Why Your CEO Needs to be a Podcast Guest

7 min read

A lot can change in a year. Of course, we can point to the pandemic, which meant that your business had to navigate through uncharted waters, but the world of technology and information consumption continues to change at a rapid pace. As Albert Einstein wisely pointed out, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

Life sciences companies need to find effective ways to engage with their audience. Regardless of their profession, healthcare professionals are still consumers who are looking for ways to catch up on news and digest valuable information, endless—and very specific—topics that match their interests, and highly accessible content (you don’t have to be staring at a screen, you can multitask, and it’s available on-demand when you want it).

Guess what checks all those boxes: Podcasts! Yep, podcasts have become an incredibly powerful content type that builds trust and loyalty. Podcasts are essentially an enhanced form of content: they’re more engaging than written articles, they can be evergreen, and most of all, they offer a lot of value to the listener.

Podcasts are also inherently personal, voice-driven experiences. “Audio is one of the most intimate forms of media because you are constantly building your own images of the story in your mind and you’re creating your own production,” said Emma Rodero, a communications professor at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona who studies how audio file productions retain people’s attention. “And that of course, is something that you can never get with visual media.”

2020 may have been the year of TikTok, but 2021 is the year of the podcast. As we saw with the shift from traditional marketing to social media marketing, podcasts proved themselves to be game-changers in the business world. Let us show you how you can capitalize on this important new business strategy. Because it’s time for your executive leadership team, especially your CEO, to mic up and face your audience!

Who Listens to Podcasts?

There are currently more than 1,750,000 active podcasts with 43 million episodes—up from 525,000 podcasts and 18.5 million episodes in 2018. But who’s listening to them? In short, podcast listeners are loyal, affluent, educated and engaged—pretty much your ideal target audience. Here’s a quick snapshot:

Podcasting is on the rise and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. It complements other components of your content marketing strategy, is an effective way to reach an engaged audience and elevates your company and credibility via a trusted endorsement.

The Push for Guest Podcasting

The benefits of your CEO guest speaking on a podcast are monumental: from increasing brand exposure to building authentic relationships and partnerships. Diving into a new content form like podcasting will open new opportunities to build your business and connect with audiences who are choosing to spend their time with you. The audience is primed and cares deeply about the podcast they listen to thus giving you an audience who’s truly tuned in and ready to receive your message.

Let’s take a look at five reasons why you should consider incorporating guest speaking on a podcast into your content marketing strategy.

1: Building Your Brand Awareness

With exposure comes opportunity—a shot at promoting your brand by associating it with an established podcast and podfluencer host, aka content creator. Moreover, one that has direct access to your target audience which is key to authentically increase brand awareness.

“Best way to sell something: Don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.” —Rand Fishkin

Listeners can get to know your CEO and brand rather than just your category alone. Better yet, in being a guest on another’s podcast, your audience automatically believes and trusts that you are an expert in your category. This is extremely powerful. As the audience extracts value from what you’re saying, they’re more likely to want to hear more from you. In turn, this will establish lifetime value with your audience and open opportunities to build relationships with other podcasters. Your CEO can also invite listeners to connect on LinkedIn or offer a valuable asset to them to generate prospects.

2: Attract New, Engaged Audiences

As previously mentioned, traditional media isn’t capturing your audience’s attention like it used to. It’s harder to get engagement or capture attention when everything’s gone digital. But the truth is you don’t just need more eyes and ears on your business—you need more engaged and qualified ones.

Your CEO has roughly 45 minutes as a guest speaker to spark a meaningful conversation with the podcast host and share something new with the audience. According to Edison Research, 74% of podcast users listen to podcasts to learn something new. The audience is locked in and fully engaged so much so that they’ll likely listen to the entire podcast episode (remember, they chose to be here). The numbers don’t lie. According to market research, 80% of podcast listeners tune in to a podcast episode until the very end or close to it.

The appeal of podcasts particularly during the pandemic runs deeper especially with many people spending more time at home. In fact, according to Statista, 90% of podcast listeners prefer to listen while at home. Nowadays you need to focus on developing a type of content that is easy to consume and more accessible. The point is they’re not engaged while scrolling online content, but they’re willing to break from their computer screen to listen to a podcast with an authentic conversation and compelling story.

3: Amplify Your Credible Reputation

When a podcast host welcomes your CEO onto their podcast, that says something meaningful about your CEO and brand to the audience. The host recognizes the value your CEO can bring to the podcast and its loyal audience. Enforcement from the host lends itself to increased credibility, helps brand positioning, improves authority, and generates trust.

Podcasts lend a voice to your CEO’s industry-related thought leadership in a way that humanizes their reputation and the brand’s identity. However, it’s important to refrain from being self-serving and inauthentic, which will detract from the personal touch of the conversation. Focus on sharing what problem you’re trying to solve for your customers and don’t shy away from showing off your personality—this will only make the connections stronger. Like Randall Fishkin says, people want to do business with who they respect and trust, so creating genuine conversation should be the main goal.

By having your CEO participate in podcasts, they enter a conversation where they can share their expertise and unique industry knowledge in a way that couldn’t be captured in a blog or email. Podcasting helps facilitate transparency that allows the audience to get to know your CEO and brand in a new, accessible way.

4: Save Time, Effort, and Money

In contrast to webinars and virtual conferences, podcasts are an easy digital media format to get into with minimal cost, effort or time commitment. Of course, you’ll need to plan ahead in order to reap these benefits, but necessary preparations are very minimal and don’t require much time, effort, or money to set into motion. You may even find that it’s much easier than writing a blog. Beyond preparing some talking points, you won’t have to worry about any strategy for promotions or marketing, along with the costs, leading up to the podcast episode release or following it. The podcast host bears the brunt of the work. Lucky for you! Simply show up and show out.

5: Generate Evergreen, High-Quality Content

The podcast episode in itself is an exceptional piece of content for your marketing strategy. From one episode, you can create an evergreen repository of online content which can be utilized across all of your digital marketing channels. Your host will likely turn the podcast into a free marketing promotion such as a 15-second sound bite to share on social media or transcribe the conversation into a blog post. This is an opportunity for you to promote the podcast episode on your company’s website and social media platforms. Again, this is another way you’ll tap into those hard-to-reach qualified audiences. The podcast host also often provides links to content, websites, etc. in the show notes for the podcast which allows you to expose more people to important content such as case studies, demo videos, clinical publications, etc.

With each podcast that your CEO guest speaks on, there is an opportunity to increase visibility and be discovered online via search engines for specific search queries and the podcast itself lives on endlessly.

Securing Your Guest Podcast Spot: A Checklist

The benefits of your CEO guest speaking on a podcast are monumental: from increasing brand exposure to building authentic relationships and partnerships. Podcasting will open new opportunities to build your business and connect with audiences who are choosing to spend their time with you. Here’s how to get started:

✔ Have a very clear and compelling point-of-view and brand narrative about why you started your business. This should include the urgent problem you identified in the market that you want to uniquely solve for a particular audience. Every good story showcases the customer as the hero so it has to be about helping someone not selling a product.

✔ Identify three potential guest spots. Look to your network for connections! Here are a few options (here, here, and here) for consideration but this is not an exhaustive list.

✔ Develop a detailed proposal for each podcast. Make them uniquely valuable to the podcast you are pitching to. What does your CEO have to say that would be perceived as valuable to the audience? Why would listeners be interested in hearing the interview?

✔ Send off your proposals. Keep your mind open to other opportunities while you’re waiting. Continuously explore news stories and trends to find ways to connect your business and brand story to them.

✔ Make your guest podcast debut!

The Bottom Line

Guest podcasting offers countless benefits that will boost your business and drive real business results in 2021. Keep in mind that you should be thinking of podcasting as an integral part of your overall content marketing strategy, not just a one-time gig. What you can achieve in a well-crafted and planned out guest podcasting opportunity is something that many other content forms cannot.

P.S. Now that we've shared our insights on podcasting, we'd love to hear from you. If you have one minute to spare, please take our quick survey so we can better understand your podcast preferences. We appreciate your feedback!

Do more with digital and grow your business with guest podcasting. We’re all ears!

Want to try new content marketing strategies?

Grey Matter Marketing is a full-service, award-winning PR and marketing agency working exclusively with life science companies. We deliver the expertise and experience so clients can make more informed business decisions and see better business results. Contact us and let us help you create a more effective content marketing strategy in 2021 and beyond.

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