It’s no secret that podcasts have become a popular content channel for businesses. As more and more listeners tune in to podcast episodes, they offer a unique opportunity to establish a strong brand presence in the digital landscape.
While podcasts have become a powerful tool for branding, what may not be as obvious is the amazing opportunities a podcast provides for generating a return on investment (ROI) for businesses. By adopting the right strategies, you can maximize the potential of this engaging medium and drive new revenue streams.
In this article, we will delve into three key ways that you can leverage podcasts to generate a significant return on investment. Let’s explore how podcasts can help you amplify your brand message, engage with your target audience, and ultimately drive actual business results.
1. Podcast Advertising
Let’s start with the most obvious option for driving revenue from your podcast – episode advertisements and sponsorships. Once you’ve built an audience, you can monetize your content by partnering with advertisers and aligning their offers to your topical episodes.
Typically, there are two types of podcast ads:
- Host-read ads – An ad where the podcast host personally endorses the product or service. These take various forms, and many podcasters have fun with these, telling personal stories about their experience with the product or service.
- Pre-recorded ads – Also known as programmatic ads, these are usually pre-recorded by the advertiser and not read by the host. These ads have been used in the radio industry for decades and are still in podcasting today.
So how do you know if your show has enough listeners to attract potential advertisers? This number can vary dramatically based on several factors, including the genre or niche of your podcast, the demographic of your listeners, and, most importantly, their engagement level.
If you were looking to work with an agency to place ads within your inventory, most agencies would require at least 10K listens a month to even qualify, but this is just a general number. Again, the most important metric here is engagement level. If you have a small, niche audience that’s highly engaged, 2,000 downloads a month at a high conversion rate should be more than attractive to the right partners or advertisers.
If you’re new to podcast advertising, we recommend that you be prepared with numbers when reaching out to potential advertisers. Run some test campaigns yourself, promoting internal content or events, and measure your conversion rate. You can then use this as a case study alongside your general audience metrics when approaching potential advertisers. Always be prepared!
Finally, within the last few years, dynamic ad features have become a mainstay offering from most podcast hosting providers. This allows you to run ad campaigns within your hosting platform that are dynamically inserted into all of your podcast episodes, including previous episodes. This will enable you to maximize your ad impressions (and ultimately conversions) as it serves the ad on any legacy content for which new listeners may be tuning in. Take advantage of this amazing feature!
2. ABM Relationship Building
This one might come as a surprise – How would a podcast series fit into your account-based playbook and drive revenue from key accounts? Ultimately, the goal is to build relationships with your target accounts or re-engage with previous customers at accounts who may have gone dormant. Luckily, podcasts are a great tool you can use to achieve this!
Podcasting is naturally a very conversational medium that lends itself well to relationship building. Inviting guests on your show to talk about shared passions and allowing them to tell their stories will inherently help strengthen your relationship with them.
With this in mind, you could start by identifying key contacts at a few old, dormant accounts and inviting them to be a guest on your show. By having them on as your guest, they are sharing their personal stories and challenges and thus, you’ve already started the relationship-building process. You are on the road to account conversion!
This strategy is a great way to get the contacts at your key accounts to lower their shields and engage with you. This strategy’s potential is so strong that we have clients who use it as their only source of revenue driven from their show.
3. Content & Event Lead Generation
Yes, podcasts are typically ungated, top-of-funnel content. So how can we use this content to drive leads further through the funnel, fill out a lead form, and ultimately convert to revenue?
The first step is analyzing your overall content marketing strategy. The more integrated your podcast is with your overall strategy, the more successful your show will be at driving results. We typically like to identify a premier piece of content that’s upcoming on the release schedule. Maybe it’s a webinar at the end of the quarter highlighting five new go-to-market strategies in 2023. You could plan individual podcast episodes, centered around each of the five strategies, and schedule them leading up to the live webinar. Throughout the episodes, and especially at the end, you should point listeners to the show notes, where they can find a link to register for the upcoming webinar. This leads me to step two.
This second step, integrating your marketing tracking and analytics with your podcast, is incredibly crucial. There are many ways to do this – and your tech stack may offer native integrations – but the easiest method is strategically utilizing UTM codes. By leveraging UTM codes, you can effectively track and measure the performance of your podcasts in terms of lead generation.
Using the webinar example above, as listeners click the link in the show notes and fill out the form to register, your marketing automation system could pull data from the included UTM tags and apply attribution to the specific episode they listened to. Further down the funnel, when they convert to a sale, you can track their journey back to that initial episode.
Okay, now that we can track this attribution, how does this apply to ROI? Well, for marketers who are calculating/weighing first-touch attribution, by connecting a CPL (cost per lead) to this data, you can easily calculate your podcast’s return on investment (ROI) throughout the entire sales process. This comprehensive tracking empowers you to optimize your podcast strategy and make data-driven decisions that maximize its impact on lead generation and sales.
So, embrace the power of podcasts, leverage UTM codes, and dive into the wealth of data they offer. With diligent tracking and analytics, you can dive deep into understanding your podcast’s impact on your lead generation and sales results.
Still Can't Find the Value?
Podcasts are a potent tool in your marketing arsenal, offering a unique blend of engagement, accessibility, and the potential for significant ROI. You can tap into this medium’s full potential via podcast advertising, ABM relationship building, and strategic lead generation strategies. While each of these strategies are powerful in their own right, you really start to see the gains when you combine these strategies together. The more you use, the more ROI you’ll see from your podcast initiatives.
Embrace the power of podcasts, and watch your business reap the rewards! For more tips and advice on generating ROI from podcasts, including how to utilize podcasts in your go-to-market strategy, check out our blog post, How Podcasting Helps These 7 Go-To-Market Strategies, for additional insights!