With millions of blogs  published every day, there’s a glut of written content to consume and savvy marketers are turning to less developed tactics to drive demand through content. Welcome to podcasting, an auditory avenue Xerox channel partners can use to reach prospects when they’re multitasking. Think commuting, making dinner, and working out.
Why Podcasting Makes Sense
In the United States alone, 112 million people have consumed a podcast and 42 million are consuming them weekly. In addition, the adoption rate of podcasting as a viable marketing tactic is growing steadily at about 10 – 20% each year. However, the most compelling statistic is that 85% of people who start listening to a podcast hear the entire show which means done right, you have their attention for a solid 15 – 20 minutes on a regular basis. 
Where to Start – Podcasting 101
- Choose a format.
The audience for print and copy sales and service is vast because practically every business that has employees needs office equipment, service and supplies. As a Xerox partner, you’re focused heavily on the local market. Find topics of interest in your area to podcast about; interview other business owners or talk about local events. Above all else, make it interesting, educational and enjoyable.
Podcasts come in many varieties from sports commentary to comedy to interviewing to monologues and they all have a branded name. Yours should too. Whether you invite guests, have co-hosts, or fly solo, there is no right format to follow but consistency is vital so choose one you can commit to for the long-term.
- Choose the right equipment.
Yes, a smartphone will work for the purpose but it’s nowhere near ideal. Luckily, the equipment isn’t cost prohibitive, a decent headset ($50), a good microphone ($60) and a windscreen for the microphone ($2).
Beyond equipment, some recording and editing software is also necessary:
PC: Pamela (free) for recording and Audacity (free) for editing.
Mac: Call Recorder for Skype ($30) for recording and Garage Band (free) for editing.
- Timing is everything.
Before hitting that record button, these research-based best practices will help boost your podcast’s success: 
Ideal podcast length: 20 minutes
Ideal day to post: Tuesday
Ideal frequency: weekly
- Consistency is key.
As a whole, content strategy is about consistently creating relevant, thought provoking, and educational content that appeals to your audience. Podcasts are no exception. For audience retention, it’s more important to be consistent than frequent so even though weekly is ideal, starting off with monthly episodes is better than posting on a random schedule if you don’t have time.
Take a look at some of our popular blogs to help you choose topics that will resonate with your audience, starting with this post on engaging customers in mobile print and cloud technology. MPS and workflows are both topics that lend themselves well to the 30 minute podcast format.
Take a look at our blogs on How to Leverage MPS to Better Serve Your Customers, and our series on selling MPS (parts one, two and three). Workflow automation, workflow assessments, and providing a better customer experience are all popular topics with SMB audiences.
Consistency also applies to format. As listeners, we like to know in advance what to expect. Intro music, opening announcements such as introducing a guest or running through the agenda, topics, and closing remarks should be the same across all episodes.
If you have more than one person talking such as in question/answer style interviews, the editing process is made easier by recording each person separately. This way, if one person coughs while the other is talking, it can be fixed without a hassle.
Use recorded podcasts as a foundation for more content creation. Publish blogs with the file embedded and socialize both the podcast and the blog on social media outlets. Create an RSS feed and submit links to hosting sites where you’ll be found such as Libsyn, SoundCloud and TuneIn.
Sample Topic-based Format
Keep topics short by having several related discussions or questions to answer per episode, which makes planning easier and keeps the audience interested and listening:
- Show intro – the basics of who you are and what you’re talking about (1 min)
- Intro music – (30 seconds)
- Topic 1 (3 minutes)
- Topic 2 (3 minutes)
- Intermission with music (30 seconds)
- Topic 3 (3 minutes)
- Topic 4 (3 minutes)
- Closing – thank guests and audience (30 – 60 seconds)
- Give highlights of coming episode (1 – 2 minutes)
- Exit music (2 minutes)
Podcasting is a worthwhile demand and lead generation channel to consider. If you’re already podcasting or just getting started, we’re interested in hearing about your success.
 worldometers blog counter, http://www.worldometers.info/blogs/
 Edison Research, http://www.edisonresearch.com/infinite-dial-2017
 Podcasting for Beginners, Buffer Blog, https://blog.bufferapp.com/podcasting-for-beginners
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