Many businesses face a common problem – they create an outstanding and unique product, but nobody buys it. And it happens due to one main reason: these businesses don’t have a marketing funnel.
A marketing funnel is a framework of the entire marketing strategy. You can’t promote your brand without the funnel because it allows you to attract new leads and convert them into paid customers.
The marketing funnel involves different ways of spreading the word about the brand. It includes things like paid advertising, content marketing, email marketing, and SEO, etc.
But what about podcasts?
Do they work?
In this guide, you will find out how to power up each stage of the marketing funnel with podcasting.
So, let’s get to it.
How Podcasting Can Help Your Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel (also known as a sales funnel) is a pathway of consecutive steps that the prospects take to convert into paid customers. It consists of the four main stages – awareness, interest, consideration, and conversion. Also, you can generalize the stages as – top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.
You might wonder why do marketers compare it to the “funnel”?
It’s because as the leads move down the funnel, they tend to drop out at every stage.
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In truth, we are not here to discuss how to start a podcast, but instead let’s ask the question: how can podcasting help your market funnel engage with your potential audience.
Podcasting gives you a more flexible way to interact with your audience. Old-fashioned content marketing nudges people to communicate with the brand via comments. On the other hand, podcasting allows you to be in touch with the audience directly.
Audio is intimate. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that podcast listeners tend to be more loyal and engaged. Podcast hosts often have a specific audience who share similar interests, lifestyles, careers, or hobbies. Similar to radio hosts, podcasters are creating communities around their shows and developing authentic relationships with their listeners. Podcast audiences are becoming loyal listeners. This is the power of podcasting.
In reality, the possibilities are endless. As a business owner, you should be harnessing the power of this medium either by launching your own podcast or being a guest on a specific podcast. This will allow you to lead your listeners down the marketing funnel.
In fact, podcasting is the perfect medium to raise awareness, build interest, influence your audience’s decisions, and convert people into customers.
Now, let’s run through each stage of the marketing funnel and see how you can use podcasting specifically.
First Stage: Awareness
The journey of your potential customers starts at the stage called “awareness” and is the uppermost stage of the marketing funnel.
People can’t buy something that they don’t know exists correct? As a result, the goal of the awareness stage is to build awareness and get your message in front of the right eyes.
At this point, an individual is trying to a solve problem, get an answer, or meet a need. They’re looking online for information and content that can help them resolved the problem. Their value as a lead is low because there’s no guarantee that they’ll buy from you. But those who find your content helpful and interesting may journey on to the middle of the funnel.
In fact, the awareness stage gives you lots of different ways to let more people know about your brand. Podcasting is not an exception. Podcasting is an excellent approach to reach out to the audience. It helps you communicate with people and talk about the problems related to their business.
Podcasts help us push beyond the typical, casual relationships we have with people and, instead, go deeper in this world that keeps trending more shallow.Jay Acunzo
There are two ways that use podcasting during this stage of the funnel: (1) creating your own podcast (2) being a guest on other podcasts.
Starting your own podcast
As an entrepreneur, podcasting might not be the first thing on your mind. But it’s an incredibly useful tool to leverage your business. There’s a relatively low learning curve to starting a podcast. Hence why so many people you know have launched their own.
We won’t lie to you: gathering a huge podcast following could be a long road upward. But the key to effective podcasting for small business owners comes from putting out reliable and consistent content. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ll be in the perfect position as the master of your niche market.
Why should you start your own podcast?
- Reach new audiences
- Generate interest among potential clients
- Connect with other experts in your field
- Sponsorship offers
- Or even to learn new things
Let’s focus on the top of the marketing funnel: awareness. Starting your own podcasts allows you to reach a larger pool of individuals who are not only more apt to transform into loyal and engaged listeners, but according to PodcastInsights.com are also affluent and educated.
It’s also important to note that these loyal listeners — referred to as podcast “Super Listeners” as PodcastOne and Edison Research calls them — are usually difficult to reach with traditional advertising, but are quite open to ads from podcasting. In a study conducted by Morning Consult more than half (52%) of podcast listeners said they’d be more likely to try a product or service if it is recommended by the host of their favorite podcast.
This means that once you turn your audience into loyal listeners, they are more likely to convert into customers.
Finding niche-related podcasts
Another strategy is to be a guest on other niche-related podcasts.
In order to find these podcasts, one thing you can do is go to Google and use this search operator “top [your niche] podcasts” to find curated lists. These curated lists suggest different podcasts, some of them are quite popular. Hence, if you are new on the market, you won’t have any chances to be a guest there. Instead, focus on less popular podcasts.
There is another way to find podcasts related to your business.
First of all, find an expert or influencer within the niche and explore all podcasts where this person has been featured as a guest.
How do you do this?
Let’s take the example of one of the influencers in the real estate world, Barbara Corcoran. She has 667K followers on Instagram.
To discover the podcasts Barbara Corcoran has been interviewed on, you will need to use the Content Explorer tool from Ahrefs. Type the following request “[influencer name] + podcast” and reap the benefits.
As you can see, the report suggests around 200 opportunities for your consideration.
The next step is to pitch yourself as a potential podcast guest. You’ve probably never been on a podcast before, so before you pitch yourself, here is what you should be doing:
- Listen to a few episodes of this particular podcast
- Brainstorm a couple of topics to suggest
- Prepare a personalized email pitch
The Awareness Stage is crucial for whatever type of business you run.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you decide to launch your own podcast or reach out to podcasts to be a guest. The ultimate purpose is to build a connection with your target audience. This top-of-the-funnel audio is concentrated on “thought leadership.” The majority of podcasts in the business category are mechanisms to make their hosts and sponsors better-known while also building relationships with interesting guests.
Let people know you as an expert. And there is no better way to show your expertise than participating in marketing and business podcasts.
Let’s move on with the next stage of the funnel!
Second Stage: Interest
The second stage of the marketing funnel is called “Interest.”
At this stage, your target audience already knows about your brand. People have heard from you that you are aware of the problem they have. They start to realize that you can help them solve the issue. Therefore, they are getting involved in the Interest stage of the funnel.
So, how can you get the most out of podcasting at this stage?
First and foremost, you need to investigate your target audience’s concerns in more detail. If you know what topics to raise during a podcast interview, the more likely you’ll nudge people into the next stage of the funnel.
For instance, your brand offers tools that help business owners create beautifully designed content. Your initial appearances on podcasts were focused on letting people know how content design can help their business. Now, your listeners want to get more in-depth information on how they can create well-designed content. But what exact questions your target audience wants you to cover during your podcast episodes?
Try to walk a mile in your potential customer’s shoes. If they are interested in creating graphically designed content, they might want to know something like:
- how to make an infographic
- what is the process of creating animated charts etc
- how to use flowcharts
As you can see, these questions can be considered as separate topics. You can cover each of these topics on the podcast.
Let’s look at another tangible example.
The stage of consideration is the next-to-last in the funnel.
Third Stage: Consideration
Consideration is almost the final stage of the funnel.
Your potential customers already know about the problem. They are aware of the solution. And they understand that your product or service can help them. Perfect, now what.
You must convince people that they should decide in favor of your business.
We recently came across a perfect example provided by Convince and Convert. Jay Baer writes that his daughter was deciding where to go to college and she had narrowed it down to two choices, one of which included Santa Clara University. However, Santa Clara launched a new podcast called Life Invented, that interviews admissions counsellors and current Santa Clara students about how and why people go to school there, and what the experience is like. Then, the university emails the links to the show to all the admitted students and their parents.
Talk about smart middle-of-the-funnel strategy.
So what is the point here? Your listeners are in the consideration phase, so keep communicating with them and gain their trust on a more human level. You can do this by telling them a story, just like Santa Clara University does.
Great marketing isn’t about who arrives. It’s about who stays.Jay Acunzo
First, ask: WHY should people trust you? Who are you?
Second, don’t try to sell verbally. Try to provide people with the arguments about why your service, business or products stands out from the crowd.
For example, let’s say, you develop your business in the eCommerce niche and you’ve launched an online store that sells new earphones.
Here are some ideas on how you can build your speech:
- Introduce your product to the audience
- Educate your audience
- Make an announcement
- Talk more about the value of your product
- Make a comparison of your product with competitors (make sure you are objectives and you don’t lie)
- Answer their questions
Now, moving on to the final stage of the funnel ahead!
Final Stage: Conversion
|Quick Tip: The “Interest” and the “Consideration” parts of the marketing funnel are also known as the THINK level when people are actively consuming your content and really considering you and/or your services. As a result, to be successful at making content at the Think level, you need the listener thinking about how you, your products, your services, your thoughts benefit them. Not just once, but again and again. Producing Think-level content on your podcast gives you a chance to really tell your story to an engaged audience.|
The last stage of the funnel is conversion.
By now, your potential customers are convinced that your service is the only right solution they need. And you have nothing more to do than give them the final boost so they become a paid customer.
But, how can you do this?
For example, you can:
- Instill urgency (e.g., if people buy from you during the podcast interview, they will give a solid discount or a free month for using the service)
- Promise something valuable in return (e.g., they will get an e-book free of charge)
- Offer some loyal program
- Upsells (e.g., two devices for the price of one)
In the end, it should be stated that you can jump to the conversion stage while being interviewed on whatever podcast you want. How? Well if you are a guest on someone’s show you can promote your e-course, service, book, or product at the end of the episode and even offer listeners a special discount code.
To Sum Up
Podcasting is an actionable way of promoting your brand at every stage of the marketing funnel. It is not difficult if you know what your target audience wants to hear from you at a particular stage.
Follow the tips and pieces of advice suggested in this guide. Be a guest across niche-related podcasts. Build awareness around your brand. Grow your business and attract more customers.
And, if you have some tips to add, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at Visme, an all-in-one visual content platform that allows you to create presentations, infographics, reports, and social media images. When not at work, he likes to spend his time with family, read books on science-fiction, practice playing the bass, and visit the gym.