How to Use a Podcast to Captivate Your Audience & Boost Sales

How to Use a Podcast to Captivate Your Audience & Boost Sales | Photo: Lee Campbell

If writing or hamming-it-up in front of a camera, just isn’t your thing and you’ve got the gift of gab, you may want to think about adding a podcast to your content marketing plan. But let’s take a look at a few basic stats first.

According to Edison Research, an average of 62 million Americans listen to podcasts each week, that’s up from 19 million in 2013. There are over 800,000 active podcasts in the world and they’ve produced a whopping 54 million episodes. Just in 2019 alone 192,000 new podcast shows were launched.

Remember It’s Quality Over Quantity

Now I know you’re probably thinking. So why bother? That’s just a lot of noise. Well yes and no. You see advertisers and even jumbo media companies like CNN, Warner Media and Marvel Entertainment, have all gotten into the podcast game. Why? Because of the quality of the podcast audience.

Advertisers are paying on average between $10 to $50 for a typical ad spot and additional fees for shows with a large subscriber base.

Podcast listeners, spend 6 plus hours listening to podcasts each week and they’re more likely to pay for exclusive content. According to Hubspot about a third of those making between $50,000 and 100,000 listen to podcasts daily. That’s more than any other income level.

In short these are smart people with a few dollars in their pocket, who are willing to give you a big chunk of their time – but only if you’ve have something of “value” to say to them.

This is marketing gold for a small business. Anyone who is willing to give you more time is always more valuable because they are telling you they’re already invested in what you have to offer. So if you go into this space I would not squander that time away with one big long infomercial.

Dive In Even Deeper and “Branch Out” Into a Niche

At the very least, you could re-purpose content that you may have already produced in other marketing channels like a blog or use short video “stories” from your social media accounts. A podcast is a fantastic way to really nurture you relationship with existing customers and most of all with prospects.

If you’re stumped about what you should talk about I would suggest listening to a few podcasts from people you admire in your industry. There are bound to be at least one or two.

This is also a great opportunity, if you already have a blog or produce videos, to dive in even deeper and “branch out” into a particular topic for your podcast. Ideally a niche within your niche.

For example, if you run a vintage book shop you can have a blog on your site that talks about all the books you sell. But let’s say that, vintage cookbooks are the biggest seller in your shop and you want to sell more.

You could branch out even further and have a “niche” podcast that only talks about vintage cookbooks. This is a smart way to break out of the pack and rise above all the “noise” that is already on these platforms.

The Barrier of Entry Has Gotten Lower

Now learning how to produce a podcast will take some time and effort, just like anything else. You’ll have to figure out how frequently you want to post a new show, book guests and of course learn how you’re going to actually record the show.

Well the good news is that because podcasts have become so popular in the last five years or so, the barrier of entry has gotten lower and lower, but this is still a pretty technical feat to pull off.

Now to be completely honest, podcasts are not my thing, but I do see the potential of capturing a highly engaged audience for your business here. That’s why for this week’s post I’m going to give you a few options when it comes to choosing the right format and software for starting your own podcast.

But How Do You Actually Start a Podcast?

First off, before you jump into any in-depth video tutorials on the software and apps that are available to you, I would first suggest watching a few videos about how to actually start a podcast first. As for the software, two names will pop-up over and over again, Audacity and Anchor.

Audacity is a free “open source” software that has been around for years. However, it can be a bit of a learning curve and could leave a tech-novice feeling completely overwhelmed. Pat Flynn, of Smart Passive Income, does a great job of giving you a great overview of how to “technically” start a podcast using Garage Band and Audacity.

How to Use a Podcast to Captivate Your Audience & Boost Sales

If you want to learn more about how to use a podcast for business, you may want to check out this podcast episode from Amy Porterfield featuring John Lee Dumas. Dumas is the founder of the super popular podcast The Entrepreneur on Fire. Both of these resources are a little older, but the content is evergreen and a great primer for those getting started.

Having said that, if you’re not sure if podcasts are going to be a good fit for you and your business, Anchor may be the better choice for you. Anchor was created with the tech-novice in mind. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to record, edit, and monetize a high-quality podcast all from your phone or on their website. You can learn more about Anchor here. There’s no complicated software to download – and it’s free.

Of course we all know nothing is ever really free. Anchor makes it’s money by offering you free hosting with ads in your podcast. Some users have noted that while the hosting fees for Anchor are great, you don’t have quite the reach you could have if you were able to produce your podcasts on your own. It’s also difficult to retrieve and delete the podcasts that they distribute on your behalf should you decide to go somewhere else.

This Platform Isn’t for Everybody

If this is leaving you even more confused than when we started, fear not! I found two great articles from The Podcast Host’s blog that you make want to take a look at. Matthew Boudreau does a great job of explaining the pros and cons of using Anchor and Colin Gray gives you a nice roundup of the best podcast hosting services out there and helps you navigate which host is the best for you.

There’s just too much information about podcasting to try and cram it into one post. That’s why I wanted to try and act as a sourcing agent for you and find some solid information to point you in the right direction. As I mentioned earlier, podcasting is really for someone who has that gift of gab or enjoys really engaging conversation.

If you’re a wallflower, this may not be the best marketing platform for you but if you’re looking to expand your visibility and narrow down your audience a bit further, this may be a good addition to your marketing plan.

Alrighty! Well that’s all I’ve got this week. I hope you found this post helpful and as always, I’d love to hear from you.

Question: If you could start a podcast about ONE niche, product or service in your business what would it be? Share your questions and comments below.

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