Podcasting Copywriting Strategy: Why You Should Care and What You Can Do About It

Matthew Ownby
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You have probably heard about podcasting. But have you thought about your copy for podcasting? And how much it can help in to generate leads and conversions?

It is reported that there are 850,000 active podcasts. But, it is also estimated there are about 31 million YouTube channels.

To separate the signal from the noise, you need good copywriting for YouTube to get the leads and sales you deserve.

Considering the few numbers of podcasts, getting noticed now is much easier. Why compete with 31 million channels when you can compete with 850,000?

Plus, if you do it right, you can also guide your audience to your YouTube channel. A double bonus!

Podcasting Strategy and Copywriting

To have success, you need to do the copywriting right. But before that, you need to have your strategy right.

Then you can think about your podcast copy and the SEO to get it out there. If you do that, your podcast will be more of a multiplier than a sideshow.

First, think where does podcasting fall in your business model? Some people think that podcasts are good for getting new customers.

Do a quick search of the internet. You will see a lot of people showing you more about podcasting.

Others like the legendary direct response marketer Dean Jackson said, “Podcasts suck for getting leads. But they're great for converting them.” He thinks that you should focus on educating and nurturing prospects who have heard about you.

The host of the podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire, John Lee Dumas, has had success with both strategies.

But, you need to decide and test the right mix for your podcast.

The strategy mix you pick will determine the topics you choose, how you talk about them, and how you end your show.

Strategy 1: Podcasting for Lead Generation

If we assume that you are using podcasting to generate more leads, you will need to stick to covering more general topics.

You will need to provide unbiased but valuable content. You shouldn't go directly to your product or service.

For example, if you were doing podcasting on membership sites, you could cover topics like:

  • Common Does and Don'ts For Membership Sites

  • Top Platforms for Membership Sites

  • What is a Membership Site?

Also, do not immediately go for an introduction to your product or service. Instead, just encourage them to subscribe and leave a rating.

For a lead generation focused podcast, you will need to focus on SEO. Fortunately, in 2019, Google started showing individual podcast episodes in searches. This makes it easier than before for people to find your podcast.

Also, users can say, “Hey Google, play me a podcast about Membership Sites.” Google Assistant will search for a podcast on that topic and play the top one.

This will make ranking even more important for audio. People don't want to scroll through a list if they are listening to Google Assistant or Amazon Echo.

According to Android Police, Google is already starting to automatically transcribe podcast episodes.

This probably uses the same technology that is used to check the content in YouTube videos. Plus, it has indexed more than 2 million shows.

But, how can you succeed at podcasting SEO?

Basics for Podcasting SEO

Look for the Right Topic

First, you need topics that your potential clients will care about. You will need the right tools for this. For example, you could use the free tool Ubersuggest.

Once you are there, then type in a keyword or phrase. After you search, look at the results. That's your starting point for what topics to talk about.

But, you're probably thinking, “These tools are for tracking popular blog posts. Does that matter for podcast episodes?”

Neil Patel, an SEO expert and host of the Podcast Marketing School notes, “We've found that if a topic has done well as a blog post, it usually does well as a podcast episode.”

If you put a popular topic in a podcast, it is in a new package. It will be treated as new.

This is because there are few podcasts. Most topics haven't been covered there yet. Podcasting is still a blue ocean with few competitors for you and your business.

Use the Right Keywords

Whatever tool you use, you will also notice there are popular keywords that fit around your topic.

There are 600 million blogs and 31 million YouTube channels. Using keywords is important for Google to separate the signal from the noise.

But, there are only 850,000 podcasts. This means you do not have to worry about the number of times a keyword is in your podcast episode, yet.

You can use keywords whenever it feels natural to you. Yet, if you want to future proof your podcasts, I do recommend the following:

  1. Write out your podcast script.

  2. Count the number of times keywords show up in your script.

  3. Read the script out loud. It should sound natural.

  4. Make sure your keywords show up every couple of minutes.

  5. Adjust the script as needed.

Also, don't worry if you cannot follow the script exactly. Scripts are there to keep you organized.

It is much worse if you read it exactly and sound flat and uninteresting. People will not listen to a boring voice.

Create the Right Title

People will not click to listen to good content if the title is boring.

Do not start with “Episode #1: A Good System To Get Organized.” People will skip that in a heartbeat.

Instead, think of something like “3 Things I Learned From…” or even “3 1/2 Nifty Tips We've Learned On Our Travels.”

But please avoid clickbait titles. Also, make sure your title is related to what you are talking about.

You only have one time to make a good first impression. Do not talk about irrelevant topics or listeners will not give you a second chance.

Strategy 2: Podcasting for Lead Conversion

In the case of lead conversion, the tone and format will be different. You still need copy centered on your customers. And, you are still about providing entertainment and value.

But, you also need to bridge the gap between that and your product. You also need to ask for an action at the end.

That is why you need to decide first which way you want to go. Some people have two separate podcasts.

Others just mix it up. A clear example of the difference is Stu McLaren and James Schramko.

Decide on the Main Format

Stu McLaren has one podcast called Marketing Your Business and another one called It's a Tribe Thing.

The first has general topics and is for lead generation. The second one is much more specific and is for lead conversion.

In contrast, James Schramako has one podcast like most people. But, the topics he covers are very like Stu McLaren's two podcasts. James just sprinkles in lead conversion topics when the time is right.

The podcasts for lead conversation tend to focus on case studies, interviews, or demonstrations. The episodes are crafted to handle questions and objects on the listener's mind.

Ask the Right Questions

For example, James Schramko used a case study in one of his episodes.

A customer talked about how he built a successful membership site with a small list. He also mentioned how others could too.

In this case, James Schramko himself did not explicitly mention his own product. Instead, he let his customers mention that and how the product helped.

It is important to craft your questions correctly. You want to come across as a friendly podcast host. You do not want to sound salesy.

Dean Jackson in More Cheese, Less Whiskers uses the same basic framework in each episode. He doesn`t sell his product, he just demonstrates a part of it.

In other words, he interviews each guest using the framework. This demonstrates in episode after episode how the framework can solve each person's problems.

Make a Call for Action

After you finish your case study or demonstration, you can then ask people to check out a website for more information.

Dean Jackson says if people want to dig deeper, they can go to his website for the podcast or framework. Schramko also mentions his website to bring people to see his services.

In these cases, you still need a catchy title, but you do not have to worry about SEO.

People will have probably heard of you from somewhere and subscribed to your podcast. You just need to keep adding value to keep them listening.


Podcasting is still the wild frontier. There are still not as many podcasts as there are YouTube channels and blogs. It can be easier with less competition, but you still need to be careful.

You still need to create a solid copywriting strategy for your podcast. You need to decide if you want to focus more on lead generation. Or maybe you want to focus on lead conversion.

From there, you can decide what topics to cover, who you want to interview, and how you want to end your show.

There is a lot to think about, but in the end, it can be worth it.

Need some help with your podcast copywriting? You can hire a copywriter here.

Matthew Ownby

Matthew Ownby is American copywriter/translator based in Tokyo, Japan. He is a TEDx speaker and former director of the Japanese branch of Toastmasters. He has worked at NASA, Cisco Japan, and other well-known IT companies. He currently supports Japanese YouTube stars like Yoshito Kamogashira (over 1 million subscribers) and a contributor to one of the largest online communities in Japan.

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