Savvy business owners have already started leveraging the power of podcasting to increase leads in their business. They know that it is vital to reach potential clients in the places where they hang out online—for example, podcasts.
If you have a business, podcasts can amplify your results by reaching new markets and gaining customer trust.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking, ‘I wish I grew my Facebook page before The Algorithm took over’? Or, ‘I wish I bought AdWords years ago when you could get a keyword for two cents a click’?
If you have, then you would understand how important it is to be an early adopter when it comes to innovative ways of reaching prospects. And when it comes to podcasting, we’re about to see tremendous growth.
Big players have recently invested hundreds of millions of dollars in podcasting platforms to own as much of the pie as possible.
In 2019, three pivotal announcements regarding podcasts are fantastic indicators of how this space will develop:
- Google will reference podcasts in search. Soon, when you do a Google search, you will get indexed results from podcast episodes. You can also listen to them directly from the search results.
- Apple creates a podcast-specific app. Apple has broken up iTunes, creating three specific apps: Podcasts, TV, and Music. Let that sink in for a moment. For decades, TV and Music have dominated the airwaves. Now, Apple has staked its annual profits on Podcasts being right up there with them.
- Spotify bought Gimlet and Anchor for US $340 million. Not to be outdone by their rivals, Spotify has made considerable investments in acquiring podcast networks such as Gimlet and Anchor. They now also have a podcast dashboard with analytics for creators that has just come out of beta testing.
If these three titans of the content consumption have gone all-in on podcasting, what do they have in store for us?
If you have decided to take advantage of the investments from Google, Apple, and Spotify and create a podcast to increase leads into your business, that’s great!
You’re still an early adopter, as podcasting now is where written blogs were 20-odd years ago.
Back then, not many people had a ‘weblog’, and people mainly use it to document their lives.
Then, marketers cottoned on to the power of blogging. Now, every business, personal brand, and influencer has some form of blog and content marketing strategy in place—or at least they should.
Getting started on your podcasting journey is cheaper than you may have imagined.
At the entry level, all you need is a podcast name, a subscription to the platforms you want to upload to, a microphone, a webcam, and a laptop.
Ready to start recording your podcast at a professional level? Here’s what I recommend people to buy to start creating quality recordings without spending thousands of dollars on tech.
1. Webcam: Logitech C920 or C922 or Logitech Brio
2. Microphone: Audio Technica ATR 2100
3. Video Recorder: Zoom
4. Audio Recorder: Audacity
All of these will give you great audio and video for less than $200 AUD.
Much like investing in the stock market, having a podcast is a long game that thrives on the benefits of compound interest over time.
You should be prepared to commit a minimum of 12 months of regular podcasting to gain traction. Even though you may not reap the benefits of compound interest before then, anything less won’t give you enough standing.
Thus, I believe a podcast should be used as a growth engine for your business, not as the business.
And that’s not to say having a podcast as a business doesn’t work. In some cases, it does. However, if you sell products or services, then using your podcast to amplify your results is one optimum way to leverage your show.
Recording a podcast is the easy part! As mentioned above, all you need is some basic equipment and a laptop.
Editing a recording is where the magic happens and where your podcast can either look amateur or highly professional.
There are three keys to editing a podcast episode well.
1. Adjust the balance of the volume and run a ‘high pass’ over the audio. This aspect is so important because people speak at different volume levels. Furthermore, the equipment they’re using will have different audio levels (e.g., different laptops produce different volumes). You want your guest’s volume to be as close to the level of your volume as possible. It will make it easier for listeners to hear what everyone is saying. The high-pass filter will do this for you.
2. Create ‘show notes’ that give the listener a taste of what to expect in the episode. These notes are great for time-poor people, as they can skip ahead to the part that interests them the most. Also, someone who wants to listen again to a critical moment (or share it with a friend) can use the show notes to find the time stamp and go there directly. Show notes can also be used strategically for SEO, especially now that we know Google will be delivering them in search results.
3. Create a ‘thumbnail’ for every episode. When you upload your podcast to places like Spotify, YouTube, Apple, and other podcast-hosting sites, you have the option to upload an image. Instead of using something standard, such as your business logo, use a professional graphic that gives people the name of the episode. Also, use a picture of you and/or your guest. If the episode is in audio only, the listener can get a visual representation of the person they are listening to.
You may have heard of the ‘20/80 rule’: when it comes to content, 20% of it is creation, and 80% is distribution.
This proportion is even more true for podcasting.
The beauty of a podcast is you can record a 30- to 40-minute-long episode and cut it into snippets that can be shared and reshared in multiple ways throughout the whole month.
For example, you can make:
a 60-second teaser for the current episode (distribute on Facebook and Instagram),
a 60-second teaser for the next episode (distribute on Facebook and Instagram),
a 60-second profile on your guest (distribute on Facebook and Instagram),
a 10-minute highlights package (distribute on Facebook and IGTV), and
complete uploads on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
To distribute your podcast even further, boost each episode to your target market. Then, retarget to people who have already consumed your content.
If someone has watched 10, 20, or 30 minutes of your content, then you know they like what you have to say and would be open to learning more from you.
When you use this approach, you automatically cut out the ‘tyre kickers’ who are just after a free PDF download. Then, you only feed traffic into your funnel from people who know who you are and like what you say.
More qualified leads = more sales conversions, which is excellent for business.
If you don’t have the budget to promote your podcast, that’s ok; there are still ways you can grow organically.
One fantastic way to do so is to reach out to industry leaders and invite them to your show. Having a podcast is a great ice-breaker, and it is also an incredible way to connect with leaders who may previously have been out of reach. Allowing them to promote who they are and what they do is invaluable.
If you want to have prominent names on your podcast, then look for people who have recently released or will soon release their book.
The author will be looking for every opportunity to promote their book, and your podcast is an excellent outlet for them to do this.
Your guests will, in turn, let their databases know they have been on your podcast. It means more eyes and ears on your work and more potential subscribers to your channels.
As well as having your podcast, reach out to other podcast hosts to ask about being on their show.
You need to offer value, as most hosts inundate their podcasts with auto-messages from people looking to promote their product or service. So, make sure your pitch is original and authentic and outlines the benefits their listeners will receive from having you on as a guest.
When you do your research, it shows, and it gives you a better chance of booking an interview.
Also, when they publish the episode where you guested in, they will provide a link to your website in the show notes, which helps your Google ranking.
If you want to increase leads from podcasting, now is the time to launch your show.
With the big players increasing their investment in podcasting platforms, more and more people are going to cotton on to the benefit of having a podcast. If you wait, you will then be fighting with millions of producers to get discovered by potential clients.
With better technology and cheaper (and faster) Internet connections, more and more people are now consuming podcast content on their daily commute. They are looking to learn from someone like you.