Podcasts have been growing in popularity. Are we past peak podcasting yet? It seems every celebrity has a podcast these days. For celebrities, podcast marketing is easy, since they have an existing platform and audience. But how can ordinary solo and business podcasters succeed in marketing their shows? How do you market your podcast if you’re just getting started? There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for marketing podcasts, but many successful podcasters have shared their secrets — and we have written about everything from logo design to tips on growing an audience. Keep reading this podcast marketing guide to see 10 proven strategies for podcast promotion.
What is Podcast Marketing?
First of all, podcast marketing can mean different things to different people: In general, is a type of digital marketing intended to reach your target podcast audience. But marketing channels differ depending on the type of show.
For business podcasters, whose shows are serving a content marketing purpose, podcasts are an effective way to spread the word about their organization, product or services in an engaging and informative manner. In other words, the podcast itself is a marketing channel. And for a business, promoting their podcast will likely be done through their existing marketing methods.
If you are a hobby podcaster, then the question is how to promote your podcast in the first place. And more importantly, how to increase your podcast target audience. And for beginning podcasters, podcast marketing must be focused on gaining new followers on social media channels and converting them to new listeners.
Here then are our 10 tips, even if you are not a celebrity (yet):
1. Cover the Basic Podcast Marketing Strategies
Be sure you have submitted your show to as many podcast directories as possible. Doing so will help you reach a wider audience and increase your chances of being discovered by potential listeners. You can find several helpful guides online that provide step-by-step instructions for submitting to different podcast directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, Google Play Music, and more. Additionally, if you are using a podcast hosting platform like Buzzsprout or Podbean, they often have their own functionality for easily submitting your show to various directories. Here is a podcast directories resource for this.
2. Own Your Podcast Website
Own your podcast's website instead of just using a free one from your podcast hosting company. A lot of people will host their podcast on the free website they received from their podcast platform and use that as the main source of promotion for their podcast. The downside to this is that you don't own your podcast's website, which means you don't have full control over its features. This might also mean that, if you switch podcast hosts in the future, you'll lose your website and have to start from scratch. It's better to create a website just for the purpose of marketing your podcast instead.
I would gladly trade 1,000 anonymous listeners with 100 email subscribers, with whom I can build a relationship more easily.
Consider that people who subscribe to your podcast on your website should also be offered the chance to leave their email in exchange for new episode notifications.
3. Reach Your Target Audience By Being a Guest on Other Podcasts
There's no better place to attract podcast listeners to your own show than by being a guest on other podcasts. Whether you're interviewing someone or just talking about your interests on a solo show, getting yourself onto other podcasts will expose your show to people who might not have come across it otherwise. The important consideration here is that this is laser targeting existing podcast listeners, something that is much harder to do on social media or using Facebook ads.
And as a bonus, this approach can massively grow the SEO for your website.
This is because inbound links to your website are valuable, and since each episode you appear on will link to your podcast.
4. Grow your Podcast With Episode Swaps
Team up with other podcasters in your niche for podcast episode swaps. Podcasts are all about collaboration and sharing your knowledge with others. For example, if you have a business podcast, partner up with other businesses who have a podcast in your niche. You can swap episodes with each other or showcase one another’s shows on your podcast feed. Sharing information and collaborating with others will help grow your audience at the same time.
5. Invest in Podcast SEO and Content Marketing
Podcast SEO optimized show notes and transcripts improve your discoverability on the web. You may feel that the most immediate way to promote your show is through organic word of mouth. And this is true, people you know and trust can recommend your show to their friends.
But in the long term, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a big role in reaching a new audience.
Your show notes and transcripts will be helpful in discovering your podcast and each new episode on the web. If you optimize your show notes and transcripts with keywords that relate to what you're talking about, people searching for those topics will find them more easily. And if they find them on or near the first page of search results, they'll be more likely to click on them.
6. Don't Over-Focus on Social Media
Of course you should promote your podcast on social media. Each new podcast episode deserves its own social media post. But, don't over-focus on Social Media platforms and don't expect to go viral if you have a small follower count there. It’s difficult to grow an audience without spending a lot of time on social media, but you shouldn’t expect to go viral if you have a small follower count. Never be discouraged by low number of followers--this is just one strategy you don’t need. Most of your success will come from creating great content and building your brand.
7. Get Your Guests To Recommend Your Podcast
Agree with your guests that they will help promote each episode before recording. During the onboarding and pre-recording phase, establish relationships with your guests. Then it is easier to ask them to help promote each episode before recording it.
Be insistent about this, and don’t under-estimate how hard it can be to get people to actually share your latest episodes.
Additionally, when promoting an episode, don’t be afraid to provide your guest with a call-to-action to promote for their audience. Sometimes you can offer limited time promotions that get people interacting with the show and sharing their thoughts.
8. Use Influencer Marketing To Grow Your Podcast Audience
Personally, I hate all the stereotypes around social media "influencers". But, paid influencer marketing as a way to promote your podcast since is a sure way to reach beyond your existing followers. It simply is an effective way to reach new potential podcast subscribers on social media.
In many ways this is a form of paid podcast advertising that is more effective than Facebook or Google Ads. This strategy works by paying people who have an established audience and many connections on social media (like celebrities). For example, if you’re running a business podcast, you could pay other business podcasts like yours or actively promote your show on their shows in exchange for a mention of your podcast. Paid influencer marketing is also effective because you will be able to reach a larger audience than just those that come from listening to your show.
If you are willing to spend money, this strategy can significantly increase the number of potential listeners for your show. There are several platforms out there offering services to team up with influencers.
9. Paid Podcast Ads
With all the work and time even hobby podcasters spend, it makes sense to set even a modest budget for paid podcast promotion on Facebook, Instagram and Podcast Advertising Apps. In my view, if you cannot afford $5 - $25 for each episode, then growing your show will be much harder. Some paid podcast marketing is crucial for growing your podcast and attracting new listeners.
If you're looking to start a podcast, it's important to plan a budget for paid promotion as part of your podcast marketing tactics. It's also important not to rely just on one method of paid promotion at the same time. For example, if you're focused on driving listeners through social media and are already spending money on Facebook ads, then you might want to focus on audio ads as well. Setting a budget for paid promotion is key; otherwise, it can be difficult to identify what works and what doesn't work financially.
10. Consider Using Audio Ads to Promote Your Show on Popular Podcasts in Your Niche
Audio ads are a great way to reach your potential audience. They’re cheaper than radio ads and can be highly targeted to listeners in your niche or even in your location. Spotify Ads and platforms like AudioGo make it easy to promote your podcast on other podcasts in your niche, or even on shows that cover topics similar to yours. An additional advantage is that these platforms include a clickable display ad as your promo audio plays. This can link to your website's sign up page.
Over to You
What are some of the tactics we may have missed in this article or on our podcast marketing blog? Let us know in the comments, we'd love to hear from you!