We at Podbean are ecstatic to see podcasters take to livestreaming. We envisioned Podbean Live as an indispensable tool in any podcaster’s toolbox for listener interaction and monetization. Our users have gone above and beyond in the ways they use Podbean Live. Livestreamers have run livestreams to discuss current events, deliver sermons beyond church doors, and even livestream conference panels and presentations.
Congratulations to our top 10 Livestreamers for January 2020, who kicked off the new year with interesting livestreams and lots of audience engagement!
Starting in February, we’re excited to announce that we will be running a contest for our top ten monthly livestreamers. Each month, we will be delivering prizes to our top three livestreams, as well as highlighting our top ten livestreamers via our social media channels.
For February, our top live stream host will receive a Shure MV-88+ portable audio-video kit. The host with the second highest engagement score will get six free months of Podbean’s Unlimited Audio plan, and the third top livestreamer will receive three months of Podbean’s Unlimited Audio plan.
We’ve loved seeing our podcasters having success with podcast livestreaming. We hope that the contest and prizes will inspire our livestreamers to continue to push the boundaries to grow their podcasts, engage their audiences in new, exciting ways and become the best livestreamers they can be.
If you’ve heard of The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast, you know what they’re about. Hosts Brian Myers and Matt Cardona talk about wrestling figures, memorabilia, and news in the wrestling figure industry, and more. You might be more familiar with their work names: Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder, the professional wrestling tag team Major Bros from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). We got to sit down and chat with MWF Podcast’s producer, videographer and fellow professional wrestler Mark Sterling. Sitting down with Mark, one thing stands true: in 2020, you can truly build a loyal fanbase from anywhere in the world.
If you’re not familiar with their podcast than their names, Mark says that’s part of the reality of niche markets:
“I’m not sure if we started with a plan because we really didn’t know the audience yet. Meaning people in wrestling or wrestling fans will know that one of the hosts, Zach Ryder, got very sort-of famous in around 2011 by doing this sort of guerilla-style youtube show every week. And his videos were getting 300,000, 500,000 views a week. And he’s got millions of Twitter followers. So we had no idea how many of those fans of his would come to his podcast because this podcast, as we say a lot in our own meetings, is a niche of a niche of a niche. Meaning you have to like podcasts, first of all, which seems weird to us but there are still people out there that are like, “What’s a podcast?” And then you have to like professional wrestling, okay, so that’s two things. And then you also have to like professional wrestling so much that you’re interested in professional wrestling merchandise and figures and memorabilia. So we’ve already knocked down the pool of our audience by a lot. When we started, we were like, “We have no idea.” And it’s grown pretty steadily, I would say.”
Despite their niche of a niche of a niche status, The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast is not unpopular. Not only do they have a thriving podcast channel, Mark said they’ve found ground amongst other platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram.
“I think that our Youtube has become – while we started it maybe six months after the podcast – it’s become more successful. I think that there’s just like more people on youtube as of right now that are watching than that are actually downloading podcasts. But I think that one thing feeds the other, so if somebody finds our channel on Youtube, and this is one of those people that I was talking about that doesn’t know what a podcast is – so he really likes it, he loves our content, he wants more of it, and I think we’re getting people from youtube over to listen to the actual flagship podcast that is sort of our meat and potatoes. And then, you know, obviously social media just keeps us top of mind. Zach Ryder is like, this social media marketing wizard. We both sort of follow Gary V, and we enjoy his teachings, but Matt is really good at social media and we’ve sort of built the Twitter and the Instagram, you know just like posting different content, news, pictures, interesting things that he has. But it’s a very visual thing, wrestling memorabilia, so that’s why Instagram is good, and Twitter is good.”
As for the podcast itself – as well as the videos shot for their various other platforms – it’s a weekly exercise in what can be done around busy travel schedules, and Monday night shows.
“So for us, it’s all about being on the go, so the guys – Brian lives in New York, and Matt lives in Orlando, they’ve been friends for years – so basically, they’re both on Monday Night Raw, and they have to sort of carve out enough time each week when they fly to the Monday Night Raw city in order to record the podcast. So early on, we purchased a Zoom H6N and a bunch of mics – we have some Samson mics, we have SM58s. Really, it’s just on the go podcasting. We set up in a hotel room, or we find a quiet room in the arena for Monday Night Raw, and they record it. If I’m around, I’ll go and do it for them. If not, they sort of do it themselves and then send me the files. The video production as well, like if there is room to have a nice camera we’ll do it, but a lot of the stuff that we do – the vlogs and the toy hunts we do – are just shot on our iPhones.”
The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast is a labor of love, created by guys with a passion for wrestling and its assorted figures. Not only does that passion shine through when they record their content, it even shines through with their sponsorships.
“For us, it’s really just building relationships with people that really make sense for our podcast. We just did a run of ads with Footlocker, they came out with some limited-run t-shirts for WWE wrestlers, and that really made sense for our podcast because that’s exactly what it’s about. Sometimes the guys talk about sports equipment, things like that, because they’re professional athletes. It’s the stuff that they like, and then we reach out to those people to see if they want to advertise, if it makes sense, it’s really just where it is. The people contact us, we find the best way to do it, or we look into things that we really enjoy, and then ask if they would like to sponsor the podcast.”
To learn more about their show, check out the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast on all podcast platforms, their Podbean website, Twitter and Instagram. Check out more of our interviews with various podcasts here!
Whether you’ve been running your podcast for a month or a year, there are always steps you can take to invest in your podcast. Sometimes our budgets don’t want to accommodate things like investing in new equipment. However, there are ways to grow your podcast without breaking the bank, whether or not these are financially based.
1. Explore A New Social Media Platform
You need to build platforms for marketing and promoting your podcast. Social media is extremely important for various reasons. They’re fantastic for promoting your podcast, and for building your audience into a community. In our conversation with the Gravity Beard Podcast, they utilize Facebook as a way for fans to come in and interact with each other.
Also, take the time to explore different platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Livejournal, or Youtube. See which one suits your desires and needs as a podcast the best. Work to incorporate that platform into your posting/interaction schedule. By expanding where you post your content, you increase the ways that new listeners can find your shows.
There are also ways to automatically post your content to social media as you upload it to your host site, cutting down on what sites you need to personally visit and upload to. Not only can you utilize scheduled posts (using platforms such as Tweetdeck or HootSuite), some hosting platforms feature an auto-share features that will post your content across multiple platforms.
2. Increase The Amount of Time Spent on Each Episode
You might have your recording/editing process down to such a science that you can do it in your sleep. Consider this to be an opportunity to tighten up your production. Pick a couple of your last published episodes and listen back to them. Is there a persisting issue that you might not have noticed before? Is your audio sound but missing something to crank it to eleven?
Here are some ways to change your recording and production situation and make it more effective:
Dedicate a space just for recording, such as moving your desk setup so that your microphone/interface can sit out and not have to be put away because you’ve got other projects on your docket.
Declutter your workspace. However, you don’t have to go overboard. Empty space facilitates echoes in your recording. Having some items on your desk will break up the bouncing sound waves.
In that same vein: hang up towels, quilts, or some sort of soft wall-hanging to help curb echoes. You can invest in inexpensive soundproofing, such as acoustic foam wedges that can be mounted to your walls. Even if that’s a goal that you’d like to have in the future, hanging something will improve your sound immensely.
Set up your routine to give you plenty of time before your intended publish date to record and edit without feeling like you have to crunch. For example, if you publish on Tuesdays, set up your schedule to record on Sunday or Saturday to ensure that you are giving yourself time to create amazing content, instead of recording Monday night. (If you’re wondering if we’re speaking from personal experience . . . we are.)
Creating a template for your production can save loads of editing time. Have your intros, transitions, outros and ads preloaded into your session. Many DAWs like Logic Pro will allow you to even create and save custom templates.
3. Expand What Your Show Covers
How does your podcast cover your chosen topic? Do you feature reviews, or interviews, or report on gossip within the topic’s industry? You can search within your podcast’s topic and expand your podcast to include new segments.
Say that your podcast is a movie review show. Expand your scope of coverage. Tell your listeners what’s happening in the industry, have a special segment that goes over classic movies or listeners’ choice in movies, or even expand into more interviews with industry professionals. This shows more passion for your topic, but also increases your podcast’s impact on your listeners. They’ll see you as a source of news and other information, not just reviews.
4. Expand Your Posting Power
Touching on social media again: what social media platforms are you on? Do you have a posting calendar? How do you utilize the tagging system of each one? Feel free to post about your content more than just at the time of launch. You can also re-tool your older content, or even create posts related to trending tags.
TWITTER: Algorithms tend to pick up accounts who post between 5-15 times a day, and work best when tagging with 2-5 tags. Only insert one or two tags in the main text of the tweet to keep from keeping it illegible.
FACEBOOK: Algorithms tend to pick up accounts who post 1-3 times a day, and work fine with any amount of tag. Facebook is a platform that loves video, so this is your chance to work in a new format for your content.
INSTAGRAM: Algorithms tend to pick up accounts who post 5-6 times a day, with a hard limit of 30 tags (although 5-10 are recommended). Be wary of using software to schedule posts on Instagram. Some cases have shown Instagram to flag accounts using software as bots.
5. Upgrade Your Recording System
You might be soundproofing the room you record in and spending hours on editing your content. You’re wondering what you might need to put your sound over the top. It’s at this point that you should consider what upgrades you can make to your recording and editing pipelines.
You don’t need to change out everything at once. Decide what you’re using that could use an upgrade. Perhaps your recording and editing software, your interface, or even your XLR cables…start from there. If you’re using a USB mic, maybe this is the time to step up and explore what you’d need for an XLR mic.
As you change things in your setup, make sure to run recording tests to ensure that everything is hooked up properly. Part of investing new equipment into your podcast is making sure that you know how each piece works, and that it meshes well with your podcasting style.
6. Set A Monthly Advertising Budget
There’s nothing stopping you from running your own ads for your podcast. You can easily set the ads to direct to your podcast landing page, specific directories or your own personal site.
When it comes to the cost of your ads, it can vary across the different platforms. According to Falcon.Io, ad clicks can cost anywhere from $0.51 to $5.61. These platforms have different costs for different reaches. They also have options to direct your audience to various actions (go to a specific website, etc). Choose the platform that works best for your podcast, and choose parameters that work best for your budget. Our examples are from Instagram, but your mileage may vary depending on the audience you market to.
When it comes to what you want to advertise, ensure that it’s eye-catching and intriguing. Make viewers want to click the link to learn more. We’ve found that making your ad something that can be interacted with – such as asking a question or a ‘this-or-that’ type of choice – increases your chances of interactions and link-clicking.
7. Explore Your Options For Merchandising
The rule of 1000 (often found in the modern music industry) is that if you have a thousand fans all willing to spend $100 on you in one year, you’re able to make $100,000 for the year. You can easily apply this attitude to your podcast and create the opportunity for people to spend money in the form of merch.
You can go as low-tech as you want, from creating a text graphic from one of your most iconic podcast lines and posting it to a site like Redbubble, all the way to commissioning a design from an artist and getting it printed on shirts to sell from your own online storefront (or at conventions/in-person meetups). Ideally, you should start small – maybe with sticker designs on Redbubble, or purchased through Stickermule – to gauge interest and pave the way for further merch items you’d want to offer to your fans. If you still find yourself at ends of what you could use as a design, remember that you do have a podcast cover that could easily be turned into a sticker. There’s also nothing stopping you from starting off with a commissioned sticker design – Twitter is a fantastic place to find professional-level artists that would gladly love to help you create a design. Just remember to keep your manners on and if you stiff an artist on payment, not even god will save you from me.
If you’re more artistically inclined, you could even create merch to sell yourself – we’ve seen everything from painted bookmarks, sewn coasters, and hand-carved stamps for podcasts.
Investing into your podcast, whether it’s time or money, shows a new level of dedication that will shine through your content and draw more attention. Learn more about Podbean’s tips for further promotion here and check out more of our tips and tricks here!
The idea of how to launch a podcast sounds deceptively simple – as simple as podcasting can be, anyways. Record your audio, open an account with a podcast host, submit your RSS feed, and you’re launched. Right?
While there’s nothing wrong with taking that approach, we’ve highlighted a few extra steps to take in your podcasting journey to ensure that your audience growth starts off on the right foot.
1. Talk About Your Podcast While It’s Still In The Works
In our interview with Josh Hallmark of True Crime BS, you’ll know that he spent years marketing and promoting his podcast before he ever published an episode. He bought space at conventions and passed out information. Also, he made appearances and networked in the name of this podcast. Josh pushed for the name to be as well-known as possible before the actual publication date of his first episode.
Spend a month or two before your intended release date hyping yourself up on social media. Also look into other forms of advertising. Use this time to check out your local conventions. Get a table for the weekend and hand out cards and stickers to remind people of your upcoming release. Use QR codes on your card so listeners can access your show with as few steps as possible.
2. Release Teasers and Promos Before Your Publication Date
While you’re working on creating your podcast episodes (because it’s recommended to have 5-10 episodes on deck for publication, and some even suggest releasing 3 episodes on your initial release date), you can drop clips from shows in progress. Maybe you said something funny or incredibly insightful. Maybe you scripted something completely heart-breaking and earth-shattering. Tt gives your audience a taste of your content to keep them interested. An interested audience will return when more content is available.
Also use this as a chance to post behind-the-scenes clips or even outtakes. People love to hear Freudian slips, the words you come up with when you can’t think of the right one (RIP to me as a podcaster when I forgot the word “fringe” and called them “dangles” instead). This creates a connection with your listeners. It humanizes you as the content creator and demystifies the man behind the curtain.
3. Make Sure Your Releases Have A Throughline
Whether you’re releasing teasers every week, posting pics of on-location shoots or guests, post with the intent of curating your brand. We mentioned in our promotion article to utilize a unique hashtag for your show. You can go even further by making sure that your podcast’s brand is present in whatever you do.
For pictures, make sure your album cover (or the centerpiece of your album cover) is present somewhere that’s visible. When selecting audio clips, include the intro/outro music so that your listeners begin associating that sound with your show/content. For video-based content, make sure that you utilize your title card and end card for each clip. Headliner is a great resource for making these kind of video/audio clips known as audiograms.
By developing uniqueness around you and your podcast, you are creating awareness for you and how you brand, which then unifies all the content you release now with the official content you release on your launch day and beyond.
4. Upgrade Your Website As Needed
Everyone’s got a website or a blog nowadays. It’s a focal point for you and your content. It exists as a source that anyone can utilize to find your podcast, social media, and contact info.
Ensure that your information is correct, all of your links work, and that nothing impedes anyone from getting your content. While most people aren’t so persnickety as to close a tab if something isn’t within two clicks on a website, it’s better to pretend that they are so you can streamline your site and make your most important info (links to your podcast, social media, etc) are as prominent as possible.
This is also the time to make sure everything is aesthetic and on brand as possible. It’s extremely important on your own site to make sure that everything’s cohesive, visible, and matches your podcast’s aesthetic. As long as they’re not clashing, of course – if your album cover is turquoise and candy-apple red, more power to you, but try not to make them the sole two colors of your website.
Having a website is also extremely important for search engine optimization (SEO). Having a website (especially if your podcast’s name is unique) will allow search engines to easily index your page. This will push you to the top search results when someone searches your keywords. This is especially true if those keywords are in the name of your podcast. Hosting with PodBean, you have your own custom website and can further optimize your SEO.
5. Make Your Launch Date A Celebration
While throwing a party might not be your first thought on the day of your release, it should be – and not just so you can celebrate yourself and your accomplishment. (Though, to be fair, that should be one of your reasons – you’ve put in a lot of hard work, and that should be celebrated.) With a launch party, it’s another method you can utilize to spread the word about your podcast.
When musicians release a new record, many will throw album release parties. They perform and play at the top of their game for everyone who had gathered to support them. A launch party gives you a chance to meet face-to-face with listeners and supporters of your podcast. You’ll even introduce your podcast to people who haven’t heard of it yet.
If you make the final decision and decide that an immediate party isn’t in the plans for your launch day, at least make sure that you include your listeners in on whatever celebratory thing you decide to do. There’s nothing wrong with doing a short video for your chosen social media platform, or posting pictures of your own personal celebration.
You can also celebrate in a more giving fashion, such as offering to do giveaways or shoutouts on your social media platforms. Make the celebration about your audience, and reward them for their support.
6. Keep The Momentum Going On Social Media
You’ve woken up the day after your launch, and now you’re wondering, What do I do now?
The answer is easy: you keep moving forward. Keep making and posting content, keep up with comments and interactions on social media, look for ways to keep making your podcast the best it can be. You made a lot of momentum with all your work leading up to the launch, but it’s worthless if you quit two feet past the finish line.
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished – not too many people start a podcast, despite what stats tell you. But while you’re patting yourself on the back, remember to keep your eyes on the horizon and think about your next steps.
Launching a podcast might seem easy, but there are plenty of ways that things might take an unwanted turn. But by taking these steps, you increase your podcast’s chances of a super successful launch.
Your internal communications podcast is an important resource for company’s training and communications. We’ve put together a list of ideas to help you promote your internal podcast. These tips will ensure its success, as well as aid in overcoming potential challenges in adopting podcasting as a new platform.
1. Share the podcast on employee sign-in pages and the company intranet
Whether you use a simple sign-in page or an expansive employee intranet and database, there are certain places that your employees log on to daily. These high-traffic sites are ideal spots to post notices and links to your internal podcast. Ensure that it updates as your episodes update, and change the images/wording to make it unique and enticing to keep your employees engaged.
2. Feature employees on your internal communications podcast
Use your internal podcast as a way to highlight employee success stories. Seek input from those most knowledgeable in the company about the podcast topic. Consider interviewing employees, having them help with content and other ways they can be involved. By including your employees in the content you’re producing, you’re creating the feeling of a more communal project. More employees will tune in to hear friends and colleagues being featured, and may be interested in getting featured themselves. Employees enjoy hearing from different voices in different roles and it shows that the culture is collaborative and their contributions appreciated. Employee involvement can really bring the project to life and create deeper engagement.
3. Promote through holidays or sales-based events
Depending on your company, you might have several yearly special events planned like holiday parties, quarterly sales meetings or new product launches. Use these events to promote your podcast (or vice versa). Inform your staff that they can find more information about these events via the podcast. You can also use the podcast to update your company about progress on goals or follow up from events.
4. Post physical signage around the workplace
Get creative with signs and posters. Put them in high-traffic areas like break rooms, hallways, and the like.* Each sign should have a call to action involving your internal communications podcast. These CTAs can be to check out the latest episode, learn how to be featured, or something unique to your content that will drive interest (such as an upcoming company contest).
*We suggest you be as tasteful as possible, but if you want to hang signs on the inside of bathroom stalls and restroom doors, that’s up to you. They are high-traffic areas, after all.
5. Make QR codes
Most phones now come equipped with QR code readers, enabling you to implement QR codes into your physical signs or promotional material. Enable the code to take them to your internal communications podcast page, or even to the specific episode. Your employees can quickly scan the QR code to listen. It helps break down the roadblocks and steps between the employee learning about the content and directly accessing it. This increases the likelihood of them interacting with your internal communications podcast.
6. Create discussions during company meetings based on the internal podcasts
Your private podcasts are resources and should be utilized as such. Highlight the information from the latest episode during meetings. Make it clear to those attending that the prerequisite information can be found in your podcasting content.
7. Enable push notifications in your company’s podcasting app
Your internal communications podcast app does more than just play and pause your podcast. It can also notify your employees when new episodes of your internal podcasts are live. By enabling push notifications, your employees are alerted the moment a new episode is published and available. You not only make your employees aware that new content is live, but make them more likely to listen as the notifications appear right on their mobile device.
8. Send out the podcast in newsletters
Newsletters allow you to send alerts for upcoming events, deadlines, and recaps so that your employees can be kept up to speed. If you have an existing newsletter, you can integrate the podcast. Or, you can consider sending newsletters specifically about the podcast. Inserting content from your internal communications podcast into a newsletter does multiple things. First, it delivers the content straight to the employee, once again decreasing the steps they’d have to take to get to the content itself. Second, it allows you to frame your internal podcast as the resource that it is. This also reiterates how the content discussed/mentioned in the newsletter is explored more thoroughly in your podcast.
9. Use podcasts as a primary internal training tool, then scale out
You can use your internal podcasts as a method of training, meaning that it’s a mandatory tool as part of your onboarding and training program. You can get new hires immediately accustomed to accessing information via your internal podcast. Once the routine has been established, you can scale outward and start instituting internal communications podcasts for other communications and continuing education purposes. As your employees will already be familiar with the platform, accessing the content fits into their already developed workflow.
10. Offer reward prizes for engagement and promote them on the podcast
Reward your employees for consuming your internal podcasts. Reinforce by bringing up podcast points in your meetings or commenting on a particular episode and encouraging those who discuss. Some examples of rewards can be company swag, gift cards, highlights in future episodes and shout outs from company executives. Get even more creative with your rewards. You might even consider integrating it with existing systems for employee development and reviews. Inspire your team to understand that important content comes in the form of your podcasts.
11. Set leaders to champion spreading the word to other employees
Even in the modern age, word of mouth is still the most powerful way to spread awareness. Find people in your team that can act as “leaders” or “champions” of your internal podcast. These might be different representatives from various departments. Or, it could be employees who are big podcast fans who you get involved to share their passion. Part of their role can be to represent the podcast and bring awareness to it to the employees around them. If your leaders and high performers are discussing content from the podcast, chances are your other employees will consider the podcast important and will engage with it.
12. Calendar events in your calendaring system with the link to the podcast
As a company, you use tools like Google Calendar to keep events, travel plans, and meetings organized. Introduce updates to your internal communications podcast as a scheduled event on the calendar. A good solution could be to have a schedule for your podcast releases that will fit into a Google Calendar reminder. This will automatically remind your employees to look to the latest episode that you release. You can even include a podcast link in the Google Calendar notes to make it even easier for your employees to access.
13. Make meetings into viewing/listening “parties”
When you release new content for your internal podcasts, plan meeting content around your podcast and consider playing snippets of the podcast. This once again highlights how important your internal communications podcast is, and reinforces the need to interact and engage with the content to your employees. Using video podcast episodes can be extremely engaging (instead of or as part of PowerPoint/Keynote presentations). However, both audio and video can be used for this method.
14. Integrate with current communication tools such as Slack
Your internal podcast is part of your overall communications plan and works well with other means of communication, especially your company chat system (such as Slack). Integrate your internal communications podcast into your chat system, and ensure that your employees never miss another episode. Much like enabling push notifications and placing notices in high-traffic areas such as employee login screens and break rooms, this brings more attention to your content. It also acts to once again decrease the actions needed to get to your content.
15. Create goals based on the podcast
Goals help your company move forward. By making goals based around your internal podcast, you create something for your employees to aim for. Perhaps it’s an action that needs to be taken after they’ve listened to the episode, or prepping notes for a discussion to be had about the content in the episode, or something that’s specific and unique to the needs of your company. Regardless, a target to aim ties in the purpose of the podcast and provides measurable actions
As far as resources go, your internal communications podcast can be one of the most strategic ones at your disposal. It offers a unique way to interact with your employees. With these methods, you can ensure that you reach as many of them as possible and keep your company informed.
You’ve now started your podcast. You want to get it into as many ears as possible. Now how do you promote your podcast? How do you rise amongst the top podcasts with millions of downloads? These eleven tips and tricks will help get you get more eyes and ears on your podcast.
Remember that first impressions matter
Creating a podcast means that you are now effectively the CEO of your podcast – as well as the COO, the secretary, the mailroom clerk, and the support team. Like it or not, being the public face of your podcast – such as attending events in your podcast’s name, reaching out to guests/interviewees, and interacting on social media – means that you have to act like it. Any interactions a potential listener will have with you will color their feelings towards your content.
Consider how you phrase things and how you come off in your interactions with listeners, fellow podcasters, and other industry professionals. If people see that you’re someone they’re comfortable around, they’re more likely to check out your content and collaborate with you.
Audiograms are a when you convert a chunk of your podcast to video, usually with a static background of your podcast cover or your chosen image, created with the intention of posting to social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. Platforms such as these benefit from shorter-form videos, which is perfect to highlight a clip of your latest episode, your favorite chunk of livestream, or even a past episode that’s relevant to a trending hashtag or seasonal event.
With this, your audiogram will function as a podcasting sampler for people who haven’t heard that particular episode, or your podcast in general. By utilizing the video player native to the platform, you give them a chance to see what your podcast is like before they click the link to check out the full episode. It also breaks up your feed to create a more diverse and interesting first look for anyone who comes to your social media page (if you’re wondering where to go, we’ve been using Headliner with spectacular results!). The following is an audiogram example from the Gravity Beard podcast.
Create a Podcast-Specific Hashtag for You and Your Users
Please don’t tag any buildings, but hashtags are a quick and functional way to introduce your podcast to someone. Create a unique hashtag that’s intriguing and specific to your podcast. As examples, it can be the title of your podcast. It can be phrase you or your hosts have coined.
With it, the only limit is your imagination and the law! Interact with the tag on social media when people use it. Feature it across your social media channels. You can use it it as a tag on all your posts or just utilize it in an image.
Understanding Social Media Outlets
When we spoke with Gabriel Urbina of Wolf 359, his surprise came when realized what conversations were happening on other platforms he wasn’t present on, like Tumblr.
You never know what medium will suit you, your content, and your posting style best. Experiment with different platforms, and figure out the different ways that your media fit into their native landscapes. Check to see if your host offers automatic sharing for your chosen platforms. Set up your accounts to have episodes automatically post when you upload your new content.
This is not to say that you should adopt a “spray-and-pray” technique to your social media marketing. Take into consideration your style of posting and the social media platform. Create a steady stream of content (episode clips/audiograms, pictures, and the like). See what platform is most suited to that style. For example, users can click a link in a Tweet, but cannot click on a link in an Instagram post description.
Join podcasting-specific groups and events
The internet is a whole made up of millions of smaller communities. No matter how niche your podcasting topic is, there is a group for you. Seek out these groups on platforms like Reddit, Livejournal, or even in physical meet-ups at local libraries and tech centers. Introduce yourself and your podcast to the groups’ members.
Also keep an eye out for themed events on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They could be questions themed around an event or month (such as Podbean’s Podtober event), or themed around a month of creation (in the same vein as the ever-popular NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month). These events unite users everywhere around the same goal of participation and interacting with others who are also participating. Your name and podcast will be seen by others who are participating in the event.
There are a myriad of online communities for you to traverse through to promote your podcast on. The r/podcasts and r/podcasting subreddits offer amazing advice, chances to talk shop, and a place to talk about what it means to podcast.
Cross promotion with similar podcasts
When we say “cross promotion,” we don’t just mean promote yourself across your multiple platforms (because let’s face it, you’re probably already doing that). We’re talking about reaching out to your friends in the podcasting industry. Offer to promote their show on yours as a trade for them to promote your podcast on theirs. You can feature other guests on your podcast and vice. versa. This can extend your voice to a wider audience than just your own.
If both podcasts are in the same genre, of course there might be some audience overlap. However, a good portion of their audience might not be aware of your content. However, they are familiar with the podcast you’re a guest on, or featuring a host from. They will want to tune in to check out the content. By doing so, they’ll be introduced to your podcast and become part of your audience.
Making friends and connections in the podcasting industry is important. But as with point no. 1, be genuine! Don’t do so with the sole intent of being a guest on their show to grow your own audience.
Email list and newsletters
As we advance further and further with our social media platforms and technology, we start to find more and more people who wish to pull back from it. That’s where email lists and newsletters come in. This content gets delivered directly to your subscribers’ mailboxes. You can bring more information to their attention without putting the onus on them to go hunting for it.
Also, with the ever changing landscape of social media’s algorithms, your posts often have a chance to be buried to a wide majority of your audience. Your email list is comprised of fans who manually subscribed to it. You now have a direct line to your most loyal fans. With mailing lists, you can ensure that they’ll always see your notifications.
Your newsletters also allow you to introduce exclusive content. Maybe extra material cut from your scripts, or behind-the-scenes pics of your recording space. Maybe even tips and tricks you can offer to those starting their own podcasts. We’ve seen folks use MailerLite with great success!
Attend local podcasting conferences and meet local podcasters for get-togethers
Whether you’re planning on hitting up every podcast convention across the country, or just hitting up a local group of podcasters that met on Facebook first before going for drinks, there’s nothing like sitting together with a group of people in the same industry as you. They can offer advice on common podcasting issues, get the same in-jokes about microphones, and understand and celebrate your podcasting achievements.
For these get-togethers and conference runs, always keep a steady supply of business cards on hand, and be ready with some storage ideas for the business cards you receive. If you’ve got the effort and the budget, you also can’t go wrong with things like stickers or buttons. (Our marketing writer loves collecting podcasters’ stickers, so if you’re going that route and making your way to some podcasting conferences, be sure to stop by the Podbean booth!)
Your host may offer something akin to an opt-in ad service that allows sponsors to look at your podcast and offer you a deal to run an ad for a certain length of time. But did you know that you could turn around and be the one to create an ad and pay to have it run in other podcasts?
With Podbean’s Ads Marketplace, you can create an advertiser account and run an ad you’ve created for your podcast in other podcasts within the same genre as your own. This method offers you the advantage of the downloads and audience of another podcast, as well as the experience of what advertisers see when they go to look into podcasts to run their ads.
Podcast networks are podcasts grouped together by topic, genre, ownership, or just a collective decision to unite under an umbrella name. There are certain perks to some networks, such as guaranteed ad opportunities and prepaid hosting by the network, but each network is different and works by their own rules. But one thing’s for sure, a network’s audience is wider than a single podcast’s.
By joining a network, your podcast can be promoted along side others in the network. The audience of the other podcasts know you meet their quality standards in content and production. Take, for example, the likes of Critical Role, or The Brit Pod Scene – both networks have pages that list the podcasts within their network, and utilize social media to promote their podcast, new episodes and content.
Keep making your content the best it can be
“Consistency and quality help breed loyalty,” says Jason Solomon of the hit wrestling podcast Solomonster Sounds Off. “To build an audience, you need to stick to a regular schedule of recording. If people like what they’re hearing, they will keep coming back for more and are far more likely to engage with you on various platforms.”
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of picture-taking, post-writing, Instagramming, and marketing. The danger comes when you put so much of the focus on marketing that it’s a detriment to your content. Remember to keep your podcast the forefront, and to keep focus on creating content in your regular manner.
Marketing and promoting your podcast can seem like a huge endeavor, especially when you start bringing more technical and analytical aspects into it. These tips will help promote your podcast and get you to your podcasting goals.
Livestream content has become an engaging form of media. Podbean now gives you the opportunity to livestream your podcast and engage your audience in new and exciting ways. What steps can you take to drive listener attendance and engagement to and with your livestream? We’ve put together a list of best practices to promote your livestream:
Utilize eye catching promotional images for social media
Promote your livestream during you regularly scheduled episodes
Use your email list and newsletters to promote your livestream
Cross promote your podcast on similar podcasts
Sponsors and advertisers (paid and unpaid)
Develop a community around your podcast
Find new outlets for your podcast to be discovered
1. Utilize eye catching promotional images for social media
Podbean always recommends posting your new episodes, news and show schedule via your social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Eye catching images do a great job at drawing attention in the world of fast mobile app swiping. By creating a graphic for your upcoming livestream schedule (whether it’s pinned to the top of your profile, or your chosen social media’s header image) you’re drawing a potential listener’s eye directly to your most important information.
If you’re familiar with our Podbean 101 webinar, we discuss that you can use any digital art programs such as GNU Image Manipulation Program (free), Adobe Photoshop, Pixelmator and others to create your images.
2. Promote your livestream during your regularly scheduled episodes
Each of your podcast listeners is also another potential livestream listener. By making a point of bringing up your livestream during your episodes, you give your listeners more access to engage with you. It also exists as a permanent fixture of the episode, so no matter who listens to it they get access to the information, from your longest running listeners to your newest listener.
If you utilize dynamic ad insertion such as PodAds, record a few bumpers to insert into your back episodes that feature information about your livestreams. By using ad insertion, you can easily change your ads to keep your livestream info up to date. You can also set reminders and links into your show descriptions on each episode for even easirt access for your listeners.
3. Use your email list and newsletters to promote your livestream
Your newsletters and email lists put you directly into your dedicated listeners’ inboxes. Along with informing your followers about convention appearances, future episode topics, and podcast-related news, you can deliver information about your upcoming podcast livestreams.
4. Cross promote your livestream on similar podcasts
Many podcasters cross collaborate on extra-special episodes and/or guest-host episodes on each other’s podcasts. By featuring these guests, you’re allowing yourself to market to an audience that’s interested in your guest, but may not be familiar with you or your show. The vice-versa may also open your podcast up to a brand new set of ears. Many podcasts within a similar genre also benefit from cross promoting ads on each other’s shows.
You can also use a tool like Podbean’s Ads Marketplace (as an advertiser) to create ads promoting your livestream to run on other podcasts. By advertising on podcasts with content similar to yours, you can reach out to a wider scope of listeners. Ads marketplace allows you to review the statistics and activity of various podcasts such as downloads per month, geographic listenership, and more.
5. Utilize Audiograms
Audiograms are video clips of audio that play over a video or still background image. These short clips can be perfect for posting strong, poignant episode points to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. There are also options to include transcripts of these clips or to just have audio only. By deploying a different format to your posts for your social media platforms, you diversify your feed for your followers and create a visual contrast that’s more likely to encourage your followers to check out the rest of your posts.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with how audiograms integrate your livestream into your social media posts. Create goals for listeners to call in with their best story or wildest joke, and the best one gets turned into an audiogram for social media. Your livestream is an event for people to plan for, but the highly-coveted (or soon-to-be highly-coveted) spot of having the best call can be a goal they can shoot for. (We’ve been using Headliner with fantastic results!)
6. Sponsors and advertisers: paid or unpaid
There are many ways to benefit from sponsorships. As well as financial sponsorships, sponsors can offer promotional opportunities such as featuring you on their site, providing your access to events you might not have otherwise been able to attend, and discounts on products (such as gear you use and promote during your podcast). Promotional sponsorships allow you to reach a much wider audience, and allow fans of your sponsor to find you as well.
7. Develop a community around your podcast
Community is one of the most important parts of growing a podcast listenership. By creating a place for your listeners to congregate, you’ve now given them a place to discuss your topics related to and/or covered on your podcasts/livestream.
As examples, you can use a Facebook group or a server on the chat platform Discord to build engagement and post news about livestreams, upcoming podcast events, and other items to keep your community informed. Much like with your patrons mentioned above, you can allow your community to weigh in on future topics, certain segments of your livestream, or primary priority for calling in on your podcast livestream.
8. Find new outlets for your podcast to be discovered
When we spoke with Gabriel Urbina, he discovered that quite a bit of the conversation for his podcast Wolf 359 was happening on Tumblr, a platform that he hadn’t been present on beforehand. You never know where your podcast will find its audience, but by reaching out on different platforms you will be able to reach out to listeners who might not navigate your other platforms, and increase podcast livestream attendees.
There are import/export systems in place to have your episodes cross-posted to places like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, WordPress, and Tumblr. Explore the different platforms and formats of your show (with sites like Youtube and Facebook, your episode posts as a video), and expand invitations to your podcast livestreams to each platform. – When it comes to promoting your podcast and your podcast livestreams, there are many different paths to investigate and travel down. By using one (or more) of these methods, you increase your visibility, and increase the pool of livestream attendees.
As a content creator, it’s an accepted fact that a podcast is nothing without its fan following. Whether your fans are the quiet sort that bring it up for recommendations, or loudly and meticulously buying merch, liveshow tickets, and behind-the-scenes patron-program access, all fans are good fans and welcome to be part of your show.
One podcast, The Gravity Beard, as a community that takes it one step further.
If you haven’t heard of them, The GravityBeard Podcast is a comedy podcast that’s got a little bit of everything for everyone.
“The GravityBeard Podcast, always since its inception, is a variety show podcast. Whenever you tune in from week to week, we do have elements of the show that are consistent and have been since we started, but it has evolved since we started it. But it’s a variety show, in that you don’t know necessarily what we’re going to do week to week. We’ve done a huge array of things, from interviews to round-table discussions, to a lot of different things under the comedy umbrella. And then currently, we’re doing “This Week Today,” which is something we’ve done consistently for the last year and a half or so. And then more recently we’ve done “Staff Meetings,” which is a talk show segment-formatted show that we put together because we’re getting so much great content out of the GravityBeard Interns Facebook group. So that’s essentially what the podcast is.”
As their podcast grew, so did their fanbase and how their fans interacted with the show. Not content with just interacting with the creators on public forums, they inserted themselves into the GravityBeard narrative – going so far as to assign themselves roles based on the fictional company.
“The Intern group – especially the GravityBeard one – is a place that’s kind of built its own separate world. I guess, to some extent, in the way that it’s not just people sharing just content that they find online, and it’s not just people interacting with the show in general, but like, it’s people that have taken up an active part of the fictitious world that The GravityBeard has kind of put behind it as far as an internship, so then The Gravity Beard is a company that everyone kind of bought into. It’s an extra layer. As opposed to other groups where it’s like people come on and they talk about the show, and they try to interact with the host. This one actually built its own separate thing all around it that allowed for more back-and-forth and interactivity with everyone.”
Though their group isn’t the largest – around 230, give or take – the name of the game is quality over quantity. Each new member is personally greeted as if they’re new employee getting on-boarded to the company, and there’s no shortage of positions for those that want to join in.
To learn more about The GravityBeard Podcast, check out their Twitter and their fellow shows on the Podfix Network.
2019 has been an outstanding year for the podcast. As one of the largest podcast hosting companies, we wanted to share some of the key data and trends from our platform. This includes valuable insights not only from our hosted podcasts, but also useful listening data from our popular podcast app.
Trends: What Changed in Podcasting in 2019
1. The number of podcasts is increasing (and listening is too).
You’ve probably heard this from other sources, and our numbers definitely confirm a significant trend in growth. The number of podcasts hosted on Podbean grew 70% from 2018 to 2019.
The top podcast hosted on Podbean had over 50 million downloads in 2019. The overall downloads number on the Podbean platform increased by 62%. The number of podcast plays in the Podbean app grew 110%.
2. The podcast app market is growing, while podcast app market share is diversifying.
Top 10 Podcast Apps and Players in 2019
From the beginning of 2019 to the end of 2019, Apple’s share of downloads for Podbean podcasts dropped from 49.36% to 39.26%. Spotify as a source of downloads/plays started from 0% but immediately rose to 7% when Podbean became a Spotify passthrough partner in March 2019. Spotify has now grown to 18.08% of downloads for Podbean podcasters.
However, Apple Podcasts’ absolute number of monthly downloads didn’t drop. They actually increased by 29.23% throughout the year.
Actually, all podcasts apps showed growth in downloads in 2019. For example, Google Podcasts’ monthly downloads number increased by 71.29%. The Podbean app’s downloads increased by 110%.
Spotify joining the market didn’t reduce the number of downloads on other apps. It was part of the trend of an overall expansion in the podcast market. We see this is a healthy sign that the podcast market has a huge potential to grow. New major players, such as Spotify and Google, have helped the overall podcast market to grow faster. More downloads are coming from a variety of podcast apps, including those focused on cross-platform users.
3. The Podbean app is one of those sources that is growing.
The number of podcast plays in the Podbean app grew 110%. The Podbean app now has over 1 million monthly active users.
Listener engagement on the Podbean app has also grown strongly. The total number of “follows” (listeners following podcasts) on the app grew 83%. The total number of comments on the Podbean app grew 84%.
The number of podcasts using Podbean’s Business and Enterprise services grew 230% from 2018 to 2019. Podbean now hosts podcasts for IBM, RedHat, J.P.Morgan, Aflac and many large companies and organizations. We see podcasts becoming as essential to businesses as blogs have been. Podcasts are the hot, new marketing and communications tool for companies and organizations, for external marketing, workforce development and much more.
Podcast Trends: Consistency in 2019
These podcast statistics remained relatively consistent with past years for podcasts hosted on Podbean:
Approximately 58% of downloads were on iOS devices
Around 22% were on Android
Around 53% of downloads were from listeners in the U.S.*
*Though the U.S. remains the top country for downloads far ahead of any other single country, listening is growing in various markets. And, many of the top podcasts hosted by Podbean are in languages other than English.
The Most Effective Monetization Methods for Independent Podcasts
Podbean works with podcasts of all sizes, genres and professional levels, but our primary hosting clients are independent podcasters. We provide various monetization services, giving us a unique window into what is working for independent podcasts when it comes to making money. Podbean provides Premium Podcasting (i.e. podcasts behind a paywall), a Patron Program (for listeners to contribute monthly donations), and podcast advertising services.
Among them, the Podbean PodAds service appears to bring in the most income for Podbean-hosted podcasts. However, Premium podcasting has the highest growth rate and potentially could be the biggest source of income for independent podcasts.
The top podcast using Podbean’s PodAds dynamic ads insertion service served over 4 million ad impressions. We don’t know how much the podcast gets paid for their ads (Podbean does not take a revenue cut from podcasters using this service). However, if we calculate using a $30 CPM, the estimated ads income is $120,000. Overall, the PodAds growth rate was 40%.
The top podcast using Podbean’s Patron Program made over $100,000 so far in 2019. The Podbean Patron Program’s overall income growth rate was 59%.
The top Premium Podcast made over $70,000 thus far in 2019. The Podbean Premium Podcast service’s overall income growth rate was 62%.
Interesting Insights about Podcast Listeners
Podbean listeners are very loyal to the podcasts they follow on the Podbean app. Among the top 100 podcasts in the Podbean app, the average four-week retention rate is 61% and the average seven-week retention rate is 55%. Podbean retention (available as part of Podbean’s standard hosting statistics for all users) tells you the percentage of people who keep listening to your podcast over particular periods. If you’re hosted with Podbean, you can check your podcast retention rate in your Podbean statistics page to see how loyal your listeners are and to spot trends that might help you make content modifications.
Podbean also offers a “Downloads by Day of Week and Time of Day” chart. The top five time slots that have the most downloads/streams on the Podbean app are:
Wed 7 pm EST
Mon 8 am EST
Mon 9 am EST
Tue 9 am EST
Mon 10 am EST
Overall, the most important time period for podcasts is Monday to Wednesday in the morning (Eastern time). Consider this when scheduling episode releases, to make sure you take advantage of having fresh podcast content available during these prime listening times. If you’re hosted with Podbean, you can check your podcast’s peak listening time slots. Your podcast might have different peak listening periods than the averages.
Top Podcasts in 2019
Below you can see various top 10 lists, from both our hosted podcasts (and the platform’s monetization programs) and the Podbean app. Visit https://www.podbean.com/2019-top-10-podcasts to see the Top 10 podcasts hosted on Podbean in each category.
Podcasting, as a medium, constantly expands with new features, practices, and opportunities. While there are resources aplenty, the rapidly changing nature of podcasting means that a how-to article that was up-to-date four months ago might no longer be so today. The remedy to this, of course, is a method that allows for changes and updates as quickly as podcasting does: live webinars from voices in the middle of the industry’s source of growth.
Podbean is proud to present our new line of live webinars, Our presenters have a perfect combination of experience in technology, education, and podcasting.
Podbean 101: Learning The Tools of Podbean Presenter: Roni Gosch (Podcast Specialist, Podbean)
Whether you’re brand new to Podbean or have questions about parts of the interface that you’re looking to start using, this webinar will walk you through all the key points of your Podbean dashboard. This webinar will help you:
• Choose a Podbean site layout that suits your podcast best
• Find your RSS feed and learn about the different things that change and affect it
• Decipher your analytics and how learning from them can you grow your podcast in the long run
• Discover a couple of our monetization options readily available and built into the Podbean interface
Podbean Live: The Podcast Livestreaming Solution for Every Podcaster Presenter: John Kiernan (Head Of Marketing, Podbean)
Podcast live-streaming is here! Looking for a new way to connect with your listeners? Searching for an alternative monetization solution? Wondering if there’s something exciting to bring your listeners for big events? Podbean Live is the solution for you, and this webinar will teach you everything you need to get started!
In this webinar, you’ll learn how to use Podbean LiveStreaming to:
• Easily record long-distance interviews
• Interact with your listeners via the live chat and call-in features
• Monetize your podcast with Virtual gift and ticket sales
• Understand the tools to start your own podcast livestream!
Monetize Your Podcast Presenter: Roni Gosch (Podcast specialist, Podbean)
Making money with your podcast should be an exciting prospect that can create more opportunities to grow and spread your message! Podbean makes it easy for podcasters of any size to make money with our integrated monetization options. In this webinar, learn more about our various podcast monetization, as well as learn how to make your podcast appealing to advertisers and sponsors.
The topics in this webinar will include:
• Creating steady income for your podcast through our patron program
• How to use podcast live streaming to receive virtual gifts and ticket sales
• Explaining CPM, how to attract advertisers, and how to dynamically insert advertising into your podcasts
• Learning the basics for growing your podcast traffic