The recipes for any lucrative business model all have one thing in common: they turn existing customers into loyal subscribers. Potent lead magnets are their key ingredients, and the podcasting world is no exception.
Over the last few years, podcasting has grown into a preferred way for people to share their thoughts and stories with the world around them. Podcast audience growth, and ultimately even monetizing that audience, has never been easier than with podcasting, but it's easy to go wrong if you're not careful. Having a lead magnet keeps you on track.
This guide will explain how to make an outstanding lead magnet for your podcasting business. We’ll go over what lead magnets are, how they work, and how you can use them effectively. There's a lot to cover, so let's get going.
Lead Magnets for Podcasting 101
It's no accident that the offering in a lead magnet is called a “hook.” Just like a fishing hook, you use the hook in a lead magnet to entice a customer into taking the action you want. That action can take many forms, from:
- Fascinating bonus content unavailable without a subscription.
- Exclusive invitations to discounts or Q&A sessions with you.
- Freebies: ebooks, videos, or anything else of interest.
- Membership in a private group, such as on Facebook or a platform of your choosing.
The common denominator? Exclusivity. By biting that hook, your lead converts into a customer, someone actively connecting with your brand. They've bridged the gap from mere interest to decisive action. They might not have actually bought something (yet), but there's been a mutual exchange of benefits that bodes well for a profitable future together.
In the quaint language of sales, you've moved from a “cold lead” to a “hot” one. This person has circled down further into the sales funnel, becoming a true prospect.
So hang onto them for dear life!
The Email List
Very few people will tell you this, but a simple list of leads is the most significant resource a business owner can have. You can carry it with you wherever you go. If something ever happens to your following on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever other social media platform you use, you'll still have that email list as a backup.
The lead magnet does two things: it furnishes listeners a premium reward, and it swoops up their contact info for your list. That's a double win for the both of you. Without the lead magnet, that brief social media interaction would be the extent of your contact. With the lead magnet, the sky's the limit.
It makes it easy to:
- Promote new and interesting discussions within your own private circle.
- Assemble feedback from many customers at once.
- Stay in touch with your core listener base, as well as update them about your activities.
- Instantly market your upcoming projects to the very people most likely to be interested.
The list is yours; the prospects are yours, and it comprises only people who have signaled an attraction to your brand. We can't overstate the value of that. Each time someone shows an interest in your brand, try to capture their email.
And when we say try, we mean “magnetically” attract that lead's contact information into your list — with a lead magnet.
The People On Your Email List
Every podcast has a unique value proposition (USP). This is like the defining quality of your service that makes it stand out in the crowded internet landscape. Although different podcasts may overlap with one another — in their themes, discussion topics, and more — each of them has a single USP that sets them apart as well.
Finding that USP is your chief obligation. It's like the tantalizing scent that entices potential customers to a high-end eatery. They'll be drawn to your unique characteristics instinctively, without the need for prompting, simply because they can relate to your brand persona. That USP can also help you to:
- Build a more relevant, targeted lead magnet for your site.
- Produce detailed follow-up plans for all your patrons.
- Personalize your offerings to each person's preferences.
Your interactions with your target audience are always based on their needs and preferences, not yours. Every action is geared towards their satisfaction, but ironically, you can best serve the audience by attending to your own needs first — through authenticity, or by offering material that you yourself would find engaging.
Create a Compelling Lead Magnet
But what characterizes a “good” lead magnet? As the name suggests, make it irresistible. An offer they can't refuse, something that only you can provide. It has to be:
- Easy to download, easy to access.
- Extremely relevant to your audience.
- Directly applicable to your podcast's theme.
- Filled with content they can't find anywhere else.
This will take brainstorming on your part. Sit down and think about your audience. What, specifically, brings them to your podcast? Who are they, and what are their interests? More to the point, why should they give you their money?
Lead magnets that don’t embody a podcast’s brand, that cannot showcase its value, simply go to waste. Get to know who your customers are directly — what makes them tick? Send out surveys, watch their interactions on social media, and ask them for straightforward feedback. Understanding them is the only way to build a relationship for the long haul.
Then organize your knowledge of them. Not every customer has the same likes and interests, and that's okay. Index their feedback according to certain topics, then arrange each section logically. Look for any underlying qualities (age ranges, geography, etc.) that they share and group them together. This is how you develop a lead magnet with an original appeal that nevertheless speaks to multiple audiences at once.
Sounds challenging? Try things like:
- A List of Your Top Podcast Episodes: A curated list of your most popular and highly rated episodes, handpicked by you. You might offer it as a free, all-in-one package, or bundle it in with another content offering.
- An Exclusive Invitation: You could use a limited offer to attract leads. They could be rewarded with a lucky draw to attend either your show or an event you are associated with.
- Offering Bonus Content: Don't put it all out there when you create an episode. Hold a little back for your subscribers, then dangle that bonus content as a reward in your lead magnet. It'll inspire more people to sign up for your content.
As you can see, lead magnets take some careful planning. You should know your audience's interests, and you need a clear understanding of your own brand voice. Your identity as the host should shine through whatever content you display, with consistency and authenticity throughout. People should always encounter the same version of you wherever they encounter your show.
And that includes your visual identity. If you have a logo, or a unique color scheme, show off those artistic elements everywhere your podcast appears. Having multiple visual identities only creates confusion, not sales. An unchanging visual identity across all platforms only reinforces the identity and persona of your entire brand.
You want customers to feel comfortable interacting with your brand. Comfort like that only comes from familiarity and recognition, so take the steps you need to ensure both.
Set Up Your Lead Magnet Landing Page
Most actions your leads take online involve search engines in some shape or form, if only just clicking links on your social media pages. A website or landing page, like the one you can create on Norby, acts as the online headquarters of your podcast, a place for devotees, paying customers, and random visitors to coalesce around their common interest: your show.
And what's the first thing they'll see when they click a search engine results link? If it's a cluttered, confusing page that looks about 20 years outdated, you have your work cut out for you. Your landing page, like the rest of your content offerings, needs to reflect your unique selling proposition, brand voice, and visual identity.
Sell your service offering. That's the one and only job of a landing page. To achieve it, your page should have some combination of:
- Pop-up forms or banners
- Clear calls-to-action embedded throughout the page.
- Contact buttons directing them to you or your team.
- Social media integrations.
- Links to your podcast page where they can follow you easily.
This isn't some artistic endeavor to show off your design skills. Design your landing page with conversion in mind. Without looking too spammy (no neon flashing lights), clearly communicate the actions you want website visitors to take, whether that's following your podcast, signing up to your email list, or something else. Your intention should be obvious from the moment they arrive on the page.
Use only high-quality images. Have clear and succinct headlines that broadcast your message in plain speech. Introduce social proof and testimonials from notable people who've enjoyed your show. If you have any quotes or endorsements from prominent industry figures, display them flagrantly and without a hint of shyness — modesty and landing pages don't mix.
Lastly, don't forget to adapt each of your pages for mobile devices. Most of your audience will listen to you from their smartphones; when they click on any link, they'll most likely do it from a smartphone. Keep that in mind and design your landing page accordingly.
Promote Your Lead Magnet
After creating that lead magnet landing page, promoting it is the next step. Promoting lead magnets isn't a one-time deal. You'll revisit your lead magnet constantly as your business grows — as you learn more about your customers and yourself. So don't treat this as a static page you'll never come back to again.
For marketing, focus on a few select platforms to begin with. Share that lead magnet across all social media pages you've created so far, prominently displaying a link to your page where people can follow your show. You might also consider:
- Creating a ravishing infographic, summing up your offering and how people can benefit.
- Making a video promotion that showcases your actual face and personality.
- Design a landing page with your lead magnet linked or within the page on Norby, where you can customize pages that target your audiences coming off your various social platforms.
Another excellent place to promote your podcast's lead magnet? Mention it in your actual podcast episodes. All you need is a 10 to 20 second explanation of what you offer and why.
Lead magnets are also versatile enough to form the basis of their own campaigns. Have you thought about making a social media giveaway where the reward itself is your lead magnet? Or what if you had a small collection of unreleased episodes that you reward to anyone who signs up for your list? Experiment with different approaches and find the one that works.
But track your results. You can use toolkits like Google Analytics or Facebook's own internal analytical suite to watch conversion rates, incoming traffic to your site, and other meaningful indicators. What online channels are delivering the best results? You'll never know if you don't track your marketing in detail.
Bring It All Together
The most successful lead magnets align closely with the overall theme of your podcast. When your audience lays eyes on your lead magnet, they should see you. They should recognize the persona with whom they've already interacted in the past and experience a sense of familiarity.
This is a tough balance to strike. You're actively selling them in your lead magnet, which probably isn't something you do often in your actual podcast. But it doesn't have to be awkward if you emphasize the value offered. Tell them explicitly:
- Who you are
- Why they should care
- How you can benefit them
Tell them what's in it for them when they sign up for your email list. Over time, you can grow your audience and elevate your sales. Not everyone will buy from you, but the percentage that does will grow constantly as long as your overall audience flourishes alongside it. Anything is possible with the right lead magnet strategy.
Speaking of the RIGHT lead magnet, if you want to save yourself a ton of time in creating an enticing and attractive lead magnet, we have a lead magnet template just for podcasters. Check it out in The Wave’s digital store here.