When you think about “podcast marketing”, most of your attention is probably focused on getting more listeners.
More listeners = more sales & sponsorship revenue after all, right?
At some level, that’s probably true.
But if generating more revenue from your show through product or service sales is your primary goal, growing your show probably isn’t the most efficient way to achieve it.
- Many hosts I work with find that their podcast listeners have a 5–8% conversion rate into their paid offersings (compared to 1–2% for non-podcast listeners).
- If you have a podcast audience of 1,000 listeners, that means each launch, you could expect to get between 50–80 customers from your podcast audience.
- If you sell a $1,000 product and launch twice a year then, that would result in between $100k–$160k per year in revenue.
Not bad, right?
I’m guessing it’s also a far cry from what you’re currently seeing in your own business and show.
If that’s the case, it means two things:
- You’re potentially sitting on an goldmine of untapped customers who already know, like, and trust you.
- The fastest, easiest, and highest ROI won’t come from growing your audience… but by tapping into the value locked up in your existing audience
Now, there are a lot of reasons why your audience might not be buying your offer, but in my experience, it comes down to one or more of 6 common problems.
Let’s cover them, shall we?
- Your listeners aren’t aware your product exists
Contrary to what we’d like to believe, our audiences aren’t hanging on our every word. This means a sizeable portion of your audience has no idea your offer exists—even if you think you talk about it all the time (which very few hosts actually do)…
Talk about your offers more frequently, ideally at least once per episode. Post-roll ads in particular are a great way to do this in a non-intrusive way.
- Your listeners aren’t aware of and/or experiencing that problem your offer solves
At some level, every offer should solve a problem of some kind. As a rule of thumb, the more expensive your offer, the more painful the problem that it solves should be (or the greater the benefit customers will experience by purchasing it).
If your listeners are aware of your product but aren’t purchasing, it may be because they either aren’t aware of the problem your offer addresses… or aren’t experiencing it at all.
Talk to your listeners to assess whether they are aware of and experiencing the problem your offer solves.
If they are experiencing the problem but aren’t aware of it, create more content around the problem. If they’re not experiencing the problem, find a different problem they do have and create an offer to solve that.
- Your listeners don’t understand if/how your offer solves their problem
If your listeners are aware of and experiencing the problem but still aren’t buying, it could be that they haven’t made the connection between your offer and their problem.
Ensure your messaging in your in-episode mentions, podcast ads, sales page, and email copy unmistakably addresses the specific problem the offer is designed to solve. No one should be confused about what your offer is and/or how it will help them.
- Your listeners don’t believe the product has a high likelihood of solving the problem
Even with a well-defined and painful problem, and an offer that clearly addresses it, your listeners still need to believe that the offer will work for them.
Use “testimonial episodes”, podcast ads, and other content to highlight and share the stories, experiences, and results of a diverse group of past customers that give individual listeners examples they can see themselves in.
- Your listeners aren’t able to purchase and use the product
In some cases, your audience may not be able to purchase your offer for financial or other circumstantial reasons such as a lack of time.
Send out a “why didn’t you buy” survey after each launch to understand what held people back who would otherwise be a perfect fit. Address the issues that come up in your messaging and/or product going forward.
Also, keep in mind that timing is a huge component of (especially high-ticket) sales. The more opportunities you present for someone to sign up to work with you, the more likely it is for one of your pitches to align with the timing that works for them.
- You can’t access your listeners through a “sales” channel (ie. your email list)
Podcasts are phenomenal tools for educating, connecting with, and nurturing your audience. But they’re terrible for driving action… a necessity for selling your offer effectively.
Make moving podcast listeners to your email list (and vice versa) your number one priority. This will likely involve creating at least one high-value lead magnet (ideally something people would actually pay for) and emailing regularly (even if that’s only once or twice a month) with non-salesy content.
If you have a product that isn’t selling as well as you think it should it’s almost certainly because of one or more of these problems.
The good news is that with each problem you fix, you’ll unlock a new batch of customers—all without growing your audience at all.
What’s more, by making these improvements, you’re drastically reducing the friction (and thus time) between new listeners discovering the show, and becoming customers going forward.
But until then, focus on the 10, 100, or 1,000 listeners who are already primed to become customers and present them with the information they need to take the leap.