By Jenica Foster

Over the last five years, podcasts have steadily increased in popularity. Why? It could be that there’s fewer gatekeepers when compared with traditional radio. Or maybe it’s the connection people feel when they’re listening to a podcast.

“Podcasting is an intimate medium. There are these voices in your head, good type of voices, where you start to form a relationship with people,” says Kyle Marshall, owner of Media Lab YYC, a public video and audio production studio.

Kyle Marshall is the owner of Media Lab YYC and host of the Creative Block podcast.

On Jan. 24, Marshall spoke to a group of approximately 40 entrepreneurs about the power of podcasting to engage audiences and customers online. He explains that podcasting is not about a transaction, but about how you inspire people.

With podcasting’s rise in popularity, inspiration comes a lot easier when people truly want to be interviewed. Marshall says he has found that people are excited to talk to him, which is a truly powerful networking tool.

If your company doesn’t have its own podcast, search out relevant podcasts and ask to be on the show. Mutual promotion goes both ways.

Although, there’s a few things people generally overlook about podcasts, Marshall says:

  1. There is no instant success. It takes hard work and success is going to be defined differently for everyone. Is it a certain number of listens or is it generating business deals?
  2. Take the time to understand how recording technology works. What sounds the best?
  3. Don’t underestimate the power of editing. Cut out the boring bits, awkward pauses, and weird sounds. Focus in on the best sound clips and cut it down to truly make an impact.

Recently, Marshall attended PodCon in Seattle, an event for podcast creators, listeners, and those who love the medium. He mentioned that they had a speaker who said you either had to be the first, the best, or different in order to make an impact.

“I think when podcasting really started to become huge there were a lot of interview shows. It’s two people sitting down and talking for an hour, which can still be entirely engrossing, but to try to convince someone to listen to that when they already have two, three, or four of those types of shows is harder,” Marshall says.

Planning is the most important consideration when creating a podcast, Marshall says, and understanding that there is a time commitment of about four to five hours every week to produce it.

However, keep in mind that content can be repurposed. A speech could be a blog post, video, or podcast, for instance.

“When I talk to people everyone always stresses out about the recording part of it, but I actually don’t think that’s the most awkward or frustrating part. The recording’s actually the easiest part of the whole process. The most challenging part especially at the beginning is knowing where you’re going to upload the audio to, how to get that into Google, create your RSS feed, and knowing how to share that around.”

Reddit, Media Lab, YouTube videos, and podcasts all share great tips to help with post production.

For examples of local podcasts, visit the Alberta Podcast Network, which highlights a couple podcasts on branding and social media strategy. Stay tuned for IABC International’s new yet-to-be-named podcast as well.

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