Following the overwhelming response we received to our piece about structuring an investor relations podcast. We’ve decided to put together this how-to piece on Feedburner podcast publishing. We heard you and we understand completely, Feedburner is a bit tough to get your head around at first.
This article will cover how an IRO can boost their earnings call marketing by using a little known investor relations tool: Feedburner. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to make all your digital IR content available on mobile devices within 24hrs. And now, 13 steps for perfect Feedburner podcast publishing.
1. WHERE ARE YOUR FILES HOSTED?
This might be a harder question to answer than you’d think. Most public companies have their earnings call mp3s available on the IR page of their corporate website, but this isn’t necessarily where they’re hosted. Podcast companies like Intercall have a pretty good product for earnings call hosting, as do Thompson Reuters. Your web host, or the companies who host your earnings calls will know exactly where they’re hosted.
If you don’t already have a host for your calls and other media, we suggest hosting your audio files independently. Some of the best places for this include Soundcloud, Buzzsprout and Podbean (although our most recent experiences with Podbean have been sub-par).
2. PODCAST EPISODE ARCHIVE
The best way to arrange your calls and other media is in a chronological archive of pages on a website. This can be done on your IR website, or using any of the other services listed above. WordPress is also an option if that’s the CMS your company’s website uses. (Let us know in the comments section if we should do a piece on using WordPress).
3. CREATE A FEEDBURNER ACCOUNT
The one really frustrating thing about Google products is that you almost always need to have a Gmail account in order to use them. This is the case with Google+ Pages and YouTube, for example. It’s also true of Feedburner. If you don’t already have one, create a generic Gmail account at gmail.com and then use this email address to log in to all your company’s Google products. Go to Feedburner.com to get started with Feedburner.
4. BURN AN RSS FEED
Setting up the RSS feed correctly is the most critical part of the podcasting process. Services like Buzzsprout or WordPress will create an RSS feed for you, but this feed isn’t suitable for iTunes. This is probably the step where you Googled ‘feedburner podcast publishing’ and found us. We need to use Feedburner to make some adjustments which will allow the podcast to be more marketable and search-friendly within iTunes and Play.
Once you’ve created your Feedburner account, simply input your original feed of episodes from your company website. If you’re using a hosting service, your feed URL will look something like the one below. Remember to select I am a podcaster!
5. CLAIM FEED NAME AND ADDRESS
This step is relatively simple. In most circumstances we recommend the use of nomenclature like ‘Investor Relations’ or ‘IR’ in the title to differentiate this earnings call podcast from any other content in iTunes that might reference your company.
E.g. if we were doing a Podcast for PepsiCo we would claim the feed title ‘PepsiCo Investor Relations’ and the Feed Address pepsicoir.feedburner.com. this would allow investors to differentiate between a podcast of calls and other Podcasts by Pepsico’s individual brands.
6. INCLUDE RICH MEDIA FILES
This an another simple step, but very very important. Be sure to select this option as it will allow your feed to pull various different types of audio and video files and ‘Rich Media’. For example, the big difference between a simple Mp3 file and an M4a file is the ability to add meta-data like podcast episode chapters. Selecting ‘include Rich Media’ will ensure that this extra meta-data gets picked up by the feed.
Say, for instance, you were to break your earnings calll into chapters according to questions posed by analysts – this would give listeners the chance to navigate between these manually rather than listening to the entire podcast. This is just one part of our expanded earnings call marketing service.
7. CATEGORIZE AS ‘INVESTING’ AND OTHERS
Categories are crucial for making your podcast episodes easy to find in iTunes. We suggest that you categorize your IR podcast as ‘Investing’ in the business news section of Feedburner. This gives you the best possible chance that people will be able to locate it. We sometimes include podcasts in the Business News category, if you’re going to put up more than just your earnings calls.
8. PODCAST IMAGE LOCATION
All podcasts should include a profile image. These are the images that appear within the Podcasting app on a listener’s cell phone or within the App Store. Insert this image URL in the ‘Podcast image location’ field in Feedburner. The image should ideally be an exact square, 1400px by 1400px. If you are unable to link to an image that already exists on the Internet, ask your online branding agency to create one and then upload it to either your IR website or your podcast hosting service. Then take the link to this file and add it to Feedburner.
9. SUBTITLE AND SUMMARY
Your podcast title and summary should be simple, punchy text that explains to a reader in the first 2 sentences exactly what they should expect from the Podcast. This doesn’t need to be exactly what’s written on your corporate website under ‘About’, but you can use this as a starting point. Try to include information about the different episodes and interviews that someone could expect to hear.
10. SMARTCAST ITEMS
Try to find keywords that someone might be searching for that relate to the company. In the case of BRS Resources, for example, we might use something to do with ‘Natural Gas’ or ‘Invest in Italy’ etc…
– Email Contact
Include the company’s primary IR contact email address. Likely firstname.lastname@example.org
– Language Warning
Ok. Stay with us here. For some reason, iTunes makes mistakes with the way it categorizes podcasts according to the language warning they have. We’ve noticed that when you use ‘No’ on the Explicit Content tab in Feedburner, this doesn’t always translate in iTunes. To ensure your Podcast is recognized by iTunes as being safe for all audiences, select ‘Yes, Cleaned’ in Feedburner as we’ve done below.
11. TRACK ALL EXTRA DATA
Another simple selection but not to be overlooked, you’ll want access to this.
The two primary errors we notice with clients are the incorrect publication of Titles & Descriptions and Images. This is usually a result of the meta-data being pulled by your original episode archive feed. Luckily, Feedburner has a way to override the settings from your original feed using the Optimize tab within your Feed settings. The images below show how you can manually override the Feed Title and Image location if you’re noticing any issues with how your podcast is appearing in iTunes.
13. PUSH THE PODCAST TO ITUNES
Buzzsprout has an excellent resource for submitting your podcast to the iTunes music store. If you’re not hosting your podcast with buzzsprout, we highly recommend it. Buzzsprout has the largest group of podcasts on the web, but you’ll also want to get the podcast into other directories, particularly Stitcher, as this is the most commonly used directory for android users.
Or, if you’re not using Buzzsprout, click here to submit your Podcast to iTunes. thanks for reading our tips for perfect feedburner podcast publishing.