Podcasts are quickly becoming one of the most popular media platforms, especially in the past few years. According to Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, 78% of Americans are now familiar with podcasting. Although launching a podcast is a great opportunity right now, it’s just as easy for your podcast to get lost in the shuffle with so many out there. That’s why promotion strategies are crucial in order to grow your audience and make your voice heard. Read on to learn more about some simple and cost-effective promotion ideas for your podcast.
Before diving into our five main promotional strategies, let’s start with the basics. First and foremost, you must be passionate about your topic. If the passion isn’t there, your listeners will know.
Another piece of advice for podcast beginners is to plan in advance. Having a content planning strategy in place is vital to staying on top of your recording and posting schedule. Using content scheduling tools can help you achieve this.
Also, posting consistently is crucial for steady and organic audience growth. Make sure to choose a specific time and day of the week to post your podcast, whether you’re posting weekly, bi-weekly, or multiple times per week. By doing this, your audience knows when they can expect when to tune in. And it’ll also help you stick to a consistent recording schedule. According to Medium, your podcast release schedule can also affect its performance. For instance, it’s better to publish in the early morning hours on weekdays rather than weekends.
Tools of the trade
If there’s one thing you should know when starting a podcast, it’s this—you don’t need expensive equipment to create a good podcast. These days, quality microphones are readily accessible and cost-effective. We have a complete breakdown of the best affordable microphones for beginners—all under $150.
The same goes for audio-editing software. From Garageband to Adobe Audition, there is a wide range of options for what you’re looking to accomplish. The most popular software for intermediate podcasters are Audacity or Adobe Audition. However, if you only need to cut a few audio clips together, Apple’s Garageband will be just as effective.
One last thing to consider is what design tools to use for branding. Despite podcasts being an auditory platform, branding and visuals on social media can grab listeners’ attention. We recommend Canva to create eye-catching icons and social posts to build your podcast’s brand.
Amplify your voice
Whether you’re new to podcasting or are a seasoned professional, here are five podcast promotion ideas to spark growth.
Engage with your community
Even in a world of paid advertisements and email campaigns, word of mouth is a powerful thing. A 2019 study found that 66% of podcast consumers rely on recommendations from friends and family for podcast discovery. And whether your audience is big or small—there are always opportunities to leverage your audience.
Audience-based content is crucial in order to build a podcast community and a loyal following who will tune in every week. Nicole Buntsis, Podcast Marketing Lead at Spotify, says that “engaging with your current listeners can help create a sense of community.”
When listeners feel included, they will be more motivated to share what they’re interested in. As a result, this can help boost your show’s reach. Buntsis also suggests that podcasters include CTAs (call to actions) in their episodes. These can include:
- “Make sure to share this episode with a friend”
- “Follow us on Spotify and get notified when new episodes are released”
- “Tag us on socials and let us know what you thought about our latest episode”
Authenticity also goes a long way when promoting a podcast. “Go where your fans will be and where you can stay authentic to yourself and your show,” says Buntsis.
Tailor your social media presence to your niche
Finding your niche is a clear path towards building your audience. Connecting to those who have similar interests as you on social platforms will gain more results than scattering your posts towards the entire digital landscape. In order to do this, hashtags are an integral part of reaching your niche audience.
Instagram and Twitter are the most popular platforms to increase your show’s reach. Once you’ve set up your accounts, it’s time to build an ecosystem of content for your current and potential followers. An effective way to do this is to create varying pieces of content that provide listeners with multiple entry points into each episode. These can include:
- Share highlights of your latest episodes in short clips or audiograms
- Behind-the-scenes Instagram Stories of recording an episode
- Teasers or trailers for upcoming episodes
Buffer recommends teasing new episodes at least 24 hours ahead of time and to reshare your podcast episode multiple times in the first few days of its launch.
Repurpose your audio
Another popular outlet for podcasts is YouTube. Although podcasts are meant to be auditory and YouTube is known for its video content, many podcasters upload their audio to this platform. Some even film their recording sessions so listeners can actually see who is behind the microphone. There’s also such a thing as mixing live video on Facebook or Periscope with a live podcast interview.
However, with YouTube, there are multiple benefits to this extra step:
- Video to share on social media
- Automatic transcription—a great way to increase accessibility for your podcast
- Increases SEO (search engine optimization)—tip: If applicable, title your video “Interview with …” for potential SEO
Contributing to yet another content sharing platform will boost your chances of getting eyes (and ears) for your podcast. Consider uploading episodes to YouTube and utilizing SEO keywords and hashtags in the description box.
Add your show to podcatchers
“Podcatchers” are essentially apps that solely play and promote podcasts. You might have seen the Apple Podcasts app on your phone—the most popular podcatcher out there. Besides trying to grow your podcast on the heavy hitters of social media and Spotify, it’s a good idea to add yourself on these niche platforms specifically made for podcasts. It may be difficult for a new podcast to get featured on Apple’s New and Noteworthy, but these top five podcatchers are solid mediums for podcast discovery.
Depending on what your area of expertise is, chances are there is another podcaster out there who shares the same interests. Whether it’s a shout-out on an episode or a tag on socials, when you engage with fellow creators, they are more likely to also engage with you.
Another route is guest podcasting. Try reaching out to similar podcasts to do a cross-promotional post or episode. Many podcasts are likely to appreciate the proactive outreach.
If your fellow podcaster is further along in their journey, this marketing strategy can help their audience learn more about you and increase the likelihood of checking out your podcast. If you’re new to guest podcasting, we have an ultimate guide on our blog.
Community is key
Your community is crucial to steady and successful growth for your podcast. We have a free guide to online communities so you can determine your fit.
Looking for real world examples of podcasters that are harnessing the power of authentic promotion? Check out these creators and their podcasting platforms.
Melissa is the host and creator of Wit & Wire. She’s a self-made entrepreneur who helps fellow entrepreneurs build their businesses through podcasting. So far, her podcasts have reached thousands of listeners and hit six-figure downloads. She also reached the #2 Career Podcast in America for Everything is Teachable. Listen to her interview on Everything is Teachable here.
Mark Pentleton is the founder of Coffee Break Languages and the award-winning creator of some of the most popular education podcasts ever produced. The Coffee Break podcasts are the very first language podcasts geared toward beginners back in 2006. Since then, it has been featured as Best of iTunes on numerous occasions, won European and British Podcasting awards, and is now downloaded over three million times every month. Listen to Mark’s episode on the Everything is Teachable podcast here.
You might have heard of Pat Flynn through his massive community of online entrepreneurs. Through his own experiences as a self-starter, he has grown a significant following in the podcast industry. As the host of the Smart Passive Income and AskPat podcasts, he has earned a combined total of over 60 million downloads, multiple awards, and features in publications such as The New York Times and Forbes. Listen to his story on the Everything is Teachable podcast.