The Advantages Of Podcasting; Another Social Media Marketing Trend
Podcasts are audio files published as RSS or Really Simple Syndication feeds, using XML file format technology to deliver MP3s to computers or portable music players. Podcasts are most often listened to on an MP3 player, but they can also be heard on a computer using media player software.
Podcasts are a little like TiVo, which allows television watchers to download only the programs they want to watch and to skip the advertising. However Podcasts are most often audio format but there are video Podcasts available as well.
Podcasts are automatically delivered directly to your personal computer, and can be transferred to your iPod or other MP3 player. They are often conversations, and include co-hosts and discussions or interviews. Podcasts are downloadable audio programs and are a simple way to automatically get regular audio broadcasts which you can then listen to at your leisure from your computer or MP3 player.
Podcasts are available with RSS feeds that allow listeners to select files they wish to download or set software to automatically download new content when it's available. They are different in that most people will listen to a show from start to finish and are popular for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they're free.
Wikis, blogs and Podcasts are all relatively easy to use, which partially accounts for their popularity. Simply put, Podcasts are free downloadable audio in the form of a digital media file that you can subscribe to, via syndication feeds over the internet.
Though the marketing opportunities associated with Podcasts are obvious, how internet marketers, for example, can insert their ads into Podcasts isn't so obvious and tracking actual listeners and viewers of these ads is even less obvious. There are many Podcasts which are second-rate at best, and often you have to put up with the advertising and needless musical interruptions.
The two main advantages of Podcasts are their ease of use and the availability of many free or low-cost software and hosting options to run them. Also small business Podcasts are a great way to attract new customers. And for those of us with little time to spare, Podcasts are one of the most valuable tools available for staying on top of trends in technology and keeping up with current events.
Some other advantages of Podcasts are their ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added. Many Podcasts also allow users to direct download by giving a link to the audio file in an RSS feed or web page. The number of people interested in Podcasting, or who have downloaded a Podcast, is increasing according to Nielsen Net Ratings.
The estimate is 56 million by 2010. This provides a great internet marketing opportunity using Podcasts with the added bonus of their ease of distribution through RSS feeds.
In summary the very low cost associated with Podcasting combined with the distribution opportunities and the fact that it attracts search engine traffic makes Podcasting a very attractive target for internet marketers and social media marketers in general.