Run a business? Me too. And even without knowing what your business is, I’ll bet we have the same persistent, insatiable need: to deliver our message to more people, more effectively, more often. Our goal, of course, is to attract the right kind of attention, and thereby continuously grow our respective client bases. And in 2007, I’ll be spreading the word about my data backup service, Virtual Tape Drive, by using the cutting edge technology of podcasting.


Stay with me now—if you have a slight case of technophobia, that’s okay. New technology can be intimidating, and busy entrepreneurs often find it too time consuming to learn and integrate into their marketing plans. But in this case outsourcing your technical needs is a viable option because—trust me—discounting the most innovative mass-communication vehicle to emerge in years would be a terrible oversight. The bottom line is that podcasting will quickly communicate your message to a self-perpetuating audience of thousands, and may just be the answer to your marketing dreams.


Think of a podcast as downloadable radio content. A podcast is a digital file that is available to everyone via free subscription over the Internet. Most podcasts are audio only, but you can add video content as well. The main advantage of podcasting over traditional broadcasting is that users can download these web feeds to their personal computers, mp3 players and CDs, and then listen to them “offline” at their convenience—in their car, during their morning run, at the office, or on their way up the chair lift during their ski vacation.


In most cases, podcasts are inexpensively produced and recorded by ordinary people in ordinary circumstances, and as a result are unscripted, often humorous, hip, high-energy, and fun to listen to. More and more, however, professionally produced podcasts are surfacing as a powerful and savvy marketing tool that, if done properly, are quickly building loyal listenerships and client bases of ever-increasing numbers.


Indeed, marketing experts have identified podcasting as a new and improved form of viral marketing, which harnesses the Internet’s networking power to reach a large number of consumers quickly. Concurrently, the podcast culture is made up of people who love to share information. If your message is compelling and/or entertaining, podcast subscribers will happily share it with others, rapidly disseminating your message to an audience of thousands. Also, as podcasts use RSS (really simple syndication) technology, podcast subscribers get automatic notification and feeds of your new podcast episodes, making the transmission of your message practically instantaneous.


As an entrepreneur, and as a lover of all things tech, I want to use innovative approaches. I have engaged the power of podcasting to promote Virtual Tape Drive via two weekly podcasts: Biz Link Radio and The Tech Advisors with rapidly growing success.


Not sure if Podcasting is something for you? Think of this final point: The term ‘podcast’ was declared the 2005 Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. It can only go up from there!