We’re sure you’ve read all about how to launch a podcast, done your groundwork, and recorded your show.
So, now what?
You need to know how to promote a podcast effectively if you want it to take off.
We’ll tell you why you should promote your podcast, and let you in on the best podcast marketing tips.
Why you should promote your podcast
Wait, but won’t people be drawn to your show on Apple Podcasts simply because of its great content? Is podcast promotion necessary?
“But I don’t spend money on paid ads, what does it matter to me how much big companies spend on podcast marketing?”, you might think.
The podcast market is saturated as it is, and it would be naive to think that great content gets you noticed nowadays.
To put it simply – in order for your show to stand out and get noticed by the right target audience, you have to market your podcast.
1. Release a few episodes during your podcast launch
This is one of those podcast marketing tactics that seem a little counterintuitive at first.
Surely it would make sense to space out the release of your podcast episodes, right?
In today’s media binge economy, having just one or two episodes available can reflect poorly on your podcast.
You’d be surprised at how many podcast listeners actually prefer listening to a couple of episodes back to back, rather than waiting around for the next one to make an appearance.
Once you’ve established your podcast and have a dedicated base of listeners, having a regular publishing schedule is all well and good.
But when you’re getting started, it helps to release your first 3-5 episodes simultaneously. You’ll give your listeners something to get hooked on and create some buzz around your show.
2. Produce quality content
No matter how brilliant you think your podcast is, nobody will listen to it if it offers no value to your listeners.
It’s difficult to sell a bad product, so make sure your podcast offers plenty of value to your audience.
The best podcast shows are:
- Actionable. As the saying goes, practice what you preach. Don’t just tell your audience fancy theories and facts, offer them real advice that they can use in their daily life.
- Unique. While there’s no shame in copying the best, your show needs its own wow factor. A unique podcast is much easier to market to a wider audience than one that’s a cardboard copy of another show.
- Memorable. Your podcast should have something that makes it easy to remember. Maybe it’s the intro jingle or a distinguishable accent of the host.
Before you get comfortable and record the first 10 episodes of your show, think about your market position and the topics you’re going to cover.
Are they already extensively discussed on a handful of other podcasts? If so, how can you bring something new and interesting to the discussion?
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or couldn’t cover broad topics like gardening, motorsports, or music.
But think about how you can make your content stand out from others: maybe your Formula 1 podcast focuses on drivers that come last in the races, rather than the winners, for instance.
3. Have a great website and landing page
All podcasts should have their own websites. And all podcast websites, in turn, should have at least one outstanding landing page.
A landing page is a page that a listener lands on after clicking on a link in your podcast description. It can be just your homepage or a dedicated page for a particular podcast directory.
Most podcast shows will do great with a one-page website – and with a website builder like Zyro, creating a website is both fast and simple.
You want to include information about you and your show and have a contact form or at least contact details available for listeners.
Ideally, you should also embed a media player from your favorite podcast directory (like Spotify or Apple Podcasts).
This way, you’re making it easier for potential new podcast listeners to listen to your show even if they’re no longer physically in the Apple Podcasts app or web page.
4. Promote your show on social media
If you’ve ever seen a viral video or image on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve witnessed first-hand the power of social media.
Even if you don’t currently have a big social media presence, you should invest time and effort into podcast promotion on all the possible social media channels.
For example, an infographic, rather than a customer story, might do much better on LinkedIn than on Facebook, and vice versa.
You should present your podcast on social media in a way that doesn’t give away everything in your show but still intrigues your audience to find out more.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Share an update on all your social media channels for each new episode
- Pin the most recent episode post on your social media profiles
- Create a highlight or blooper soundbites that last no longer than 15 seconds
- Crowd-source discussion topics or stories from your social media followers
- Show what goes on behind the scenes on Instagram Stories
- Use Canva or another free software to create image quotes of your episodes
5. Be available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify
Currently, Apple Podcasts has an impressive hold of the podcast market – almost 30% of all podcast listeners use iTunes for their podcast fixes.
But Spotify is catching up, and many industry experts forecast that soon podcasts are going to be a main selling point for the audio streaming giant.
This means two things to your podcast promotion and overall marketing tactics.
Firstly, you want to build a presence on both platforms.
Make sure your podcast episodes have good cover art, descriptive and enticing descriptions, and a link to your podcast website.
Adhering to the platform’s guidelines and producing a top-quality show can even get you featured in the New and Noteworthy section on iTunes.
Secondly, having your show readily available on both directories ensures you won’t eliminate any segment of your podcast audience.
6. Utilize your podcast guest’s audience
Getting a guest on your podcast is not just exciting for you and your podcast audience, but it’s a wonderful opportunity for podcast marketing.
You should always ask your guest to let their audience know that they will be joining you on your show.
Most podcasters are happy to take to social media without much prompting, but if you’re working with a big-shot influencer, you might need to make sure this is negotiated in advance.
When it comes to podcast promotion strategies, a word-of-mouth approach can actually be more powerful than paid ads.
It’s not a bad idea to also use your podcast guests as social proof: think about featuring your guest’s best quotes on your website, and as pull quotes on different social media visuals, for example.
7. Convert your podcast to a YouTube video and a blog post
Content marketing is one of the smartest ways to promote your show.
Rather than just sticking to your original podcast recording, you should be on the lookout for new ways to share and repurpose your content.
You should also think about transcribing your podcast into a blog post. This way, you’ll be able to include additional content, like links and your show notes, and cement yourself as the thought leader in your field.
If you worry about the time it takes to transcribe a 30-minute long podcast episode, consider using transcription software. Most platforms have a free plan or trial available and shorten the transcription process considerably.
To get the most out of your written content, pay attention to keywords and the formatting of your blog posts.
You want your content to be found on Google and other search engines, so understanding the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) helps you more effectively promote a podcast, even in a blog format.
8. Make guest appearances on other podcasts
Many people who wonder how to promote a podcast overlook the importance of becoming a guest yourself on other podcasts.
Promoting a podcast couldn’t be easier when you’re a podcaster, talking about your show on another podcast.
Making guest appearances on other shows is beneficial for many reasons, namely:
- You’ll expose your podcast to a new audience. You should be a guest on shows that are related to your podcast – that way you’ll introduce your show to people who are a new segment of your existing target audience.
- You’ll be able to build your personal brand. Many listeners follow podcasts no just for the content, but also for the podcasters themselves. Making guest appearances is not just a way to promote your podcast, but also a good way to make a name for yourself.
- You can network with other people in the podcasting industry. No matter your industry or field, knowing the right people can open up doors that would otherwise require a lot of hard work and luck. Also, having a support network of fellow podcasters makes it easier to contemplate the highs and lows of your show with people who know what you’re talking about.
9. Ask your audience to subscribe and share your podcast
You might not know this, but the number of new subscribers is a major ranking factor on iTunes and Apple Podcasts.
That’s why you should actively share your episodes on social media, and feature bold call-to-action buttons that encourage people to subscribe to your show.
Offering perks, like access to a live Q&A with the host, for people who share your podcast with others is a good way to motivate your audience without sounding too promotional.
10. Use email newsletters to promote your show
Email is still very much alive and a powerful marketing tool.
Having a monthly or weekly newsletter is one of the best ways to promote your gig if you’re looking to build a strong connection with your listeners.
You could share some behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and introduce the guests of your next episode.
It’s also not a bad idea to monetize a newsletter related to your show. You could cross-promote a brand that’s related to your show by displaying banner ads or featured content.
A comedy podcast, for example, could advertise a local stand-up club or a nearby comedy event.
Just make sure that when you’re collecting the opt-in for your newsletter, you’re transparent about what you’re going to use people’s data for.
11. Do interactive giveaways and contests
Nothing beats brands that engage with their audiences.
You should always include different types of giveaways and contents in your marketing mix, regardless of whether you want to promote a podcast or a physical product.
Ask people to share stories that relate to your podcast on social networks, or join your email newsletter for a spot in a monthly raffle.
Ideally, the prices of your giveaways should be related to your show’s subject matter or podcasting in general.
Contests are also a great way to monetize your podcast: partner up with brands in your field for some cross-promotion of your podcast and a related product or service. With any luck, you’ll get the audiences of your partner brands to join your listener base, too.
12. Pick strategic publishing time
Publishing your newest episode at the right time can influence how well your podcast performs overall.
It’s difficult to gauge what the best strategic posting time is when you’re just starting out. Thankfully, creating user personas and doing overall market research can help you identify good potential publishing windows.
Let’s say you host a business podcast that’s aimed at working professionals, and each episode is the perfect length to fit most folks’ commute.
In this case, you shouldn’t be surprised if nobody listens to your newest episode if you publish it on a Saturday afternoon.
If you run multiple podcasts, you could be dealing with different audiences altogether – so do your homework and keep an eye on your analytics to finetune your episode publishing strategy.
13. Use partnerships and cross-promotion
There’s no shame in teaming up with a couple of brands or other podcasts when it comes to promoting your show.
At its best, name-dropping other podcasts that are relevant to your show supports and strengthen your own content – and people are likely to repay the favor, too.
You should also consider partnering with a business or two that are closely related to your field.
If your content focuses on Italian cuisine, for instance, it’d be a great idea to establish an affiliate marketing relationship with a few Italian restaurants in the area, or online food stores.
You could offer discount codes for your listeners and ask for a fixed percentage of each new sale or customer.
14. Consider trying influencer marketing
Social media influencers have a lot of power over their audiences.
Companies have realized this, and that’s why global influencer marketing spending has skyrocketed from a meek $10 million in 2013 to a staggering $8 billion in 2020.
Podcasts can also benefit from the exposure a social media star has on their channels.
You can start by either reaching out to influencers relevant to your show yourself or by approaching dedicated influencer agencies.
Remember that the bigger the social media star is, the more money they will be asking – so usually you’ll be safer betting on smaller influencers in focused niches, instead.
Also, pay attention to the platform your potential partner is using: if you know that very few people listening to your podcast hang out on Facebook, it might not be the best fit to strike a deal with someone who has big reach on the platform.
15. Submit your RSS feed to podcast directories
If people can’t find your podcast on the most popular podcast apps and directories, your marketing strategy is all in vain.
Thankfully, submitting your show across the internet is easier than you might think: all you need is the RSS feed from your hosting provider, an account with the platform or web app, and some cover art, as well as a description of your show.
Consider submitting your feed to most of these directories:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
Usually, setting up an account with a directory doesn’t cost you anything extra, so you can put your credit card away.
If you’re not much of an artist, get a professional to help you out with your show’s cover art – or use a free graphic design platform like Canva.
From the point of view of new listeners, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to your podcast description, too – ideally, you’ll introduce your guests, your show and include links to relevant pages on your website.
16. Use Apple Smart Banners on your website
If you have a podcast website, using Apple Smart Banners is a relatively easy and fast way to promote your podcast.
Sure, the banner is only visible on the mobile version of the Safari browser. But if you’re tracking your website analytics and are able to adjust your web traffic accordingly, you can drive plenty of very qualified visitors to your podcast episode on Apple Podcasts.
Basically, people browsing on mobile devices get redirected to your show on Apple Podcasts when they click on the ‘View’ button in the banner.
And if a user clicks away from the banner and dismisses it, they’ll never see it again – meaning you’re not annoying your website visitors on future visits.
Adding a smart banner to your website is easy: you just need to add one line of code to the <head> part of your website.
Usually, the code looks something like this:
<meta name="apple-itunes-app" content="app-id=ID-NUMBER, affiliate-data=at=AFFILIATE-ID&ct=CAMPAIGN-NAME">
17. Track all of your data
It’s no secret that in order to make proper decisions about your marketing campaigns, you need data to back up your ideas.
If you have a website, make sure you do a crash course in Google Analytics. If you rely on the data from your hosting provider, check what metrics are available to you.
Start by understanding how well your individual episodes are performing. Maybe one episode gets more listeners than others, but there’s one particular one that people share with their friends.
Next, check how different marketing campaigns are doing: does your page get a lot of buzz on Facebook every time you publish a new episode? Or maybe people love your newsletter and share their stories with you in your inbox.
The better you understand your audience, your show, and your marketing channels, the easier you can reach the right people who will love your show.
Promote and grow your podcast with a real strategy
There are lots of ways to market and promote your show – many depend on your audience demographics or what your show is about.
As long as you take the time to come up with a proper marketing plan, keep an eye out on your analytics and listen to the people who listen to your show, you’ll be able to get your name out there.
Start by building a podcasting website with Zyro – it’s both fast and easy.