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 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.

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  • Hi Kevin, I like your concept of “your own TV show”. It is a great way of looking at video. Although I listen to iTunes and have used the video, I wonder if you have ever considered Google Hangouts on Air to create videos (it is free!)? It is the easiest way for anyone to create their own TV Show. The best part is that the hangouts on air (HOAs) are recorded video and can be broadcasted on a YouTube channel (2nd largest search engine in the world), on Google +, or on a website. When the Hangout is over content is automatically uploaded to a YouTube channel. Content can also be resyndicated for podcasting (audio) – I see many people do it using Audacity and then uploading to iTunes and Stitch. Many businesses also use HOAs to create blog posts and repurpose content from their videos. A small business, or entrepreneur just getting started should seriously consider using Google HOA’s. With limited resources, this would be a great place someone should look to create their own TV show that is accessible to everyone.

    • Bob–
      Yes, I agree with you 100% and have used Google Hangouts and even live streamed events on YouTube using LiveStream. Also all my podcast episodes go up on YouTube the same day I publish them to iTunes. However, here’s the thing: although YouTube, as you point out, is the 2nd largest search engine in the world, there are also millions (or even billions) of videos on YouTube–in other words, lots of competition. However, there are only a very small number of video podcasts by comparison. The result: when I upload a new episode of my podcast to YouTube, it usually gets about 3-4 views in 24 hrs. That same episode, upload to the podcast and distributed by Apple on iTunes, gets anywhere from 200–600 views in 24 hrs. Right now I have the #1 video podcast in the “new and noteworthy” business section of iTunes–YouTube and Google just aren’t going to give me that kind of exposure. The key, as you point out, is to re-purpose and re-use content and distribute it everywhere–one of the core principles of Duct Tape Marketing!

      • Kevin, Great idea – sorry, I didn’t realize you uploaded to YouTube as well!

  • Guest

    Is there a platform you suggest for recording these? Bob mentions Audacity and I will check that out. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    • For videos, you can get a webcam like the Logitech C90 for less than $100 and record videos using that right from your computer. Editing software like Sony Movie Studio (PC) or iMovie (Mac) will allow you to create MP4 files for sharing video online or on a video podcast. Or, you could just record to Google Hangouts on Air as Bob suggests using the webcam, and download the recording for sharing elsewhere. You’ll also need a high quality microphone like the Blue Nessie.

  • Kevin, this is the first I’d heard of video podcasting. Thanks for the info. We’re planning to develop further video content on our YouTube channel. Do you think it’s worth re-packaging the content and distributing it via iTunes?

    • Yes, absolutely. It will be hardly any extra work since you’re already producing the content, and although the audience on iTunes is smaller than YouTube, there is also MUCH less competition, especially when it comes to video podcasts. With the latest iOS update, the podcast app on the iPhone is now native and can’t be removed, so the number of people consuming podcasts is only going to go up.