If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? In this case, you should.
Because in this case, we’re talking about the podcast bridge.
Podcasting isn’t the end-all-be-all marketing silver bullet. But it’s definitely a communications strategy we should all explore and give some strategic thought to in our businesses.
Whether you’re creating your own podcast or appearing on other shows as a subject matter expert, podcasting can and will help you find a new, bigger audience.
This is a question we get asked often. We have a few here at Impulse, and I have my own. We know our stuff.
I also used to work for a podcast interview marketing agency Interview Valet so yeah, I’ve been around a bit.
Podcasts are the Hot, New Way to Plug In
Businesses should investigate and consider podcasting as another channel for marketing, sales, service, communications and branding because the medium is in serious growth mode right now:
- 1 in 3 Americans listen to podcasts monthly
- 1 in 4 Americans listen to podcasts weekly
- Podcast listeners are affluent – more likely to make more than $75,000 per year
- Over half of listeners are more likely to consider buying an advertised product
A Legitimate Reason to Hound Your Heroes
Podcasting opens doors you never thought possible. Imagine calling someone you look up to, who doesn’t know you, and just asking for an hour of their time to meet them and pick their brain. Not gonna happen. But, if you have a platform like a podcast, the doors to your heroes and the business connections you dream about are wide friggin open. Maybe not everyone (we’re still waiting on Elon Musk to return our calls.) But most people will welcome the opportunity to have you spread their message. That’s a win-win.
Connect with Clients and Influencers
Podcasts don’t need to be part of your revenue strategy to turn into relationships with thought leaders in business. Soon, they’ll start to see you as a thought leader, and maybe even come to you for r services. It’s not every guest, but it happens. Podcasts are a road into their world. Many guests go listen to at least one episode (often two or three) to learn about the show, and either subscribe or find themselves wanting to hire us.
Trusty By Association
As a guest on other podcasts, one of our team becomes the expert on a show the audience already trusts. Now that we’re trusted by association, those people might want to work with us too. That’s how podcast interview marketing develops your business and builds your brand.
Okay You Get it… But How Do You Kick Ass at Podcasting?
7 Killer Podcast Strategy Hacks
Now that you see how podcasting can help your business, let’s talk strategy. Here’s a list of seriously strategic hacks to help launch your podcast journey on a path toward success.
Podcast Strategy Hack 1: Create Your Own or Be a Guest
There’s a huge difference between starting your own podcast and becoming a subject matter expert (SME) on other people’s shows.
At the beginning of your journey, you’ll want to decide if you’re launching your own show or taking on the podcast interview marketing strategy. You can totally do both (eventually), but tackle one approach at a time.
Launching your own show means you’ll have to…
- Come up with the name
- Set the strategy (why you’re podcasting)
- Create the content
- Find guests (if it’s an interview show)
- Schedule recordings
- Produce the show
- Edit the content
If it sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. But it means you’re a publisher. And that’s HUGE. Think of your brand as the Netflix of your niche. As a publisher, you’re found online, you’re building trust and you’re the content creator.
Taking on the podcast interview marketing journey means you get to be the guest. But it also means…
- You’ll have to create your media pitch sheet
- Research and find the right shows
- Make connections with podcaster publishers
- Pitch yourself or your team
That’s a lot of work too.
Whichever fork you take depends entirely on you and your goals. But this decision is where you start.
Podcast Strategy Hack 2: Know Your Why
You need to know why you’re getting into this world. Regardless of which path you took above, you’ll want to set goals (SMART goals work best), set expectations (it’s a marathon, not a sprint) and make sure you can articulate why you’re taking on this strategy for your business.
And it’s more than just “more sales.” Sure, that’s a great reason. But it’s more than that. For instance, Impulse Creative launched Sprocket Talk to help anyone using HubSpot as a tool or inbound marketing as a strategy, better understand the tools and tactics in that world.
MARKETING ONLY WORKS IF YOU’RE PROVIDING VALUE!
Now, do we want a community that could hire our business? Sure. But the first reason is the one that will bring listeners and viewers, and help George to spread the word, even leading to interviews on other shows.
So, know your why.
Podcast Strategy Hack 3: Create a Launch Team
No, not a lunch team. Although lunch sounds amazing…
When creating your own podcast, the initial launch is critical. Building that buzz and racking up listens, reviews and shares helps build a following.
In the month leading up to the launch, reach out to your network. Colleagues, friends, family and other contacts. Tell them that you’re “super excited to be launching something new” and you’d love their help. Ask for volunteers. You don’t want hostages. Then let them know that for those who say yes you will have more information.
Next, send an email or message to all the people who raised their hands to help. Explain your podcast. Ask for listens, reviews and social media shares on the initial month of episodes. Give them everything they need for this:
- Show name
- Social media links
- A script for sharing
Then ask for reviews.
BONUS HACK: Launch with a binge-worthy set of episodes. Publish three-to-five episodes and get people hooked.
Podcast Strategy Hack 4: Connect with Other Podcasters
Let’s be honest. We all have egos.
Asking a podcaster for their advice strokes that ego of those who came before you. Plus, you’ll learn a ton.
Find groups like these below and just listen. These are Facebook groups, but you can find communities all over different platforms.
- Podcast Movement Community – for Podcasters
- Podfest Multimedia Expo Community
- The Podcasters’ Hangout
- Podcast Guest Experts
- Podcasters’ Support Group
- Libsyn (the business page, but a great community)
The key is to listen. DO NOT SELF-PROMOTE. Also, search in the groups for your questions before asking them, then read the discussions. And finally, if a group has questions for admittance, answer them. The admins really do read them.
Podcast Strategy Hack 5: Go to a Podcast Event
Nothing beats face-to-face conversations. Go to a podcast event where other creators are to connect, learn and just hang out with the community. It will push your podcast journey forward.
You’ll learn a ton from sessions and conversations in the hallways,l find new shows to listen to and find new listeners for your show.
Seriously, I can’t overstate the importance of this. My two favorite events are:
You can also find local or regional events, so look for those.
In addition to these events, consider going to events where your ideal listeners are attendees. Making human-to-human connections is a major hack people tend to overlook.
Podcast Strategy Hack 6: Find Reasons to Bring it up in Conversation (Naturally)
Wherever you are, it can be completely natural to talk about your podcast.
For example, at the time of this writing I just got back from the INBOUND conference in Boston. Several times over the week I’d be talking with a business leader who I thought would make a good guest on Wayfinding Growth. I’d simply mention something like “Your story would be great on a podcast.” They’d ask for confirmation (Really, you think so?) and I’d tell them that I’d welcome them to our show and it would start a conversation.
Another example is when I sat down next to Meghann Gibbons, VP of Marketing for Thousand Points of Light. I didn’t realize that’s who she was until we started talking. I told her I thought they’d have a ton of great volunteer stories to tell on a podcast, and how it could be just like the show I produce, I’m Not In An Abusive Relationship. I handed her that podcast card, my business card, and told her that if she has any questions to email me. Then I encouraged her to listen to the show, inviting another listener to the community.
Learn how to mention your show in a conversational and natural manner, and you’ll find a lot of people will show interest.
Podcast Strategy Hack 7: Two Words – Podcast Swag!
This last one may feel a bit odd for brands who don’t think they have personality, or they’re boring, or they’re “too B2B” for things like stickers and shirts.
But guess what… you might be surprised. I’m a fan of the show Brandwagon (video, but is also a podcast). It’s a branded show from Wistia, a video solution for businesses. And I have a shirt I wear.
We also have stickers for Sprocket Talk. Again, B2B.
Maybe you always say something to end your show, like “Here’s to telling our stories, and having stories to tell!” Put it on a shirt and give it away. Include the show website or name, but get that swag out there. You just might find your devoted fans and create a subculture of your brand!
Podcast Strategy for Everyone
While podcasting might not be for everyone, we’ve laid out podcast strategy hacks for everyone. I challenge you to think about podcasting for marketing, sales, branding, internal communications, external PR and culture content and any other reason you can come up with.
Podcasting can be a powerful new tool in your business toolbox. And when you’re ready to learn more, we’re here.