If you’ve seen one cold message, you’ve seen them all. It seems like every time you open your LinkedIn message inbox, you’ll wind up with a cold message asking for a connection or trying to sell you on something.
Email is even worse in many cases, with so many emails flowing into the average inbox that it becomes a chore even keeping up. Even Google’s tab sorting barely addresses the problem, and email open rates reflect the deluge of information that the average person deals with.
It’s simply too noisy to stand out.
For most people an email or LinkedIn message doesn’t get a response at best, and at worst it gets deleted and forgotten. But there is an opportunity you may have been overlooking. A way to circumvent that “delete instinct” and actually reach the people you want to talk to.
That method is podcasting.
Jake Jorgovan, founder of Content Allies, believes that podcasts are the greatest revenue-generating tool available for any B2B business. That’s what Content Allies focuses on: building revenue-generating podcasts for B2B.
He’s spent a great deal of time analyzing statistics on B2B tools that are traditionally used for prospecting, and in his opinion podcasts are both one of the most overlooked and one of the most useful methods to create long-term customer value.
Podcasting Is Actually a Sales Pitch
“Just think for a minute about the five or ten customers you’d like the most for your B2B business,” says Jorgovan. “If you were to reach out to them and ask to set up a sales meeting, how many of them would actually do that? Probably not that many. They get so many emails or LinkedIn messages about that. But what if you’re asking them to come on a podcast?”
Jorgovan’s idea of podcasting isn’t as much focused on the audience, though that always matters to some degree. His view of it is that it gives you a chance to get in the room with your ideal customers.
“If you start a podcast that’s related to your industry, you’re already starting with a leg up,” Jorgovan notes. “One of the time-honored principles of networking is to ask people about themselves. Instead of starting with a hard sales pitch, an interview request for a podcast already has a better chance of getting a positive response because you’re starting with the benefit for them. You don’t have to sell them on the product to start with, just the chance to talk about themselves — which most people will happily do.”
Selling Without Selling
Conversion rates are much higher for podcast interviews than they are for actual sales pitches. Jorgovan’s internal numbers from Content Allies indicate a better than 30 percent conversion rate for a podcast interview.
For comparison, MailChimp notes that they see an average open rate of 21.33 percent across all industries, and a click-through rate far lower than that at 2.62 percent. That means that on average, the conversion rate for a podcast interview ask outperforms just the open rate for an email. People are more likely to open the interview request and follow through on it.
And once you have someone on the hook for a podcast interview, it’s much easier to convert them to a customer. You have at least a half hour of uninterrupted time with them, usually more like an hour to an hour and a half.
You get to spend time building that relationship and rapport, getting to know them and cementing a favorable impression of your company in their mind. If you’re deft enough, you can even work a light pitch in if something comes up that your company does.
Becoming an Authority
More than that, though, creating a podcast allows you to become an authority. You gain instant credibility because you have a platform. And bringing guests on that can increase that credibility will build your authority further.
“We’ve noticed with podcasts that after the first 10 or 20 episodes, potential guests often start seeking out the podcast host themselves,” says Jorgovan.
“At that point you don’t have to spend as much time pitching guests to come on the show — it feeds itself. And eventually it opens up opportunities for better and better guests, allowing you to pitch your business to a higher caliber of client.”
Is Podcasting Too Saturated? (Spoiler: It’s Not)
There were over 30 million podcast episodes available in 2020, and over half of all U.S. consumers over the age of 12 consume podcasts. Is the space too saturated to be of value?
Not according to Jorgovan.
“We don’t think of the audience as one of the main benefits,” he says.
“It’s important, sure. And there is value in building a strong podcast audience. But it will grow organically, and for us the value is more in the relationships you can build with possible B2B clients. We usually see about a five percent conversion from podcast guest to business partner or client, which if you’re doing a weekly show gets you a few a year. That’s worth the investment.”
Podcasting is a low-overhead endeavor with a lot of potential for growth and revenue generation. If you’re tired of investing your time and money in traditional email prospecting or cold messaging that doesn’t get the results you want, why not try podcasting?
It could be the secret ingredient you’re missing.