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Though blogs and social networks seem to get most of the attention when it comes to social media, podcasts and videos remain viable channels for reaching and connecting with an audience.

CC Chapman should know, as he's been active in the blogosphere and social-networking spaces for years; he was also among the first bloggers to embrace and effectively use podcasting as a communication and brand-building tool. Today, he continues to show his clients how they can put his knowledge to work for them via his work at The Advance Guard.

CC was kind enough to talk to us about his "Video and Podcasting: Making Media as Marketing" session at Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and also explain how companies can use video and podcasting to build their businesses.

Q: Your session at the Digital Marketing Mixer focuses on video and podcasting. Are there certain industries where the companies can better benefit from using video and podcast in their social-media efforts?

A: Everyone loves to be stimulated visually, so I think properly done video content can work for everyone. The key is understanding who your audience is an how you can engage them with your content.

Sometimes what you think they want to see isn't really what they will want. More companies are realizing that they really have to take the time to see what is out there and what they are going to be going up against and figure out what is best for them.

Podcasting is great as well because people are now used to time-shifting when they consume all content, and an audio or video file that they can listen to anywhere and anytime is a great option.

Q: When you mention "social media," most people immediately think of blogs and social networks. It seems that podcasting and video don't get as much attention as blogs and socnets do. Are these tools more difficult to use, or is it that many companies just aren't as familiar with how using them could benefit their businesses?

A: I think this happens because companies just think it is the same as radio and television except online, and that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Social media as a term is going to go away because all media and the Web in general have become more social and will continue to do so. It is more about the people and the connections then it is about the technology, but everyone seems to focus on the latest flashy app or Web site.

Q: If a company wants to begin using video or start a podcast, how can they determine if these should be standalone efforts or in conjunction with their existing marketing efforts?

A: I'm a firm believer that if you want to try out something like this, try it out with a full campaign. It is hard to start from the ground floor, so if you are already going to be doing a print campaign why not tie it into a podcast. Don't just add it on and hope it works, but make it an integrated piece of the equation. It should be viewed as another channel for the overall campaign.

Also, don't be afraid to start small. It doesn't have to be a million-dollar video shoot to begin. Figure out a message you want to tell and then focus on it. Perhaps it is a short-run series of five videos or a one-time buzz-building campaign.

The key is to figure out from a business perspective what you are trying to achieve and then build the campaign around reaching that goal. Always start there and not with the end tactical stuff.

Q: What are some of the considerations that a company should make when trying to decide if they should begin creating video and/or podcasts?

A: First decide if it is appropriate for you at this time. Do you have the resources to monitor the conversation around it and engage with people who engage with you? Does doing a video or a podcast help reach your business goals?

Also realize that you can't force a viral video. I hate that term with a passion. Yes, you can set it up to be attractive to the demographic you want and if it goes over well it can be passed around and viewed by many, but it is impossible to force this. Don't forget that millions of views does not always translate to visitors to your sites or purchasing of your product. Think about that.

Also, think about all that could go wrong. It is a mashup, quick-to-criticize world out there right now. I always like to sit down with my clients and play the "what could go wrong game" so that they realize what could potentially be the worse thing that could happen. This isn't just about audio and video, but it is important to think about.

Q: Finally, what are a few of the advantages and disadvantages for a company in using video and podcasts?

A: People love to consume good content, and if your brand is providing it to them that is an amazing thing. Don't forget that it doesn't have to be about pushing your product or service all the time. People love to be informed and entertained, and if they like what they hear and see and your brand is associated with it, then it works.

Well done video and audio production can cost as much or little as you want to spend. It really depends on what you are trying to pull together. I like to remind people that you don't have to hire film crews to do video, but sometimes you do. The key is figuring out what the look and feel is going to be and then budget for that. Video can be expensive to do it right so don't think that it is free.

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier