If you are reading this you’ve probably just launched your podcast and are feeling pretty excited about it. That’s amazing, you’ve put in the hard work to get to this point. Now it is time to start thinking about promotion to reap the benefits and grow your business.
Growing an audience isn’t a straightforward process. You have to build your fanbase, which isn’t something that will happen overnight, it requires planning. You have created a podcast for a specific audience, now you need to find and reach that audience. This is why promoting your podcast using an effective marketing strategy is important. Keep variety in mind when mapping out your podcast marketing strategy, there will be some elements of trial and error at the start, figuring out what works and on which channels. Remember marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Testing new ideas, different messaging angles, and utilising multiple channels may unearth the audience you’ve been searching for!
This article will highlight podcast promotion best practices to attract the right listeners to your podcast every day. Let’s start with the basics…
Basic podcast promotion
Tip #1. Release at least 3 episodes on launch day
If you haven’t yet launched your podcast, consider recording at least three episodes and releasing all three of them at once. Having a few episodes available allows listeners to explore your podcast and allows them to binge it and become invested.
Tip #2. Submit to podcast aggregators and directories
A podcast aggregator is an app that allows you to play and listen to podcasts. One of the best-known aggregators is Apple Podcasts, which is the app that comes with iOS devices. Apple isn’t the only aggregator, there are plenty more including:
These podcast aggregators/ directories allow you to create an account and submit your RSS feed. You should do this on every directory so new episodes of your podcast will automatically be published to each platform. This gives your podcast much more exposure to new audiences as listeners browse their preferred listening app for new content. This is one of the most effective podcast marketing tactics.
Tip #3. Prompt your listeners to subscribe, share, and leave reviews
Ask your listeners to subscribe, share and review your podcast at the beginning and end of each episode. You have probably heard other hosts do something like this, and the best way to position these calls to action is to be authentic and not pushy. Be honest and explain that as your podcast grows, you’ll be able to produce better content for your audience to enjoy.
Tip #4. Publish at strategic times
If you are just starting and aren’t sure when to publish your episodes, look at similar podcasts and identify when they publish their episodes. If you notice a trend, there’s probably a reason for it. When it comes to promoting your podcast it is critical to publish your episodes at strategic times. So follow the trends of similar podcasts until you have gathered enough of your own data. Over time, look through your analytics and identify when your listeners are listening to your episodes. If you notice a trend within your audience you can experiment with your publishing times to see if it improves your listenership.
Tip #5. Don’t forget about the back catalogue
All your previously published episodes make up your back catalogue. And it is full of interesting content and a great way to hook new podcast subscribers. Mentioning topics that you have previously covered in previous podcast episodes with a quick aside with the episode number: “If you want to learn more about podcasting, check out episode 4 where we looked at how to set up your podcast”, is a great way to inform new listeners what you have already covered and encourages them to go back and listen. Don’t forget to link the previous episode in the show notes to make it easy for the listener to find.
Now that you have the basics of the promotion process covered, it’s time to move onto more diverse ways of promoting your podcast. Let’s start with social media. Social media is a great tool for podcast promotion and marketing as it can be promoted across all social media platforms from YouTube to Twitter. These are some great tips for promoting your podcast on social media:
Tip #1. Covert your podcast into a YouTube video
Great podcast marketing means making your podcast available in more places. By repurposing your episode content for YouTube you can get double the exposure! The easiest way to upload an episode to YouTube is to convert the MP3 audio file into an MP4 format. Next, you need to add a branded image to appear for the duration of the video, try using your show artwork, and upload it. Don’t forget to include show notes with links to other listening platforms and social media channels.
Another option is to record both video and audio content as you produce each episode, but this route will require more equipment. Rather than just having your podcast artwork on the screen for the duration of the video, your listeners will be able to see you, the host, talking live as they follow along. This is a great option if your podcast is an interview structure and you are interviewing different people in each episode.
Tip #2. Cut that YouTube video into clips
If you have uploaded an episode to YouTube why not go back and create shorter soundbite clips. This will enable you to catch viewers who engage with longer videos and those that prefer to share shorter clips.
Shorter soundbites are easy for new viewers/ listeners to consume, giving them a sense of what your podcast is about, helping them decide to listen to your other videos. YouTube’s algorithm will also suggest your other clips to these new viewers, making it easy for them to watch more of your content and hopefully subscribe to the podcast.
Tip #3. Customize posts to each social media channel
As you may know, Instagram is an image-based social media platform, whereas Twitter is used for short updates and Facebook for longer posts and discussions. So what works for one social media platform won’t work for another. It is important to not blast the same podcast promotion post on every social media platform. They need to be customised so that they are attractive to each individual audience.
To do this consider where you are posting about your podcast, if it is on Instagram do you have a strong image to go with your caption? If you are posting on Twitter does your post fit into the limited number of characters?
Most importantly don’t forget to link to where your listeners can find and listen to your podcast.
Tip #4. Tease episodes with audiograms
An audiogram is a podcast marketing technique to promote your audio content in a visual way. It combines an image, a soundwave and an audio track, and sometimes includes a transcription of the clip (making it more accessible). Audiograms can help to create hype around a new episode while making your promotion content attractive to users who expect video content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Tip #5. Add value on social media
While social media is a great way to connect with new people and grow your podcast audience, a lot of hosts only use it as an advertising platform. They create posts to announce new episodes, promote their promotions, push merchandise and advertise for their sponsors.
Instead of simply announcing a new episode on your social media accounts, why not open a discussion on the topic. Ask your podcast community what they think about the topic. Put the focus on them instead of you. By creating valuable content like this on your social media it gives your podcast subscribers something that exhibits just how much value they’ll get out of the full podcast episode.
That said some of your social media content should be self-promotional. Aim for an 80/20 spread, 80% of content should be valuable and 20% should be promotional.
Tip #6. Run giveaways on social media
Running competitions and giveaways are great tools for building a podcast audience, even if you don’t give away much. Set up a giveaway where the winner receives something that relates to your brand. Do not give away something generic like an Amazon gift card, otherwise, you’ll get sign-ups from people who don’t care about your brand or your podcast.
Ask people to enter the giveaway by subscribing to or sharing your podcast. You might give them additional entries to the giveaway for referring a friend.
Your website & newsletter
Now that you are promoting your podcast on social media platforms you must have a website or some central hub where your listeners can find out more about your podcast, where to listen etc. A website is an important part of podcast promotion, each show should have its own page. Here’s how you can optimise your website for podcast promotion:
Tip #1. Optimise your podcast website
Each time you upload a new episode and you have published it to every podcast listening app, create a new post on your website to go alongside it. The post should have an embedded player, transcriptions and show notes to make the biggest impact.
When you create a new post for your podcast make sure it is optimised around a keyword people search for to find that kind of content. Recently Google started crawling audio material and including podcasts in search results. To capitalise on this update, try targeting episodes to a few keyword phrases your intended audience often searches for. Include those same keywords on the podcast episodes website post for double SEO benefits.
Tip #2 Create a podcast landing page
If your podcast supports your side hustle or blog, create a standalone landing page for potential listeners to explore. Your landing page should have one purpose: to get people to listen to an episode. Fill it with information to help listeners make that leap, including:
- A simple headline that describes your podcast
- A paragraph that describes your podcast and the purpose it serves
- Positive testimonials/ quotes from listeners or influential people about your show
- A list of links to recent episodes
- Buttons to subscribe to your feed
Tip #3 Start an email newsletter
Email marketing has the best return on investment out of all the digital marketing channels. It is a simple and intimate way to connect with your fans.
Collect the email addresses of your subscribers on your website then send an email every time you publish a new episode.
If you have the money to pay for paid advertising this is another great way you can promote your podcast.
Tip #1. Purchase paid ads
Paid ads are a great way to generate traffic by connecting with your target audience. Facebook ads display to people whose interests align with your targeting.
You have the option to purchase ads that link to your podcast’s landing page. This is easy to set up once and leave running, but you will have to target a broad group which can be expensive.
You can also purchase ads that link to individual episodes. This is effective because you can target people who are only interested in that podcast episode. This is more complex to set up and you have to do it for every episode.
Tip #2. Leverage influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is the practice of using influential people to expose your podcast to new audiences. You need to find someone who has a following that overlaps with your target audience and reach out to them and build a mutually beneficial partnership to promote your podcast.
Bear in mind that this marketing technique requires some reciprocity. If you want to work with an influencer you will have to give something back as well, like a shout out on your podcast, free products or monetary compensation. Every influencer has their own goals so be open to unique arrangements.
Tip #3. Advertise on podcast apps
If you are already on the popular podcasting apps consider boosting your podcast’s position by purchasing ads. How your ads appear will depend on the app, but in most cases, the ad will place your show at the top of your category list. In some cases, the ad will place your podcast in the ‘Most Popular’ categories or their equivalents.
Putting this into practice…
Figuring out how to promote a podcast is a trial and error process. Finding the right marketing strategy requires testing a few different strategies to see what works for your show. It takes creativity and diligence to consistently chip away at it. Starting with high-quality content and patience are the two main pillars to consider when beginning to promote a podcast. Along the way, iterate on the strategies that routinely drive new subscribers and keep your eyes open for new ways for an audience to discover you.
At Tall Tales Podcasts, we look after your entire podcast needs. From recording and post production to artwork and distribution. Email us today Hello@TallTales.ie to get started.
Main image from Unsplash