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How does Podcast PR Compare to Other Forms of Marketing?

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to the ways you can reach new audiences.

Social media, blogging, Facebook advertising, webinar lead gen, speaking, podcast outreach…these are just the tip of the iceberg.

As if the choice of how to spend your time weren’t difficult enough, any of these marketing channels could work for you — as long as you do them consistently.

There is no one right answer, or secret to marketing your work, that once you learn it will change everything for your business.

How do you decide what to spend your time and energy on?

I recently spoke at a conference, where I met Lauren Hom. Lauren is an artist, who makes a living licensing her lettering, teaching online courses, and collaborating with major brands like Starbucks, Google and TIME Magazine.

Lauren has a real passion for launching creative projects, and as an artist, it’s only natural that her work found its natural home on a visual channel like Instagram, where she’s amassed 152,000 followers on her primary account.

Instagram is the ideal place for Lauren to showcase her work and personality. As someone working with brands, it’s important for her to be a social media influencers in her own right.

Hearing this story, you might be tempted to think, “Maybe I need to spend more time on Instagram,” or “It must be nice to have 150K followers! Of course she’s successful!”

But Lauren’s runaway success on Instagram doesn’t really tell you anything about Instagram itself.

The magic was in how Lauren found the right venue for her particular personality and skill set.

If she wasn’t an artist able to create her own images, if she didn’t have an irreverent personality that adds a dash of the unexpected to her medium, and if she weren’t comfortable putting her ideas out there, and sharing what’s going on behind the pretty pictures…

Instagram would not have been the right marketing channel.

Which marketing channels play to your strengths as a CEO and as a company?

This has all come up for me, because I’ve been forced to re-evaluate what I think about podcasts.

When I first started booking clients podcast interviews two years ago, I was seeing huge traffic bumps from each interview. I was pitching podcasts based on the strength of this traffic — clients were getting 10x the traffic and leads from podcasts than they were getting from guest blog posts and traditional media coverage.

Podcasts still outperform these traditional media channels, but the traffic bump has dropped quite a bit.

So I had to take a hard reckoning.

Could I still in good faith recommend podcast interviews to clients?

This line of inquiry prompted me to review what my clients have told me about the value of their own podcast interviews.

In paying close attention to their feedback, I’ve come to see is that podcasts, like Instagram, are a very specific kind of marketing channel with a very specific set of strengths.

They are amazing for companies in some conditions, but may be a less important channel if none of these apply to you.

What kind of business owner gets the best results with podcasts?

1. When you talk about your business 1-to-1, you have a high close rate.

At the most basic level, what you’re doing on a podcast interview creates a similar set of conditions to 1-to-1 sales. You get an hour to talk to another expert about your work, company structure, and expertise.

If people are routinely sold on your work when you talk about it, podcasts give you the opportunity to have those conversations at scale. You’re still talking 1-to-1 (it’s just you and the host, or in some instances, co-hosts talking), and that conversation is being distributed to thousands of people who are incredibly receptive to hearing what you have to say.

2. You love to have deep, meaningful conversations about your work.

One thing I hear over-and-over again from my PR clients is, “I don’t want to water down my message for the media.”

The challenge with traditional media is that you get, at most, 5-7 minutes in a live interview, or maybe 800 words in a guest post or contribution to a site like Entrepreneur or Fast Company.

There just isn’t space to get into a meaningful discussion about your work.

Even on your blog, where you can write about your topic in depth, only 20 percent of people will read to the end — and these stats are for people who already follow your work.

Compare this to podcast engagement rates, where 35 percent of people who start a podcast interview listen to the entire episode, and 80 percent tune in to most of the episode.

These listeners are typically new to your work, which makes these numbers even more powerful for your company.

Podcasts are the ideal marketing channel, for any CEO who loves to have deep conversations about your work.

3. You want to network with other influencers in your field.

One of the first things you learn running your own business is just how crucial it is to build a strong network.

Other business owners and thought leaders in your industry are an important source of referrals and other partnership opportunities. I’ve had colleagues recommend me for paid speaking gigs, lucrative client projects and even my teaching on CreativeLive!

I cannot overstate this: There is no way I’d have the company I have today without these relationships.

When you go on a podcast as a guest, ultimately what you’re doing is having an hour-long conversation about the work that lights you up to another expert or influencer. It gives you an unparalleled opportunity to cut out months of networking in forming a relationship.

No worrying if they’ll have time to talk with you at a conference, or buttering them up on social media.

You just get to show up and meet them as equals.

4. Referrals are a big revenue source for your company.

The #1 question I get from people who are already lining up interviews for themselves is, “How do I leverage my interviews once they air?”

I know that most people are looking for an answer that helps them use their coverage to draw in and attract more people, so my answer often surprises them.

When you get media coverage of any kind, it’s an opportunity to check in with any open leads.

Your interviews also give your fans and clients an opportunity to share your work with their network. We often forget just how much people want to support our work when they value it. Your interviews give them an opportunity to email a colleague or two, inviting them to get to know you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully you can see how you can start linking your PR efforts with your sales efforts a little more effectively.

Now, let me reiterate that I’m not saying podcasts are a magic bullet for your business.

There are lots of other marketing channels out there, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Speaking can be amazing if you love being on stage, and want to get paid to generate leads. I’m lukewarm about speaking (although I LOVE panels and workshops), because it is just so much work, but I know many who love it.

Facebook ads are great for people who want to create a consistent formula for churning out leads. But you’re also at the whim of the algorhythm, and with costs rising, I know a lot of people looking to diversify.

The point is that no one channel is perfect — the trick is figuring out which one works with your strengths.

Now that you know a little more about the kinds of companies podcasts work best for, is podcast outreach a good strategy for your company?

  

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