podPress is a free WordPress Plugin that enables you to install an audio player in your blog post. Visitors to your blog are then able to play the podcast directly on your blog.
The key thing is that you have control over where the audio player is located so that you can ensure it is near a relevant comment or resource. All you have to do is insert a simple piece of code in your post where you want the media player to display and podPress does the rest.
podPress does a range of things that are particularly useful for small business marketing:
acts as an automatic media player for videos as well as audios
allows listeners to control the player
facilitates download of the podcast
provides stats on downloads (including graphs)
generates RSS (and ATOM) feed and submits feed to iTunes (on publication).
So this free WordPress plugin enables you to readily display a media player for your audios or videos as illustrated below:
When someone clicks on the play button, the audio player image expands to show the progress of the podcast and to enable the listener to pause the player:
How to create your audio player with podPress
Once you have installed the free WordPress Plugin, you need to advise the podPress plugin of the location and details of your podcast file. Some of these details can be completed by using the “auto detect” button provided against the relevant field, others are completed automatically by the plugin. The screenshot below shows the fields that need to be completed either by yourself or automatically by the plugin:
podPress also provides a number of fields so that you can specify the relevant details for inclusion of your podcast in iTunes. However, you can override this option if you have some other method of syndicating your podcast.
podpress is a solid free WordPress Plugin that enables you to stream audio or video on your site and simultaneously broadcast your podcast to iTunes.
I use Audacity for recording many of my podcasts – it’s free, easy to use and you can add music to your podcast. You simply save your podcast as an MP3 and then you can upload it to your website, blog, Squidoo lens or other social media site. Here’s the link for downloading Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Audacity is used by music professionals for mixing and re-mixing music – it has a sophisticated range of options. However, you can use it for basic audio recording. A similar analogy is your own computer which often has lots of bells and whistles that you don’t ever use.
The above image is a screen shot of an audio capture with Audacity. You can see the simple buttons for rewind, forward, record, pause, stop and fast forward (just like any video player/recorder).
To edit, you just highlight the piece you want to delete (for example, a cough or a silence) and it is removed from the recording.
Audacity comes with full tutorial support to show you how to do any task related to recording and editing your podcast (so there is no excuse!!):
The secret as in a lot of social media marketing is to start slowly and then expand your learning edge. Try out some short recordings first and have a go at editing. Once you are comfortable with that you can extend the recordings and/or add music.
Adding music to your Audacity podcast
You can add music to the beginning and/or end of your podcast if you want. Alternatively, you can play music in the background of your podcast.
One source of music loops that I use and recommend highly is Ginny Culp productions. Ginny also provides free access to her Instant Audio Player through the following URL:Preview
Here’s a sample of an early podcast I produced. Here I have used Ginny Culp’s free audio player to display and play the podcast.
Instant Audio Player
In a recent post, I highlighted the value of podcasts in providing you with another channel for communicating to customers, building your relationships and marketing your small business. Audacity makes this easy by providing you with a tool to create a professional podcast at no cost.
Audioboo is a very easy, free podcasting platform that lets you create up to 5 minute podcasts either online or via mobile phone. It creates the podcast, provides the MP3 player online and supports distribution.
Audioboo has a Google Page Rank of 7/10 and is ranked by Alexa in the top 30,000 sites in the world (in terms of traffic). The dominant audience demographic is women between the ages of 35 and 54 who have postgraduate education. The over 65 age group is poorly represented in the Audiboo’s audience.
Audioboo – online recording
Let’s check out the online version first. The process is very simple. Once you register you can record an audio online or upload an existing audio – Audiboo takes most formats. You can tag (keyword) your podcast to assist the search engines to find your audio. Audioboo will also give the location (city) of your recording (if you agree to this).
Better still, you can tell Audioboo in advance what sites should receive your podcasts automatically after each recording/upload – Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr and/or FriendFeed. Visitors to your site can also promote your podcast via Twitter or Facebook. Both you and your visitors can embed the podcast on a blog or website.
Audioboo is a great place to start if you are new to podcasting. You can start small (maximum 5 minutes) and have the system produce your audio for easy play and distribution.
One way to start if you are nervous about speaking is to read something as a recording (e.g. an article, blog post, short chapter of an ebook). Get used to the sound of your voice first even though reading may make you sound a little stilted. Then you can progress to having a few notes or headings to talk to. You can always start again and re-record – practice makes perfect.
You might even discover that you love this form of content creation and that others love your voice. Just be yourself and genuine – it’s all part of the transparency of social media marketing. Remember too that audio/podcasting is a very forgiving medium – people will overlook the odd stutter or break or “um” because they themselves have not been willing to give it a go. Just do it – you will be so glad you did.
Using Audioboo with your iPhone
The Audioboo application for the iPhone is free and is a superb tool. You can download it through iTunes or directly through the Audioboo site.
Picture this – you are with someone you want to interview. You take a photo with your iPhone, call up the Audioboo app and start recording an interview. When finished, touch a button to add the photo, insert tags (keywords) and touch another to upload your podcast to Audioboo. If you set it up right, the audio will be automatically distributed to other sites such as Facebook.
Alternatively, you might be reading an ebook or listening to a webinar and you get an idea for a brief podcast. You could just pick up your iPhone and record something via the Audioboo app.
Here’s my Audioboo site (refer to the Widget at the start of this blog post for the feed):
You will notice that I have not used Audioboo much yet as I have been using the more sophisticated program, Audacity, which enables you to (1) record a lot longer audio (some of my recordings are an hour) and (2) edit extensively (something you need for longer audio recordings).
Audioboo also has some restrictions on commercial use and may charge a fee if you are overly commercial in your use of the site and its services. As with social networking sites, overt marketing is frowned upon.
However, Audioboo has recently introduced an upgrade service, Audioboo Plus, which includes the following features:
30 minutes recording time
enhanced iTunes settings
posting to Facebook fan pages
Audioboo is a great place to start podcasting for small business owners. You can practice and build up confidence with short podcasts and then upgrade to the new Audioboo advanced service.
Thumbnail Photo Credit: Audioboo Podcasting – by pixelsebi
A podcast provides another channel, your voice, to extend your message and your reach. Through podcasts, you can increase exposure to your small business and build your personal profile and business brand. They are increasingly an essential element in small business marketing.
What is Podcasting?
The term “Podcast” originated in 2004 by combining two ideas, “iPod” (audio/video player) and “broadcast” (wide transmission of information). The original concept was that you would create a series of audios/videos (episodes) and broadcast them via the iPod.
Now the term podcast has come to mean, in common language, an audio file (usually MP3) that is made available via the web, iTunes, the iPod or any MP3 player. It can be a single audio or series (such as a training course or a regular radio broadcast such as Blog Talk Radio).
Podcasts have a four-fold appeal:
personalizes information exchange by adding the sound of your voice
enables people who prefer auditory learning to connect with you
provides flexibility and mobility for your message/information (the ubiquitous iPod or MP3 player, including smart mobile phones)
generates great search engine rankings.
A podcast builds trust and relationships because it is personal – people hear your voice which can convey a lot more than the written word. If you set up a series of podcasts, you will strengthen these relationships over time. Melanie Kissell makes the point:
Use a powerful free marketing tool that’s at your disposal twenty-four hours a day – Your Voice! …Having the opportunity to hear your voice makes a REMARKABLE difference in the minds and hearts of your target audience!
Podcasts are popular because they are easy to create and easy to listento (online or offline via mp3 players). All you need is some free software and a headset with an inbuilt microphone (usually under $30).
Well, if the discussion so far is not enough to motivate you to have a go or do more podcasting than you are currently doing, just keep in mind that there are currently 5 Million searches per month for ‘podcast’ on Google (as well as 3.3 Million for “podcasting”). The recent focus of Google has been very much “universal search” – Google likes to have multi-media results on page 1 for any search term (blog, video, podcast, image, Squidoo lens). So podcasts can improve the ranking of your website or blog.
In the final analysis. a podcast will bring extra traffic to your blog and increase your conversions.