Beth Forester has her studio all abuzz courtesy of her PPA-Award Winning marketing plan that gets her clients’ videos on their iPods/iPhones/iPads. Here, Beth gives you her 6 Step Guide to her marketing plan, which is great for word-of-mouth marketing.
If you are already creating slideshows for your clients, one easy way to create some buzz about your studio and products is to make your slideshows available for download as video podcasts. Podcasts are free in the iTunes store, and once downloaded, are playable from within iTunes or can be copied to any video capable iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
Please Note #1: Once posted to the iTunes store, anyone will be able to download your podcast. There are obvious pluses and minuses to this, so you’ll have to determine if your clientele will be happy to have their slide show available to anyone searching the iTunes store.
Please Note #2: If you use a Mac and have a MobileMe account (formerly .mac), these instructions are not the easiest way to do this. Apple has tutorials on their web site for creating and posting podcasts to MobileMe using their iLife software suite.
Step 1: Create your content
With Animoto Pro, just upload a set of images, pick royalty free music from the site or upload your own and hit go. The standard quality video is a 240×432 pixel mpeg4, perfect for a video podcast to be played on an iPhone or iPod! You can also upgrade to DVD-quality video (480×864) or HD-quality (720p) so you can offer your senior a copy on DVD as well as the podcast if you choose.
Step 2: Get your content online
If you have an ftp site, this is a simple matter of uploading the content to your site. If not, there are several free hosting services available. The one I have used with success is The Internet Archive. They don’t place any of the restrictions on file size or bandwidth that most free services do. After you get your video uploaded somewhere on the web, make a note of the complete url, as you’ll need this later.
Step 3: Create your blog post
If you already have a blog, you can use it to post your video. If you don’t, or if you want to keep the video blog separate, you can create a new blog specifically for your podcast. If you have never created a blog before, a great place to start is Blogger.com. You’ll need a free Google account in order to create a blog on Blogger.
Sign into your Google account, name your podcast (the blog name, not the url), and then designate the “author” of your podcast (your “display name” under edit profile).
Once your blog is set up:
1. Go into “Settings” and click on the “Formatting” tab.
2. Scroll down until you see “Show Link Fields”, and change this to “yes.”
3. While in Settings, click on the “Site Feed” tab and make sure “Allow blog feeds” is set to “Full.”
4. Save your settings.
Now you’re ready to create a new post. (The title field can be as simple as the name of the client.) If you changed your settings correctly to “Show link fields,” you should now see “show enclosure links.” Click this and you’ll see a field where you can paste the url of the video that you uploaded in step 2. Paste or type the full url there, leave the “mime type” empty, and publish the post.
Step 4: Create your podcast
The term podcast refers to an “RSS feed with enclosure”. An RSS feed is the final step in transforming your blog posts into a video podcast. With FeedBurner’s service, you can convert it to an RSS feed with enclosure – a special link found only in your feed – that programs like iPodder, iTunes and NetNewsWire recognize. Google Reader and several other online readers also recognize enclosures and offer a playback link or audio control when they encounter them.
To create this feed:
1. Go to www.feedburner.com.
2. Login. FeedBurner was recently purchased by Google, so you’ll have to login to your Google account (or create one) to start burning your feed.
3. Once logged in, you can start the process of “burning” your feed by typing in your blog address right on the main page. Just make sure to select “I’m a podcaster” before you click “next.”
4. If you did it right, the following page will confirm that your feed was created and show your full FeedBurner address. Take note of this, you’ll need it later.
5. The next three steps are fairly straightforward and FeedBurner’s help pages are there to help. The most important settings you need to modify are on the second setup page, “Set Up Podcast.” These are most of the iTunes-specific settings, and affect how your Podcast is displayed in iTunes. Click through the three set up pages, and you’ll end up on the main feed page where you verify that your feed is indeed working.
6. Once your feed is set, go back to Blogger and go into your settings once more.
7. Click on the “Site Feed” tab, and go to “Post Feed Redirect URL”.
8. Here, you need to post your complete feed url from FeedBurner.
9. Save your settings, and you’re done!
Step 5: Test your feed in iTunes
You should now test your feed to see if it works with iTunes. The FeedBurner address is your podcast address.
1. Launch iTunes.
2. In the Advanced menu, select “Subscribe to Podcast.”
3. Enter your feed URL in the text box and click “OK.”
iTunes displays your Podcast playlist, which shows all of the podcasts to which you have subscribed. Next to the new podcast subscription, you should see an orange circle, which indicates that iTunes is downloading your most recent episode. When the orange circle disappears, you should be able to see your podcast title, a list of all the episodes referenced in your feed, and a check next to the most recent episode, indicating that it has been successfully downloaded. Double-click on the episode to play it in iTunes. If you can successfully play the episode, then your feed is working and you can submit your podcast to iTunes.
If the orange circle is replaced by an “i” in a black circle, iTunes encountered a problem with your feed or episode. You should troubleshoot your episode and feed before submitting it.
If you don’t want to get your podcast included in the iTunes store, then you’re all done. You can now subscribe to your podcast in iTunes or any other podcasting client that will read an RSS feed with enclosure. The only advantage to getting in the iTunes store is that your podcast will be searchable from within the iTunes store (and it makes you look cool).
Step 6: Submitting your podcast to the iTunes store
If you can successfully subscribe to your feed using the Advanced menu in iTunes, you’re ready to submit your feed. Do not submit your feed until you can successfully subscribe using the Advanced menu.
1. Launch iTunes.
2. In the left navigation column, click on the iTunes Store.
3. In the upper navigation bar of the iTunes Store, click on the Podcasts link to go to the Podcasts page.
4. In the right column of the Podcasts page, go to the box labeled “Podcast Quick Links”
5. Click on the “Submit a Podcast” link.
6. Follow the instructions on the “Submit a Podcast” page. The url you submit here is the full url from FeedBurner. For more info, use the links on this page.
Note that you will need a valid iTunes account, and you will need to be logged into iTunes. If you are not logged in, iTunes will prompt you to do so before accepting your submission.
Depending on the volume of submissions to iTunes, the approval can take several days.