Just as a movie trailer can help to generate publicity for a new film, a podcast tour can help you capture public attention for your podcast. It’s no secret that the podcast industry has exploded in popularity over the last decade, with many of us listening to podcasts for news, advice, and entertainment while doing the dishes, walking the dog, or commuting. In fact, by end of 2021, 50% of US homes were podcast fans – that’s over 60 million homes. By 2023, experts predict that more than 125 million Americans will be listening to podcasts, up from the 46 million recorded in 2015 and 75 million in 2018.
Brands that want to connect with their customers on a personal level have launched podcasts on the most popular platforms. If you’re planning to set up a podcast, rest assured that you’re not the only one trying to figure out how to make the most of this relatively new platform. The good news is that you can learn a lot from those who have gone before you. You will find it even more comforting to hear that the podcast format also allows for creativity and experimenting, so you can develop your own personal style and produce content that stands out in the space.
Aside from spending money on advertising, are there any other ways in which corporations can make use of this new platform? What if, instead of a $10,000 60-second scripted ad read, you produced a $0 60-minute audio that thoroughly educated your target audience on the problem you’re solving? This is where the podcast tour comes in.
To deliver a quality “podcast tour,” you simply need to record brief interviews with your founders where they discuss the programs that you’ll be covering on the podcast and explain what problem these programs will be helping your listeners solve. The key benefit of a podcast tour for a startup is providing education and generating awareness for your podcast. This is particularly essential when you’re covering niche topics that aren’t addressed much on other platforms.
Tactics for executing a podcast tour
It’s vital to note that the primary marketing objectives of a podcast tour are education and awareness, not income. If your goal is to generate revenue as soon as possible, then you will be better off running advertisements.
Other advantages of the podcast tour, aside from education and public awareness, include:
- SEO: Since show notes nearly always contain links to your website and social media, podcast interviews are a terrific approach to generate high-quality backlinks for your website at scale.
- Brand Building: One of the quickest methods to grow your brand and raise awareness of your company is to go on a podcast tour. You’ve walked into a room full of people who have agreed to let you hang around in their heads for an hour of their day. Furthermore, the presenter who brought you on, whom the audience likes, trusts, and respects, automatically validates your brand. Putting a face to the brand will also create a personal connection with your target audience.
- Partnerships and networking: Building ties with influential podcast hosts can eventually lead to more formal marketing collaborations (including podcast advertising).
- Low cost: With a podcast tour, you’re using your own platform to promote your podcast, rather than paying to place advertisements for your show online. You can effectively implement this promotional strategy with a small financial commitment.
Let us now look at some critical tips to follow if you want to create a successful podcast tour.
Step 1: Preliminary research
1) Lean on your network to promote your podcast tour
With so many shows out there that might be a good fit for your startup’s audience, deciding which shows to target with your outreach can be difficult when you’re just getting started with podcasting. There are various basic methods for determining which podcasts to target:
- Keep an eye on top and popular podcasts in relevant topic areas by looking at Apple iTunes charts by category or utilizing tools like Chartable.
- Conduct interviews with your consumers and prospects to discover what shows they listen to.
- Hiring a podcast booking firm, such as Lemonpie, and delegating tasks to them. We highly recommend Lemonpie’s podcast as a resource for learning more about how to use podcasts to promote your business.
While cold outreach can be effective, it is frequently inefficient. As other podcasters have found, only about 10% of the gigs you book will be as a result of cold outreach. Additionally, experts have estimated the response rate with cold outreach to be between 10% and 20%. In podcasting, you need to adopt more interactive approaches that focus on relationship building if you want to connect with people effectively – regardless of whether you’re talking to fellow podcasters or your target audience. If you still want to do cold outreach, do your research first and then email the podcast or message them on LinkedIn. If your founder has a social media presence, then sending an Instagram DM to the host of the show you’re targeting can also work.
2) Search for generic and long-tail keywords
You can use search engines to find people who specialize in the same topics that you’ll be addressing in your podcast. These thought leaders can make good podcast guests. Alternatively, they could help you promote your podcast tour to a wider audience. Since each search engine produces somewhat different results, it’s critical to test all of them.
Begin with broad terms that are related to your topic, such as “b2b marketing.” You can make your search more specific by adding subcategories such as “b2b lead generating” after that. Finally, include related categories such as “b2c SEO.” Look for more shows in the “you might also like” portions of your search results.
3) Search for podcasters who have done successful podcast tours
Other industry figures have likely embarked on podcast tours. That is excellent news! They’ve already done most of the legwork for you when it comes to locating good podcasts to reach out to. Enter their names into each podcast search engine to find more shows that didn’t appear in your category and subcategory searches.
4) Search Amazon author pages
Authors do book tours all the time, and they were actually the first group of people to see the value of this promotional format. For this reason, you can learn a lot from what authors have done to promote their books. Many authors actually have podcasts of their own where you can study what they do to see what they do well.
Step 2: Organizing and targeting shows and hosts
1) Pick your target shows and build a spreadsheet
Depending on the industry you’re in, you could have anywhere between 25 and 50 programs to pitch at this time.
If you’re new to your field, it is recommended to start with the simplest podcasts and work your way up. Each of those shows should be highlighted in green, and you should learn everything you can about them.
2) Listen to 1 to 2 episodes of each target show
If you begin your research by listening to the podcasts you’re interested in, then you can save a lot of time and work. Press play on an episode from each of your target shows that is at least marginally connected to your topic. This can give you an idea of how to structure your own content as well as how to connect with the show hosts if you’re pitching them.
Pay attention to the following:
- The show’s structure
- What guests are invited
- The tone of the conversation
- Typical questions
- Are there any specific sections?
- The most likely target audience
3) Study show ratings and reviews
While planning a podcast tour schedule, there is no easy way to get reliable podcast listenership information. If you wanted to advertise on a show, you might ask the host for the stats during the negotiations. However, you shouldn’t use this strategy for a podcast tour – especially if you’re still starting out and attempting to gain traction in the industry,
We recommend using ratings and reviews to give you an idea of the engagement and impact that each show you’re considering has. Use major podcast search engines such as Apple and Spotify to look for at least ten ratings and reviews. It’s not much, but it’s enough to show that the show has at least some type of audience to work with.
Step 3: Pitching your podcast tour
1) Make a tracking spreadsheet
This spreadsheet can help you keep track of all the promotional activities you carry out during your podcast tour. Be sure to include the podcast’s title, theme, host information, a list of pitches sent, a list of responses received, and a section for any other pertinent remarks.
2) Pitch each host in multiple formats
Just like any other person, podcast hosts are incredibly busy and distracted. For this reason, it’s a good idea to reach out to them via multiple channels. If you’re providing value to their audience, they’ll be grateful you went to such lengths to contact them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that only one email will suffice. Assuming a podcast host has a string of interviews to conduct outside the office on the week when you’re reaching out, then a more direct avenue like a Twitter or Instagram DM might be more effective.
When using email, use the typical three-step procedure:
- Send the original email, followed by two follow-up emails spaced three days apart and then seven days apart.
- Keep your email succinct and scannable (under 400 words with short paragraphs and bullet points). Include a one-page CV demonstrating your expertise on the proposed topic.
- By transforming the text to video or audio, you may personalize it while also demonstrating technical proficiency.
With LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter:
- Send them a direct message along with a connection or follow request.
- Send one more direct message if they don’t react within 24-48 hours.
It’s worth noting that if you’ve been actively participating with and giving value to their content for a long time (at least 2-4 weeks before pitching), your response rates will skyrocket. If you have common interests in the sector, your conversations should flow naturally.
3) Develop an engaging story angle
Above all, use your pitch to make it obvious how and why you will add value to the audience of the podcast host who you’re pitching.
How to do this:
- Start with the first 1-2 episodes you listened to. Use this content to identify the host’s style as well as what makes them tick.
- Look through the show’s previous episodes to see what else has been covered. An overview of the entire podcast will also give you a good idea of the best way to approach each podcast host.
- If your content crosses any lines, admit this and explain how you’ll improve the issue and contribute more to the discourse.
During this process, if you identify specific themes that pop up regularly, these are indicators that some topics are more popular with the host and audience. Even if they aren’t directly linked to what you want to address, you should find a way to incorporate them into your pitch.
With a good pitch, you can preemptively overcome common objections such as “I don’t think you’re the proper fit for my show” and “what’s in it for me?” At the same time, you should ensure that you leave room for the podcast host to be at ease rejecting your pitch. After all, you never know what might happen down the road. These pitches are as much about establishing long-term industry connections as they are about getting in front of a qualified audience right now.
How Pressfarm can help with targeted pitching
While creating a pitch is easy enough, sometimes paying PR professionals to help you with this can save a lot of time and effort. For example, the PR specialists at Pressfam can help create quality content that will appeal to other podcast hosts. With a professional press release, some attention-grabbing feature articles, and an eye-catching media kit, you can capture media attention when it matters most. In addition to creating this content for you, Pressfarm can distribute it widely to your target audience. By submitting this content to the right media outlets, startup directories, and professional networks, Pressfarm can ensure you rank in relevant search results across different search engines.
If you’d prefer to do the pitching yourself, you can use Pressfarm’s media database to look through over 1 million journalists and other media contacts including podcasters. What’s more, you can search for information by individuals, industries, and locations, making it easy to find one that fits your niche and purpose. If you’d prefer to have the hard work of building a media list done for you, Pressfarm is up to the task with an account executive who can personally build custom media lists for your brand.
With Pressfarm, your podcast outreach strategy can attract attention from the right people.
What you need to look out for
You should be looking for two main things; a podcast theme that makes sense for your business story and an audience that matches your customer demographic. You want to make sure you pitch the right story to the right person, just like in traditional PR outreach. Location can also be crucial. If your company is focused on a specific region, a voice from that region may have more clout with listeners than a national or international podcast where people aren’t aware of the product or service.
4) Juice up the offer
Most podcast hosts believe that simply offering to be a guest and share your wisdom on another podcast is sufficient. Wrong. If you really want to stand out from the rest of the podcast hosts who are sending similar pitches, you should offer to help generate a buzz for the podcast episode that you’re hoping to be a part of. For example, you could provide $100 in Facebook Ads to help promote the show.
The idea is to provide the host with something helpful – something that’s unrelated to what you say during the episode. The majority of potential visitors will not go the extra mile to do something like this. As a result, this is an opportunity to set yourself apart by providing additional, unexpected value.
Step 3: Preparation of podcast tour
1) Feed the host content about yourself and the topics you specialize in
Place yourself in the host’s shoes. Consider how much time and work they typically devote to the preparation of each episode. You can help them out by sending as much information as possible about yourself, your topic, and some suggested discussion points ahead of time. This is advantageous to both parties. You can also steer the presenter in a positive direction by pointing out what you think is vital to cover in the episode.
2) Think about the questions
A podcast is a live show. Don’t go into the recording without giving it much consideration and practice. If you’re winging it, it will be obvious to the audience.
- The easiest way to prepare is to work up a show outline with the hosts and then rehearse your responses to the questions.
- Consider relevant stories and interviews to support your arguments.
- Since these interviews are usually brief, you only need to make one or two vital points.
3) Get your call to action ready
The host will almost always ask you where listeners can learn more about you at the end of each show. This is why you should have all of your information prepared ahead of time.
- Create a path for your prospects to follow. Set up a show-specific landing page and URL for tracking purposes.
- Mention the interview in context, offer the show notes, and organically weave in the action you want them to take on the landing page.
4) Build hype for the show
We have already discussed the idea of paid marketing ($100 in Facebook Ads), but if you’re short on cash and have a decent audience, you could instead compose a series of articles on LinkedIn and Twitter promoting the upcoming episode or create a number of clips on YouTube. While reaching out to your target audience on YouTube isn’t the most original idea, it will help you connect with a wider audience and complement the rest of your podcast PR strategy.
There are more ways to include podcasts in your marketing strategy, the most effective of which is creating your own show that you can then use as a platform to promote your brand. When you launch your own branded podcast, you own the channel. This means your podcast may be a considerably more powerful long-term sales and marketing funnel.