I’m sure that on more than one occasion you have wondered whether you should create a podcast and integrate it into the marketing strategy for your online shop.
Podcasts are one of the most popular formats at the moments, but is it really worth it for you to make the effort to create them?
In today’s post we are not only going to explain the advantages of using this format, but we are also going to show you how to create your own “radio channel” in order to generate more sales.
You can start dusting off your microphone :)
What’s a podcast and why should you care?
A podcast is a series of voice recordings that you upload to the Internet.
And we said a series of recordings because just one doesn’t make a podcast. The term itself implies that audio files are uploaded regularly.
We could define them as a kind of spoken diary or personal/business radio.
It is technically an MP3 file, light, and it can be downloaded and read by any type of player without any problems, even without using Wi-Fi.
From a commercial point of view, launching a podcast is part of the inbound marketing strategy.
If you haven’t read our post about inbound marketing for e-commerce, you need to know that it is a non-invasive strategy to attract clients in which we make use of a conversion funnel in order to get the sale in the end.
The foundation of inbound marketing is quality content creation and that is where podcasts come in.
However, there are a lot of ways of generating attractive content:
You’ll find out in a minute. ;)
Advantages of launching a podcast for your e-commerce
Most people are lazy when it comes to starting one: “ugh, that must be really complicated!”
However, whenever you realize all the good things they bring as a result, you will be itching to start learning and creating them as soon as possible.
Creating a podcast channel will provide 3 major advantages:
- It is easy to be consumed
Let’s explain each of those one at a time.
1. Easy to consume
They are very easy to use since they are downloadable files.
They can be listened to while running or while commuting to work. Your eyes and hands are free, which makes them the easiest format to be consumed.
According to this Midroll study, podcast listeners are most of the time on the move
Unlike video, they don’t require you to be looking at a screen, so you can combine them with other activities.
The peak of podcasting means a democratization of radio since, as we will see later, anyone can start their own program.
2. You will gain authority
Aristotle, known as the father of persuasion, defined three principles that content must have in order to impact people:
- Ethos: the author must be reliable and transmit authority.
- Pathos: content must appeal to emotions. No, “don’t miss it”, as much as it is used, doesn’t quite cut it.
- Logos: it is the logical part, the rational consideration that users have about it must be beneficial to their interests.
When clients get to your business after having listened to one of your podcast, you already have the ethos. Showing knowledge and passion when talking about a topic is something that everyone likes and gives you immediate authority about the topic itself.
It is not necessarily about how often you publish them (though the best is to keep a rhythm that you can maintain); podcast listeners are often loyal.
According to the research that we mentioned before, 88% of listeners listen to all or almost all of the episodes of the podcasts that they are subscribed to.
So, by making just a minimal effort, you will have the audience on your side
4. Traffic to your shop
And with this one we’ll start talking about the coolest advantages.
Making the jump to audio waves will mean an immediate increase in traffic.
The main “podcatchers” (listening platforms) recommend related content to their listeners. This means that you will be exposed to new users just by creating a podcast.
Competition is still low, so making good use of hashtags and labels will bring you new listeners.
From that moment, and after having listened to you, checking out your website is just a matter of time. And the best part, something we always insist on, this is quality traffic.
5. More sales
Quality traffic will always lead to an increase in sales.
Again, according to the report from Midroll, 61% of the people who have listened to a product ad within a podcast have ended up buying it.
Disadvantages of podcasting
We have talked about the pros of podcasting. However, before you start recording yourself, you should also know about the downside.
- It is too technical: it may not be a good fit for some sectors that have a more traditional or older target audience. The podcast format is associated with smartphones and for many people it is still a challenge to get the most out of theirs.
- Emerging market: even though the big radio channels have already realized it and are uploading their programs in podcast format, people who actually use this format are still the minority. However, as a proof of the trend, here you have data showing that at the end of 2017 streaming overcame traditional radio regarding number of listeners.
- iOS vs Android: Apple and its podcast app have been the greatest promoters. However, Android devices don’t make it quite as easy.
The silver lining from all of these cons is that everyone who discovers the podcast world gets addicted to it. Has that happened to you?
If you haven’t gotten into this amazing universe yet, do it now, subscribe yourself to some channels first and then follow these steps to create your own.
How to create your podcast in 6 steps
As with any other format, it is not just about starting to record yourself for no reason and without a plan. Creating a podcast involves having a strategy. Let’s see what that strategy is:
1. Your ideal listener
If your e-commerce is already working, you should already have a defined buyer persona . However, if you are just starting out, this should be your first step. You have to define who your target audience is since the contents you are going to deal with must encompass your audience’s likes and interests.
Make an effort to get to know the content formats they consume: video, podcast, text? Your clients’ needs are always come before what you offer them.
Bear in mind that the podcast consumption trend is growing. If you compare it to other traditional media, such as TV or radio, you will see that they are going the opposite way.
Have a look at this screenshot from Google Trends from 2014 until today related to podcasts and radio-related searches.
Besides the fact that you are not likely to create a TV or radio program, it’s better to bet on the future, don’t you think?
2. Types of programs
A lot of people only focus their podcast on interviewing people, and while this format works very well, there are many other possibilities. Here are two options:
- Just one presenter: you’re facing danger alone. At the beginning it is strange to listen to yourself, but bit by bit you will get used to it. Use background music so you can stop and both you and the listener can rest.
- Several presenters : it is more complex and it requires more preparation. You will have to prepare a joint script to determine when each of you will speak. It’s a more pleasant listening experience for the audience since there are different voices.
It is not only the voice that you need. What about music?
Music is essential for a good intro, to differentiate the sections, or to liven up certain moments. Besides, it will be your biggest ally when you are recording. Look for a theme song and use it as the base for your podcasts.
Here you have some sources to download copyleft music that you can use without any legal problems.
In addition, if you use Garage Band, the editing software for Mac, you have a huge catalog of available files.
If you use only iVoox to store your programs, you can supposedly use copyrighted music since they have an agreement with the Spanish Society of Authors, Creators, and Publishers.
A good practice in order to increase your reach is to upload them to YouTube. Commercial use of copyrighted music is forbidden, so it is better if you use copyleft songs.
3. Define the structure
Just like when you are writing a post, you need to define a logical structure. Create a script and draw up an outline including everything you are going to talk about.
At very least, you should always include anintroduction, a body, and a closing bit or a farewell:
- Introduction: select a cheerful song and get listeners hooked on it from the first second. Lower the volume after a few seconds and leave it as a background while you offer them a sneak peak of what is yet to come.
- Body: the main part of the episode. Divide it into different sections to lighten it and add a touch of music between sections.
- Closing: this is the time to introduce your CTA (call to action). Think carefully about what is going to be and make it clear.
The script that you use with your main ideas is called the step outline. At the same time, another document that you should create is one with notes for the program.
During the episode you will mention posts, resources, or relevant content about the topic you are dealing with. Adding links in the program notes is a very good praxis that your listeners will appreciate.
4. What kind of equipment do you need to record a podcast?
And now, let’s talk about the equipment. Luckily, audio recordings are less demanding than videos and you will only need 3 main elements:
- USB microphone: if you are starting off strong, buy one with a condenser, although the mic included in your mobile phone headset may be enough. If you are deciding between a condenser microphone and a dynamic one, you should know that the former captures many more sounds. That includes noises from neighbors or from the street. A dynamic mic will save you that issue, but it will not get as much of the depth of your voice.
- Headphones: any pair that you may have will be sufficient to start off with. Get used to monitoring your own voice. This means that you should listen to yourself through the headphones the same way listeners will listen to you. It will be difficult at first, but this is the ideal way to do it if you want to improve.
- Software: there are a lot of software choices for editing audio. One of the most used options that is available for free is Audacity, available for both Windows and Mac. Although, if you use a Mac, our advice is to use Garage Band for your editing.
As you can see, you don’t need a lot of infrastructure. The most important thing is what you are going to talk about, and not how you record it (if and when the quality is optimal).
5. Uploading your podcast
In Spain, the most well known is iVoox. It has a free version, but you can get the premium one as well (€2.5 per month) in order to have some extra features.
Another advantage of these specialized servers is that they are going to generate the RSS file automatically. This file is the one you need to add to the directorates (iTunes) to update your podcast with each new recording.
If you use WordPress, there is a specific plugin for podcast management: PowerPress.
6. Properly set up your channel
When creating a podcast, it is important to take some other facts into account:
- Title page: it must look professional since it will be the first impression that your audience will get about you.
- Channel name : try to make it as descriptive as possible. Also, try to add the keywords by which you want people to search for it.
- Description: explain the topics you are going to talk about. Add keywords again to this regard.
At last, you can now say that you have your own podcast channel; but… how are you going to get your potential clients to listen to it?
We are going to finish this 6-step list with a cherry on the top: podcast promotion.
How to increase the visibility of your podcast
You may have created a masterpiece that could be broadcast by even the best radio channel. However, if you don’t make the effort to publicize it, it will be forgotten.
Here you have some strategies:
- SEO: write good text to go with the episode and optimize it with keywords about the main topic. Google still only reads written text, so if you only focus on the audio, you will be invisible to search engines.
- Review other podcasts: this technique is similar to leaving comments on other people’s blog posts. The difference is that reviews help with the podcast visibility on iTunes. The podcaster that reads your review is likely to have a look at your work in return.
- Ask for reviews: if you are a usual listener, you already know that podcasters ask for 5-star reviews. The iTunes algorithm takes these opinions into account as an important factor for determining your relevance and suggesting it to new listeners. That could even be your closing CTA.
- Create a community: a Telegram or Facebook group, or Slack channels can be good tools to spread your podcast and to open it up for interesting discussion.
- Bring guests: hold an interview or invite somebody who is a referent in your sector. You will be networking and you’ll have the opportunity of reaching their audience as well.
- Let your listeners make suggestions: if your audience is who decides the topics you are going to talk about, the will be more likely to listen to and share your episodes.
But there is still something that is even more important…
The magic ingredient to making your podcast successful, and the only one that depends only on you, is perseverance.
Establishing the broadcast frequency and being able to keep up with it is the greatest challenge that you will have to face as a podcaster.
Once you get past the initial excitement of launching it, the difficult part is to continue creating content with the punctuality that you have established.
Tip: don’t be too ambitious and don’t promise more than what you can really offer.
Are you willing to win over the waves?
Creating a podcast channel and integrating it into your content strategy will help your shop generate more visits and leads.
And, as we’ve said many times before, that always means more sales!