Have you recently started a podcast and are wondering how to promote it? Maybe you’ve had a podcast for some time but want to grow your audience.
Let’s face it, without an audience a podcast will not survive. Yes your friends may check it out and even your colleagues, but in order to maintain success you have to acquire your own unique audience of loyal listeners. Even celebrities that have big online followings can struggle with growing podcast audiences if they don’t have the right marketing plan.
Don’t underestimate this important step in gaining and retaining listeners.
The world needs to know your podcast exists, so you need to maximise your reach and consider how you’re going to creatively promote it.
In this blog, we are going to look at some of the proven strategies to get your podcast heard by your potential audience. Don’t worry, we will walk you through it, and feel free to bookmark this page for future reference. But before we reveal our Top 10 Tips, we need to briefly talk about why promotion is so important.
Why Should I Promote My Podcast?
As of January 2023 there was over 3 million active podcasts available and more coming online every day. The truth is, some of these podcasts will be in competition with what you’re providing. And some of them will disappear without a trace after the initial four or five episodes.
But why are so many people failing to promote their podcasts?
One of the main reasons is underestimating what’s involved in starting a podcast. People get carried away with what guests they’re going to book and maybe even get a little self involved with how important their podcast will be. They also fail to prepare and often record one podcast a week, leaving them little time to prepare, promote and work on forthcoming podcasts.
Always, always plan ahead! Record ahead of time and plan all social media. Try to avoid doing everything in the same week. Like preparing, recording, editing, uploading and promoting in the same week. This will become tedious and stressful. And may even result in you considering closing down the podcast, especially if your listening figures are low and you feel the podcast is burning you out.
Before you even launch a podcast you should be working about 6/8 weeks ahead of your release dates. This then gives you plenty of time to just work on the promotion only.
But before you even start recording, you need to know what goals you want for your podcast. This is probably the most overlooked part of launching a podcast.
What Are Your Podcasting Goals?
Outlining your goals, aspirations or mission will help you to determine an appropriate marketing plan.
Remember, you don’t just promote a podcast for fun. You promote it because the success of your podcast depends largely on it.
So, think about what you are hoping to achieve through this promotion… Do you want to educate people about your product or services? Or, are you using your podcast to grow your brand or new social interest?
Setting goals will also help you to choose the right marketing format.
For example, if your goals are purely business motivated, then you may want a podcast strategy that gets you lots of listeners quickly. But if your goals are more concerned with creating a community and impacting positive change, then maybe you should consider some promotion techniques that engage closely with your listeners and encourage loyalty.
Who Is Your Podcast Audience?
Regardless of what your podcast is about, the ultimate aim is to gain a large number of loyal growing listeners. But, as important as it is to want large numbers of listeners, it is equally important to think about your target audience.
The content or genre of podcast you are promoting will determine the way you promote it. So, if your podcast is about gardening, a good idea would be to consider where a keen gardener might find an advert for a ‘Gardening Podcast‘ or what form of marketing might catch their eye.
Maybe having an advert on an already popular gardening podcast, or being a guest on the said show would help. Why? Because this is where the audience already is.
What Is Your Podcast USP?
As you promote your podcast, you need to consider your Unique Selling Point (USP). Whether your podcast is about gardening, music, parenting, or comedy, there are going to be other podcasts out there that are similar to yours. So, think about how your podcast will stand out from the rest.
There are two things that will make you instantly stand out from other similar podcasts. Firstly, the quality, and secondly, the content. Some podcasters focus on content and don’t really care about the sound quality. Others might invest in high quality production values with editors, but the content maybe a little under researched and un-organised.
If you have people around you, actively seek out their feedback. Be open minded about being produced and ask about your presentation style, subjects of discussion and general points of view.
Above all, seriously consider your USP and make it clear to listeners what the purpose of your podcast is. Are you offering mentorship or training programmes on the back of it? What are listeners going to gain from your podcast that they’re not ever going to get from another similar podcast. It’s that simple.
If the name of your podcast is the same as another podcast, or you’re talking about the same subjects, then ask yourself, are you even providing any more value than your competitors?
It’s a harsh truth, but one that you have to ask yourself. Find out who the most popular podcast is in your sector and why you’re different.
Do your research and listen to similar podcasts to find out what they’re not doing that you would do differently.
Where Should You Release Your Podcast?
To make sure that your podcast is available on all platforms, it’s important to subscribe to a variety of channels. Listed below is the main channels to subscribe to.
Once you’ve added your podcast to these platforms, it will show up on these channels on the days you schedule your broadcasts. Details about how you do this depends on the channel you run your podcast from. Each channel should offer you the opportunity to link your podcast to a variety of these platforms.
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- Amazon Music
What’s important to mention, is that most people usually use just one app. So, if they have an iPhone, they might just use Apple Podcasts, if they have an Android phone they may use Google Podcasts.
But there will be people who love listening to podcasts on their favourite app, regardless of the phone or smart device they use. Like Spotify or Amazon Music. So it’s important to be on these channels.
Just make sure you add your podcast to multiple platforms, then you have a better chance of reaching a bigger audience.
The Pro’s Guide To Podcast Promotion
10 Top Tips and Techniques
Marketing takes a lot of time and effort, so we want you to be confident and well-equipped as you get started. The first 5 steps should be implemented before your official launch and the rest of the steps can be carried throughout the process. But feel free to use this at your own discretion. There are no hard and fast rules.
1. Create a Podcast Trailer
What is a podcast trailer? It’s a short promo about your podcast that includes little preview clips of forthcoming shows and what to expect. Hopefully gaining interest and intrigue in your podcast and gaining new followers prior to lauch. If you don’t already have one, then create one.
If you are just starting your podcast journey and haven’t begun releasing episodes yet, releasing a podcast trailer is a great way of getting your podcast listed on the various platforms. If you’re not ofay with editing clips and music, then hire a professional.
Mainly because without any content, you physically can not get published on any podcast channel. This will also let potential listeners know who you are, what your podcast is about and why they should listen.
2. Create a Podcast Website
This is a really useful promotional tool. Don’t skip this step even if you already have a website. We want to suggest that having a website, or at least one page specifically dedicated to your podcast will significantly broaden your listener reach.
Having a website for your podcast means that listeners can find you through Google. Without a website you miss out on the listeners that search via Google or other search engines. A website will access an audience that might not use a smartphone or download apps.
It’s also a great place to put all of your episodes and even some additional information and backstage discussions.
And of course, a website is a great place for people to get in touch, keeping the podcast professional and separate from any private contact.
3. Create a Podcast Newsletter
If you have a group of people that listen to your podcast, then you already have an email list of people willing to hear about forthcoming shows, interviews and future broadcasts.
So start now, create that email list today and pop a subscription box on your website.
If you don’t have a newsletter, we recommend that you get one up and running before you start your podcast. Even if you just create a basic template on mailchimp or something free.
Potential listeners will then have the option of signing up to receive regular updates. Remember, promotion isn’t always about getting more new listeners, its also about engaging with your current listeners. A newsletter keeps your listeners updated and makes them feel more involved.
4. Join Social Media
Whether its Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, twitter. Or even Tik Tok you should be posting about your latest and upcoming podcast episodes. It may be as simple as a weekly Instagram story, a short clip on YouTube or a post on twitter. Make the effort to plan your promotion online.
The first audience you are going to reach is your pre-existing social media following. But if you do nothing else, make sure you have an Instagram and YouTube channel. These are great platforms to grow your audience. On Instagram you can share images, video and audio clips. And, YouTube is brilliant for the same reasons, but is ideal for sharing short clips. In fact, creating a YouTube channel where you only share short clips is a perfect way of optimising your channel. Just keep the clips less than 90 seconds long and you’ll get loads of impressions and followers.
The great thing about creating content for social media, is you can always re-purpose content again and again across your whole social profiles.
5. Make your Podcast Image Attractive
A lot of podcast listeners look for new shows by scrolling through the various platforms. They might click on one that has a catchy title with good design.
So make sure your podcast image visually stands out. If you don’t have experience in this field, then hire a graphic designer to do some mock ups for you.
When choosing a podcast image, don’t choose it immediately. Even if one design grabs your attention. Maybe sit on the designs for 24 hours and look at them intermittently. Then if after 24 hours the same image jumps out at you, then obviously that’s your choice.
6. Repetition Builds Reputation
When you first launch a podcast, you maybe thinking of launching one episode a fortnight or one episode a week.
But to really grow your audience you need to think about releasing at least two episodes a week, three if you have time.
But why? Because repetition really does build reputation. Firstly, let’s do the math. If your weekly podcast gets 500 downloads a week, then your average downloads per month are 2,000. If you double your episodes per week you invariably double your downloads. Suddenly you’re averaging 4,000 downloads a month. If you did three releases a week , then your tripling your potential downloads to 6,000 a month. Straight away you can see how you’re leveraging an audience faster than one weekly episode.
And guess what, the more your audience hear you, the more likely they are to talk about your episode discussions and spread the good word.
But my podcasts are two hours long? If so, split them up into two or three parts and tease the next episode at the end of each programme.
Pro Tip: Record in batches, so, three to six episode’s a recording. Even if you have to make the length of the podcasts shorter, it will improve your downloads, content and subscribers.
7. Invite Podcast Guests onto Your Show
Get in touch with other podcasters who are engaging with a similar audience as you and invite them to feature as guests on your episodes. Guest features are a great way to connect with well-established voices in the podcast arena and gain some of their listeners to your show.
Inviting the right guests can really impress your listeners too and is always another great reason for people to keep tuning in each week.
See our previous blog ‘Recording Remote Guests for Podcasts’, which is all about preparing your guest to feature on your show.
8. Feature as a Guest on Other Podcasts
Be willing and confident to offer yourself up as a guest on other podcasts. And don’t let them down once you agree to do it.
Answer questions well, prepare, be interested in their podcast, be yourself, but be professional and approachable. Don’t give up your time and then feel moody about being on their show. Remember, being a guest on other people’s podcasts is a great opportunity to promote your podcast and show people how entertaining and interesting YOU are.
But don’t give up too much time. Maybe offer 30 minutes and then if it all went well say you’ll do an hour next time. But remember, if you’re going to guest on somebody else’s show, it’s about when you’re available, not when they want to record, but be flexible. Plus, if they share links of you on their podcast. Don’t ignore them, share them and be positive about your experience.
9. Podcast Giveaways
Giveaways are competitions you can run on your podcast offering a free gift from your company, or the sponsor of your podcast.
Successful podcast competitions usually include the listeners entering competitions. This can be something as simple as listeners following you on social media, writing a review, or even joining your email list.
Giveaways engage listeners and encourage loyalty with the chance of gaining more social media followers and email sign ups. Ultimately giveaways make your podcast more wide reaching. It’s literally the gift that keeps on giving!
10. Ask listeners to Rate, Review and Subscribe
At the end of an episode, ask your listeners to rate, review and subscribe to your show.
Not only are you providing useful feedback but also encouraging your listeners to spread the good word about your podcast and gain a bigger following.
Be aware that some platforms, like Spotify don’t allow users to leave reviews, just rate only.
Apple Podcasts makes it very easy for listeners to leave a rating and review by commenting at the bottom of each podcast page. Don’t forget to also use these reviews in your social media by screen grabbing the content. Then just add them to your website and newsletters.
When the reviews come in, show your appreciation as your audience will feel appreciated if you respond to their comments.
Something we haven’t deliberately mentioned in this blog is paid advertising. Which you can also do through social media platforms and podcast networks. Hopefully this will be part of a blog we write in the near future.
Now It’s Up To You!
Thank you for reading our blog today. We hope that you found it helpful and you are inspired to promote your own podcast.
STILL GOT QUESTIONS?
We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback about this blog. So feel free to comment below.
If we can be of any help on a future podcast of yours, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.