Launching a podcast is exciting and rewarding—and there’s no denying that it takes a lot of elbow grease. You have to come up with an original concept, record and edit audio, and eventually publish your episodes.
But the hard work doesn’t end there. To get your podcast discovered by a wide audience, you have to know a little something about podcast marketing.
What is Podcast Marketing?
Podcast marketing is exactly what it sounds like: using marketing tactics to get your podcast in front of new audiences. In order to get people to press play, you have to use a variety of creative strategies to get discovered—from writing blog posts and using social media to partnering with like-minded podcasters. We’ll dive into all of that in more detail below.
Examples of Effective Podcast Marketing
Since it takes time and creativity to learn about marketing podcasts effectively, we’ve rounded up a few podcast examples that you can glean advice and inspiration from.
Spirits is a boozy dive into mythology and legends that lets listeners submit hometown urban legends and brings in experts to discuss the supernatural. Host and Skillshare instructor Amanda McLoughlin is also the CEO of Multitude, a podcast collective and consultancy.
Needless to say, McLoughlin knows a thing or two about podcast marketing. The brilliance is in the community-building Multitude has done around each podcast they’ve created. In addition to the actual episodes, their shows have resources and templates for fellow podcast creators, dedicated social media channels, branded merchandise, and more.
The Writers’ Co-Op
The Writers’ Co-Op is self-described as an “audio business handbook for freelance writers.” Each themed season features guests speaking about the business of writing. But the real power the Writers’ Co-Op holds come from their marketing prowess. Both hosts, Jenni Gritters and Wudan Yang, have appeared on related podcasts, their own show is available on every podcasting platform and multiple social channels, and their website includes call to actions asking people to subscribe. They’ve attracted 250 monthly supporters on their Patreon, where they’ve created bonus content around the themes of their podcast episodes.
GE: The Message
The Message is a science fiction series following cryptographers who work to decipher a message from an alien. General Electric is probably not what you’d think of when you think sci-fi, which is why the podcast is perfect for the company. The podcast is another prong in General Electric’s brand content marketing, and the new storytelling form attracted an entirely new audience for the company, according to Fast Company.
Duct Tape Marketing Podcast
If you’re looking to listen and learn more about marketing, why not choose a digital marketing podcast? Duct Tape Marketing’s host John Jantsch has guest marketing experts, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders on every episode to share their stories and secrets. The podcast makes their website work for them with blogs recapping episode content and calls to action asking people to leave reviews and subscribe.
Start Marketing Your Podcast!
Podcast Marketing: How to Grow Your Audience with a Marketing Plan
10 Expert Strategies for Podcast Marketing
1. Promote on Social Media Using Multiple Visuals and Audio Bites
What’s the most important and effective avenue for marketing your podcast (or, well, anything these days)? Social media.
When you’re just getting started, select one or two social media platforms to focus on—ideally, the ones that you’re most engaged with already. “It is okay not to be active on every social media platform. You want to be excited at and good at the marketing you do. It shouldn’t feel like homework,” says McLoughlin. “Choose one or two platforms you’re really stoked about and record in your marketing plan how often you’re going to post to each one.”
Even on platforms you don’t choose to actively use, it’s a good idea to set up a profile with your photo or logo and link to your website or podcast so that people can still tag you in posts on those networks. Consistency is important, so use the same photo or logo across all your accounts, as well as the same username, if it’s available. Your goal is to make it easy for people to find and recognize your podcast.
You can share your podcast episodes across your platforms not only when they first air, but multiple times after. Here are just a few ideas on marketing a podcast using social media:
- Share eye-catching images featuring guest quotes from the podcast.
- Create soundbites to upload on Soundcloud and share on Twitter.
- Share behind-the-scenes content in your Instagram story.
- Pin a tweet or post promoting your podcast to your Twitter or Facebook profile.
2. Run a Giveaway
People always love free stuff. Running a giveaway can help you land more reviews and gain a larger audience—and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
To get people interested, simply announce the contest on your podcast or on social media. You can ask people to leave iTunes reviews in order to enter to win and give additional entries for people when they tag their friends in the comments.
What prizes can you offer? A few inexpensive ideas include:
- Branded podcast merchandise
- Product discounts
- A shout-out on the show
- Stickers or stationery
- Something related to your content (for example, a science fiction and fantasy marketing podcast could offer merchandise for fans of a certain TV show or book)
One important note: Different countries, different states, and different platforms all have their own rules and laws regarding giveaways. Especially if you’re offering a prize with monetary value, do your research before launching a contest, and ensure sure you have terms and conditions that reflect those regulations.
3. Write Blog Posts
Your podcast itself is content. So, using content marketing to market your podcast can feel, well, a little meta.
However, creating other content—particularly blog posts—is an undeniably powerful tool to supplement your podcast topics, rank well with Google and other search engines, and attract a new audience to your episodes.
Not sure what to write? There are plenty of ways to make blogging and content marketing part of your podcast marketing plan, including:
- Turn the research you did for a podcast episode into a blog post or series of posts.
- Write about the process of starting a podcast for other sites
- Pull together a written Q&A based on a particularly powerful podcast conversation.
4. Be a Guest on Other Podcasts
Many podcasts are always looking for great new guests, and that’s good news for you: Being a guest on other podcasts can expose you and your work to a new audience. Look for related shows that feature guests and reach out to the host, pitching yourself to be part of an upcoming episode.
“By going on to show you really like as a guest, asking the host of a show onto your own, or collaborating on an episode, you are gaining exposure to a whole new audience by making something awesome for them,” says McLoughlin.
5. Leverage Your Guest’s Audience
If you have guests on your show, you can attract the audience your guest already has—gaining some new listeners without having to put in a ton of legwork on your own.
To make this happen, make it easy for your guest to promote being on your show. Provide them with shareable media the week before the show to use on their social media channels or email list. Just email your guest with pre-written content and visual assets like:
- Pull quotes
- Images of your podcast logo and the guest
- Videos (if you’ve made a video of your podcast for social media)
- Links to the episode
- Canned Facebook posts or tweets
The more pain-free you make it for your guests to spread the word about your podcast, the more likely they are to actually do so.
6. Transcribe Your Podcast’s Audio
Transcribing your podcast’s audio makes your podcast more appealing to both search engines and speed-readers. It also makes your episodes more accessible to the hearing impaired (and people who have their phones on silent previewing your content), so it’s an easy way to broaden your audience reach. You can transcribe audio easily with a service like Rev (which starts at $1.25 per minute of audio) or Otter (which is free for the basic plan).
“If you have a website associated with your podcast, you might consider making yourself more searchable by adding full transcripts with episodes or extra bonus content there. It’ll drive people to your website and hopefully, more subscribers,” says Skillshare instructor and Head of Production at Anchor John Lagomarsino.
7. Turn Your Podcast Audio Into a YouTube Video
Repurposing your podcast into different kinds of content allows you to stretch the effort you’ve put into one episode into multiple forms of marketing.
Adding every episode of your podcast to your YouTube channel is just one example of how you can leverage that existing content, and it offers multiple benefits including:
- Creating videos is great for SEO, as Google places more emphasis on video over text.
- YouTube automatically creates closed captioning, so you can transcribe your episodes easily.
- YouTube videos are shareable content that work well on social media and your website.
You could film a live video as you record your audio, but if you don’t want to, that’s okay too. There are tools that will allow you to convert your audio, add photos or even subtitles, and upload it as a video.
8. Connect With Your Audience
Find social media communities like Twitter chats, Facebook groups, or Reddit communities dedicated to the topics you cover on your podcast. You can become a part of these niche communities to build relationships, share the work you do, and announce when new episodes are dropped.
If you’re not finding existing communities for your audience, why not create one? You could start a weekly Twitter chat to invite people to speak with you about your podcast’s subject or develop a Facebook group where you share advice, resources, and your podcast.
9. Set Up a Dedicated Podcast Website
Developing a website specifically for your podcast gives your show a dedicated online home where you can publish blog posts, make announcements, and introduce your audience to your episodes, your team, and your history.
Make sure that your website includes a media kit so that it’s easy for journalists and bloggers to get the assets they need (like facts and numbers about your audience, high-resolution logos and photo assets, and boilerplate “about us” content), which will help ensure you get accurate and effective media coverage.
10. Don’t Forget CTAs
Last but not least, you need to leverage calls to action (CTAs) anywhere you market your show. Your goal is to get your followers and audience members to take a next step—rather than seeing your marketing messages and moving on.
In general, McLoughlin says your call to action should be inviting people to subscribe to your show.
Podcast Marketing Resources and Services
We’ve covered a lot of tips to help you get your podcast in front of the right audience, and we can’t blame you if it feels a little overwhelming.
The good news is that you don’t need to go it alone. There are plenty of podcast marketing services available to help you. Here are a few of the most beloved and commonly used among podcasters.
VEED.IO is an online video editor that allows you to transform your podcast into a visual video. VEED.IO creates waveforms out of your audio and gives you the option to add images, subtitles, effects, and text to your video. You can even transcribe audio.
Waave lets you create your own podcast animation that you can share on a variety of social media platforms. These shareable videos include waveform animations, timer animations, and captions. Waave makes it easy with image sizes that work for any platform.
Since you’ll be promoting your podcast on social media, you’ll need to get organized. Using a social scheduling tool like Buffer allows you to plan your content ahead of time. It also means that you can automatically post to your social accounts without being tied to your computer—so you have more time to record more episodes.
Canva allows you to create professional-looking designs and logos without being a graphic designer. If you need a free or low-cost way to make graphics that promote your podcast—like logos, social media images, shareable quotes, event invites, or business cards—Canva’s a great (and easy) place to start. If you need free photos or videos to promote your work, we have a helpful list.
This hosting service can publish your podcast onto other platforms and also offers podcast monetization options like content subscriptions and advertising. Libsyn’s audience analytics will also help you figure out which of your episodes are resonating best with your listeners—so you can create more content that they love.
Want to know even more about what your audience enjoys and where they are coming from? Buzzsprout gives you details like which apps people are using to listen to your podcast, total downloads over time, and the location they are listening from. It even allows you to upload and publish episodes on a schedule and gives you opportunities to earn money with affiliate marketing.
This might sound like a lot, and it is. But the good news is, there’s a huge pool of listeners out there just waiting to learn more about your podcast. “Believe me, when I say that podcast fans are superfans,” says McLoughlin. “Most of them listen to more than one show or even dozens and dozens of them, and they’re always looking for more recommendations. There is plenty of room and plenty of listeners out there for all of us.”
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