Last year my son decided he wanted to try wearing contacts. Cool, right? Except our vision insurance changed their coverage to either glasses or contacts. A podcast to which I’d been listening for over a year had an advertiser that offered a discount code to listeners. I saved a chunk of change, the advertiser won a new customer, and the podcast received the credit.
I’m one consumer. If you search for anything about podcasts you’ll find 60 million homes listen to podcasts. Forty-eight million people tune in weekly listening to an average of 7 podcasts each. The reasons to consider guesting on a podcast or starting your own podcast are well explained all over the internet. What you really want to know is how to create a strategy around podcasting that fits with your company’s goals and overall brand.
Start As A Guest
When our clients say they’re overwhelmed by the number of social media options available to them, we suggest they start small. Choose one or two social media platforms and dominate them. Podcasting is no different. Before you commit to hosting a podcast, serve as a guest on a few podcasts. You’ll learn what formats you like best, how different hosts manage their podcasts, and the best equipment to get the sound you want.
As a guest, you’ll need a microphone, headphones and an account on a service such as Skype. Not only is your financial barrier to entry low, so is the time constraint. You can choose the podcasts where you want to guest and the times that work best for you to record those podcasts. If you start your own podcast, you’ll want to create a consistent schedule and have to spend time editing your podcast each week.
Start With Your Goals
Every marketing strategy we create starts in the same place: goals. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to increase sales of a specific item? Do you want to educate your audience about industry changes? Do you want to be a thought leader in your field? Choosing your goal will enable you to narrow down the podcasts from the 700,000 available to the few interested in your topic.
Know Your Target Audience
Now that you know what you want listeners to do, think about who your target audience is. You can spread your message far and wide through podcastland, but if you aren’t reaching the right audience you’ll have wasted your time. Think in terms of a buyer persona. What are your customer’s pain points? What are they likely doing while they listen to a podcast? Where else do they seek information? The podcasts where you choose to guest should attract this audience.
Create a List of Possible Topics
You know what you want your customers to do and your buyer persona, now create a list of topics you can discuss that bridge these two together. This exercise mimics those brainstorming sessions your English teacher used to make you do. Set a timer. For five minutes write down every topic the comes to mind. Then cull those into a list of five to ten topics on which you can speak and to which your buyer would want to listen. From that shortlist craft snappy titles to attract a podcast host and write a few sentences about why you’re the person to speak on that subject. Make sure you write a bio that builds on your credibility around the subject.
Find the Right Podcast
iTunes can separate podcast by subject or you can do a search for podcasts in your industry or topic. Before you pitch blindly, listen to a few episodes of the podcast to get a feel for the tone and process. Check out the host’s social media profiles and website if they have one. Many podcast hosts will detail how to pitch your idea to be a guest on their website or social media. I can not say this loudly enough, follow their guidelines. If they want you to pitch a specific way or include specific information do that. The number one way to guarantee you won’t be chosen as a guest is to ignore their guidelines.
If you’re a small business owner still climbing the ladder, you may need to start as a guest on smaller, lesser-known podcasts and build your credibility. If you have experience in the C-suite of a regional or national company, you may be able to skip ahead to better-known podcasts. Go ahead and pitch those top podcasts if you believe you have a unique message that would resonate with that host’s listeners, but don’t rule out smaller podcasts. Once you have experience as a podcast guest, you can use those episodes to leverage your way into more successful shows.
Promote Your Podcast Episodes
Everybody wins when you’re a guest on a podcast. The podcast host will share your social media and website information with their listeners. In return, they expect you to share your episode on your own social media. They experience an uptick in listeners and maybe gain some new loyal followers. Don’t forget to follow up by sharing the link to the podcast on your social media, on your website, and through your email marketing newsletters.
Content has been king for a long time. As consumers shift from video and blogs to listening to podcasts, it’s time we can content producers step up to keep up. If you need help crafting your podcast strategy, we’re here to help. Contact us for a 30-minute consultation to discuss your marketing strategy.