Leveraging the potential of podcast interviews in your earned media strategy

Leveraging the potential of strategic podcast interviews can be a smart and effective addition to your marketing strategy.

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Podcasts are an incredible opportunity to promote and market your business. But you don’t need to start a podcast to leverage that potential. Running your own podcast can be a valuable but time-consuming undertaking. 

Fortunately, there is an alternative that will let you work smarter, not harder.

As a guest interviewee, you can leverage the existing audience, network and production of other people’s podcasts. By speaking on some else’s podcast, you can co-create some amazing showcase content that will be available on highly popular audio channels for years to come. And the best part? It comes for free and at a tiny fraction of the the time commitment. 

For most businesses, this option is the smartest move. 

Which Is Right for My Business?

Here’s a simple litmus test for you:

Do you have the bandwidth for an additional 10–20 hours to devote per episode?

Do you need to display expertise on dozens of topics to convey the value your business offers?

If the answer to both of those is no, then podcast guesting is your best option. 

The strategy will work well if you have one core marketing message and you need to optimize your time and effort to effectively get it out to new segments of your target audience. 

Podcast Audience in Numbers

In 2021 57% of Americans declared they have listened to podcasts.

41% declared they have listened to podcasts over the past month.

Source: Statista

The Biggest Mistakes

As an advocate of strategic podcast guesting, there are three overarching mistakes that I see DIYers make:

Mistake 1 — Talking About Random Stuff

The Red Flag: “I’ve been invited on a podcast; I’m just going to let the host ask me questions and see what happens.”

The goal of every interview you do is to have an interesting, engaging conversation with the host that achieves one thing: an episode that when listened to by your ideal client, strongly resonates, telling them what you do what you do, why it matters to them, how you can help them solve a problem and what a joy you’d be to work with. 

Unless you are prepared and able to control the direction and flow of the conversation, there is little chance your interview will have the results you need for your marketing. 

While many hosts are very talented interviewers, some are amateurs (not necessarily a bad thing) in what is a relatively new industry. Never place your brand reputation wholly in their hands.

Mistake 2 — Being In the Wrong Place

The Red Flag:  “A guy invited me on his podcast … What’s it about?  I’m not sure.”  

You don’t want to be on a podcast that is the wrong venue for your message (but, given the large number of shows out there, that still leaves you with hundreds to pick from).  

Every podcast has its own vibe and its own audience coming to hear what they are interested in. You want to be interviewed and featured on a show where the host and their audience are primed and ready to engage in your message.  

Being on the wrong show is, at best, a waste of your time and, at worst, a damaging misrepresentation of who and what you are.

Mistake 3 — Doing Nothing With It

The Red Flag: “I went on a podcast once; it didn’t do anything for my business.”

Most business people who fail to get any benefit from podcast guesting did nothing with it once their episode dropped. You need to have a strategic plan for how you are going to leverage your episodes — one that showcases content, now and in the future. 

Someone has just created some of the most valuable content you could ever want for your marketing. Third party endorsement positioning you as the go-to expert in your field. You are the star of that production; get all the advantage out of it that you can.

While it behooves the podcast to promote your episode, by next week, you are no longer their promotional priority. You are the one who needs to build the momentum of your episode, to make it work for you and pay dividends into the future.

Doing It Right

You need to think of your podcast appearances like promotional public speaking — the same as making a radio or TV appearance, or speaking from the stage. Similar to those opportunities, your success requires planning, strategy and preparation.

This is doubly true for podcast appearances; for better or worse, that content will be available on every audio platform and readily found for years to come.

Getting on the right podcasts with the right hosts, takes time and research. Knowing exactly what you need to say to articulate your brand story via the unpredictable questions and topic shifts of the interview format will take preparation. Knowing how to co-promote and leverage each episode you are featured in for maximum impact for you and your business takes experience. 

None of that happens by accident.

There is a strategic process to making podcast-guesting work for your business. 

Done right, what you get for your effort is authoritative, high-quality interview content positioning you as the go-to expert, all produced, packaged and promoted for you, cost-free, to target audiences you could never access yourself.  

That podcast content can be repurposed into myriad marketing pieces, from blog articles to audiograms to shorter posts to e-books. Using it prominently on your website or on your speaker one-sheet, your podcast appearances can be your stepping stone to ever bigger media opportunities.  

All for only a couple hours of your time.

September Smith is a podcast host, speaker, digital business consultant and podcast-guesting evangelist whose mentorship and coaching helps professionals establish their authority and rise above the noise.