- Appearing as a podcast guest can improve SEO, brand equity, and consumer trust.
- Instead of selling your brand, choose topics that let you share your story or educate the audience.
- Integrate podcasts into your other marketing channels for maximum benefit.
- This article is part of “Marketing for Small Business,” a series exploring the basics of marketing strategy for SBOs to earn new customers and grow their business.
As a small-business owner, you might think starting a podcast is a good way to get your business in front of potential customers. But it’s a lot of work for not a lot of reward, experts told Insider. Instead, they recommend offering yourself up as a guest on an existing podcast — especially if you’re a small business without much of a marketing budget.
“I think it’s the best-cost way to get your name out,” said Paul Gunn Jr., the founder and CEO of Kuog Inc., a logistics service.
Not only does his business’ website get an SEO boost from being linked on other sites, he said his Hunstville, Alabama, company has seen improved brand equity and stronger relationships with customers, resulting in better leads and more favorable deal terms.
While hosting your own podcast can offer similar benefits, it takes a lot more work as a founder.
“A 30-minute show takes four hours of production behind it — or you can show up for 30 minutes to an hour and get your interview, and you’re done,” Michelle Glogovac, the founder of the podcast PR firm The MLG Collective and the author of the forthcoming book “How to Get on Podcasts,” told Insider.
Appearing on podcasts also helps you get in front of new audiences.
“Listeners already trust the host, and therefore that trust is extended to you,” Glogovac said. In a recent Magna and Vox Media survey, 75% of respondents said podcast hosts are the most influential media figures in their lives, ahead of social-media influencers and celebrities.
Insider talked with small-business owners to find out how to make the most of podcast interviews for marketing.
Share your story instead of selling
Glogovac said you shouldn’t go into podcast interviews with the mindset of pitching your product or service. Instead, look for opportunities to share something about yourself or your business in an inspirational, motivational, or educational way. “In allowing others to get to know you, to get to know your story, they’re going to want to then buy from you,” she said.
Bryan Clayton, the founder of the lawn-care company GreenPal, told Insider that very few of the hundreds of podcasts interviews he’s done actually relate to lawn care. Instead, he looks for “shoulder niches” on topics like personal development, business advice, and fitness.
“If I have some tacit experience and can help people who were where I was get to where I am, then I’ll do it,” Clayton said. If the podcast is the right fit for you, your brand should come out naturally in your story rather than feeling forced, he added.
Gunn, the logistics and supply-chain firm CEO, said he looks for podcast opportunities that allow him to share his values, so customers and partners get a preview of what it would be like to work with him. “Do they see your personality? Can they visit you before they visit you?” he said.
Look for hosts with targeted — not necessarily big — followings
To find podcasts to participate in, Glogovac recommended searching podcast apps, such as Podchaser, for relevant topic areas or searching Instagram with “#[topic]podcasts.” Gunn has found many of his podcast opportunities via Qwoted, the online platform connecting media with brands and experts.
When vetting podcasts, Glogovac said to pay more attention to audience quality over quantity.
“Maybe there’s a show that has 500,000 downloads a month, but two people are going to be interested in what you have to say versus the one that gets 250 downloads a month, and everyone is going to want to hear from you,” she said. She also advised paying attention to how well the hosts market each podcast episode to ensure it will be well-promoted.
Candice D’Angelo has a unique strategy for choosing which podcasts she appears on. To market her sales-training agency The Selling Lab, the Florida business owner looks for podcasts where the host is part of her target audience (specifically, business coaches with podcasts who would potentially hire her to support their group-coaching programs).
She said she tries to establish a relationship with the host and discusses the value she could bring if they hired her to train their clients. She said that after recording an episode, about 70% of hosts ask her how they can work together in the future.
Maximize every podcast for your own marketing
While the podcast host should be doing plenty of marketing on their social channels and website, there are also plenty of ways to repurpose content for your own channels.
“I suggest every client do a blog post on their interviews,” Glogovac said. “We ask for the embed player code and then write show notes so that it’s SEO heavy.” She also pulls out three quotes from every interview to turn into social-media graphics and creates a Spotify playlist for each of her clients with all of their interviews in one place.
Gunn likes to alternate between doing podcast interviews and writing online articles about similar topics to give customers multiple touchpoints.
D’Angelo links to some of her favorite podcast interviews on the services page of her website, in part because it helps create warmer leads. “If they looked at our website, they listened to multiple podcasts, and then they booked a call, I know that we’re in the same space,” she said.
Get yourself out there on a regular basis
It’s important to give podcast interviews time — and do them consistently — to see results. Glogovac recommended aiming for three to four interviews a month to ensure you’re getting visibility, and D’Angelo said you should keep that up for three to six months to gain traction.
“You have to play the long game,” Clayton said. “Every once in a while — like every 10 or 20 interviews — a huge one comes along where 100,000 people hear what GreenPal is all about, and it just evens it all out. That’s the win right there.”