We’re talking about podcasting in these few episodes because it can definitely help you increase your traffic – and that’s the stage of our business that we’re currently talking about on Coffee Break.
But, surely… and ultimately, you want to build your list and sales. We start podcasts to grow our business.
In this installment, I discuss a few specific strategies to help you monetize your podcast.
- How to deliver calls to action on your show
- Specific tactics to build your email list from your podcast
- The 3 ways to promote your own products on your podcast
- A more advanced tactic which will allow you to specifically track the ROI of your podcast
- How to learn how to build your email followup engine, so that your podcast will then result in residual sales down the road from your email list.
So we’re here in another episode of Coffee Break Blogging. This is Episode 99 where we are going to talk today about podcasting some more.
In Episode 96 we started this thing off with “Should you start a podcast in the first place?” We got to ask that question because when you look at the stats out there for podcasting, there is definitely a major growth period happening in podcasting and it is really easy to just jump in to it because you are all excited. But you got to ask yourself and the real honest question is: “Do you have the material inside of your head to really create a podcast?” So that is what we talked about in Episode 96; in 97 we talked about how to start and launch your own podcast and then in 98, I gave you 8 strategies to grow your podcast audience.
So in this episode, we are going to monetize the podcast. Now, we are not at that point yet in our overall 7 Stage Process here of building our online business, but I got to cap off this little series of podcasting by how to turn it into a real promotional vehicle for your business because at the end of the day, that is probably why you did it. We use podcast to promote our brand, but ultimately, what are you looking to do? You are looking to grow your email list most likely, if you are smart… And you are looking to make some sales from that podcast.
And so with that in mind, we need to look into how to make that happen… How do we use the podcast to do it? So with that in mind I have 6 different strategies that I am going to tell you about, right now.
6 Strategies To Monetize Your Podcast
1. Always Have A Call To Action
First of all; and this is kind of like the “duh” one, but we have got to mention it and that is always have a call to action on your podcast, most likely at the end of it. And so that is one of the things that you want to make sure that you just ALWAYS do, with all of your content marketing; is make sure that you have got a call to action, that you are telling them what to do at the end of it.
So, when you create a podcast, you should outline that episode in advance, but you should create that material in such a way that you have something to tell them to do when you are done. Now you can mention that call to action throughout as well, but the most obvious place is going to be at the end. Now that call to action could be a go somewhere to opt-in, it could be a go somewhere and buy something; whatever it might be, but you have got to tell them what to do because part of marketing is, honestly, taking a little bit of control over the people who are listening. It sounds like a bad thing but it is not. This is just the way the world operates. If people are going to get any results with the stuff that you are telling them to do, they have to do what they are telling them to do. So that is control. It is just like a teacher. You have to do what they say.
So the only way that they are going to do it is you got to tell them what to do. And usually, you need to tell them something that is going to come off podcast. You got to get them off podcast, come to your site and do something. So that is having the call to action. Always make sure that it is a part of your outline; of your episode, to include that call to action. And you should specify to yourself what that call to action is going to be so you do not forget, because I’ve done it! The earlier episodes of this, I sometimes forget the call to action. It was kind of crazy, but you will get better at it over time. So now, I include in the outline, and it is no big deal.
2. Use Easy Links To Direct Your Listeners
Now here is the thing; we have to keep in mind that this is an audio based format. We are not typically sitting at our keyboards when we listen. In fact, very often we are not even at a computer. I think I saw a recent stat, I think it was from 2014 but it was like 63% of all podcast downloads were from mobile devices. So most likely you are sitting on a car or you are at the gym or you are going for a walk or you are riding a bike; you don’t have a keyboard in front of you. Or if you are driving, you might have the keyboard on your phone but that would be a very bad idea to start typing on that while you are driving. And so for that reason, you need to have ways directing people to things that are easy. You can’t give them a hyperlink; they don’t have a mouse to click on anything.
And so there are 2 ways to do that; one is using a URL shortener plug-in. And the one that I use is Pretty Link. Specifically, Pretty Link Lite, because there is a pro version, but Pretty Link Lite for free pretty much does everything you need, really. Now, Pretty Link Lite installed on WordPress, the exact same thing you are hosting your podcast from, and you just simply create shorteners. So these shortened URLs could be to your show notes themselves so they could be “Hey go to coffeebreakblogging.com/episode99 and get the show notes for these which at least as of right now that doesn’t exist, so don’t go there… but I am just giving you an idea.
Another thing that you could do is set up links to call to actions; if you got products or squeeze page or something, you can set up shortened links to point there. Now a better way to do it, it is just not completely and totally free, is to actually buy a domain and forward it. And so, for example… coffeebreakblogging.com is a domain that I obviously own, it does not have its own website; what I have simply done is set up domain forwarding using my registrar which is Namecheap, and it just forwards to the page at blogmarketingacademy.com. That is the way it works. Now, the thing about that is because typically .com URLs is the easiest to remember. There are no slashes, there is just no funny business in there and so it is the easiest way to do it is to direct them to a domain.
You also see many times, when I direct people from this podcast to the Blog Monetization Lab I don’t tell them blogmarketingacademy.com/lab, which obviously works. I say “Go to blogmonetizationlab.com”. It is just easy to remember. I also do that with my webinar… blogmonetizationwebinar.com. Those are simply domains that I own that I forward to the right place. So that makes it easier to direct your listeners into your call to actions on a verbal basis by using these nice looking links. So that is strategy no. 2; using nice easy links to direct your listeners.
3. Provide An Official Podcast Guide/Reference
You can provide an official podcast guide or a reference of some kind. And then what you do is of course you ask for their email address to get it. So this comes back to what I was talking about in Episode 98 where I was talking about having a unique selling proposition (USP) for your podcast… One of the ways you can do that is to bring something to the table, and especially if you can provide that continuity between your episodes, it would make perfect sense to have an overall global guide or like an orientation to your show. You know, like the basic principles of your show, maybe the roadmap to the way it is working. And you can provide that for download. Now, the other thing you could provide as an additional benefit would be that you also can notify them of the new episodes to the podcast as they come out because they are going to be on your list to that point, and this grows your list and you can of course build your sales from that as well. So having an official podcast lead magnet would be the way to put that.
4. Provide Episode Specific Downloads
This one is obviously much related to the previous one. Now the person who probably you have listened to most recently that does this pretty much every time is Amy Porterfield. Amy Porterfield does this pretty much every episode. She has something that you can download related to that specific episode that she is doing. She does a fantastic job of that. And it is a really effective way using essentially content upgrades to build your list from your podcast. And so what you can do is set up; it takes a little additional time, but you can set up a bonus download for the episode that you are actually recording.
And you can set that up on your show notes behind an opt-in. And that is probably going to be your most list building strategy from your blog. I am sitting here at Episode 99 right now; I can tell you, if I have 99 different lead magnets out there for this podcast and every one of these things was pointing into that, this podcast will be generating leads to my list a helluva lot more than it is right now. And so that is a really, really powerful strategy but it does take additional time, absolutely no doubt about it.
Now keep in mind, when you create lead magnets they do not have to be big long eBooks, big long videos or anything like that. It could be simply a checklist… It could quite frankly be as simple as giving them a transcript to the very episode they just listened to. I transcribe every episode to this thing; my VA does it, actually. I just don’t put them behind an opt-in. They are just right there at the open but that is one possible option.
5. Cross-promote Your Own Products
Now obviously this works best if you have products of your own or services to offer. So if you have got products you could do, if you think… You could notify your audience of new releases, new things to your launching; any promotional campaigns you might be running at the time, you can mention them on your podcast.
Another thing you can do, if you are not constantly releasing new things, is to notify your audience of updates. You know, if you go in to some eBooks or a course that you already created, just update a couple of things; that is worthy of telling your audience. That is basically an indirect form of promoting your product to them. People like to know that you are still doing active delivery. And so you can let your audience simply know about things that you are updating inside membership sites or what have you.
Third thing you can do here is to promote products that you already have. This is good ol’ cross-promotion. Just because you created a course a year ago or more doesn’t mean you can’t promote it on your blog or on your podcast. Most likely, it is brand new to them.
So don’t get stuck in your own head and think because it is old to you, your audience already knows about it. Most likely, they don’t. And so those are the 3 different things you can do to cross-promote your own products. You can notify them of new releases; you can notify them of product updates and also promote old products that you have already done.
Now I should have probably put a fourth one here on my list and that is, yes, you probably could do this with affiliate products as well. That is something where you would definitely have a Pretty Link involved because most affiliate links are kind of nasty and it will be a little bit of a different marketing buy but you can certainly do that to generate some revenue from your podcast.
6. Track The ROI From Your Podcast
Especially if you are a little bit more advance with your marketing, track your ROI from your podcast. Now, that one can run a lot of people rugged like, “How the hell do I do that?” because iTunes doesn’t give you a lot of stats, it could really be confusing to do this; so here is exactly how I do this… I use a service called “improvely.com“. Now this is basically a marketer’s centric click tracker or a link tracker. Now what you can do with improvely is that you can set up ad tracking links. Now what these ad tracking links do is that use UTM tags, which is something that works with Google Analytics. It allows you to track advertising links and where your incoming traffic is coming from.
So I am not going to dive too deep on to that. You go to blogmarketingacademy.com right now; on the blog there is actually a recent blog post about UTM tags, probably a month ago. But if you are using improvely, you don’t need to worry about that because it is all built-in. And what it does is that it tracks these links based on source. So what you can do is go back to our first strategy of using these easy links like Pretty Links or domain forwarding. Instead of running them directly to through the blog, you can actually run them through in improvely tracking link or some other such tracking link.
Now the thing I like about improvely is because it also tracks conversions. So therefore, I actually have the ability to go back to sales that have happened to Blog Marketing Academy and I can tell whether they came from my podcast or not because when I say the domain coffeebreakblogging.com, it runs through an improvely tracking link so I know that they came specifically from the podcast. If I mention one of my products on the podcast, it goes through an improvely tracking link and I know that they came from the podcast. So I can actually differentiate if somebody signs up for the Blog Monetization Lab, I can tell whether they came from the podcast or not.
Now that is an extremely important thing for your ability to track ROI on your podcast and most likely it is probably result in you being happy. Because I can tell you my ROI for the podcast is pretty good. The level of engagement that I get with you guys on this podcast is significantly higher than what I get on the blog. It just is.
Now inside the Blog Monetization Lab we have got sky high engagement. But it would make sense because I am in there all the time and it is a group of people who are actively engaged all the time; that is kind of the idea. On the general blog, it goes up and down a little bit. But with the podcast, you guys are really engaged; I am in your ear canal, for however long like 15 minutes now. You don’t get that in URLs. And for that reason, when you mention these things that they go opt-in for, or go and potentially check out; when you give them that call to action, they are a lot more likely to do something about it because they know, like and trust you more than if they were just reading things on your blog. And so if you track that using a service like improvely, you will actually be able to sign real numbers to what is happening. So once again, that is improvely.com, it is a paid service but you know, again, if you are looking at this as an asset, it is worth it! It is kind of like your email list. You invest a little bit of money into that as a business asset. I think I am paying improvely right now; it is the lower end plan, I think it is like $29 a month and it is definitely worth it, okay?
So those are the 6 Strategies on how you can more effectively use your podcast to build your list and sales… and I should have probably added “and track it, as well.”
Now I want to end off with a couple of things. First of all, I want to remind you about my recent Action Plans inside the Blog Monetization Lab and that is called “The Email Follow-up Engine“. And this is an action plan that guides you on how to set up automated email campaigns. But it is not just “Hey this is how an autoresponder works”. It actually is going to give you some actual swipe files, it is going to show you the exact structure on how you take a multi-list set up like you would have with Aweber or MailChimp or something like that; and how you actually structure that thing so you have got automated sales happening all in conjunction with stuff coming out from your blog on a routine basis. So it takes a lot of mystery out of it because I know that autoresponders can be like a blank slate and it is really confusing on what to do with it.
So that is the “Email Follow-up Engine” Action Plan… I do mention this also because that is a really effective way to monetize your podcast; is that when you direct people to a call to action, they get on to a list or something like that; it is all about the follow-up. That is how you actually are going to get sales. Most people are not going to buy immediately. They are going to buy a little bit later.
So if you do not have those email follow-up campaigns in place, it is easy to lose them. So if you need guidance on how to build that, it is the Email Follow-up Engine Action Plan and it is only for the members of the Blog Monetization Lab and you can learn more about that at blogmonetizationlab.com.
Lastly, I would like to invite you to review the show. And you could do that over at blogmarketingacademy.com/itunes like I mentioned in the last episode all about podcasting; those iTunes reviews are pretty important. And it is important for me just like they are important for every other podcaster out there. So I would’ve be highly appreciative if you would drop over to iTunes, pop-on in there and post an honest review and star rating of the Coffee Break Blogging podcast. Especially if you have been listening for a little while and you find this podcast to be valuable to you. Okay?
So thank you so much for listening, I will see you on the next episode which is going to be a little bit monumental because we are now looking at Episode 100 of Coffee Break Blogging! That is pretty interesting, pretty cool. I actually, quite frankly, when I started; didn’t know if I’d get there… But here we are!
See you on the next episode – #100! Woohoo! 😀