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The Secret to Organic Podcast Growth
Episode 282nd July 2024 • Podjunction • Sadaf Beynon and Matt Edmundson
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Episode Summary

In this episode of Podjunction, hosts Matt Edmundson and Sadaf Beynon explore effective strategies for growing a podcast audience. Joined by guest Skip Wilson, they dive into both organic and paid methods to attract and retain listeners.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Leverage Quality Guests: Featuring guests with significant followings can organically boost your podcast's reach. Guests often promote their appearances, introducing your podcast to their audience, which can lead to increased downloads and followers.
  2. Optimize for Organic Growth: Use SEO strategies to enhance discoverability. This includes keyword-rich titles, detailed show notes, and transcripts. As platforms like Apple start transcribing podcasts, having well-optimised content becomes even more crucial for improving rankings and attracting organic traffic.
  3. Implement Targeted Paid Media:Utilize targeted advertising on platforms like LinkedIn and Spotify to reach specific audiences. Paid media can offer quick returns on investment if campaigns are well-targeted and focused on clear call-to-action objectives, such as inviting guests or attracting new listeners. Combining email outreach with social media retargeting can amplify the effectiveness of these ads.


Skip Wilson - The Secret to Organic Podcast Growth

Sadaf Beynon: [:

So whether you're a podcasting newbie or a seasoned podcaster, this episode is for you.

Matt Edmundson: Well, good morning. Welcome to Podjunction. My name is Matt Edmundson and beside me is the talented And ever prepared Sadaf Beynon, say Morning . What's right with you?

Sadaf Beynon: Hi everyone. I'm flying by the seat of my pants this morning, .

sometimes it's the best way [:

Uh, one might argue, uh, but while a very warm welcome to the show, I hope you are, uh, enjoying it. If you're new to the show, uh, make sure you subscribe 'cause we just talk about how to use podcasts to grab businesses. In a way, hopefully that's a little bit fun and entertaining as well as educational and informative.


Matt Edmundson: Uh, I'm definitely learning lots from doing this show, by the way. Yeah, I am too. Yeah, it's good. I'm enjoying it. Uh, we were saying beforehand, are we doing this show for people outside or is it just to entertain ourselves? Um, cause we laugh a lot doing this show.

Sadaf Beynon: We hope it's both.

Matt Edmundson: Wait, we're just too scared to look at the numbers.

Brilliant. So coming up on today's show is

Sadaf Beynon: Skip Wilson, dun dun dun

Matt Edmundson: dun. See that? That was professional. It was professional until I hit the microphone with my arm. But yeah, so we've got Skip Wilson part two. And today we are talking about

We're going to find out.[:

Matt Edmundson: That, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call proper planning and preparation because it prevents poor performance. I can't even say it. What were you trying to say? Proper preparation. No, proper. What is it? Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance. There is another P in there, which I've taken out because it's a family show.


Matt Edmundson: Um, but yes, uh, as we have attested to and proven that, you know, planning, uh, but yeah, Skip Wilson, we talked, he's, On episode number two now, isn't it? Because last week we started with him and he was talking about why he started the podcast. Um, and so we're carrying on clips from, from,

Sadaf Beynon: from Skip. Um, I can't remember exactly what this one's about, but I can assure you it's going to be good.

So stick around.

ces and tell her off because [:

Sadaf Beynon: So going back to your, um, the advertising podcast. Um, your, so correct me if I'm wrong, but your primary audience then for that podcast, um, also intersects with your target market for a draft media.

Is that correct?

Skip Wilson: That's a great question. Cause actually, no, it should. And I mean, or, you know, in theory it should, right. Um, but in, but because of the way we wanted that, we actually structured it to where it has benefit for our guests. Um, because remember, like with that podcast, like our, it's all about whoever our guest is.

And so what we wanted to do was create a podcast that has incredible value to whoever that guest is. And then, because it's the guest that's the value to us,


get audience of that podcast [:

I mean, we have a handful of them, but for the most part, we only work with, you know, You know, internal marketing departments, small to mid sized agencies, and fractional CMOs. So they might listen to it, but a lot of it is like advertising basics and those types of things that they probably would not get a ton out of unless they're new to the advertising world.

Um, but a small business owner would get incredible value. And the small business owner is the target audience for a small to mid sized agency or a small business. Fractional CMO. So we created something that is a benefit to our target audience, which is the guest, not necessarily the target audience of the podcast.

r promoting your podcast and [:

Skip Wilson: When you have, um, when you have high quality guests on that have a bit of a following themselves, that itself is a sort of marketing strategy because most, you know, most folks who are a part of a podcast instantly want to tell the world, right?

Like you want to say, Hey, listen to this, check this out. They're going to want to promote that themselves. And so what's nice about that is that you don't have to, like, we don't have to do a lot of promotion. To get, you know, several hundred downloads just organically. Right. And then a certain percentage of those folks will, that they're promoting to, will like the podcast and will begin to follow it themselves.

as to try to get, um, if, if [:

Um, you know, a few hundred bucks on Spotify or a few hundred bucks on. YouTube would go, can go a long way for a

Sadaf Beynon: podcast. Yeah. That's interesting. Cause you're able to then leverage your expertise, aren't you?

Skip Wilson: Yeah. Right. Exactly. And cause you can target, I mean, even, uh, even the self serve side, I mean, even, you know, anybody listening to this can also just do this, can do this themselves as well.

You don't have to go through someone else, but, um, there's benefit to it. Um, and if you do, you can call us, you know, draftmediapartners. com.


that have similar interests, [:

And, you know, it's not like it takes thousands of dollars to see a return. Obviously, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it, the quicker you get out of it, all of those things. But, um, you know, it can truly work for any budget.

The other thing that we've done to, to help promote that podcast is, um, the apply to be a guest. That's the only ad that we've ever put towards that budget. And it's targeted at specific companies. It's targeted, it's a, you know, usually we'll use something like LinkedIn. Um, as a matter of fact, I think we might've only used LinkedIn, but we could have used LinkedIn and programmatic display and, and a few other tactics.

Targeted at specific companies. Saying apply to be a guest.

Sadaf Beynon: How did you do that? Sorry. Can you like spell that out a bit more? What was the process for that?

media strategy should always [:

So, um, if it's business owners, for example. Then, okay, but there's, I don't know of any B2B company that works with all business owners. So small to mid sized, you know, businesses, uh, or, you know, is it company size that's the difference? Is it what industry they're in? That's the difference. And you want to try to whittle it down to like, for us, it was a very specific niche.

ere trying to reach business [:

I think LinkedIn is actually a terrible platform for that, um, because business owners for the most part, they all have LinkedIn, but they're, I mean, nobody's just on LinkedIn for fun unless you're a mid tier VP director or lower, because the only real reason to be on LinkedIn is if you're trying to get a promotion and business owners aren't trying to get a promotion.

So, um, the, so that's not the platform I would choose. And so, um, where, who's your audience? You figure out where are they and then you figure out, okay, what am I, what's the one thing I'm trying to get them to do? You can't, in other words, you can't run an ad saying, listen to my podcast and apply to be a guest or, or apply to be a guest because that's, should be two different groups, two different ads, two different call to actions.

s. I want them to, you know, [:

Spotify is great, because if I'm listening to podcasts on Spotify, I'm a podcast listener already. So for me to switch from one path of the cast to another,

mm-hmm ,

Skip Wilson: incredibly easy. Um, YouTube, um, is I think already the second largest podcast network or podcast platform, and it's going to continue to grow.

Um, and so if I'm on YouTube, it's very simple for me to, instead of whatever I would, instead of watching a cat play piano, I can switch over and watch, you know, and listen to this podcast about this topic that I'm in.

reat conversations coming up.[:

Matt Edmundson: So welcome back. Another cracking insight or series of insights there from Skip. We should just get Skip on the show. Probably he should replace me. I think he, this show might be out.

Sadaf Beynon: You're irreplaceable, Matt.

Matt Edmundson: Feed Matt's ego. It's not true, but let's assume it is for a little while. Skip, what a legend there, talking about, um, so that's actually what you talked about.

You know, you didn't know beforehand, but you did say it was going to be good. It was good, right? Yeah, it was good. Um, but yeah, talking about, you know, growing, growing the strategy or growing the podcast audience. Um, so he broke it down. He had a organic strategy and he had a paid strategy, right? Um, and this is true in, I mean, you know, we talk a lot about eCommerce on the show because that's one of the fields that we're in.

ight? It's one or the other. [:

And actually all he's done is applied that same methodology to, to his podcast. It's like your podcast will grow because of organic growth and it will grow through paid media. Now I'm going to venture to say that most podcasts don't do any form of paid media. Media. And I'm going to venture to say that actually those that have have probably just run Facebook ads or Meta, should I say now we've just run Meta ads.

Um, so let's deal with paid media first, because I, this is, um, perhaps one of the most intriguing things, like how can I use paid media to grow my podcast? Could pay, if you get paid media, right, it is so quick and the return on investment is really strong, but you've got to get it right. This is my experience with eCommerce.

rds which digital marketeers [:

So, um, in most businesses now, it used to be, you could get a ROAS of 14 or 15, certainly with Meta, actually now it's more like two. If you get a ROAS of two, possibly three. You're doing okay. Um, and so understanding, I suppose, with paid media, if you're going to use paid media, so paying for, I liked his, um, I really liked his idea on LinkedIn, the running ads to

Sadaf Beynon: be a guest,

Matt Edmundson: I'd never thought of that.

I think that's quite clever. [:

Sadaf Beynon: Yeah.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. Um, we should definitely try that.


Sadaf Beynon: should do that.

Matt Edmundson: Um, and, uh, that was my takeaway from today, uh, was to, to We're gonna try that, see how he goes. Although Skip, I think he was, he, he was quite right actually in what he said is if you, if your ideal client are business leaders Yeah. Running ads on LinkedIn might not be the best platform for that.

Um, we do cold outreach to business leaders, so we'll message them through LinkedIn. Um, or, you know, through email, um, and we've, we've had a pretty good success rate doing that, right. Um, in terms of reaching out to people, we, we get a good open rate, like high eighties, low nineties open rate, which is, I mean, if I got that in eCommerce, I'd be loving life, let me tell you.

e whether actually what Skip [:

Um, but I, I, I'm, I'm intrigued by the fact that he's obviously figured that out. There's a, that is itself is super valuable, super, super valuable. Um, But yeah, I think we should definitely try it.


Matt Edmundson: I think we should definitely try that.

I've written it down.

Matt Edmundson: You've written it down.

It's going to happen.

Matt Edmundson: It's going to happen. I just wrote Craig and so called Craig. Craig manages our paid media, um, and so, uh, well, he's one of the people that manages our paid media. So we, I'm going to talk to him about it a little bit, uh, and I'm going to talk to Ross as well. I'm going to put Ross here because Ross is a LinkedIn genius.

So yeah, we'll have a little more feedback, uh, over the next few months, how that's gone. You may see our ads appearing on LinkedIn, um, so in which

Sadaf Beynon: case click on them

click on them cause it will [:

Sadaf Beynon: just reach out.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Um, but I thought that was really clever. And so just again, just to reiterate what Skip said, you have to be really clear in digital marketing. Who are you trying to reach? Who are you trying to target? Be as specific as possible. Where do they hang out? Is it LinkedIn? Is it Meta? Is it wherever it is?

Target the ads there and then be really, really clear on the call to action. The one thing you want them to do as a result of seeing that ad, not two things, not three things, but what's the one thing and then just trying those ads and just trying different copy, trying different headlines and seeing which pulls the most for you guys.

And share your findings with us because genuinely I'm intrigued, I'm intrigued by podcast promotion through paid media because I think historically. It's not worked that well and podcasters have stayed clear of it, stayed clear of it. Is that, does that English translate? I don't know if I've said that right.

ave avoided. In other words, [:

And so, and I would suggest that actually, the default path that people have gone down is just doing meta ads. So ads on Facebook, ads on Instagram, possibly even now with WhatsApp, and tried running those ads that used to work quite well, maybe five, six years ago, aren't doing that well now and are a lot more expensive.

And I think that's why people have gone, we've tried it, but it doesn't work.

Sadaf Beynon: I, I remember it was about a year ago that we were gonna do an ad on Facebook Mm. For our, one of our podcast courses. But I really like actually his, his one call to action. Yeah. To apply to be a guest, I think.


hat would, um, that would be [:

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. It would. And I think actually if we wanted to supercharge this. And again, I, I, you know, if you don't know what I'm talking about, that's fine. But one of the ways we could supercharge this is to say, right, let's go and find say 500 people or 1000 people we're going to target on LinkedIn. Let's try and get their email addresses.

Um, you know, some people have their email addresses on LinkedIn. So we're going to pull down those email addresses. So I'm going to target them with ads on LinkedIn, I'm going to do cold outreach through email, and I'm going to maybe message them on LinkedIn. Plus, I'm going to take their email addresses.

or seven times. Um, for very [:

Yeah, you probably do need a couple of thousand people for it to make sense to try and create custom audience on Facebook. Um, but yeah,

Sadaf Beynon: I think the only thing there is you have to be really clear on who it is you're trying to target because some we've done it in the past, haven't we? We've got people that we probably, they probably probably weren't the right prospects.

But, um, yeah.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. And I think that's something you learn, isn't it? As you go through, uh, like with push, I think we've learned who makes better Yeah. Guests and who the people are that we think would be an ideal guest, both for our company and to work with. And the podcast. And the podcast in terms of delivering value.

and I've circled it again is [:

Cause again, I'm so engrossed in eCom, everything is meta or Google. They're the two ones. Yeah. Now Pinterest as well, now TikTok shop. Um, you know, they're, they're sort of on the radar, but, um, Spotify ads, I think. Genius. We're definitely going to try those. Yeah. Um, it used to be with YouTube ads and I, uh, I want to check this out actually.

And maybe I'll, I'll skip this on the eCommerce podcast when it comes to YouTube ads. Um, I remember talking to Brett Curry about YouTube ads and he said to me at the time, you needed at least 5, 000 to make it, make it work. Now this was going back 18 months ago. So I'm imagining, obviously it's changed a lot since then.

sense, if they're on there, [:

So. Let us know your stories. Let us know how you get on. I would genuinely be curious. And of course, as Rick said, um, Skip, why did I say Rick?

Um, I don't know.

Matt Edmundson: I have no idea either. Sorry, Skip. I don't know why I said Rick. And I knew it was wrong as soon as it came out of my mouth. But, if you want some help with it, go contact Skip, uh, and see if that company can help you.

If you're unsure on where to start, um, You never know, you never know, go give them a check out. So that's Pat, anything else on paid? Sure. Yep. What were your takeaways?

g them then talk about it on [:

And then you've got the, the organic way, which is through SEO. And then paid as we've talked about, so we could talk about SEO.

Matt Edmundson: We can talk about SEO. Um, this is one of the most intriguing things. Um, so you've got, you know, how people find you organically and how people find you through paid media. SEO is a big deal in the web and actually it's becoming a bigger and bigger deal now with podcasting.

One of the things that we've noticed more and more, you, you have things like. Um, Apple have just announced recently that they are going to transcribe every podcast.


Matt Edmundson: So they're going to do that. So irrespective of whether you upload a transcript, they are now transcribing the content. So they're going to know much more about the content.


Sadaf Beynon: That's interesting.

Matt Edmundson: Yeah. And I think it's, it's, it's good. I'm curious to see what that impact of that is on people's podcast rankings. Um, because

Sadaf Beynon: we've been doing transcripts

Matt Edmundson: for a long time,

ynon: for a long time. Yeah. [:

Matt Edmundson: I'm a big fan of putting transcripts up, obviously from accessibility point of view, but also because you let's the podcast, you know, let's Apple and Spotify and everybody know what your podcast is about.

If they, Search the transcripts again, not all of them do, but I think it's becoming more and more of a thing now. Um, so SEO, it used to be all about the title and the show notes. Um, and the name of the podcast in some respects, uh, we found that when we changed the name of the eCommerce podcast from, what was it called?

Curiosity. Yeah. The Curiosity Podcast. When we changed it from Curiosity, but the reason we call it that because we got a company called Curious. Um, so we changed it from the Curiosity Podcast to the eCommerce Podcast because the title of the show, from an SEO point of view, if you Google an SEO.

important and the show notes [:

So the podcast players like Apple will read those, but they'll also go on to our website. So Google will read them, that'll also go into the YouTube description, so, you know, YouTube, the biggest, second biggest search engine in the world. Um, so they know what it's all about and I think they're really, really important.

The only thing that I would say about titles is when it comes to SEO on content, it's different to SEO, I think, on a product based site, like an eCommerce site, right? Um, but I think titles of your podcast.

y podcast I'm subscribed to. [:

Whether or not I'm going to listen to it. Um, And the ones that are SEO optimized might not always be the best titles for that show. And this is something I think we have to play around with quite a bit is like, how do we get the best title for the show, which hooks a reader in, uh, reader, listener into the show?

If you look at YouTube, for example, and what works on YouTube and what makes people listen and what draws people in, YouTube has both the thumbnail and the title. So you have a combination of both things. Um, more and more, you have that now, uh, thinking it through, you have that with podcasts because. And a lot of podcasts now you can actually have a unique thumbnail image for that podcast.

n't know if I have the right [:

Um, and so getting people hooked into the show to listen to it and to have interesting content where they stay listening to it is still the most important thing from an organic SEO point of view, I would say.


Matt Edmundson: You got anything to add to that? I mean, you create the titles for the show.

Sadaf Beynon: Yeah, um, I mean, full disclosure, I think there's lots, um, for me that I think I've, I've learned a lot through over the few years that we've been doing this, that how much the titles actually make a difference.

you're getting more and more [:

Matt Edmundson: people's attention.

Yeah. And

Sadaf Beynon: so having that right makes such a big difference.

Matt Edmundson: It does. You, you, you are, years ago when you were the only podcast doing it, it was fine. But now yeah. There's a hundred podcasts all trying to get that listener's attention at that point in time. Mm-Hmm. . And so you have to, I think we can't be lazy about the titles of the podcast.

Yeah. And I think one of the things that we've done in the past is we've just outsourced it to ai. Um, the titles of the show, and I think

Sadaf Beynon: you've taken it a bit back now, aren't we?

Matt Edmundson: Yeah, I think AI is not, this is probably one of my observations. AI is not great at writing titles. And in fact, if you see any title of any podcast, uh, podcast or video with two words, with a , with a colon, you know, AI has written that.

art and a science to it. Um, [:

So I'm asking a question, maybe actually podcast titles, which are questions, which are people are asking are super important. So we could actually go to something like answerthepublic. com type in the, you know, that kind of thing and see, see what questions people are asking. We could maybe go to Google.

now, what is going to cover. [:

Um, maybe paid advertising will be the better way. Um, and run that as a, as the title for the show. Um, and we could, if we were really anal about it, I suppose we could split test it. Like does that title pull in more than that title? Cause you can always go back and change the titles of your podcasts, um, change them on YouTube, see what pulls people in more and so on and so forth.

And I think once you've said it, you don't have to forget about it. You can. Which we tend to do to be fair, I'm just thinking we've got a back catalog of about 600 episodes, which, uh, would be interesting to go back and retitle some of them and rename some of them, knowing what we now know. Um, but yeah, so organic that just to touch on one of the things really quick, he did talk about getting guests that have social following.

anically because we, we give [:

If we share something on social media, we will tag them in the post as well. Um, and obviously quite a lot of guests will also ask us for the full video. So then they can create their own social assets out of it as well. They are brilliant guests those, cause they know exactly what they're doing. Um, and so, but making it easy for them to share the content by tagging them in the posts and giving them access to the assets if they want them is super, super important.

. It will be slower, um, but [:

They were pleased with that content. They want to share it out. Everybody wants content to share with their audience now. So just give them that and they'll do it, you know, uh, which is a beautiful thing. So anything you want to add to that?

Sadaf Beynon: No. Are

Matt Edmundson: you sure?

Sadaf Beynon: Yeah, I'm conscious of time. Yeah, but I think what what I've got in mind that I want to share will leave for another episode.

No doubt it'll come up.

Matt Edmundson: No doubt. Okay, awesome. Well, I enjoyed that one. Skip your legends. We're going to go to play around with some paid media now. Uh, but, um, let us, like I say, let us know how you get on. Genuinely really interested in, in what you guys play around with on this. Uh, we'd really love to know, but yeah, uh, that's it from me.

That's it from Sadaf. Make sure you like and subscribe to the show and all that usual good stuff. And of course, share it out on social media. Help us grow organically. Why would you not, uh, just repost us on your reels and on your stories and on


nd there's all kinds of posh [:

Just share it out. Be really, really stoked, man. If you did put us on LinkedIn, tag us. We would love to see it all. But we'll put our social media links in the show notes so you know how to tag us. I'm saying that I'm

Sadaf Beynon: Yeah, we do. We do.

Matt Edmundson: That's awesome. Okay. And on that bombshell, ladies and gentlemen, have a fantastic week wherever you are in the world. We'll see you next time,

Sadaf Beynon: and that brings us to the end of today's episode at Pod Junction. If you've enjoyed the insights from this episode and want to hear the full conversation with today's special guest, don't forget to visit pod where you'll find more information about how you can join Pod Junction cohort.

on learning, and until next [:




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