How to Sell Things on a Podcast

Sell Things on a Podcast


The commercial potential of podcasting is obvious. That is why so many businesses have invested in it as an auxiliary attraction to their websites or ecommerce pages. In such cases, everything is simplified. The customers of that particular business or the visitors to that site already provide a ready listenership for companies taking this route, and what the business already sells provides a topic for the podcast.

In such cases, something might be sold on the podcast or not. In either case, it clearly has a commercial function for the company.

Let us take an example. Plurawl, a company specializing in prints and T-shirts for the Hispanic community, also produce inspirational podcasts aimed at its regular customers. The stuff they sell already suggests a topic (Hispanic issues) and their regular customer base make up a receptive listenership.

Such is the commercial potential of podcasts. However, not all podcasts grow out of already-functioning businesses, and the question of mixing commerce with podcasting can, in such cases, become a bit more fraught.

How Do You Feel About Selling?

One of the reasons it can be tough for podcasts, which are purely podcasts, is that any appeal they have might be related to the fact that they do not sell anything at all.

In such a situation, things can go either way. On the one hand, you could be accused of selling out and the advertising or product promotion could end up being seen as a mere commercial break, something to be skipped if possible. This will create a bad impression and negatively affect listener numbers.

The alternative to this is that the product being promoted is recognized by the listenership as generally enticing, useful, and related to the topics and issues the podcast is all about. It also helps if the podcast presenter genuinely uses and appreciates the product, which allows the promotion to be framed as passing on useful knowledge (about useful products).

That, at any rate, is the knife edge you need to walk if you want to start selling things on your podcast.

How to Sell on Your Podcast

Nevertheless, if this sound like a good idea for you (as well as something you can get your listeners onboard with) then here follows some brief tips for selling products on your podcast:

Use Dynamic Content

We have mentioned that one of things you are aiming at is having your product promotions being seen as helpful and interesting by listeners, and not merely skippable content. One the ways to do this is to feature the product in a podcast episode, to talk about it and to perhaps even use it live. You need to have a believable and good reason for doing this, but if the product can be the topic, this is a terrific way to promote it.

Bake in Short Ads

Sometimes, the selling can be done by somebody else. An advertising deal involves you embedding ads into your podcast content. This is less personal, but it can be quicker and less intrusive.

Cycle Through Products

One way for regular listeners to become well and truly fed up with your product promotion is for the same ad for the same product to play on every episode. It isquite common for some ad deals to involve multiple episodes but talking about the same product all the time is sure to be received negatively.

Ultimately, podcasts should be promoting themselves most of all – this is what leads to success. Engaging in product promotion and ads can work in harmony with this goal, but a little care should be taken not to turn listeners off.

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