Chronicles of a Marketing Expert – Blogs, RSS, and Podcasting

Okay, so you’re a marketing expert but you haven’t yet embraced emerging technologies like blogs, RSS feeds, or podcasts.  If you think these technologies are a passing fad, then think again.  Today, major businesses and a significant number of marketing professionals are using these tools to influence, persuade, and encourage consumers to take action.
Let’s first begin by defining each technology and providing some information on how marketing professionals are using them.
Blogs – A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a type of website where entries are made (such as in a journal or diary), displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual although many focus on photographs, videos or audio. The word blog can also be used as a verb, meaning adding an entry to a blog.
Many marketing experts maintain their own blogs providing commnetary on everything from advertising to online marketing.  Additionally, some marketing professionals are partnering with influencial bloggers to support specific products or businesses.  This is very similar to an actor’s endorsement of a product or product placement initiative.
RSS – is a family of web feed formats, specified in XML and used for Web syndication. RSS is used by (among other things) news Web sites, weblogs and podcasting. The abbreviation is variously used to refer to the following standards:
Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0) 
Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0) 
RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0) 
Web feeds provide web content or summaries of web content together with links to the full versions of the content, and other metadata. RSS, in particular, delivers this information as an XML file called an RSS feed, webfeed, RSS stream, or RSS channel. In addition to facilitating syndication, web feeds allow a website’s frequent readers to track updates on the site using an aggregator.
With the power of RSS, those interested in your content can receive updates regularly.  In fact, RSS allows for updates in real time.  With the advent of aggregators, individuals can collect relevant information from various sources.  When used to inform your prospects, customers, or stakeholders of valuable information, RSS feeds combine convenience with quality.  Best of all, it lets the user be proactive and select the specific content he/she is looking for.
Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos, over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. The term podcast, like ‘radio’, can mean both the content and the method of delivery. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. Podcasters’ web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their files; a podcast however is distinguished by its ability to be downloaded automatically using software capable of reading RSS or Atom feeds.
Usually a podcast features one type of ‘show’, with new episodes released either sporadically or at planned intervals such as daily or weekly. In addition, there are podcast networks that feature multiple shows on the same feed.
Those using podcasts successfully are providing audio feeds of “must-have” content for prospects and customers.  Some of this content includes radio-type shows where industry experts respond to questions in a question and answer format.  Such podcasts provide significant value to customers and give businesses the opportunity to serve as an ongoing resource for their industry.
In combination, Blogs, RSS feeds, and Podcasts can have a significant impact on those you are trying to reach.  This is particulary true of today’s generation and part of generation Y.  These are individuals who are comfortable with technology and depend on it for their news, information, and knowledge development.
If you are a marketing expert, marketing professional, or simply interested in new ways to communicate to your audience, then start to dable in these new technologies.  Not only will they deliver immediate benefit, but they can generate returns over the long term as well.


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