Beth Forester outlines her award-winning use of Animoto video podcasts to wow her senior portrait clients.
Beth Forester is the owner of Forester Photography in Madison WV, specializing in High School senior photography. In her free time she develops and markets her own software line – PhotoDUDs, a commercially-licensed series of DVD volumes containing graphic design products designed for professional photographers.
Beth has won countless national awards including PPA’s 2009 AN-NE Award for best use of multimedia in marketing by combining Animoto videos with iTunes® podcasting. This month, we’re going to tell you exactly how you too can podcast your Animoto videos like Beth!
What’s a podcast?
Podcasts are free in the iTunes store and once downloaded they can be played within iTunes or downloaded to any video-capable iPod. Anyone can download a podcast from iTunes so these will be public – make sure this is what your clients want! This is a creative, attention grabbing, solution for a client to make his or her video easily available to friends and family. Ask your clients if they would like to be in the iTunes store!
If you use a Mac and have a Mobile Me account there are easier ways to post a podcast to iTunes. Apple’s Podcast creation instructions can be found here.
Step 1: Create a video.
Create an Animoto video and download the MP4 file at either standard or high quality. The former is perfect for iPhone or iPad while the latter is better suited to iPads and computer viewing.
Step 2: Get your content online.
Step 3: Create a blog post.
You’ll want a blog that supports feeds (see step 4 for details) – any popular blogging platform should work. Beth recommends Blogger.com. Here are her specific instructions for using this service: Once your blog is set up, go into “Settings” click on the Formatting tab and scroll down until you see “Show Link Fields” change this to “yes”. While in Settings click on the “Site Feed” tab and make sure “Allow blog feeds” is set to “Full”. Save your settings. Now you’re ready to create a new post. This can be as simple as the name of the senior in the title field. 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.
A podcast is essentially a type of RSS feed. More specifically, it is an “RSS feed with enclosure” which you can create using a service likeFeedburner where you can “burn” (publish) your feed from your blog. Just make sure that any settings related specifically to podcasting are in place. Feedburner will prompt you to take the necessary steps, just be on the lookout for these.
When you are finished creating your feed, return to your blog platform and select “Site Feed” from the settings or publishing options. In Blogger, you need to go to “Post Feed Redirect URL” and enter your feedburner URL. Save your settings.
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.
- Launch iTunes.
- In the Advanced menu, select Subscribe to Podcast.
- 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.
Step 6: Submitting your podcast to the iTunes store.
Launch iTunes and click on the iTunes Store. At the top of the store area is a black menu strip where you can select Music, Movies, TV Shows, App Store, Podcasts, etc.
Select “Podcasts”, and under “Podcast Quick Links” on the right-hand side choose “Submit a Podcast.” Here you will be prompted to submit your full feed URL from Feedburner.
Depending on the volume of submissions to iTunes this could take several days.