Ep. 122 | Why podcast interviews convert 25 times better than blogs

This week, we chat with Tom Schwab about why podcast interviews convert 25 times better than blogs.

Tom is the founder and CEO of Interview Valet, an agency that helps book guests on podcasts relevant to their target audiences. As Tom says, you need to get in on the conversation where your ideal customers are already listening.

In our conversation, we discuss how he helps you get more traffic, leads, and raving customer fans by being interviewed on targeted podcasts.

Nathan: Tom, can you tell us more about yourself and Interview Valet?

Tom: Here I am in Kalamazoo, Michigan proving that you can do podcast interviews from any place. Really, my point of view is that marketing, at its heart, is starting a conversation with somebody that could be an ideal customer. There’s a lot of ways to do that and people talk about breaking through the noise. I really look at it and say, getting in on the conversation that the customers are already listening to is the best way.

With that, Interview Valet helps our customers do that. We’re an agency that helps coaches, authors, speakers, brands get on podcasts and talk to their ideal customer. It’s an interesting evolution in content marketing, inbound marketing.

Picture of Tom Schwab for the Rethink Markting podcast where he talks about how podcast interviews convert 25 times better than blogs

Are we at Peak Podcast?

Nathan: Where are we at with podcasts? They’ve been on the rise for the last few years, but are we in peak podcasting or is this still a growing space?

Tom: You know, I call it the golden age of podcasting, and I can’t say that I came up with the term. I actually heard it for the first time last fall when I was at Harvard University for their first podcasting conference. It’s amazing because I think probably three years ago if you said podcasting, most people would think of like Wayne’s World, right? Podcasting was a couple of guys in their mom’s basement doing podcasting. With that, you know, it’s really gone mainstream. There’s a lot of corollaries between the golden age of radio, the golden age of television, and the golden age of podcasting. I think there’s a lot of things that back that up everywhere from Harvard doing conferences on it to mergers and acquisitions for hundreds of millions of dollars in this space. I think we’re just still at the beginning of it.

One of the things I like to look at is, right now in blogs, I think there’s 36 million blogs I had seen. People still see the importance of blogs and new blogs are being added but right now there’s only 600,000 podcast. From that standpoint, when was peak blogs, I don’t know that we’ve seen that yet, but we’re definitely not at peak podcast yet.

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What does Podcast Interview Marketing mean?

Nathan: Well, it’s interesting. You mentioned a number of blogs out there. I saw a stat from WordPress.com that 70 million posts were published each month. It’s a lot of content that’s being published each month and you need to be able to stand out. That gets to this question of, you use the term podcast interview marketing. Can you unpack that for me and tell me what you’re really getting out there?

Tom: Yeah, when we first started out, what we do is really an extension of content marketing, right? Seven, eight years ago, the big hack was to guest blog, right? If you were starting out, instead of putting a blog up on your own site and having it being seen by three people, one of them being your mom, when you first start out, well, put it on a site where your audience already is. Is that the Huffington Post, Fortune, Wall Street Journal? Wherever it is, that guest blog, get it in front of their ideal audience, get that know, like, trust, that authority and then use that to drive traffic back.

Back in 2013, I thought, could you use podcast interviews the same way? Use it like a guest blog. Get in front of there, get the authority, the transfer, and get in front of that audience to tell your story. I was amazed how well it worked.

At first, I was skeptical. I thought, it’s just going to be the niche or the personality. We kept testing it and it really, really worked very well. I mean, conversion rates that were 25 times better, visitor to lead than we were seeing in guest blogs. With that, we started to look at it and said, you know, it’s not just about podcast guesting, it’s not just about getting on a podcast, but what do you do then to help people move from being a passive listener to an active visitor and ultimately an engaged lead and customer.

We really looked at that and said, this is marketing using podcast interviews. That’s really where the category of podcast interview marketing was born.

How do podcast interviews convert into leads and sales?

Nathan: How do you connect the dots between being a guest on a show and then them managing to get leads? How’s that done? What is that process? Is it measured by leads or is it measured by traffic? Measured by what?

Tom: That’s a great question, a great marketing question, because you could say the same thing about blogs, right? Just writing a blog without a point, without a call to action, without a next step. You can blog a lot and that content will never convert.

That’s why you’ve got to think of podcast interviews the same way. Now there’s some different rules in there that we found through all of our testing. One of them is that three calls to action on a podcast interview always convert best. I know this is heresy, right?

Every digital marketer knows one call to action always converts best, but we’ve continued to test this and it always works best when we give them a small yes, a medium yes, and then a heck yes. The big ask. As we talk to people about this, there were some people that used to sell from the stage and they’re like, “Well, yeah, you’ve got to meet people where they are.”

If you’re on a stage, a digital stage, a podcast, you need your goal. Your small goal is just get them back to your site, get them back to your site to just look around. Maybe it’s to throw them a Facebook retargeting pixel.

The medium yes could be just to get them to engage a little bit more. From that standpoint, on a podcast interview, if I start talking about a graph or a picture or a video, you can’t see that. If you can drive them back there to learn more from a webinar or something like that, that is a medium.

Then the final one is if somebody has listened to you for 30 to 45 minutes and they know that you’re the person that they want to work with, that your firm helps people just like them. If they’ve heard about you for 30 to 45 minutes and they come ready to engage, well, don’t slow them down in a funnel. If they come with credit card in hand wanting to see the wizard, give them a chance to get there.

Image quote from Tom Schwab about the power of podcasts to get you in front of your ideal customers

Let me give you an example on this. The best practice is always to send them to a dedicated welcome page, right?

If you’re listening to this, you have no idea what Tom Schwab looks like. You have no idea what Interview Valet’s website looks like, and you’re probably coming from a mobile device. Think about that. That traffic is going to bounce awful and it’s evergreen, right? We’re recording this right now in 2019. There’s somebody right now in 2022 listening to this, and if I sent them to my homepage, that homepage is probably going to change in the next few years. If they don’t see what they expect, then it’s going to bounce. The best practice is always to say, “Hey, here’s a resource for you, just go back to the website, go to interviewvalet.com/rethink.

The first thing they’re going to see is the podcast artwork, right, because that’s a trust seal, a tacit endorsement. The second thing they’re going to see is Nathan’s picture, right, because he is their friend. It’s sort of that once again, trust seal, tacit endorsement. Then there’s some boiler plate texts, and then my picture.

Some people just want to see who the speaker is. There’s going to be three calls to action and a lot of times the small yes, the medium yes and the heck yes … For me a small yes a lot of times is people will ask, “How do you get on your first podcast interview?” I’ll give them a couple of the secrets and say, “You know, there’s infographic we have, the six secrets to getting on your first podcast interview.”

They’ll talk about avoiding mistakes. “Well, there’s a checklist that we have that we give all of our clients. The checklist to have a great podcast interview. If you want to go that, see those, just go back to interviewvalet.com/rethink.”

That’s the small yeses. The medium yes could be a video, something to build that relationship. It could be a free offer, something that’s not going to take a lot of time. That could be a free copy of the book, podcast guest profits, how to grow your business with the targeted podcast interview. Then the big yes, that heck yes.

If they come ready to engage after listening to you, well, make it easy for them. The big yes is typically, you know, if you’d like to set up a consultation, if you’d like to talk about this, how you could use this. Well, come back here and you can schedule a time on the link right there. The whole idea is to give them reasons to go from a passive listener to an active visitor and an engaged lead.

Now you can attribute some of that traffic because if you went to that page, interviewvalet.com/rethink, the only way you got there was from the podcast. You know right away, okay, that’s where the traffic came from. You could even in your marketing you could do closed-loop marketing and attribute all of the sales to that. In your nurturing, you could always mention that podcast hosts that introduced you. There’s just a lot of ways to do that. It’s really just limited by your creativity.

Episode Show notes

  1. Can you tell me more about yourself and Interview Valet?
  2. Are we in Peak Podcasting or is it still a growing space?
  3. What is Podcast Interview Marketing?
  4. Why do podcast interviews work in building your brand, either for yourself or your company?
  5. How do you connect the dots between being a guest and getting leads?
  6. How do you integrate these efforts with your other marketing?
  7. What do you need to get started in being a perfect guest for a podcast?
  8. If they don’t work with Interview Valet, any advice on pitching themselves to podcasts?
  9. What if they are just not a good guest? They ramble on, they have a irritating voice, they use a lot of filler words, etc. Can that be coached?
  10. On the other side, any advice for B2B companies that have a podcast?
  11. How can a podcast seek out the best guests? And then make their guests successful?
  12. How does a service like Interview Valet work?
  13. How do I learn more about Interview Valet?