Did you know that podcast guesting is a great strategy for e-commerce entrepreneurs to grow their business? Being on a podcast can help to increase not only your traffic but also your social media followers, your newsletter signups and your sales.
The popularity of podcasts is exploding
Podcasts have soared in popularity recently. Five years ago 17% of the US population listened to podcasts. Today, that number is 51% and growing.
And with the growing popularity of connectivity in cars, podcast consumption is only slated to increase!
In addition, Apple just surpassed 1 billion people who subscribe to podcasts on iTunes, so the potential for any online store owner to get exposure to this audience is huge!
If being a guest on a podcast wasn’t on your radar until now, it’s time to consider it as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Five steps to increase your e-commerce website sales through podcast guesting
Podcast hosts are always looking for guests to interview, so you’re in luck! Whether you just launched your online store or have been running it for a while, here are five steps to get your online store noticed by being a guest on podcasts.
1. Find the right podcast
With podcasts, as with everything else, quality is more important than quantity. You won’t get many sales or traffic to your online store if the audience that’s listening to your podcast interview is not your target audience.
Fortunately, there’s a podcast in every imaginable category, so your options are endless! Some angles to consider are e-commerce store owner, mom entrepreneur, former corporate employee to entrepreneur, six-figure entrepreneur, monthly subscription business model, startup entrepreneur, eco-products entrepreneur, millennial entrepreneur, fashion expert, beauty product expert, etc., depending on the type of products you have.
Make a list of the podcasts you’d like to pitch yourself to so you can keep track of when you reach out, when to follow up and who to contact.
Once you have an initial list of podcasts to pitch, you can find more podcasts to add to your list by checking out the “viewers also subscribed to” suggestions associated with each podcast in iTunes.
2. Become familiar with the podcast format
Before you reach out to the podcast host, familiarize yourself with her content and the type of guests she usually brings on. Some podcasts are in an interview format where the host interviews one ore more guests, while other podcasts are only the host talking.
Subscribe to each podcast on your list and listen to a few of their most recent episodes. This gives you a good idea of the topics that each podcast covers and it gives you an advantage when you actually reach out to pitch yourself or your brand.
3. Reach out to the podcast host and pitch your topic
Now that you are familiar with the podcast style and host, it’s time to reach out via email and introduce yourself. When you first reach out, let the host know that you are familiar with her content or guests, as well as what you enjoy about her podcast.
It’s also important to pitch a specific interview angle or story idea.
For example, instead of saying that you’d like to be a guest on her show, say something like “I’d love to be a guest on your podcast and talk about how we were able to get 10,000 Instagram followers in under six months. I think your audience will really benefit from hearing our story.” Or “I’d love to be a guest on your podcast and talk about the new trends in summer fashion. While designing our latest Summer 2015 collection, we came across many industry experts and we now have an inside scoop on what’s trending this summer.”
The more specific you can get when you pitch, the more likely you are to create a connection with the host.
4. Be prepared
If a podcast host is interested in bringing you on her show as a guest, be prepared to send her your bio, your headshot, topic suggestions and anything else she might need during your interview. Schedule your interview date as soon as you have availability and make a note in your calendar to show up early. Many hosts have back-to-back interviews, so it’s important to be respectful of their time and stay on schedule.
Some podcasters like to record your interview on video as well, so verify ahead of time and be prepared to be on camera if necessary.
5. Provide value during the interview
Your number one goal during the interview is not to promote your online store or your products – it’s to provide value to the show’s listeners. Be honest, detailed and answer all the questions asked. The more value you provide, the more likely the show’s listeners are to want to check out your online store after they listen to your episode.
You will be asked to share your e-commerce website's URL and social media profiles at the end of the interview, which is how you’ll drive traffic from your interview to your online store. Consider creating a special landing page that welcomes that particular show’s audience and offer them an incentive to shop at your store – a discount, a free gift, free shipping or a relevant PDF download in exchange for their email address.
A few more tips for podcast guesting success
Here are a few more tips to make the most of your interview and to drive even more traffic to your online store from your interview:
- Share your interview on your social media channels
- Thank the host publicly via social media
- Add a link to your interview on your website
- Share your interview with your own email list (which gives your subscribers the chance to get to know you better)
As with any other form of publicity, podcast guesting requires you to plan ahead and be consistent. Once you have your first interview down, reach out to more podcasters and pitch your story. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the more traffic and sales you will see on your e-commerce website.