Ever wondered if appearing on podcasts will give you enough benefit to your business?
Will value outweigh time invested?
Podcasting is a big growth area.
In recent research from Eddison it shows:
Podcasting listeners are growing by 24% per year:
We spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and most people listen to most of the podcast they download:
Wow. It’s so hard to get people’s attention on social media but get them listening to a podcast and they stick.
But is it worth the time?
…if you pick the right podcast, deliver the right content with the right call to action.
“There’s no better way for your audience to get to know you than letting them hear your voice. Speaking directly into their ear creates a sense of intimacy, and reveals much more about your personality, sense of humor, and overall energy than a text post could convey. I’ve been podcasting for years, and even though I host an interview series, I reveal something of myself with every conversation. I’m always amazed when I meet a ‘Marketing Smarts’ fan and they immediately mention something they know about me from the podcast, like my love of muscle cars, coffee, chocolate…whatever! We have this incredible connection, and it’s entirely based on the medium of podcasting. It’s the same for my guests—people get to know them through our conversation!” – Kerry O’Shea Gorgone – Marketing Smarts Podcast
In this article I’m going to show you how to pick the right podcasts and maximize the value of them.
- How to pick the right podcast
- How to get them to agree to you being on it!
- How to maximize value from appearing on the podcast.
How to pick the right podcast
Like with any other marketing channel, you first need to figure out which podcasts would make the most sense for your business.
The first thing you’ll look at is their audience – are they attracting the kind of audience you are trying to reach?
You want to see a highly engaged audience that closely resembles your customer personas.
And, ideally, you want them to have a big audience.
You’ll also want to make sure the show is discussing the topics that are relevant to you and your business.
You need to find podcasts that could be a good fit by doing some research.
1. Search through Google
This is probably the easiest way to find relevant podcasts.
Just search for the word ‘podcast’ plus a niche you’re interested in and you’ll immediately see some relevant podcasts.
When you check out the website, have a look at the podcast to see:
- If other influential people from your industry were interviewed on the podcast
- If they share any figures related to the podcast (e.g. the number of downloads.)
- How long have they been running the podcast – it takes a while to build up numbers.
Be careful of the monthly downloads figure….
“Monthly downloads” are actually highly inaccurate. They will always be cumulative and exponential with each new episode you publish and each new subscriber you gain – Daniel J. Lewis – The Audacity to Podcast
Another thing that is useful to check is the Domain Authority of the podcast website.
I’ve listened to a presentation recently from Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media at the Unbounce conference. He said that if someone reaches out to him about a podcast, he will check the Domain Authority of the website.
Why? Because even if they don’t have a large audience you can still get a valuable link to your site.
Just make sure that the podcast host creates good show notes with links back to your site.
2. Research on their podcast platform of choice (e.g. iTunes)
iTunes gives you numerous options to
- Find relevant podcasts and
- Learn more about the podcasts you’ve already found through Google.
You can use the podcast section of the iTunes to search for shows by topic, keyword, and category or subcategory.
You can even search by the name of your competitors or industry influencers to find the podcasts they appeared on.
…if your Google search helped you find the specific shows you want to research, just looking them up in iTunes will help you learn more about them. You’ll see the description, the reviews of the show, as well as the list of episodes.
3. Are they ranking on iTunes
Make sure to check how well the podcasts you’re researching are ranked in their category/subcategory in iTunes.
Let’ say the podcast falls under the Management & Marketing subcategory. If it ranks well, you should see it among the ‘Popular Podcasts’ that iTunes displays.
Naturally, you want to pitch the podcasts that are ranked well and are popular among the listeners.
4. What other shows do listeners subscribe to?
A great way to find other potential targets
5. Which podcasts have your competitors or similar influencers been on?
You’ve probably noticed that influencers in your industry are often guests on popular podcasts.
Make a list of your top competitors and the top influencers in your niche and search their names in the iTunes store. You’ll see all the podcasts they have been a guest on.
These are the shows that might be a good fit for you, too, and you should definitely put them on your list.
You can also search Google e.g.:
Start your outreach to selected shows
Now that you have your initial list of podcast targets, go through it one more time and double-check if they are a good fit for your business before you reach out to them.
The next step is to do the actual outreach in a way that will get you noticed and, hopefully, help you get the appearance.
1. Create a spreadsheet with all the right information
By now you should have a pretty good list of podcasts and its time to put them all in a spreadsheet along with the following information:
- Name of the person you’ll be reaching out to
- Email address of the podcast host or a producer
- The URL of the podcast website
- Main topic they cover
- Something interesting about the show that demonstrates that you have listened to it
- The podcast you listened to
This is the spreadsheet you are going to import into an outreach tool when doing the outreach and you want to make sure you have the basic information plus the personalization.
2. Create outreach email template
Create a template that’s not a copy of someone else’s.
You want to make it different than every other template.
The research you’ve done to personalize the emails will make a big difference but also add something else to the email, e.g. something humorous, show a bit of personality and mention the show you watched.
Remember also that all podcasters love to get reviews so make sure to add a review before reaching out.
When you use OutreachPlus all the data you import is made available to add as a merge code to your template.
Later on, as you move forward with creating your campaign, you can personalize your emails even further before sending them.
Now, here’s a pro tip for you:
When writing your template outreach email, include things that relate to what you, as a potential guest, can bring to the table – how your topic(s) and the content you deliver can bring value to the podcast’s listeners.
The more what you’re pitching is valuable to their listeners, the more likely you’re going to get invited to be a guest on their show.
3. Import contacts
Assuming you are using an outreach tool to send and manage your campaign, you’ll need to import the list of contacts.
Since you already created your spreadsheet by now, this will take only a couple of minutes of your time.
Just make sure to check that all the fields are imported correctly (name, URL, etc.) since this is the information that will replace the merge codes you used when you created your email templates.
4. Podcast guest email template
Before you send your campaign, you should have enough information about each podcast on your list to customize your emails accordingly.
Because…there’s nothing worse than sending what seems like a mass email.
Not every outreach tool lets you personalize each email template before you hit send, but we made sure OutreachPlus does since this is key to getting a solid response rate.
Come up with a unique angle for each podcast you are pitching.
Tell them why your topic will be uniquely interesting to their audience.
And don’t forget to mention if you’re connected to them in any way (e.g. mutual friend, write for the same magazine, met at a conference, etc.).
5. Send your campaign and track results
Now that you personalized your emails you’re ready to hit send and pitch your target podcasts.
You are now closer than ever to appearing as a guest on popular podcasts in your industry. How exciting is that?
As your campaign launches, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the results you’re getting.
Here’s what you should track:
- Open rate
- Click rate
- Response rate
These are basic metrics to tell you how well your emails are performing and if there is an area you can optimize.
As the responses start coming in, it’s also important to track the relationship with individual podcast hosts.
For example, OutreachPlus offers a useful feature for measuring prospect temperature which gives you an at-a-glance view of the progress you are making with individual contacts.
6. Follow up
Don’t be discouraged if you some of the podcasters don’t respond to your initial email.
It happens to all of us!
In fact, most people will not respond the first time around.
A recent report shows that your chances of getting a reply rise to 21 percent with the first follow up.
So make sure to send follow ups and give your prospects additional opportunity to read your emails and reply!
But also, do something differently in your follow up emails – include some additional info that can trigger their response, make it even more personal, or choose to be short and sweet and simply remind them of the initial email by highlighting what’s in it for them!
Maximizing the value of the podcast
When you appear on a podcast as a guest, you want to make sure that it brings value to your brand and your business.
The value is something that you will define in advance. It could be exposure to a new audience, an SEO benefit from links in the show notes, or leads that you can later nurture and convert into customers for your business.
Podcasts are typically not a channel you can use to pitch your product or service. They are a golden opportunity to show your expertise and spark interest in what you do.
You’ll do this by nailing the topic and then offering something valuable (and ideally free) to the listeners, so they visit your site and decide if they want to further engage with you or not.
1. Pick a topic that is relevant to the podcast listeners and to your business
Don’t just let the show host pick a topic for you. Try and agree to a topic that is going to be helpful both for their listeners and for your business. For example:
- Is there a post on your blog that is not ranking as high as you’d like and you want to get more links to it (Andy Crestodina’s tip)?
- Is there a new product/course/book that you want to promote? As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want to promote it directly but you can talk about a closely related topic.
2. Give an exclusive offer for the podcast listeners
You have your topic and now you need to take things further and prepare some sort of a related offer that you can provide to the podcast listeners exclusively.
Free offers work best! This can be a lead magnet on your site that you’ll direct listeners to via an easy to remember URL.
Offering something exclusive and free is a great way to attract leads and drive more value from your podcast appearance.
3. Get more than one link in the show notes.
Find a way to back up the claims you’re making or support the examples you’re giving with content available on your website.
This increases your chances of getting multiple links to your site in the podcast notes. This is useful for SEO, but it also gives more opportunities for the listeners to discover the content on your site.
4. Have a clear call to action.
Now, this may be the most important thing you’ll do to maximize the return from being a guest on a podcast.
There are a couple of ways to use CTAs during the podcast:
- Mention your free, exclusive offer (e.g. a guide, an email course, etc.) during the podcast, ideally in the context of the conversation you’re having with the host. This will bring new leads to your business.
- At the end of the show, tell the listeners how they can find out more about your business (your website URL) and how they can get in touch with you (your social media profiles).
By having clear call to actions, you’re more likely to drive people to your website and into your sales funnel.
5. Promote the podcast
After your podcast appearance, you’ll want to use all the channels that are available to you to promote the episode to your audience and your network.
This will increase the number of listeners which is great both for you and the podcast!
So get the word out through your social media profiles, send an email to your subscriber base, and write a short blog post about the topic of the episode to promote your appearance.
p.s. Create multiple different posts for social media and keep sharing to reach more of your fans and followers.
As we mentioned at the start of this post, podcasts are continuing to grow.
Think of your appearance on podcasts as another form of guest posting, except that you spend less time on them and you’ll get more attentive audience.
Plus, you’ll connect with the audience that you couldn’t reach with any other marketing channel!
So if you are serious about getting on the right shows to drive some measurable results for your business, make sure to implement the tips we discussed in this post!