Let’s Begin With An Overview
Podcasts have become one of the most popular forms of media available today. The ease with which they can be listened to, extensive promotion given by many platforms, and increasing desire for more diverse media offerings have all helped to make podcasts more accessible and enjoyable. At the moment, there are more than two million podcasts — with 48,000,000 episodes — available in the United States.
That being said, as anyone with a Podcast knows, it can be hard to market your show in such a saturated media ecosystem; the sheer number of podcasts can make it difficult to stand out. There are also many common ways to market your product that many podcasters are not aware of, and a failure to take advantage of these opportunities almost certainly ensures that your podcast will fail.
Fortunately, you’re in luck: There are plenty of ways to create a solid marketing strategy that can help you market your podcast episodes, gain listeners, and ensure that the people you want to hear your podcast will find it. This intro will help you understand what podcasting marketing is and how to take the most advantage of the various marketing tactics that can help grow your podcast audience.
What is Podcast Marketing?
The term “podcast marketing” refers to creating a solid marketing plan that enables you to grow your podcast audience, gain new listeners, and expand your overall reach. There are many podcast marketing strategies that you can use to achieve all of these valuable goals.
What Are the Benefits of Podcast Marketing?
Simply put, people aren’t going to find your podcast unless you make it easier to find. If you are a podcaster, you need to look at your podcast like it is one of the many small businesses around the country. This also means that you need to view yourself and your partners as entrepreneurs. This means that you have to promote your own podcast like a business if you ever want to be the host of a popular podcast. Podcast marketing grows your audience. The difference between a successful podcast and a failed one is often found in how aggressively a podcast is marketed.
How to Market Your Podcast — Begin With Owned Media
- Website — Creating a website can be a great way to grow your SEO and ensure that more people find your podcast. You can highlight episodes, showcase your best podcast, promote your social media, and have contact information.
- Email Newsletter — Creating an email list for email marketing is hugely important. You can scour your contacts to draw up the list in the first place, then use an email program — like Mailchimp — to get started and generate formalized templates.
- Blog — A blog creates more content related to your podcast. You can use it to promote related content and other podcasts that you like. You can also use it to enhance content marketing efforts, highlight your best episodes, or run giveaways.
There are many free ways to advertise your podcast via social media marketing and using a slew of different social media platforms. All require some research but are unquestionably worth pursuing — as long as your target audience is actually on these networks.
- Facebook — Facebook remains one of the most popular social networks. You can use it to promote your podcast in many ways, including posting to your personal page, posting it to relevant Facebook groups, or creating a fan page for your podcast.
- Twitter — Sending tweets that pertain to your podcast can help build new audience members. However, a successful Twitter profile also means engaging with other individuals, using appropriate hashtags, and following other people to follow so they follow you back.
- Snapchat — You can easily share a podcast on Snapchat, using your profile to send information about your episode to others. Keep in mind that you should also make non-podcast-related posts as well.
- Reddit — Finding appropriate subreddits that are relevant to your podcast guests or audience topic can be a great way of posting information about your podcast. Again, keep in mind that you need to post content that isn’t directly promotional in order to avoid angering prospective listeners.
- Instagram — As a visual medium, you can use pictures to promote your podcasts. This can include pictures of your guests, quote graphics, or more.
In some cases, other social media channels may also provide a good place to gain listeners via digital marketing. For example, many podcasters advertise their podcast with a post on LinkedIn. This can be particularly helpful if your podcast is more business-oriented. Furthermore, keep in mind that your social media use cannot solely be about promoting your podcast. This comes across as spammy and there is such thing as overpromoting in our opinion. Surround your promotional posts with other valuable content that might be related but isn’t a hard sell every time.
Audiograms are ways of highlighting specific conversations, guests, or quotes that occur on your podcast. In essence, they turn audio into video, taking a transcription of what was said and improving the medium so that others get a more visual sense of the words that were used on your podcast. There is a price associated with an audiogram, but they are relatively inexpensive and can provide a unique way of building a new audience.
Quote graphics are great ways to highlight relevant and interesting content that is discussed on your podcast. They can also be used to highlight overall themes, as well as the guests that you book. Fortunately, creating quote graphics is as easy as understanding how to use any number of countless apps or Canva. Once you create a quote graphic, you can share it on your website or social media. This can help to steer audience members to you.
Get Booked as Guest on Podcast Networks
Podcast networks are groups of podcasts that are managed by the same person or business. These networks often engage in successful cross-promotion, meaning that if you get booked as a guest or guest host on one network, your content will be spread to others. As such, getting booked as a guest on one of these podcast networks can be a great way of building partnerships with others. To that end, do some homework. Identify the shows that you like, and find out if they are part of larger podcast networks. If they are, contact them, and find out if there is a way that you can be a guest on any of the shows that are part of these networks.
SEO is hugely important to be found on both search engines and in podcast apps. Using the right keywords and descriptions can be very helpful when it comes to podcast promotion. Podcast SEO means that you optimize your show notes, titles, and keywords in order to make it easier for relevant audience members to find your content. Doing so can help grow your audience and gain new listeners. Podcast SEO is important regardless of where you promote your podcast, so you want to make sure to use it on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, and more. Specific items you can do to increase your podcast SEO include:
- Create a website for your podcast that links to ways your podcast can be downloaded or listened to. Linking to your podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more can increase the relevant links of your podcast, and this can make it easier to find. A website can also serve as a great landing page for your podcast, and this can have many other benefits when it comes to boosting your listenership. Fortunately, you can easily create a podcast website on something like WordPress.
- Add relevant keywords to your podcast in a natural way, ensuring that search engines and podcast hosting apps pick up on these keywords when someone is looking for them.
- Add a transcription of your episode to the entire description. You may have to pay a service to manage this process. However, adding a transcription can be a great way to highlight your podcast guests and ensure that people who are looking for content like yours can find it.
Podcast Cross Promotion
Cross Promoting your podcast with others can be a great way of getting your podcast in front of new listeners and helping to build successful hosting partnerships. In order to successfully cross-promote your podcast, you should first identify what other shows your prospective audience listens to. From there, reach out to those hosts, and see if they are interested in cross-promoting. You should prepare information about your podcast, including audience and downloads, targeted audience, content, contact information, and more. This can make it easy for a prospective host to understand your audience and help to increase the professional appearance of your podcast.
Podcast Episode Swaps
In podcasting, an episode swap is when you and another podcast “swap” episodes. This can run a range of possibilities: You may host each other as guests, straight-up switch hosting responsibilities, or share content in some other way. Like other cross-promotion efforts, this requires some research ahead of time: Who are relevant podcasts that you can work with, and how can you best promote these efforts to ensure that you both get the maximum benefit out of an episode swap?
- Spotify — Spotify has a paid advertising platform, and given how heavily Spotify has gone into podcasting, it may be worth exploring these options. This can help you promote your podcast in a variety of highly targeted ways, thus ensuring that your ads only get seen and heard by relevant audience members.
- Podcast Networks — There are many podcast networks, including networks that specifically deal with certain genres. These networks often engage in cross-promotion or have targeted advertising opportunities. As such, investigating relevant advertising opportunities within these networks may be a solid way of building your base.
- Radio — Believe it or not, podcast advertising on radio can be a successful alternative method of promoting your podcast. Radio advertising rates are relatively inexpensive, and you know that listeners already like audio content, so this may be a successful way of promoting your podcast to a new audience.
- Google — Like Facebook, Google has a pay-per-click advertising model. You can target based on relevant search terms.
- Facebook — Facebook ads are cheap and easy. You can set a budget and pay-per-click, ensuring that you are only paying when someone actually follows up on your ad and (hopefully) listens to your podcast. Facebook ads can allow you to highlight a great podcast or repurpose interesting or timely episodes.
At the end of the day, all of these marketing efforts are of the utmost importance. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice marketing for the sake of content. Remember, great content creates word of mouth, increases shares on social media, and makes sure that your content is seen and heard by more people. If you are making new episodes or creating a brand new podcast, keep that in mind.