcase your products and services to a crowd of your target customers, but you have a choice.  You can choose between a crowd of 10 people, or a crowd of 10,000 people…

Assuming you’re ambitious, you want the crowd of 10,000 people right?

But what if the crowds were similar in size, and now there are other marketers competing for their attention.  To one crowd, there will be only yourself and four other marketers.  To the other crowd, you are just one of 800 marketers all clamoring for the same group’s attention and business?

The answer is clear right?  Why then do so many small businesses insist on only blogging and ignore the opportunity presented in podcasting?

There are currently over 4 million active blogs all publishing competing content to the world while there are only 25 thousand podcasts vying for that same attention.  You may notice, this is the same ratio as the 800 vs. the 5 marketers example above.

While the sheer numbers add up to a win for marketers, I must say that podcasting isn’t for everyone and every brand.  It’s a calculated art that only produces results with a solid strategy, valuable content to your audience and a commitment to developing listeners into customers and lifelong brand ambassadors.

Who Has The Most To Gain From Podcasting?

Let’s explore for a moment who stands to gain the most from podcasting. In my experience,  I’ve discovered a few key attributes that position a business to take maximum advantage of the opportunity in podcasting.

An Existing Audience Of Customers, Readers or Followers

Though not entirely necessary, launching a podcast with an existing audience of any size will help your show get maximum exposure.  The first 8 weeks of a podcast’s life are crucial for showcasing your podcast to a new audience of potential listeners, particularly in iTunes’ featured New & Noteworthy section.

For the first 8 weeks only, your show can be featured on the podcast homepage of iTunes.  Getting there requires some initial listeners, downloads and reviews which is where your existing audience comes into play.

A Topic Your Customers Are Passionate About

Let’s say you have a small bakery that specializes in cupcakes.  People aren’t exactly going to flock to a cupcake podcast.  However, perhaps your most profitable customers are event planners.  You could launch the podcast reveals the best methods for getting high paying clients and inside strategies for running a seamless event straight from the mouths of the best event planners in the industry.  Think that might grab their attention?

When your audience of event planners is lining up a cupcake supplier for their next gig, who do you think is top of mind? Consider who your most profitable customers are and how you could provide value to them with a podcast.

A Value Gap in The Marketplace

Examine other podcasts in your industry to determine what’s missing.  If there are already many different shows that listeners love in your market and they seem to have covered all the angles, gaining steam with a podcast won’t be easy.

If you see there are a few shows in your industry, but perhaps they aren’t very well organized or valuable to their audiences.  Maybe they’ve missed a particular niche in the marketplace or you have a new type of information or value for them.  This is your chance to seize the opportunity.  Imagine seeing a year from now your closest competitor with all the attention because they developed a thriving and loyal listener community of your target customers, simply because they took action when you didn’t.

The more of these attributes your market has, the better positioned you are to become the go-to source for your target customers.  What will you do with the opportunity?

Ben KruegerBen Krueger is the Chief Podcast Strategist and founder of Authority Engine, a full service podcast agency with a focus on designing, building and optimizing podcasts that turn prospects into paying customers.  Our free guide: Planning the Perfect Podcast is designed specifically to help you discover if podcasting is right for you, and how to get the results you desire through podcasting.

Review the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

I’ve been podcasting now for several years and I love it. It gives me an excuse to access some of the brightest, funniest and giving people on the planet.

I’ve not done this before so excuse me if it comes off a little to forward. If you don’t listen to my podcast I would like to invite you to subscribe via iTunes (click the link and it does the rest for you)

If you do listen to my podcast, I’d like to ask you to post a review. All you do is click on this link and once iTunes opens and takes you to my podcast, scroll down in the window and you see a link that says “Write a review.” That’s it. Now of course I want glowing, but honest reviews. I’ve had good shows and bad shows, issues with technology and the like, but I have a blast doing it and I hope you get some real value.

I have some great shows in the can for the next few weeks including international chess and Tai Chi champ Josh Waitzkin and Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Killer App.

Influencing The New Influencers

Marketing podcast with Paul Gillin (click to listen, right click and Save As to download)

The New InfluencersPaul Gillin has written about technology and now social media’s influence on it, for years. Recently he stopped by to talk about his book The New Influencers on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.

For many a PR firm the concept of bloggers, podcasters and other social media publishers as the new breed of journalist is a challenging one. Heck, the fact that anyone with a computer can now go directly, as a media channel, to its public has radically changed the media and PR landscape forever.

Marketers need to find new ways to tap into the power of this new breed of influencer and PR folks need to clue in and develop strategies to do the same or risk seeing entire chunks of their industry become obsolete.

Hint: You don’t get results by press release spamming with traditional media folks and you won’t get it with new media folks either.

They don’t use social media in my industry

Brown’s LuresMany small business owners still think they can take a pass on the power of online social media tools, particularly if they reside in seemingly low-tech industries like plumbing, fishing, or lawyering. I want to share a quick interview I did with Jason Brown, 23 year old co-founder of Brown Lures. That’s right, they sell fishing lures to guys and gals that probably don’t call hanging out at Web2.0 conferences a good time. (I’m just guessing on that though.)

Brown credits his blog with changing the way people find him, he created a podcast that gives him great “fishing stories” and loyalty from guides up and down the Gulf coast, he uses RSS and content tagging to automatically produce fresh blog content, and email marketing to blow his competition away at trade shows.

Using social media in industries that are still slow to adopt it is the killer competitive advantage.

In Brown’s words:

“We have been running waiting lists for products for about a year now, and no one has any clue how we are doing it without spending big advertising money. I love this stuff . . .”

Alas, I can still here the cries from the cynics – We don’t need no stinkin social media, we just need more sales.

Care to share your “social media in a low-tech” industry success stories.

One way to podcast

John Jantsch podcastA reader and subscriber to the Duct Tape Marketing podcast asked me recently to reveal the tools, techniques and software I use to create, edit and publish my podcast. My system is hacked together through a couple of years of trial and error and is by no means the textbook way to podcast, but like most of what I do it’s simple and practical. So here’s an under the hood look at the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.

Recording

All of my episodes are recorded phone conversations. This presents a real quality challenge as phone lines don’t produce good audio signals. I tested a few solutions and landed on a decidedly low tech approach at the suggestion of a radio station technician.

Using a very retro cool Blue Snowball USB mic and WireTap Studio software I place the guest on speaker mode, lay the mic down by the phone, hit record and conduct the interview. My voice and that of the guest are captured directly into the recording software as an mp3 file. (Audiophiles may be cringing at the sound of this, but it produces decent quality, level sound between my voice and the guest, and eliminates a couple steps in the process.)

Editing

On a Mac I have found that Garage Band does a nice job. (Audacity is a great PC option) In Garage Band I can add the sponsor messages, music clips from a library and edit anything out of the recorded interview. Once I’m happy with the results I export to iTunes and convert back to mp3 format. This seems to produce a nice balance between audio quality and file size.

Publishing

Since mp3 files can get pretty big and benefit from a media server for streaming I use Libsyn to host and stream my files. I get all the bandwidth I need (even with thousands of downloads per episode) for less than $10 per month.

I use a blog created just for the podcast to post show notes and publish the RSS feed. I’m moving this to a WordPress blog eventually and have heard nice things about PodPress for this function.

Promoting

You must make sure that your podcast is listed in iTunes and that people can easily subscribe. I would also suggest seeking out and submitting your feed to a host of podcast directories.

There you have it, my podcasting secrets laid bare. Any other podcasters out there care to share their podcasting success secrets?

Great photo, blog, podcast, video resource list

onlinemediagodcontrast.PNGMashable, the social networking news site, has created an insane resource list calledONLINE MEDIA GOD: 400+ Tools for Photographers, Videobloggers, Podcasters & Musicians

Talking About The Dip with Seth Godin

Seth Godin joined me for a special live taping of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast (we had about 500 callers listening in.) to talk about marketing and his new book: The Dip – A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When To Stick)

I first picked up this book thinking, from clues in the title, that it was more about quitting things that weren’t going anywhere – and I guess it is, but I couldn’t help thinking that it was more about being realistic before and when you started about what it really takes to be the best in the world at something.

I found the book to be more inspirational than really instructional – and I mean that in a very positive way. I read too many strategy books and not enough books that remind me what why I do what I do. I told Seth that I thought he had written a self-help book and he flatly denied it. I need lots of self-help, so I meant it as a compliment.

What does it mean to be world class? How do you know when to stick and when to quit? Do you need a niche to be first? When is the worst time to quit? Hear the answers to these and more.