Maximize Your Podcast’s ROI with a Home Base
November is Make the Case Month at MSR. Every week, we’ll load you up with the big-picture ideas and tactical tips you need to sell your branded show concept to the “powers that be” within your organization. We know that shows are the best vehicle to help grow brand affinity among your customers; this month, we’re helping ensure everyone else at your company understands that, too. If you’re as pumped as we are, catch up on the content we’ve already published and subscribe for exclusive bonus content and conversations here.
Editor’s Note: Lindsay is the CEO and co-founder of Casted, a presenting sponsor of MSR. While we welcome contributed articles, we only publish those that comply with our editorial and company mission and vision. Our presenting sponsors have no say over our editorial decisions.
As marketers, we all want the biggest bang for our marketing spend and efforts. We want to maximize our budgets and see visible returns from all of our hard work. Otherwise we just feel like we’re adding to the noise.
And we all know there’s enough noise out there already.
For people who’ve never created a podcast before, it might seem super easy. You just buy a cheap mic on Amazon and start chatting it up, right? You and I both know that’s not true. Tons of strategy and thought go into creating and launching a successful podcast, not to mention all the tasky work and logistics. But when it’s all said and done, you’ve got this curated, strategic piece of rich audio content. [Cue the angel chorus.]
Afterwards, you upload your podcast to the everyday distribution channels and “ta-da!” You’re done, right? Who’s ready for a cocktail? But wait… Before you start celebrating — or, more realistically, before you move on to everything else on your to-do list — answer these questions:
How are you not only building, but owning your audience?
Have you fully leveraged this piece of content you put so much hard work into?
Are you truly wringing all the goodness out of your podcast?
Once you upload your podcast, dear showrunner, we’d argue that the fun has only just begun.
Let’s say someone from your company gets a thought leadership piece published in The Wall Street Journal. Awesome! Would your marketing efforts stop there? Would you call it a day and just hope people stumbled upon the piece and came flocking? Of course not.
You’d strategically take that same company expertise and share it with the world in loads of other ways—your company’s website, a blog, social media, or third-party publications. You’d rework, recycle, and repurpose it. Why? Because you are one savvy marketer. You know that while securing a sweet content placement on a third-party site where lots of people will see it is great, it’s only part of a strategy. And it’s definitely not the strategy itself.
The same should go for your podcast.
How are you going beyond simply publishing your show to the big (and not-so-big) players to really wring out the content and own your audience?
Publishing great content shouldn’t be an end point, but rather a beautiful beginning.
Traditionally, marketers have treated podcasting as a top-of-funnel, one-way street, which definitely has merit. But it’s only half the picture. Many of us are overlooking the fact that podcasts also make a powerful outbound tool. To truly get the most out of all our hard work and maximize our impact, we have to leverage our podcasts through both inbound and outbound marketing.
It makes no sense to put something magical out there and just wait for people to stumble upon it in one place. Research shows that people are tuning in to podcasts using all kinds of tools and devices. Sometimes, we assume that everyone accesses podcasts the way we do, but that’s simply not true.
For example, I’m a huge car listener. From Drift’s Seeking Wisdom to #FlipMyFunnel to the Badass Women’s Council podcast and How I Built This and, of course, Unthinkable, I can’t get enough podcast goodness during my commute. But I also listen on my computer throughout the workday. And I’m not alone – not by a longshot. In fact, 90% of listeners report also tuning in at home and 37% at work, as opposed to just when they’re out and about.
We have to start thinking bigger when it comes to distribution. And the best place to start is right under your nose.
One way to maximize your podcast content’s reach and return is simply to house it on your own website. This helps you maintain control and maximize the consumer experience, just to name a few perks. And you’re seriously wasting time and money if you don’t. Let’s look at why.
1. Maximize exposure
Dishing up your podcast on your own site, in addition to the typical channels, means getting new ears on your content and new eyes on your brand. Yes, Apple and Spotify are excellent low-barrier entry points for potential customers and fans, but they definitely shouldn’t be the only places people can find your content.
And we’re not just talking about housing the audio on your site. As you repurpose your podcast into other formats like blogs, transcripts, and comprehensive show notes, you not only serve up a richer user experience, but you boost the chances people will find you organically through SEO.
In addition, you have the opportunity to encourage meaningful shares on your own site. You can make one-click shares enticing and easy with shareable quotes, audio snippets, graphics, and more. These not only promote the show, but they also send people back to your owned real estate – your site.
2. Control the user experience
Like with social media, the podcasting world is unpredictable. Thus, it wouldn’t be wise to put all your eggs in the mainstream player basket. For example, Apple has altered what they consider “New and Noteworthy” in podcasts many times over the past year, and other players tend to follow suit when Apple changes things up. Understanding how to “game” the system and ensure visibility for your podcast is impossible.
When someone finds your podcast through a third-party platform, you have little to no control over how you’re represented there. Sure: you can pop in a logo and add some messaging, but everything else is out of your hands.Giving your podcast a home on your own site means retaining much more control. You can enrich and guide the user experience while incorporating strategy and staying on brand.
3. Get the analytics you deserve
The lack of valuable metrics remains one of the biggest podcast pain points for marketers. But when you send people to your own site to listen, suddenly a whole new world of analytics opens up. You can measure far more than the number of downloads of your show. You can start tracking all sorts of helpful data, like:
- How are users interacting with your content?
- Where else on your site are they going?
- How long are they sticking around?
- Where are listeners coming from?
- Are they sharing and how?
Owning your audience delivers incredible data that you can leverage – both for sales and for marketing purposes.
4. Build lasting relationships
The best businesses are built on relationships. That’s part of the magic of podcasts, right? Listeners feel like they’ve pulled up a chair and are taking in an intimate conversation.
This is exactly why it’s time to put out a fresh welcome mat and invite people to interact with your podcast on your home turf. Housing your podcast there provides a more personable, inviting experience with more opportunities for conversation and relationship-building.
And we know that the best podcasts leave listeners hungry for more time with hosts and guests. When users are listening on your site, you can turn your podcast appetizer into a full-course meal with extras like:
- Episode bonus materials like photos, cheat sheets, and backstories
- Related episodes from your archive
- Relevant resources like whitepapers, blogs, or online courses
- Interaction opportunities
- Host bios and photos
- Upcoming events, services, or offerings
Plus, your site is a great place for capturing emails to continue that relationship-building down the road. When someone bounces off Apple or Spotify, you have no way of knowing who they are or how to stay connected to them.
All this to say: creating a podcast experience on your home turf makes all the sense. You have the awesome opportunity to add value and dish up an incredible podcast experience (not to mention capture great metrics). And just like a great first date, listeners will leave eager to keep in touch and wanting to get to know you better.
Wanna know why we get so fired up about all of this?
At Casted, we’re a content marketing platform built on conversations. Everything we do focuses around igniting conversations and helping marketers get their content-rich interactions out there to the world.
And hear us out: we’re not knocking third-party podcast players here. Not at all! They deliver a really fantastic inbound approach to leveraging your podcasts in your content strategy. But they’re only half of the equation. What about outbound? What about leveraging your show to not only grow your audience, but also own their overall experience with your brand.
Quit playing hide and seek.
You’re creating great content; I totally believe that. Now it’s time to stop waiting for listeners to come find it. Housing your podcast on your own site is really a no-brainer, and it’s not a ton of extra work. 50% of podcast aficionados said they’d listen to more podcasts if they were easier to find. And we know people are hungry for intimacy, connection, and rich online experiences, which are far easier to create on our own sites. So, let’s give them what they’re asking for, shall we?
Subscribing to our newsletter is a good idea any time, but particularly exciting during November 2019. During MSR’s Make the Case Month, subscribers will receive weekly newsletters with exclusive invitations to chat live with the MSR team. What are you waiting for? Subscribe now!
Lindsay Tjepkema is the CEO and Co-Founder of Casted, the B2B podcasting platform.