The Small Business Guide to Podcasting
The term podcasting has become mainstream these days and interest in this medium is on the rise and, rightfully so. Not only is it convenient for listeners who want topics that they’re interested in on-demand, but it’s also valuable for the person or business hosting them.
Below find seven great reasons every business should consider starting a podcast
Getting started is easier than it looks
The secret’s out, podcasting really isn’t that difficult to get started. People often assume that podcasts require a lot of fancy equipment and a large investment, and while you certainly can get to that point, you definitely don’t have to start there.
As long as you have a microphone that works, a way to record a conversation with guests (if you have guests), and a way to share the content with your audience, you’re really all set. Here’s a simple set-up that covers what you need.
- Microphone USB Mic such as a Blue Yetti
- Recording – You can use Riverside.fm, Skype or Zoom
- Editing – Garage Band or Audacity
- Hosting – Libsyn or Blubrry
- Publishing – Podcast on WordPress using Blubrry Plugin
- Distribution – iTunes/Apple, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, TuneIn
You can repurpose episodes into other forms of content
Since podcasting is audio-based, repurposing the material into other forms of content, such as video, a blog post or a series of blog posts, is a great way to create content without reinventing the wheel. Additionally, it helps to further expand your reach because part of your audience may not be podcast listeners, but they may be blog readers, and vice versa.
Rev.com is a great transcription service.
Podcasting is great for networking and building referrals
Reaching out to others to have them as a guest on your show is a great way to build your network and will also give you more chances to be asked to be a guest on other podcasts, furthering your connections even more. The more people you can connect with, the more you’ll increase the chances of referrals, leading to more opportunities and business for your company.
Along with networking and building referrals, podcasting can expand your public speaking skills as well which can lead to in-person speaking events (a great way to establish authority and credibility in your field).
It establishes an emotional connection with your audience
The format of a podcast allows you to develop a deeper relationship with your audience. You’re not hiding behind words on a page. Hearing your voice on a frequent basis makes your audience feel like they actually know you, and the more likely you are to establish an emotional connection with them, the more likely they’ll be to follow your brand and buy from you.
You can make money from it
Not all podcasters want or need to monetize, but if you are interested in making money from your show, there are a number of ways to do that, including:
- Affiliate marketing
- Product promotion (be careful with how you go about this, your podcast should be entertaining and educational, not “salesy” if you want it to truly be effective)
You can increase traffic to your website
The audio portion of your podcast can drive traffic to your website simply because it helps to build your credibility and authority on your topic which often makes your audience want to visit your website to learn more. Another way this boosts site traffic is that podcasts often come with show notes (at least they should) that people can review for resources and an outline of the show. If people are on your site reviewing the show notes, or even the episode transcript, they’ll be more likely to visit other areas of your site, which will increase the odds of them converting to customers.
Another way podcasts boost site traffic is that they often come with show notes (at least they should) that people can review for resources and an outline of the show. If people are already on your site reviewing the show notes, or even the episode transcript, they’ll be more likely to visit other areas of your site, which will increase the odds of them converting to customers.
Podcasting is a type of long-form content that people actually pay attention to
Hate to say it, but our attention spans are fading. We live in a world of information overload where we only have the time to consume small bits of information at a time. With podcasts, however, you can consume them at times when other forms of content are unavailable (hopefully you’re not reading a blog post while driving to work in the morning). Whereas with a podcast, you can sit in traffic for an hour and consume valuable information. Since people are engaged with podcasts for longer periods of time than other content, this gives you opportunities to showcase your knowledge and expertise in a way that you’re unable to with other formats.
Podcast Guesting is a Killer Marketing Tactic
So far we’ve focused on creating your own podcast but there are many benefits associated with being a guest of someone else’s podcast.
There’s no denying that interest in podcasting has increased over time, especially within the last 5-6 years. I think this is for a couple of reasons:
- Content has become the air that drives so many channels
- It’s portable and allows for multi-tasking nature of it
The combination of the two has allowed the popularity of this medium to skyrocket, both from listening and production standpoints.
While I think producing a podcast is a great idea and can provide many benefits for your business, there are also a plethora of opportunities that are there in podcasting for any business owner, namely through being a guest on another person’s podcast. Let’s dive in.
Putting yourself out there as a guest on podcasts (as opposed to traditional PR with radio and TV) is one of the best things you can do for your business these days, but let me be clear, in order to be successful with it, you must put yourself out there and pitch yourself on an ongoing basis, and truly build this as a channel for your marketing efforts.
A podcast interview is not only content, it’s great quality content. It’s a tremendous way for you to build expertise, authority, and branding for you and your business. When people hear your voice, it adds a deeper level to building trust, and the more a person trusts you, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you.
SEO and the benefits of podcasting
My friend, Phil Singleton, is one of the most knowledgeable people on SEO that I know, and he recently stated (over this past weekend, in fact) that of all the time he has spent on SEO, podcasting may be the best SEO tactic to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Being a podcast guest provides the following benefits:
- Gives you access to an engaged audience
- The host does the majority of the work
- You have virtually no preparation (especially in comparison to guest blog posts)
- High production value will make the content more shareable
- There will likely be show notes that will drive links back to your website
- Reviews can help build authority and credibility
- There is a ton of repurposing potential with the content
At the end of the day, SEO really comes down to three main things:
- Keywords– You must know what keywords your ideal client is searching for
- Content– You must build those keywords into your content on a consistent basis
- Links– That content must be seen and shared by other people by acquiring links from other sites to link to that content. From that, Google surmises that it’s good content.
If you focus on those few things over time, you will show up, and likely rank highly, in search engine rankings. What this means, is that a guest appearance on a podcast is your content on steroids. You get high-quality content and awareness to the podcaster’s audience (podcasts get shared more than blog posts).
Guest blog posts are a lot of work and time-consuming. Even if a podcast doesn’t have a huge following, it will likely still have more engagement than blog posts and have the ability to get more shares than regular blog posts and you will get links back to whatever it is that you’re promoting.
To make this even better, a lot of podcasters, including myself, are also creating transcripts along with their podcast episodes to have the written word content go along with the spoken content. In many cases, if you appear on a podcast, and they don’t transcribe it, many podcasters will let you transcribe it and repurpose it for additional content on your site; again, which will help to boost your SEO.
How to get on shows
Remember, this is a consistent process, not just something you do every once in a while, so it’s important that you allocate time and attention to this. Below are a few ways you can approach getting on podcasts.
Google is great at showing podcasts. Start by searching with an industry you’re interested in and google “[industry] podcast” and see what appears. Simple enough, right?
iTunes not only categorizes podcasts, they include related searches like Google as well.
If you click on an author link, Amazon will show related authors, which can help expand your search.
From your research, build a spreadsheet of hosts you want to reach out to. Most podcasts have some form of contact information or a form asking people to pitch themselves as a guest.
Once your spreadsheet is filled out, one of the things I’d spend time on is to think of your objective for being on a show. Make the podcast host understand the value they’ll get by interviewing you.
From a content and link objective perspective, don’t worry about how big the show is or the size of the audience. Focus on the links and content and make sure they align with your objective.
In almost all cases, you need to go out and pitch people. I can’t emphasize this enough if you listen and subscribe to their show and know the host’s listeners, what they talk about, and how they deliver value, you’ll do a much better job of showing how you’ll benefit their listeners in your pitch.
These days, podcasters are looking for guests to have one-sheets that include your bio, why you’re a good fit, what you have to offer, places you’ve appeared, what others have said about you, and so on. If a podcaster is trying to decide between you and another guest, the one-pager can go a long way. The more professional you’ll look, the better your odds are of getting chosen for the show.
How to be a great guest
Your work isn’t done once you book the podcast. In order to be a great guest and get the most value out of this exposure, you really need to prep for it.
Subscribe and listen
If you want to be on a show, subscribe to it, or at least listen to it and really educate yourself on the host’s style and type of questions he/she may ask.
The purpose of the interview is to educate or entertain the host’s audience. You may have the opportunity at the end of the episode to say where people can find you and so on, but nothing will turn an interview sour faster than selling.
Answer questions succinctly
A minute to 90 seconds is often too long for a response. Prepping will help you be clear and concise in your delivery.
Nothing is more frustrating than listening to a podcast with poor sound quality. Before you hop on the interview, confirm you have a solid internet connection or cell reception, and take the call in a quiet space to try to eliminate any extra background noise.
Show appreciation for the opportunity
Once you’re on the call, remember to thank the host for having you on the show and express your appreciation. Once the show is complete, be sure to leave a review for the podcast on iTunes.
How to promote your interview
After the show, most podcast hosts will send you a link to promote the show, and may even send you proposed copy for social media posts. Sharing and promoting your appearance makes a lot of sense. It helps spread the word and it’s good content that people may want to share. Look for multiple ways to promote it to your network.
After everything is said and done, ask your host for a review and use it in your marketing to boost your authority. If you own a local business, have them do the review through Google. Think of this as an opportunity to produce content and get amazing links and put your SEO on steroids.
One of the best ways to get the interest of podcast hosts is to let them know you’ll be a great promotional partner as well as a great guest.
Below is a checklist of potential promotional activities once you’ve been a podcast guest.
- Add it to Your Next Webinar
- Do you host webinars? If so, why not make a highlight of your next one a chance to hear your recent podcast interview?
- Email Newsletter
- When someone signs up to receive your email newsletter you can include photos, teaser videos, quotes and Click To Tweets from the actual interview in your emails.
- On Your Blog
- Highlight the event with a blog post. You can include episode show notes, as well as the embedded video or audio from the interview. You can even repurpose your podcast interview into a long-form blog and then embed the audio of it at the end of the post.
- Social Channels
- Please post links to the podcast, videos, graphics, quotes, and photos. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat are all great for real-time engagement. Also, Facebook, Instagram Images, and LinkedIn offer the perfect platforms for promoting evergreen content.
- Retargeting and Paid Advertising
- Paid advertising on social media can also be effective. With Facebook especially, you can create ads that are hyper-targeted for the ideal persona that will find value in your interview.
- Email Signatures
- The average person sent 34 business emails daily. Now think about if you have advertised your podcast interview in each one of these. That gives you the opportunity to reach even more people.
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