Last month, in my article Blogging for Business, I laid out several good reasons why you should consider adding a blog (and micro-blogging strategy, if compliance allowed) to your digital communications plan. This month, I’ll tell you why I think you should add other forms of digital media to your high-tech / high-touch marketing plan.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of adding podcasts, video clips and multimedia information to your blog or website – it’s fun and easy! But while adding audio and video to your site isn’t difficult, there are some things you need to be aware of before you do it.
PODCASTS AND AUDIO
Podcasts are digital media files distributed over the Internet for playback on personal computers or portable media players.
You can access Research magazine’s collection of live events and audio recordings by clicking on the Podcast tab above.
Another great example of how to use podcasts can be seen a www.AdvisorPod.com, a site chock full of practice management audios, videos and short article postings. Here, for instance, is a 13-minute podcast I recorded with Kirk Hulett, an executive with Securities America and one of the AdvisorPod creators, while we were both attending the FPA Business Solutions Conference in March 2010.
Because the AdvisorPod team needs to be able to record high-quality podcasts, they have invested in the equipment necessary to do just that. Chris Hall, the audio tech on the AdvisorPod team told me their initial investment in microphones, headsets, mixing board and professional level software was about $1000.
I’ve been to the AdvisorPod studio at Securities America and can tell you that they padded the walls of an unused office with sheets of Styrofoam board to reduce echo and other reverberation.
Another advisor I know, Dan Danford (founder of Family Investment Center in St. Joseph, Miss.), who is serious about podcasting, invested about $500 in his equipment by visiting his local Radio Shack and asking for advice. Listen to some of Dan’s Audio Insights and see what you think.
When it came time for me to add podcasts to my own marketing communications plan, I opted for a much lower cost – and lower tech solution – for creating audios for my blog. I pay $20 a month for a subscription to Audio Acrobat, a cloud-based system that allows me to use a regular phone line or computer microphone to record anything I’d like.
I routinely record interviews with industry thought leaders and leading lights such as Bob Veres, Peter Montoya, Sheryl Garrett, George Kinder, Myra Salzer, Don Patrick and Sue Stevens. In addition to creating my own audio recordings, I can upload other mp3 files and video files to the Audio Acrobat online vault.
I can create customized “player buttons” and “player bars” with just a few keystrokes – check out a player bar for audio and a player bar for video by clicking the hotlinks in this sentence. Then, listen to some of my podcasts and see what you think. If you’d like to leave a comment on my blog, that would be great, too.
Other advisors are using Blog Talk Radio to produce audio segments for their blogs and websites. Here’s a link to an interview I did with Nicole Coulter, program director for the Copernicus Institute (a think-tank for a select group of financial advisors and allied professionals).