According to AdWeek, major brands are starting to bet on podcasting, and with good cause. The medium has allowed for a melding of traditional radio, entrepreneurial learning and promotional interviews, in a significantly more consumable format.
Podcast host Libsyn now hosts almost 30,000 different shows, growing steadily by nearly 5,000 shows every year since 2012. With entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk stating that “Every company is a media company,” many brands will only be as strong as the content they create.
As an entrepreneur, company, or brand, how should you begin to look for shows? What should the format in reaching out to them look like? When you are aware of what the path looks like, it becomes quite easy to use podcasting to build a portfolio.
Using myself as a case study, getting on almost 50 podcasts over the last 2 years has helped me create a brand and has changed the game. Not only was I getting podcasting opportunities and leads, but I was also getting new opportunities to promote my brand; I was a podcast believer.
Podcasting is leading the way for new media, but despite how social media platforms love video, audio podcasts are still king.
The reason for podcast consumption in audio form, is due to the habits of the listener, with 69% listening on mobile devices. Brands also have to take the habits of the listener into consideration, because many are on mobile, brands now have access to commuting and work time of listeners.
“You just need one person to listen, get your message and pass it on to someone else. And, you’ve doubled your audience.” – Robert Gerrish
I’ve covered how to market your podcast before, but how should you select the correct show and approach them to promote your business? If you have not read my podcast marketing article, read it first, then check back on this one to properly execute your plan.
You need to know your brand message before knowing who to approach and it will make your future media vision more clear. This should all be part of your company’s process to prep for a media interview.
A brand needs to know how to get all the right parts in place before approaching podcast hosts, the work that needs to be done is basic, but approaching without the right backend is a waste of time.
Entrepreneurs should have a media page to store all of their press or perspective press, as it creates the perception that individual is continually getting new press and is also impressive when hosts arrive on the prospective guest’s website.
Perspective podcast marketers should also have a complete media kit on their website in order for all the required imagery, bios and any other information to be publicly available. This helps not only the host but also the brand by allowing them to control what is publically available.
Though there are many different ways to pitch a a podcast host, I have found it effective to do so through email, with the right subject line of course.
Use a software such as Banana Tag to track if your emails are opened, thus gauging their effectiveness and allowing you to write the best possible pitch.
How to Pitch a Podcaster:
- First, create a targeting list, such as one in Google Drive. To find the right shows to add your tracking list, first start with shows you’re familiar with, then shows similar to them in iTunes. Also, look for lists such as New Theory Magazine’s “Top Entrepreneur Podcasts to Follow in 2018.” Add all these shows to your spreadsheet, but they will be your top targets, not your starting point.
- Next, create a new sheet in your spreadsheet, and look for smaller shows in iTunes, similar to the shows on your list from number 1. You can find these shows by using the “listeners also subscribed to,” option in iTunes. The shows will be ones with less than 20 episodes or have only been around a few months. These will be easier to reach and will be where we will start our work.
- You’re going to be writing emails to podcast hosts, be sure to make it unique to them. I have found it helps to find something you have in common with them to tie into your unique story. Quickly explain your story to the host, 1-2 paragraphs, through a lens that will resound with their audience; you’ll have to get good at telling your story in different ways.
- Next, add to your emails what you want to teach the podcast audience. You have an area of expertise, show the host how you can help the people listening to them. Focus on one thing to teach, otherwise it can seem overwhelming.
- If you have an affiliate offer or something to promote, leave it last or don’t mention it at all. Personally, I have found it more successful to leave this out unless the host could do well off of a high ticket item.
- Close the email with a soft close, leaving it up to the host, asking if “you’re a fit,” not telling them you believe you’re a fit.
- Find creative ways to follow up, no sooner than 14 days after the original email, but DO NOT automate this process, keep it personal. Also, make sure the response actually communicates with the person, not talking at them or not relevant to their response.
- As a last resort, you can always offer to run additional traffic for the host to drive more interest to their podcast.
“Most people that I know are interested in on demand stuff; podcasts is essentially audio Netflix.” – Jordan Harbinger
Once you appear on a few podcasts, you will feel a bit better about this whole process and have a few pieces to show the next set of hosts you approach. As social proof, use your previous interviews to approach the next level of podcasts which would be anything over 20 episodes and ranked below 150 in iTunes. Commit to smaller shows for the first 6 months of your program and you will build a solid portfolio.
Commit to this process for 12-18 months and you will see some amazing growth in your brand and business, creating new opportunities for you brand that did not exist before. A brand should also look for every opportunity to use each piece of content created in as many ways possible, effectively using your new found celebrity credibility.