Podcasting is a great medium for several reasons. It allows you to share free, valuable, on-demand audio content with an audience who wants and needs it. And all the while you’re creating an intimate connection with your listeners, in addition to know, like, and trust.
And because of all of this, podcasting also gives you an opportunity to increase sales for a product or service with digital marketing.
Using a Podcast as a Marketing Tool
Creating a podcast as a marketing tool for your existing business is a great idea, and many businesses are not currently leveraging this.
It’s not only another way to grow your reach, it’s also a way to provide even more value to your followers and increase credibility and authority in your industry or niche.
So just as you might consider adding social media or content marketing as a strategy to get new customers and increase sales, podcasting offers several strategies for sales, too, and we’re going to cover those here in this post.
How to Increase Sales
First things first: building a strong foundation for your podcast is key. In order to attract potential customers and generate sales for your products or services, you must start with the basics.
Because you already have a business, you know who your ideal customer is, and therefore who you want to sell to.
You also know that people buy from people they know, like, and trust. Your existing customers already know, like, and trust you, but for a potential customer who is just finding you for the first time, make sure you’re providing the following through your podcast:
- Free, valuable, and consistent content
- Content you know they want and need
- A way for them to build an even stronger relationship with you
- A path to follow so they can become more than just a listener via your website or email list
Once you’ve nailed the foundation for your podcast, you can start leveraging more strategies to turn your listeners into paying customers.
Now let’s dive into those specific strategies to increase sales to your products or services!
Create a Funnel
The beautiful thing about podcasting is that it’s the perfect top of a funnel. What better way to communicate the ONE step you want your listeners to take next than to literally be able to tell them?
Creating a funnel for any product or service is a must, and being able to create rotating calls to action on your podcast that drive your target audience to sign up for your email list, a free course, or for a webinar is a winning strategy for any business.
If you look at a funnel as the journey you take your potential customer on from the time they first come in contact with you all the way to becoming a paying customer, then you can start to put together what a funnel might look like for any one of your products or services.
Here’s one example of a funnel that we’ve created to increase sales for our exclusive membership community and course, Podcasters’ Paradise. We call it our podcasting funnel.
The Podcasting Funnel
Our podcasting funnel has 4 steps that make up what Russell Brunson calls the “value ladder”.
At the very bottom of the ladder is the call to action read on the podcast for listeners to join our Free Podcast Course.
Then, they go to FreePodcastCourse.com and enter their email address in exchange for the free course. We are now able to put them into an email campaign for the free course – and for future podcast-related content.
Once they’ve gone through Free Podcast Course, they are invited to join us on the 3rd step, which is our free Podcast Masterclass. At this stage you might be offering a low ticket item – something you’ll sell in the range of $10 – $50 in order to qualify your leads as actual buyers.
The final step of this funnel is inviting those who watch the free Podcast Masterclass to join us in Podcasters’ Paradise, which is $97 / month or $997 / year.
This funnel functions across all of our business platforms – not just the podcast. However, the traffic we generate for this funnel from the podcast is the highest percentage.
Host a Challenge
What better way to get your listeners engaged than to host a challenge that will help them get a quick win – and also introduce them to a product or service you’re selling?
Because of your strong relationship and engagement with your listeners, you already know what their biggest pain points and struggles are. Therefore, you have the opportunity to create the solution in the form of a product or service.
Like the podcasting funnel I just shared, hosting a challenge provides a selling opportunity for small businesses.
You can host a paid challenge maybe in the range of $15 – $40, or you can host a free challenge.
Because of the massive amounts of value you’re able to provide to those who sign up for your challenge, you can go straight to the sale off the backend of the challenge for a product or service.
The recommended timeframe for a challenge is anywhere from 3-5 days. If you run your challenge for much longer, then it’ll be difficult to keep peoples attention. You can host your challenge in a super simple format, like inside of a Private Facebook Group.
Once you’ve nailed your challenge topic and confirmed it’s in line with the product or service you want to sell off the backend of it, you can run a new one however often you want.
The 5-Day Course Challenge
A great example of a challenge that leads to a service is Thinkific’s 5-day Course Challenge.
Thinkific is a platform where small businesses can host their online courses. So what better challenge to create for their potential customers than one that will help them come up with their course idea – and a course outline – in just 5 days?!
At the end of those 5 days – once the Thinkific team has provided massive value for free – they offer a free trial so people can check out what Thinkific is all about.
This gives Thinkific an opportunity to wow potential customers with their customer service, their small business knowledge, their sales page builder, and everything else they have to offer their customers.
Create Niche Seasons
Creating seasons for your podcast can be a benefit for multiple reasons, and they can also be incredibly helpful when you’re selling something.
A podcast season can run anywhere from 5 – 20 episodes, and the great thing about a season is that the topic stays the same. As a podcast host myself, I find creating content in seasons is much easier because you have a topic thread to follow. This has saved me so much content creation and production time!
If you look at your season as a sort of funnel in and of itself, then it becomes quite simple to setup.
Let’s look at an example of a season I created on my podcast to help promote the launch of our first physical journal, The Freedom Journal.
Season 1 on Goal Setting
As we approached the launch of The Freedom Journal on Kickstarter we wanted to make sure we were talking about it everywhere.
John did a series of 30 podcast episodes in 30 days that focused on goal setting and how successful entrepreneurs approach setting and accomplishing their biggest goals.
And I did a season on my podcast that taught how to set and accomplish your biggest goals step by step. I simply called it Season 1 on Goal Setting.
The season ended up being 10 episodes long and walked through step by step how my listeners could get started with – or improve upon – their goal setting skills.
The entire season was sponsored by The Freedom Journal, and in every episode I talked about how the best next step for my listeners to take was to grab their own copy of The Freedom Journal to help them on their journey to accomplishing their #1 goal in 100 days.
As you can see, these aren’t really high level salesman strategies (or saleswoman strategies ;) ); they’re simply providing value to your listeners, then offering them a product, service, community, or solution you know can help.
Promote Special Deals
Whether you do an annual launch, run a time-specific program, or you have offerings that are evergreen and always available, there’s always room to promote special deals to increase sales.
You could even create a special deal just for your podcast listeners in order to increase sales for business.
You might make a deal time specific – for example, offer a percent off one of your products during your next big launch. Or if you’d prefer to not discount your products or services, which I agree is not a great habit, then your special deal might be adding in a bonus for those who buy your product or service.
The idea is that you’re giving your podcast listeners and exclusive deal people can’t get anywhere else.
One example of this we use in our business is offering podcast listeners a percent off when they use promo code PODCAST to buy one of our Journals.
Be a Guest on Other Podcasts
Having a podcast means you can create value exchanges with other podcasters. Whether that be via an interview swap, a promotional swap, or just via being a guest on other podcasts, your ability to get in front of a targeted audience should be incredibly attractive.
Being a guest on other podcasts puts you in front of a potentially brand new audience who doesn’t know you yet. That means increased exposure for you, your podcast, your business, and as a result, your products and services.
But being a guest on other podcasts does take time and effort. So you have to commit to it – and remember, it’s a proven strategy – and know it can help you grow your customer base and business.
How to be a Guest on Other Podcasts
The steps to be a guest on other podcasts are really quite simple:
- Research podcasts in your industry or niche who speak to the same or a similar audience as you do
- Go through their podcast feed and see where there might be gaps in their content that you can fill in
- Once confirmed they have guests on their show, reach out!
- When you send an email or social media message to ask to be a guest, let them know what value you’ll provide for their listeners
- Follow up!
Again, it’s up to you if you want to do an interview swap or promotional swap (you go on their show, they come on your show). Or, you can just stick with requesting to be a guest on their podcast!
As a result of being on others podcasts, you’ll gain followers and more awareness for you, your podcast, and your business.
Sponsor Other Podcasts
The beautiful thing about building relationships in the podcasting space is that you get to know more about other hosts, their business, and the customer they serve.
Once you’ve built these relationships, you might start to see opportunities to sponsor their podcasts – knowing that the customer they serve is the same (or similar) customer you serve.
Don’t think of it as competition. Think of it as you providing value and a solution to their audience that they don’t currently offer themselves.
Finding Podcasts to Sponsor
For example, let’s say you’re in the Facebook Ads niche. Your podcast is all about Facebook Ads, and you have a course where you teach people how to get started with Facebook Ads.
While researching other podcasts in your industry and niche, you come across a few podcasts that focus on social media marketing.
You reach out to the host and start adding value to their world. You share their content, you share their podcast, and you comment on their social media posts to create two-way engagement with them.
After getting to know them and their business a bit better, you realize that they offer a done-for-you service for social media promotions, but not anything specifically around getting started with Facebook Ads.
The synergies are obvious, and because they don’t have an offering like yours – but you know your offering would be a great fit for their audience – you can reach out and ask if they can send you more information on sponsoring the podcast.
How to Get More Sales by Having a Podcast
Do you see how sales – whether it be for a product, service, community, or any other solution you have to offer – can be offered via your podcast?
The options are endless, and these are just a few of the strategies we’ve used successfully for our products and services. Again, because not many businesses are leveraging these strategies, you have an opportunity to increase your small business sales right now.
For more on how podcasting can help you grow your relationship with your existing customers, get more customers to know about you, increase your sales, and give even more value to your audience, check out our post on How Podcasts Make Money.