Starting a new business can be exhausting. From crafting an effective content marketing strategy to making sure the whole SEO is perfect, if you do it all yourself without some guidance you will soon find taking the marketer’s role full time, and doing no actual work.
There is no denying that creating adding-value content like blog posts, videos, e-books, webinars, or anything that allows you to share your experience and knowledge, can surely help you jump-start your business. The options are seemingly endless, and there are thousands of pieces on the kind of content that works best for your specific niche.
However, there is one solid format that’s been proven to increase conversion, boost sales, and drive more qualified leads to almost any kind of website.
I’m talking about podcasts.
Right now, 70% of Americans are familiar with the term, and 50% of homes in the US are avid podcast listeners. And the trend among smartphone users is skyrocketing during recent years. You can check a ton of interesting podcast stats right here.
Big shot marketing and SEO professionals have been riding the wave for years.
A couple of examples are:
- Eric Siu and Neil Patel with their critically acclaimed podcast called Marketing School, in which they offer valuable and actionable tips for their audience.
- For top-notch content marketing tips, Tim Stoddart and Darrell Vesterfelt’s Copyblogger FM podcast tackles everything from writing tips to conversion optimization.
But just because I mentioned podcasts by prominent industry experts, it doesn’t mean that only big businesses are benefiting from podcasts.
Entrepreneurs and startup owners like you, who include podcasts into their marketing strategy from the start, are bound to succeed if done well.
Understanding the Power of Podcasts
A few months ago, I was at a marketing conference and listened to a lecture by Guy Sheetrit – owner and CEO at Over the Top SEO. I thought he was going to focus solely on SEO and the usual digital marketing dribble. Interestingly, he had a lot to say about podcasting and its uses as a ranking tool.
“We all here understand how the SEO and marketing world is always evolving. Tactics that were useful and necessary last year may not be so anymore. That’s why you should always find new trends to come out on top. We’ve seen what a solid video content strategy can do for business, but what about audio content? My prediction is that podcasting will continue to grow and become a huge asset for your new or old business.” Guy shared.
And he seems to be right on the money. The podcast industry has seen a gigantic growth in the last few years, mainly because it’s an incredibly easy-to-consume format.
People can learn about virtually any topic they desire, be it music, history, science, business, and even marketing. These days, there are up to 800,000 active podcasts to choose from.
And one of the reasons why podcasting has become increasingly popular comes down to convenience. You can listen to your favorite episodes during your lunch break, while exercising or driving, or even when you’re doing chores.
So, new business owners who turn to podcasts can build a strong and loyal fan base, drive qualified leads to their websites, and increase sales – all with minimum effort and a low budget. Setting up a podcast requires only some basic audio equipment and determination from your part.
However, not having a clear goal in mind or not knowing where to start could become yet another reason for a startup to fail in the podcasts department.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, here are a few areas in which you should concentrate to maximize success.
Pick the Right Theme for Your Podcast
Before you start recording your episodes, you must have a clear view of the topics you want to cover.
To narrow your focus, you should:
- Explore podcasts within your niche to see what other experts are talking about. If your startup specializes in various niches (i.e. business, marketing, software, etc) you could pick the most relevant one and go from there.
- Start listening to other industry experts to recognize where their main focus is, what questions they are making, and what they are missing (this is important).
- Craft your podcast content marketing strategy by picking a specific theme that is both valuable and innovative. Explore topics and answer questions that other people in your industry aren’t making or answering (but that your audience is craving).
If you follow these general principles, the rest of the process will come very easy for you.
But why should you go through any of this? Well, having an airtight plan with a solid content marketing strategy allows your startup to get discoverable among iTunes, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, Buzzsprout, and many other providers.
In addition, centering your podcast around a relevant topic within your industry serves as a catapult for you to increase revenue. Once you start talking about topics your audience is interested in, you can incorporate some advertising within your podcasts.
Since the dawn of radio waves, unique audio content has always been an effective way to sell products or services. Not convinced yet? Statistics show that 54% of podcast listeners consider buying products after they’ve been advertised on podcasts.
The Power of Interviews or Guest Podcasting
If you want your podcast (and startup) to evolve while achieving an authoritative status, you should provide your audience with diversity by leveraging different formats.
Podcast interviews are unique in their ability to deliver valuable information in a friendly way.
After amassing a small fan base that tunes into your podcast and listens to your episodes, you can start inviting guests to your show.
You have the power now.
To make sure the interview is a home run, you should craft (as always) a solid content strategy. Maybe you want your guests to give useful tips to your audience, or you want to ask them about their business.
Whatever you choose, interviewing an industry expert will increase your authority and visibility.
Plus, you can even get your guests to promote the episode on their social media channels to increase your exposure as well!
Here’s a great example I found that illustrates the benefits of interview formats.
Back in March 2018, the host of the Lion Zeal Podcast, Daryl Rosser, interviewed Guy Sheetrit. (Yeah, the very same Guy that talked about leveraging podcasts for SEO).
What stood out from this interview is that an already positioned figure appeared on the show to talk about his success within the SEO and marketing industry. He shared how we went from freelancing on Fiverr to running an $89M global agency.
I ran some analytics on the show and saw that Rosser drove more traffic to his podcast by delivering just what his audience wanted:
Actionable tips from a recognized expert on how to take your business to new heights. All with a candid conversation about the struggles of launching a new business.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can you drive qualified leads to your new business if you’re not the one promoting it?
Well, that’s when guest podcasting comes to the mix.
According to Neil Patel,
“Appearing as a guest on a podcast not only puts you in front of a loyal group of followers, it also opens the door on a whole new set of individuals who prefer to listen to their content. Associating your name with a podcast that is well-loved within its community can also dramatically improve your brand’s awareness and credibility.”
After you have an established podcast that talks about relevant topics, why not go to other shows to share some knowledge or talk about your personal experience? This will allow you to connect deeper with your audience and win the hearts of other people who probably didn’t know you existed.
Letting people know who you really are while delivering actionable tips or valuable information will prompt them to listen more and more of your content. Those who feel identified with your brand will form a long-lasting relationship that translates into loyalty – and higher conversion rates for your business.
Don’t Forget About SEO!
I couldn’t let you go without telling you that podcast SEO is extremely important.
Articles about making your podcast SEO-friendly touch on essential topics to increase click-through rate (since Google announced at I/O 2019 that podcasts are now being indexed).
A few valuable tips include:
- Know the trending topics within your niche.
- Have a solid keyword research strategy and include your target keywords in your podcast’s title, subtitle, and description.
- Create a podcast voice that feels true to yourself.
- Invest in accurate transcriptions for your podcast’s episodes.
- Divide your podcast into chapters.
The fact that podcasts can now make their way into organic search results makes it even easier for your target audience to find your business.
It means that simply launching a podcast into the world will increase your business trustworthiness and reputation without resorting to expensive PPC campaigns or extensive email marketing campaigns.
And for those who are starting, I’d say that’s a huge plus!