Podcasting has been around since the dawn of high-speed internet, as a way to share audio online in a serialized format. Today it seems like there are podcasts about almost every topic, and there's a good reason for that. This is because podcasts are actually a smart way to increase conversions.
In fact, hosting a podcast provides plenty of potential marketing benefits. In addition to solidifying your position as an authority in your niche, it can also help you increase sales and promote your brand to both new and existing customers.
In this article, we'll look at the basics of podcasting from a marketing perspective. We'll also show you how you can use a podcast as part of your conversion funnel. Let's get started!
A Primer on Podcasting
The term ‘podcast' itself was coined in 2004, as a combination of the words ‘iPod' and ‘broadcast'. While the actual phenomenon is even older, since radio on the web appeared as early as the 90s, it wasn't until high-speed internet became widely accessible that the concept really took off.
In short, a podcast consists of audio files that are usually released as a series of episodes, which users can listen to as a stream or download using a dedicated app. Today it's estimated that there are over 550,000 podcasts online, covering basically every topic you can imagine.
A large part of this growth is due to the wider accessibility of the internet. However, it's also because of how easy it is to find the tools needed to produce one. Today, all you need is a basic microphone, free audio editing software like Audacity, and somewhere to host your episodes. Plenty of sites provide this service, such as Libsyn, SoundCloud, and PodBean.
That's really all you need to record your episodes, edit them, and host them online. You can even submit your podcast to outlets like iTunes, where users will be able to find and download your show, or you can feature them on your own website.
How You Can Use a Podcast to Increase Conversions
Maybe you've considered starting up a podcast, but you aren't sure whether it's worth the time and effort involved. While it's not the right strategy for every situation, there are a lot of benefits to running a podcast for your website or business.
Let's look at three of the key advantages now, focusing on how a podcast can fit into your overall conversion funnel.
1. Increase Awareness of Your Brand
A podcast can help you raise your brand awareness, and reach users who may otherwise have never come across your site. If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. For example, there may be dozens of sites in your particular marketing niche, but the number of dedicated podcasts in that same niche will likely be substantially smaller.
As such, you can use your program to advertise your brand to a new audience. This also gives you the opportunity to market directly to your listeners, providing them with information about products and making it clear how you can help them out.
However, the key here is to not use your podcast solely as a marketing tool. No one wants to listen to a string of advertisements. So make sure that you focus on producing an engaging and worthwhile show first, and then use that outlet as a marketing tool in a way that's relevant and unobtrusive.
2. Position Yourself as an Authority
Along with simply raising visibility, a podcast is also a perfect way to establish yourself or your business as an authority in a particular niche. By hosting a podcast that provides a lot of value to your listeners, you'll position yourself as not just one of many competitors, but as a standout in your field.
This can be a huge boon when it comes to generating interest and desire in your brand, as listeners are more likely to become invested in it. In turn, this gives you a prime opportunity to offer them a Call To Action (CTA). Listeners to a podcast can be very likely to respond to CTAs, as long as they are relevant.
Again, it's easy to see why this works. If your podcast is engaging, informative, or funny, this builds a sense of trust and investment. It connects your brand to the experience of listening to the podcast, creating positive associations that can stick around for a long time afterward.
3. Provide Value to Your Existing Customers
Finally, podcasts aren't just about drawing in new customers. In fact, they're equally useful when it comes to customer aftercare. For example, you could combine your podcast with your email marketing strategy, and make newsletter subscribers aware when new episodes are released. This will encourage them to keep engaging with your brand over time.
You could even create episodes that relate specifically to your customers' needs or comments. For instance, you can record Q&A episodes where you respond to questions from your listeners, or tie one of your episodes into a recent event that's related to your company. This will keep your existing customers informed about what's going on in your business and industry, while giving you a great opportunity to control the message that's presented.
When doing this, remember that quality always comes first. Podcasts may be a marketing tool, but you need to ensure that they're worth listening to. Whether you provide the best information, have the funniest banter, or engage the most with your audience, the podcast itself needs to provide value that can't be had anywhere else. Otherwise, your potential audience will lose interest and your hard work will be wasted.
The podcast industry is growing bigger by the day, and that shouldn't be a surprise. Creating easily-digestible audio content for specific niches offers a number of benefits, both creative and lucrative.
In this article, we've discussed some of the ways a podcast can help you increase your conversions. These include:
- Increasing awareness of your brand.
- Positioning yourself as an authority.
- Providing value to your existing customers.
Do you have any questions about how to use your podcast to drive conversions? Let us know in the comments section below!