What is podcast marketing?
Podcast marketing is the practice of getting on podcasts (even your own) to promote your product, service or brand.
Why care about podcast marketing?
Podcasts are big. 44% of the US population listen to podcasts with approximately 80% of people listening to most or the entire episode. There is a super cool infographic and exhaustive list of podcast statistics on Podcast Insights here.
Why do podcast marketing?
Apart from reaching a fairly defined and engaged audience, some people may prefer podcast marketing over other mediums. They prefer talking, rather than writing articles or appearing in videos.
It can also be more attractive to people who’s topic lends itself more to discussion than other mediums too.
How does podcast marketing work?
Podcast marketing works roughly the same way as any other influencer or PR outreach.
First you need to plan your target audience and message, compile a list of contacts, qualify them, reach out to them with a list of topics and the book a time for your podcast.
Here’s the breakdown.
1. Plan your campaign
Before you start reaching out to any podcast in your area, I recommend considering the following:
- Your target audience
- Their interests
- A list of topics that fit their interest and promotes your message
Thinking about these points ahead of time will come in handy later when you reach out to podcast hosts. They’ll want to know that what you’re talking about is relevant and of interest to their audience.
Getting specific about who you want to reach also help you increase your opportunities.
It is easy to ignore smaller and niche podcasts. But when you have your campaign set to a specific audience and have a list of topics, you may find that you can target podcasts slightly out of your original scope.
For example. If you are doing a message about gardening and enjoying the outdoors – you can also target podcasts about healthy living.
Podcast marketing and PR strategy is a whole discipline unto itself. I am not a strategist in these mediums, but these points make sense for anyone looking to maximise their reach and impact.
2. Find podcasters
Next stop – finding podcasts.
You can use Stitcher to find podcasts on your topic. Search topics related to your audience and message at the top of the screen.
This will show you a string of shows that may make great potential podcasts for your campaign.
You can use iTunes as well to find podcasts by searching in the same way.
Stitcher is a bit easier to use because you don’t have to use the iTunes app. The downside is that you don’t get as much information on the popularity of the podcast and its individual episodes.
Google is another handy way to find podcasts. Search terms like ‘best gardening podcasts’ to find round up posts listing some of the biggest and most interesting podcasts in your topic areas.
As you go through this process, add the potential podcasts to a database sheet so you can easily analyse and reference them later.
I found it useful to record the podcast host’s name, email, city (so you can email them at appropriate times) and other pertinent details.
3. Listen and analyse the podcasts
Now that you have a list of podcasts, hold off from pitching and do some analysis.
Check that these shows are a good fit in terms of audience and subject. Are they large enough? Do you gel with the host’s style?
Spend time thinking about the podcast from the host’s point of view.
Read about their background, research their podcast history and listen to a few of their episodes. Try to understand what the host cares about and what their audience might want to know.
It makes to have at least one reason why you are reaching out to the host and how their audience may benefit. You can record this information on your database sheet. For example, I put this information in a related content / opportunity column.
Using this information you can now prioritise your contacts in order of the highest to lowest priority. You may even find that some podcasts are entirely unsuitable. Scratch those.
4. Reach out for bookings
Now you can start reaching out to ask for podcast bookings.
For my outreach emails, I generally mention the following:
- Headline: Potential podcast guest? + [Hook on value for their readers]
- Who I am
- How I found them
- Appreciate their work, being specific
- Topics for their listeners
- Background and credibility
- Podcasting CV / bio
- CTA: Interested in chatting more?
[Using this format I got about a 45% response rate on 20 targeted emails.]
I re-write the outreach email for each post. Podcast hosts are usually big influencers, so it makes sense to be as personal and customised as possible.
Remember to be specific in your appreciation for their work. This shows you have made an effort to understand their podcast and audience.
Don’t forget to follow up. I like to follow up about 2 times, as some hosts genuinely forget to reply to your email or are inspired to reply at a later date.