Podcasting 101 with Vernon Ross

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Have you ever heard of Serial? It’s an investigative podcast series hosted by Sarah Koenig that tells a true story over the course of a season.Think “Making a Murderer” in radio format. Serial really brought podcasting as a communications channel to the mainstream more than it had ever been before. Currently, 12% of the population is hooked on a podcast.
Vernon Ross, of Ross Public Relations, stopped by my Social Media Marketing class a few weeks ago to teach us about starting our own Podcast. In a few weeks, my students will be embarking on the creation of the first-ever UMSL Business Podcast series. We were so excited to welcome Vernon as he has had his own podcast, “The Social Strategy Podcast,” for over three years. Vernon is also teaching a new Podcasting course for the UMSL Digital Marketing Certificate program in Fall 2016. Thinking about starting your own podcast? Here are my 3 biggest takeaways from Vernon’s Podcasting 101 presentation as you build your launch strategy.
Before you start
Step back and consider if podcasting is truly a fit for your business. Will it increase your lead volume or revenue stream? For example, if you are a makeup artist or photographer, you probably would want to tell your story with video, not audio. Any marketing endeavor takes time and resources, and you should always be cognizant of if the tactic you are trying will accomplish the objective you have identified. Don’t have an objective? Take an even further step back.
Identify your hosting vendor
Listening and hosting vendors include iTunes, TuneIn, Podbean, and Overcast. Vernon recommends using a service over hosting on your own to avoid server downtime in times of high performing podcasts.

Decide on a show format and episode plan
There are many types of podcasts like hosted, co-hosted and sponsored. What makes sense for you based on the people that will be telling your story? Then, come up with 5-10 targeted podcasts on a subject you are an expert in. You could also review 5-10 products, give them away, or tell people how to buy them from you. Reach out to other bloggers and influencers in your space and ask them to be on your podcast to grow your content strategy.
Looking ahead
Vernon left us with some great advice: “In marketing, you must focus on what is next, not what is now.” This is where podcasting is at for many companies. This is still a relatively new medium that you can add to your marketing mix to meet your business goals.
Thanks again to Vernon for sharing your many insights. We are already looking forward to your next #bowtiethursday Instagram post!