This is where a Call-to-Action (CTA) comes in. A CTA is a prompt to your audience to do something, for example subscribe to the show, download a white paper, leave a review etc.
Previously organic growth may have been enough for some podcasts to grow a large listenership and produce a highly successful podcast show. Now, the podcasting industry has grown substantially. As of June 2022, there are an astounding 2.4 million podcast show with over 66 million episodes. Organic growth is not going to be enough anymore. If you want to produce a successful podcast, you need to be using your Calls-to-Action to establish this success.
Success will look different to different podcasters. Whether your goal is to increase your episode downloads, maximise podcast revenue, establish yourself as an industry pro, or generate qualified leads for your business, to achieve these you need your listeners to act in some way.
The act you are encouraging your listeners to take is relevant to your podcast goals and ultimately will have a huge impact on your podcast’s success. Choosing the right Call-to-Action, and implementing them in the right way, is crucial.
Perhaps you are familiar with CTAs from other areas of your business or brand. It is typically recommended that you use different CTAs in your podcast as opposed to other places in your company, because your podcast is likely to have distinct or podcast-specific objectives.
If you are using your podcast to generate leads for your business, your listeners are also likely to be at a different stage of your lead generation cycle than those from other areas.
Podcasts are an excellent form of content when it comes to using a Call-to-Action as your podcast show allows you to build a more personal connection with your listeners that other mediums or content does not. Podcast episodes are uniquely suited that your audience has likely invested a lot of time in your show, and have shown dedicated engagement. This allows you to build a level of trust between your brand and your audience, and allows you to directly communicate with your engaged listeners. Based on this, your audience is far more likely to want to take action and follow through on what you have directed them to do.
Podcast shows could have an endless amount of potential Calls-to-Action they could use to work towards their goals. Some examples include asking your listeners to:
Each of these CTAs can help you grow your show, reach your goals and drive the success of your podcast.
When deciding what your Call-to-Action for an episode will be, you need to use a relevant and effective CTA that will motivate your listeners to take the desired action.
1. It must be very clear to your audience what exactly they should do and why they should do it.
You need to be clear and concise about exactly what it is that you would like your listeners to do. Only ask your listeners to do one thing at a time. If you include a long list of actions that you want them to take, they will get overwhelmed, or tune out, or forget the first things you mentioned. Some of your listeners will likely be multitasking while they are listening to your podcast show which could cause them to be even more confused. A CTA that is convoluted or confusing will get you nowhere.
While being clear exactly what they should do, emphasise what the benefits of taking action are for them. Each of the example CTAs above have an associated benefit for your listener, whether its access to useful material, discounts, exposure to more of your content, even helping out one of their favourite voices in the podcast industry.
2. Make sure your Call-to-Action is relevant.
As your podcast goals shift, you will need to adjust your CTAs accordingly. Some Calls-to-Action are evergreen while others are time dependent. If you have a mailing list, asking your listeners to sign up will always be an applicable CTA to use.
Asking them to attend a live podcast stage show that has already taken place is outdated and no longer relevant for your audience.
Additionally, you should consider what stage your podcast is at. Is your podcast just starting out, or do you have many episodes published with high podcast downloads metrics and a devoted audience? Consider who your audience is and where they are on their journey with you and your brand. Are they TOFU & MOFU in your marketing channel? Think about what the next logical step is for them and construct your Call-to-Action accordingly.
3. Make your CTA attention-grabbing and enticing.
Your listeners will not follow through and take action if what you are asking them to do sounds boring. Think of your CTA as a pitch. You want to hook your podcast listeners and convince them this action is something they need to do. Your CTA is also a great form of self-promotion for you, your podcast show and your brand. Reinforce how great your podcast show is and all the benefits they get from your content. Your listeners will be far more likely to take action based on your words if you make it captivating and appealing to them.
4. Keep your Call-to-Action as easy as possible for you listeners to act upon.
If your CTA will require a lengthy, complicated process that requires a lot of effort on their part, it is likely that your audience will either not bother at all, or give up halfway through. To ensure that people do what you are asking of them, you must make the process as straightforward as possible. For example, if you wish for them to subscribe to your mailing list, buy a product, download a white paper etc., make sure the links to these are easily found in your show notes or on your podcast website.
5. Be consistent withy our Calls-to-Action.
Every time a new episode is released, make sure to include your CTA. As not all of your listeners will listen to every episode, failing to include it in each episode could be a missed opportunity. Also, repeating the CTA in your episodes increases the likelihood of people taking the desired action. If they didn’t take action the first time they heard the CTA, they could this time.
As suggested in our post How to get sponsors for your podcast, there are pros and cons to including a call-to-action (CTA) at distinct points in your episode:
There are three main areas that Calls-to-Action are usually included:
The optimal way to get your listeners to follow your Call-to-Action is to mention it at 3 points throughout your episode – introduce it at the beginning, include it at an optimal point in the middle, with a final reminder at the conclusion to solidify it and motivate your listeners to act.
While we believe it is a good idea to include your CTA three times during your podcast episode, using the single, well-defined Call-to-Action, targeted to your goals is preferable over having multiple different CTAs in the same podcast episode.
You can rephrase what you say during each mention of your CTA to sound more natural and to keep it interesting for your listeners. Alternatively, you could pre-record the CTA to save time and streamline the editing process.
For each episode, one CTA is ideal; however, you don't have to use the same CTA in every episode. It can vary depending on the content of the episode, your program's evolution, or any new events, webinars, and promotions that may come up.
The main aim is to convince your audience to take your desired action by using effective Calls-to-Action that will assist in your reaching your podcast and business goals. Asking your listeners to take an action can be powerful and can help you reach the desired outcomes for your podcast. Done correctly, it can lead to immense success.
By following these guidelines, you will produce CTAs that will grow your podcast show and ensure your success.
If you need help with your Call-to-Action or would like to take your podcast to the next level, contact us here at Zorbiant.