Podcast Marketing Plan: 5 Tips to Grow Your Podcast

marketing-plan

Rise Above the Noise With These 5 Techniques

Let’s face it: Maybe nobody’s heard of your podcast.

It’s not entirely your fault.

With over 660,000 active shows and 28 million episodes, it can be difficult to cut through all of that noise, both literally and figuratively.

Besides, up until this point you were probably preoccupied with more important matters—that is, making a great podcast, finding your niche, and working out the kinks.

But now it’s time to introduce your baby to the world, and see if it will sink or swim.  

Fortunately, we’ve got some tips to make sure your podcast not only swims but climbs its way to the top of the podcast rankings.

Tip 1: Podcast SEO is Critical. Here’s How to Do It.

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” or as I like to call it: The art of making Google love you.

Basically, Google indexes every webpage on the internet—including your podcast website—and ranks them based on how well they answer user search queries (also known as “keywords”). And rankings matter – the top ranking post on Google gets 36.4% of SEO traffic.

Your goal: Tinker with every page on your website so that Google recognizes it as a worthwhile result for the keywords you want to rank for.

This is a multi-step process, with the first step being figuring out which keywords you wish to rank for. Based this on keywords with high monthly search volume and low competition.

This should already be fairly obvious, as your keywords are related to whatever your podcast is about. So if you have a podcast where you review Game of Thrones, you’ll want to rank for terms like “Game of Thrones review,” and “History of Westeros,” and “Winter is Coming” and “Jon Snow knows nothing” (okay, maybe not that last one):

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Another great strategy is to figure out keywords your competitors are ranking for, and go after those keywords. This way, users will go to your website before your competitors. You can do this using a service like SpyFu, which not only gives you your competitors’ most profitable keywords…

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…but also where they get backlinks from (i.e. other websites that link to their site).

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Armed with this information, you can campaign to those websites to get more backlinks to your site—another important part of SEO.

You can use a free website builder or a podcast host site to build posts around the keywords you wish to rank for. This can be done in a few different ways, including adding the keyword to your podcast episode titles and descriptions, using it in well-crafted blog posts promoting your podcast, and using it in the meta description for your webpages.

With the SEO Meta Tags PodBean app, this can be done in seconds without any coding knowledge:

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One of the best examples of this is from Copy Weekly, a marketing podcast that not only lists their audio on their site but accompanies said audio with a long-form blog post transcription:

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Boom, now that’s podcast SEO.

Another important approach to improve SEO is enhancing your website’s behavior metrics. This includes things like the amount of time a user spends on your website, and the number of pages they view each time they visit.

An easy way to improve behavior metrics is by adding a knowledge base to your site.

What’s that? It’s defined as:

“A knowledge base software helps you document tutorials, DIY guides, and answers to frequently asked questions in one place. A well-indexed Knowledge Base empowers customers to discover answers and fix easy problems by themselves allowing your business to focus on the tough problems.”

Knowledge base software providers like FreshDesk allow you to build an area on your site where you can house FAQs, guides, and tutorials that give users a better on-site experience.

Plus, knowledge bases are indexed by Google, meaning users Googling questions related to your field can discover you and your podcast.

Win-win.

Tip 2: Get Social

SEO is the foundation of any good podcast marketing campaign. All your other tactics should build upon it—including your social media strategy.

Creating social media posts consistently builds your brand and gets the word out about new episodes.

It helps your brand awareness, reach, and social footprint.

The first step in creating a social media strategy for your podcast is to know which networks to leverage. If you’re a business podcast, you’ll want to use LinkedIn, whereas comedy podcasts are probably better off sticking to Twitter and Facebook.

Depending on what podcast type you are, you’ll want to tailor your messaging strategy to that, too. For example, serious business podcasts will probably want polished grammar and a formal tone. Meanwhile, comedy podcasts can be more relaxed and informal.

Always be sure to schedule your social posts in advance and post whenever you publish new episodes—and don’t just do it on your main social media account. Everyone who participated in the podcast should share it on their account. If you had a special guest, be sure to include their handle in the post (and encourage them to share it too!):

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As for the content of your social media posts, interesting quotes from episodes are always a good way to draw a reader’s attention. Those who leverage PodBean’s video podcasting platform should post video clips, as video posts get 48% more views than regular posts.

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Finally, stick to the tried and true social media tactics: Use hashtags to promote your content, and be sure to follow other accounts related to your brand. Plus, you can use Facebook Messenger and other live chat tools to talk with your listeners quickly.

If you host your podcast with PodBean, you can leverage the built-in sharing tools to post your podcasts automatically to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr and more.

Tip 3: Slide Into Your Listener’s Inbox

Social media is a key tool for promoting your podcast, but email is still the most direct route to a majority of people.

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel, is cost-effective, and is not beholden to algorithms like most social media networks.

As far as what to put in your emails, it’s important to consider your audience and what might be valuable to them. Ask yourself what questions your customers might have, or what you can do to enhance your relationship with them. They’re allowing you into their inbox, which is more personal than their social media feed, so reward them with special promotions and early access to events:

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Emails are an especially good space to distribute your blog content, too.

As for frequency, there is no right or wrong answer to how many emails you should send out. What matters more is that you do it consistently. So if you send an email every time you publish a new podcast, stick to it.

One great podcast I listen to is the Side Hustle Podcast by Ryan Robinson. In Ryan’s personalized emails about his podcast episodes, he provides links to his website, a link to his podcast episode, and a preview of what the listener should expect.

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In terms of best practices, set expectations when a user signs up for your email. Tell them how often they’ll get your email and what to expect in it. Also, A/B test all of your emails: Send out two different versions of your email to a small portion of your audience with different subject lines. Track which subject line readers open more, as this can give you valuable insight into how to craft future subject lines.

Fortunately, email marketing services like MailChimp have A/B testing built into their platform:

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What’s more, MailChimp integrates with PodBean, allowing you to automate email marketing for your podcast episodes.

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Tip 4: Don’t Forget About Youtube

Google is the most popular search engine, but Youtube is the second most popular.

That means you need to be posting your podcasts on Youtube and optimizing them so they rank highly.

If you’re already using PodBean’s video platform, you have podcasts ready to upload to Youtube. You can also turn your audio files into video files by uploading them to iMovie or Final Cut Pro.

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Once your video is live on Youtube, add a description to it using keywords you want to rank for. It’s also a good idea to include timestamps, allowing users to jump to specific sections in the video. Another technique is to use what are known as “Cards”—clickable elements you can pepper throughout a Youtube video to increase engagement. This is a good way to add relevant links to your website and other calls-to-action during the video.

Tip 5: Add Your Podcast to Directories

SEO is extremely important, but arguably more important is adding your podcast to directories where people go to find podcasts.

We all know these places: iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and TuneIn. In fact, over half of all podcast listeners get their podcasts through Apple Podcasts (iTunes’ podcast app).

Getting your podcast on these platforms is an absolute MUST if you want to have any level of distribution.

Fortunately this comes built in with PodBean: The platform provides your fully functional RSS feed for distribution on all the major podcast platforms, ensuring listeners will be able to find your podcast wherever they prefer:

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Conclusion

The podcast market is exploding and competition is fierce. If you want to rise above the crowd, you need a dynamite podcast marketing strategy that encompasses:

  • Choose the best podcast hosting and follow SEO best-practices, including keywords, backlinks, and a great user experience.
  • A consistent social media strategy that is engaging and matches the tone and style of your brand.
  • An email marketing campaign with content that will resonate with your target audience.
  • An active Youtube channel where listeners can come to “watch” all your podcasts.
  • Distribution of all your podcasts on major podcast directories

Guest Author Byline

Adam Enfroy is the Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at BigCommerce and a blogger. He lives in Austin, TX and writes about blogging like a startup at adamenfroy.com.

You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

How to Promote Your Podcast

How to Promote Your Podcast

1. Submit your podcast to various platforms (directories and apps).

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The more places your show can be heard, the better, as you want to make it as easy as possible for listeners to find your podcast wherever they go. Start with Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Play and Spotify. From there, you can check out numerous other directories and apps, though many podcast apps pull from Apple Podcasts.

2. Create a website for your podcast.

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You should have a podcast website, whether one provided by your podcast host or one you create on your own. This serves as the hub for your podcast and you can provide additional information and ways to connect with listeners. By building content here, you can practice search engine optimization to be found easily.

3. Make good episode descriptions.

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Focus on making good episode descriptions with keywords that will help potential listeners find you. Think about podcast/episode titles as well (Apple podcasts are monitoring for the keyword “stuffing” so don’t artificially do this, but make titles clear and appropriate for what they’re about/what people might search).

4. Promote/share on social media.

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Create social media accounts (if you haven’t already) and build your social media community. Focus on creating community and sharing, not just posting your own things/self-promoting. Find like-minded people/communities on social media, follow them and engage. Share your episodes on social media.

5. Convert to video to share on YouTube.

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Instead of just recording the audio version, record a video or turn it into an “audiogram”. This could attract new attention from people who prefer videos or primarily use sites like YouTube. You can make this even easier by choosing a podcast hosting platform that already has an auto-share to YouTube function (such as Podbean).

6. Leverage the influence of guests.

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Inviting guests on your podcast can help broaden your audience since the fans of the guest will often listen to the podcast and may turn into regular listeners. Influential guests help build awareness for your podcast. Seek out guests and create a solid pitch for why they should come on the show. Also, make it convenient for them, treat them with respect and make it easy for them to share the show.

You can also be a guest on other podcasts. It’s a great way for new listeners to get to know you and to build a network with other podcasters.

7. Advertise on popular podcast apps.

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Podcast apps can help you grow your podcast audience by reaching passionate podcast listeners right in their favorite podcast app so that they can subscribe/download your show right away. Podbean app has banner ad spots so that people see your ads on front and center right after opening the app.

8. Cross-promote.

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Cross-promotion within other podcasts is effective. You’ll likely hear such promo spots in most of your favorite podcasts including the big ones like NPR. However, it takes a lot of time to find and contact podcasts and set this up. A more efficient method might be using one of the podcast advertising platforms such as PodAds. You’ll need to spend some money but you’ll save valuable time. You can also reach a broader range of listeners than via personal connections.

How to Automatically Share Podcast Episodes to Social Media

When publishing your podcast episode posts, you may want them to be auto shared to Facebook or Twitter rather than doing it manually every time.

Set-up:

1. Log in to your Podbean account and go to the ‘Settings’->’Social Share’ page. Then click the ‘Connect to Facebook’ or ‘Connect to Twitter’ button. We’ve clicked the ‘Connect to Facebook’ button this time.

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2. Follow the instructions and connect your Podbean account to Facebook. After the connection, the system will show the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts you’ve connected under the ‘Connected Account’ section. Now your post will be auto shared to these connected social media accounts every time you publish (unless you make an exception, as per below).

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Customizing:

If you don’t want something to be shared, you can click the button under the ‘Publish new episode’ section to un-check the selection. You can also customize the text that displays when sharing by clicking the pencil icon.

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