Podcast marketing has grown massively in the last 12 months. How do you take advantage of this upswing, build a podcast that attracts listeners, and even generates revenue? This is our 2020 podcast marketing guide to doing just that.
Maybe you want to start a podcast. Or maybe you already have a podcast and you’re trying to figure out how to grow your audience, monetize, or drive revenue directly to your business.
So… how are you going to do it?
That’s the question we’re going to answer in this guide.
We’ll start by looking at why podcasts are so powerful in today’s world and how you can integrate them into a high-converting sales funnel.
Then we’ll walk through 5 steps to starting a podcast and 3 ways to grow your listener-base. Finally, we’ll show you some podcasting tools for easy and high-quality production.
And then you’ll know everything there is to know about podcast marketing… mostly 😉
Let’s get started!
Should You Have a Podcast in 2020?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room?
Should you even have a podcast? And is 2020 a good time to have a podcast?
Even just a quick glance at the data offers a resounding “yes” to both of those questions (with one minor exception that we’ll talk about in a minute).
32% of Americans (which represents about 104 million people) report listening to a podcast within the last month.
And “podcast” is now growing in Google search faster than “YouTube”.
Even if we look at the trend of how many people listen to podcasts in the U.S. every year, the upward curve is undeniable — from just 2018 to 2019, percent of podcast listeners went from 26% to 32%!
The Atlantic explains that popular podcasters often charge between $25 and $40 per 1000 downloads in advertising fees. And that’s without even scratching the surface of how a podcast can drive revenue directly for your business!
Okay okay. So it’s no secret that podcasting is popular and has massive earning potential.
But should you create a podcast? That is, will a podcast benefit your business specifically… and is it the highest-impact thing you can do right now?
Only you can really answer that question, of course. But here are a few things to consider…
- What’s your favorite medium? If you absolutely hate speaking, then having a podcast might not be the best way to go. Maybe starting a blog would be better. Or you could start a YouTube channel. Stick with whatever feels the most natural for you.
- Do you have the time? The good news is that podcasting doesn’t need to take a ton of time. There are a lot of mobile apps that even allow you to record and upload episodes seamlessly. But still, don’t use starting a podcast as a distraction from other more important business tasks you should be tackling.
- What is your desired result? Perhaps this is the most important question to ask yourself before you start a podcast. Why do you want to do it and what are you hoping will come of it? Do you want to find paying advertisers? Drive traffic to your website?
Aza Grow your business? It’s impossible to get your desired result if you don’t even know what that is.
How Do You Integrate a Podcast Into Your Sales Funnel?
You probably don’t want to launch a podcast just to launch a podcast.
You want something good to come from launching and maintaining that podcast. Ultimately, you want to make money.
But how your podcast makes money is up to you.
Here are your options…
- Drive Revenue For Your Business — If you already own a business that sells products or services, then this is probably the option you want to consider. Don’t monetize your podcast with sponsorships or affiliate promotions, just drive traffic to your existing sales funnels!
- Sell Sponsorships — The most popular way to monetize a podcast is by selling sponsorships. This type of podcast can be entertaining or educational. But the trick is that you find businesses that want to reach your audience and then you mention their products at the beginning or end of each episode. They pay you for these mentions. It’s worth noting, however, that this monetization model usually requires an audience size of at least several thousand in order to attract advertisers.
- To find your first podcast sponsor, go to Midroll, register your podcast, and work to connect with advertisers!
- Affiliate Marketing — Instead of selling podcast mentions directly to other businesses, another option is to just promote affiliate products on your podcast and then put your affiliate link(s) in the description. When people buy, you get paid.
- ClickFunnels — You can get up to 40% recurring commissions by helping to sell ClickFunnel’s memberships!
- Amazon Associates — Amazon’s massive affiliate marketing program offers 10%, which isn’t huge, but you can market any type of product that you want because… well, it’s Amazon.
- ShareASale — This is a huge platform for merchants and affiliates to connect. Sign up, sell other people’s products, get paid. Simple.
- eBay Partner Network — Even eBay wants help selling their products. How much you make depends on what you’re selling, but commission hovers between 2% and 3%.
- Clickbank — This is another platform like ShareASale where you can sell lots of different merchant’s products for a commission.
That last option is the one I want to spend a little more time on.
Podcasting is a top-of-funnel marketing tactic.
What I mean by that is, podcasting is best used to drive traffic to an existing sales that can generate leads and make sales.
It’s kind of like growing your following on Instagram or Facebook — when people start following you, you can communicate with them consistently and lead them toward signing up for your email list or buying your products.
So to answer the question, “Where do you integrate a podcast into your sales funnel?”
Your podcast drives traffic and builds a following; your sales funnel converts that traffic into leads or sales.
5 Steps To Getting Started With Podcast Marketing [For Total Beginners]
If you want to start a podcast as a total beginner, don’t worry!
Here are the 5 steps to building a firm foundation and recording your very first episode.
Step 1. Know Your WHY
A lot of people make the mistake of starting a podcast without knowing their why.
But then what happens is, since they don’t know why they started their podcast or what results they’re trying to drive, either they quit altogether or they never make much progress.
So we encourage you to determine why you want to start your podcast before actually starting it…
- What is the outcome that you’re hoping to achieve 6 months from now? What about one year from now?
- What are some KPIs you could track that would help you determine if you’re making progress or not?
Step 2. Craft a Title & Description
Your podcast title and description will attract your target market and tell people what type of content you produce.
It’s important to make it clear what niche or industry you belong to so that the right people can easily find you.
Take Russell Brunson’s podcast, Marketing Secrets, for example… the name “Marketing Secrets” immediately tells people what the show is about. The word “Secrets” also intrigues our ideal audience (entrepreneurs and marketers) because it makes it seem like they’re going to learn something here that they won’t learn anywhere else.
Your podcast description, then, should make it even more clear who you’re trying to attract, build your own authority, and make some enticing promises about what those people are going to learn.
Step 3. Get The Tech
In order to record your podcast, you’ll need a microphone… and that’s pretty much it.
There are a lot of neat tools you could use to improve your production quality, but when you’re just getting started, those things really aren’t necessary.
Russell Brunson started his podcast by just recording 10-minute episodes on his phone during his commute to work. And guess what? His podcast was growing during that time!
Remember: the actual content of the podcast matters a lot more than the production (especially in the beginning). But if you feel like you’ve got to have a better mic before getting started, the HEiL sound PR-40 Dynamic Studio Microphone has been rated as one of the best podcasting mics on multiple websites.
Step 4. Set Up Podcast Hosting
Another thing you’ll need is podcast hosting.
This will allow you to record and save your podcast episodes and collect subscribers. We recommend checking out Buzzsprout. It’s easy to use and relatively inexpensive.
You can even try it out for free!
Once you’ve got a few episodes under your belt, you might consider listing your podcast on iTunes to further your reach.
Step 5. Launch!
Now it’s time to hit record!
You might be nervous to publish your first episode, but here’s something to keep in mind: the more podcast content that you publish (whether it’s good or bad), the faster that you’re going to find your voice, get better at it, and even build an audience.
If you’re not convinced, check out this video from Russell Brunson…
3 High-Impact Ways To Grow Your Audience [For Beginners & Experts]
Here are three little-known practical secrets for growing your podcast audience… whether you’re a beginner or expert.
1. Publish One Episode Every Day For a Year
When Russell Brunson started his podcast several years ago, he didn’t really know what he was doing.
So he just recorded an episode during his 10-minute commute to work every single day for years.
After 3 years of recording his podcast, someone taught him how to check his downloads to see how many people were listening to his podcast and he found, to his surprise, that he had thousands of listeners every single month.
Publishing one episode every day for a year (even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes) is a great way to grow your podcast because A) you’ll find your voice and become good at podcasting much faster than other people and B) people will learn to count on you for new content (which will increase your number of followers).
Check out this video to learn more…
2. Document Your Journey
You’re probably thinking to yourself… “If I create one podcast episode every single day, what am I going to even talk about?”
And the answer to that question is to focus on documenting your journey rather than creating mind-blowing content.
My coach recently told me, “The only thing more inspiring than someone who’s already figured it all out is someone who’s currently on that journey.”
So what is going on in your own life? In your business? In your podcasting efforts? Decide what you want your podcast to be about and then take your audience on a journey with you by talking through the realizations, lessons, and challenges that you’re currently experiencing. For those of you who’ve read DotComSecrets, this concept is similar to the idea of the Seinfeld email campaigns, but with podcasting.
3. Access Your Dream 100
It might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to grow your own podcast is by being a guest on other people’s podcasts.
But not just any podcasts, specifically by being a guest on other podcasts that your dream customers are already listening to.
You’d be surprised at how many listeners will go check out and subscribe to your own podcast if they enjoy listening to you on another podcast.
In fact, we recommend making a list of 100 podcasts that your dream audience is already listening to. Then, you can either “work your way in” (be a guest) or “buy your way in” (pay for sponsorship). Follow everyone on your dream 100 list on social media, comment on their content, and pitch them once you’ve built an authentic relationship with them.
8 Best Podcasting Tools For Easy (& High-Quality) Production
Once you’re ready to take your podcast to the next level, here are some easy-to-use tools that will increase your production quality…
- Zoom — This video recording service makes it super easy to hop on a call with another person, record both video and audio, and then download that video to publish as your next podcast episode (you could also publish to YouTube since Zoom records video).
- Buzzsprout — Buzzsprout provides a place for you to host your podcast and even collect subscribers.
- HEiL sound PR-40 Dynamic Studio Microphone — This mic comes highly recommended for serious podcasters who want to improve their audio quality.
- Auphonic — Auphonic makes your podcast sound as good as possible with automated sound leveling and normalization.
- Descript — Want to turn one of your podcast episodes into a blog post? You can use Descript to transcribe audio into text.
- ClickFunnels — We highly recommend plugging your podcast into a sales funnel. And you can do that seamlessly with ClickFunnels (get your free 14 day trial over here!).
- UpWork — This is a great website to be aware of if you want to find affordable freelancers who can help you create art for your podcast, intros and outros, soundbites, or anything else you might need.
- Canva — Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool for people who aren’t graphic designers. This is a great tool if you want to create visuals, graphics, or logos for your podcast.
Ready To Launch and Grow Your Podcast?
There’s no time like the present!
If you have a smartphone, then you have everything you need to start your new podcast. If you already have a podcast, then you now have all the tips and strategies you need to grow your listenership.
So off you go!
Let us know how it goes in the comments!