We all thought radio was dead, relegated to the era of the Lone Ranger and Fibber McGee and Molly.
Audio seemed to be a thing of the past and its role in marketing was over…until podcasts came around.
Now, however, 73 million people in the US listen to podcasts monthly, and that number only goes up in the millennial and Gen Y generations. Not to mention, podcasts keep audiences engaged for much longer – 80% of listeners finish or listen to most of an episode while only 55% of your blog readers will read farther than 15 seconds worth.
While I’m a writer and I will never tell you to quit written content because written content still gets fantastic results, diversifying your types of content will help you reach as many people as possible. Podcasts just so happen to be a great and useful form of content.
They’re also super fun and help you build relationships with people you may never have met otherwise.
How to start using podcasts in your content strategy
Since podcasts are so hot and one of the best ways to speak to a audience for longer than 15 seconds, here are a few things you can do to take advantage of this medium in your content marketing.
You know me and digital ads…I’m not the biggest fan, unless they’re a component of a robust marketing strategy.
However, if you are going to advertise, podcast advertising is one of the best uses of your marketing dollars. A high percentage of podcast listeners follow the call to action on podcast ads. This type of advertising tend to be more authentic than traditional ads, and podcasts hosts act as major influencers for their audiences, meaning they’re more willing to take the recommendation of a favorite host.
As a very anecdotal example of this, I personally rarely click on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google ads…but if one of my favorite podcast hosts recommends a product or service, I’m very likely to check it out, and in many cases, I end up buying.
Just like any form of advertising, you don’t want to place your ads on podcasts your customers would never listen to, so use your customer avatar guide to help target podcasts your customer would engage with.
How to find those podcasts?
Ask your audience…use a survey, Quora, Reddit, or your other social media channels to learn what they are listening to.
Ask the podcasters…if you find a podcast that looks interesting, reach out to the podcaster and ask about their audience. Sometimes the podcaster will have this information on their website. Other times, it takes a little more digging.
Research for yourself…it’s really hard to aggregate all of a podcast’s audience data, but you can look at their social media followings to learn more about their audience. Podcasts that have little to no following on social media may not be worth your time. On the other hand, just because a podcast has a large following doesn’t mean your customer listens to it, so be picky about what podcasts you choose to invest your money in.
Choose the type of podcast ad
Podcasts typically advertise in two ways.
1) Baked in – this is where the host reads the ad. This type of ad is more authentic as most podcasters want to at least try the product or service before they advertise it.
2) Dynamically inserted – this is where your ad is inserted at the beginning or end of the podcast by an advertising server. These can be helpful but don’t get as high of an ROI as the first kind.
Podcasts use a few different pricing models. However, the most common pricing model is based on number of listeners a podcast episode has. Here is a handy calculator to help determine how much an ad could cost.
Create a vanity URL or a coupon code for podcasters to use on your ad to track how many of their listeners are converting into prospects and customers.
Podcast guest interviews
Another great and mostly free way to use podcasts is to participate in guest interviews. These interviews help you set yourself and your company up as an expert in your space, provide a place to offer a free lead magnet to podcast listeners to grow your email list, and ultimately to drive new prospective customers to your site. The only cost to this is the cost of time spent reaching out to podcast producers to be on their shows and the time spent being interviewed on the podcast.
There are some services out there like Interview Valet that will help you get on podcasts for a fee as well. While this professional assistance can be incredibly helpful, if resources are limited, reaching out directly to the podcast host can often be just as effective, especially if you start with smaller podcasts.
How to get the most out of a podcast interview
Prepare ahead of time. Listen to a podcast episode or two to get a feel for the host’s style and if there are any questions they typically ask.
Send your bio and headshot to the host or their assistant.
Have a free offer or discount and customized landing page or coupon code prepared for the podcast’s listeners. Mention this offer a few times throughout the interview.
Once the episode goes live, share it on your social media, write a blog post covering the information from the interview and link to the episode, use the episode content to create graphics or other content to get the most out of this episode.
Similar to podcast advertising, create a custom URL directing to a landing page or offer a coupon code for the podcast listeners.
Create your own podcast
As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, more and more companies will begin to use them as a form of content marketing. This your chance to ride the wave before it reaches the tipping point and everyone else is doing it.
I’m in the middle of preparing my own podcast for launch, and as I go, I’ll share advice and lessons learned. But for now, here’s a really great article on what you need to do to start your own podcast.
The one thing I would add is that like any other form of content, you need to consider your audience and keep your episodes focused on topics they want and need to hear.
PLAN CONTENT THE EASY WAY
Would you rather go to the dentist than plan content? Never again with my self-multiplying content cheatsheet!
WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.
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