Podcasts have recently grown into one of the most popular forms of content. According to DemandSage, there are currently over 2.4 million podcasts with more than 66 million episodes between them! Podcasts can create an extensive number of opportunities for PR and marketing teams such as sharing new products, innovation, initiatives, research, etc., and should be used as part of an overall communications strategy. However, there are some best practices and helpful tips to consider before diving into the podcast space.
First things first, do your research! Identify podcasts within your industry that cover topics you’re already an expert on. Not sure where to start? My favorite tool for podcast research is PodSeeker, because it gives you a contact email and shows how many monthly listeners a podcast has, which can help gauge relevance. Additionally, here are some of the things I like to look for in a podcast: has it discussed your competitors, mentioned or interacted with your organization before, featured other guests in the same role/title, or covered topics you regularly discuss?
If you or someone at your company is looking to share information about a product, services, experiences, etc., be sure that the podcast actually accepts guest before pitching. According to Muck Rack’s “State of Podcasting 2022” report, 81% of podcasts feature guests sometimes or often, so you should be in luck.
Once you have your podcast targets identified it’s time to create a pitch. According to Muck Rack, current events are the leading source of inspiration for podcast content. So, your pitch should be tied to relevant and timely events or topics within your industry. Only 22% of podcasters surveyed rely on topics introduced exclusively via pitches, so your topic shouldn’t be random, but instead well-informed by current events, news, topics or research.
Once you’ve formulated a good pitch, it’s equally important to understand what makes a bad one. Muck Rack states lack of personalization, confusing subject lines and bad timing are the leading reasons why podcasters will reject a topic or guest. In fact, lack of personalization ranked even higher this year at 51% of respondents vs. 47% in 2021. Additionally, 55% prefer pitches that are 200 words or less and notably, most had no preference on a day of the week to be pitched. Of the podcasters that have a preferred pitch day, Tuesdays were at the top of the list.
Furthermore, podcasters like to know you’re familiar with their shows. They want you to review their website and content or review their social media presence before pitching. This also helps you to better personalize your pitch, thus raising the chances they’ll respond and invite you on their show.
With all that in mind here are a few key additional things to keep in mind when drafting a podcast pitch:
- Your subject line should be clear and specific. For example: “New Podcast Guest? [Guest Name from Guest Company]”
- Make it personalized! Mention the podcast or the host by name in the first sentence.
- Keep it short, as mentioned above, under 100 words is the sweet spot.
- Link to your guests LinkedIn or digital portfolio so the host can easily check them out.
- Reference recent research or an event that you can speak about.
- Follow up! Sometimes the timing is just off, continue to follow up weekly a handful of times.
Podcast popularity is increasing. In fact, 64% of those surveyed believe podcasts will be even more popular in the next two years. If you have plans to tap into this medium, be sure to follow some of these tips to ensure your outreach efforts are a success. Happy pitching!