Podbean has added Linkedin to the platform’s automatic social sharing tools, making it easy to promote your podcast on Linkedin. Tap into “the world’s largest professional network” to spread the word about your podcast. Linkedin has nearly 660+ million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
To set up social sharing to Linkedin, simply go to the “social share” section of your Podbean dashboard. Click on “Connect to LinkedIn”. You will be directed to a page to log into your LinkedIn account. When you publish an episode, you will now have LinkedIn included in the “share” section. You can click it to turn it off if you do not wish for the episode to be shared to Linkedin.
Here’s a sample of how your episode will be shared to Linkedin.
LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool. After all, LinkedIn is the social media network of choice for professionals and businesses of all sizes. If you have guests on your podcast, many of them will be active on Linkedin and it can even be a great place to find guests and develop collaborations. Now, Podbean makes it easy to leverage the power of Linkedin marketing for your podcast.
When should you publish your podcast? Did you know that the times that you post can affect the visibility of your posts? Or that by even adjusting the time you post your podcast can change how your listeners interact with it? There are many minute tweaks that you can do to increase visibility on your content. One of the main things we recommend is using your various analytic tools in order to discover the best posting times for your audience.
When should you publish your podcast?
Pay attention to your analytics page. Scrolling to the bottom of your statistics page on the left of Podbean’s analytics. The Downloads By Time Of Day (GMT) chart reflects your downloads by time of day, week day. The squares highlighted in the darkest shades of green are the days and times that you see the most interaction. You can adjust the scope of this chart by using the date selector at the top left of your analytics page.
By reviewing this activity, you can take advantage of interaction peak times and days. So if you see that you tend to get the most plays on Friday nights, but not so much on the weekends, you should adjust your schedule to post more on Fridays and generally avoid uploading new episodes on Saturdays and Sundays. The times listed on this chart are in GMT (which is also stated on the chart) so just be sure to make adjustments for your own time zone.
“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.”
We’ve also put together a variety of resources to help you get your podcast in front of as many ears as possible. Check out the following links for more resources and to register for our upcoming Promote Your Podcast webinar:
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.
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.
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.
Podbean has added a handy feature to help you share a video version of your podcast to Youtube and other platforms. Videos can be an attractive way to promote your podcast and share them on different platforms, potentially bringing in new listeners who may be less familiar with podcasts.
You can find the video by going to the episode list and clicking “Share and Embed” (you can also find it in your media manager). You will see a “Download video link” you can copy and paste to your browser to download the video. From there, you can upload it to Youtube and share anywhere you wish.
Please note, the Podbean system only stores the videos for 30 days after an episode is published. We recommend you save a copy of the video for future use.
The ad itself is a live read during one of their shows, and featured Collin Willardson (Mack Weldon’s marketing manager) playing as an underwear model while comedian Paul F. Tompkins pretended to be a Mack Weldon executive and poked fun and teased him. The live read is over seven minutes long, but despite its length, it sent listeners in droves to the Mack Weldon website.
So now a quarter of their monthly budget goes to podcast advertising. They still use visual ads, of course, but there’s an added facet that drives them to continue to use it – including the lack of competition for attention during the ad slot itself.
“We paid for native and display ads on online publications before, but we found that readers could easily get distracted by 48 things on the homepage,” says Willardson.
But monetization has more effects than just hyping up the person who is sponsoring you. Take a look at the popular sci-fi radio-drama podcast Wolf 359. At its height, it was pulling in $3,500 a month (enough to pay its voice-acting crew and pay for the studio space), but by monetizing their podcast they were also able to grow as a people beyond their podcast. “I’ve gotten some of my best paid voiceover gigs because someone knew my name,” says Zach Valenti, one of the main voice actors for the show. Even Welcome to Night Vale, one of the longest-running sci-fi podcasts, started as three guys recording with Audacity in someone’s apartment and grew to a show that tours internationally through the power of podcast advertising and monetization.
There are millions of reasons to monetize your podcast, but that should never be the question. Your question should be, “What can I do to make sure my advertising is as beneficial as possible?”
At A Glance
In its current state, podcast advertising is a market that can only grow. According to a study done by WARC data, spending is expected to increase to 1.6 billion dollars by 2022 if it keeps track with its yearly 4.5% growth from 2018 to 2019. Compared to 2017-2018’s growth of a mere 1.9%, it’s clear that it is profitable enough to have advertisers and sponsors make more room for it in their budget.
But what are the listener’s opinions? 1 out of 3 people listen to podcasts worldwide, with varying degrees of the same stat across generational lines. And most listeners have stated that they’ve taken some form of action after hearing podcast advertising, from purchasing or investigating a product to reaching and following a brand on social media. The podcast as a medium is changing how people consume and interact with content, and that extends out to how they consume and interact with the advertising.
As stated before, it should never be a question as to why you should consider this – monetization is its own reward, after all – but what is the best way to do it? It is, after all, another level of responsibility beyond just producing your podcast, and you’d hate to put in a whole lot of work just to find out that there might’ve been a different path to take.
Thankfully, that’s where this article comes in.
Finding an advertiser
One of the first steps to advertising is to find someone to advertise on your podcast. There are two main routes to go for when it comes to podcast advertising: you can either find a sponsor on your own, or you can have your hosting website help you find advertising.
The one that’s easiest for newcomers would be to have your host site help you find the advertising. Hosting sites like Podbean offer something akin to an ads marketplace, where you can opt in to the service and have the ads inserted at points in your audio preselected by you. There is a cost, but it’s usually just a cut of the generated ad revenue, so at no point will you be in the negative for running podcast advertising.
The next option would be to search for sponsors on your own. This is generally more intensive than joining ad marketplaces through your podcast hosting site, but it allows you more freedom in how you want to run your ads. The best way to go about this is to take a look at podcasts that discuss the same topics you do and see who’s advertising with them. Chances are, they’d be ready and willing to sponsor your show as well.
With your own sponsor, you’ll have to figure out how you’d like to insert your ads. You can either read them organically during your recording of your audio, or you can dynamically insert them after the recording. Dynamic insertion is discussed later in the article.
How does podcast advertising work?
Podcast advertising can run in three different spots in your content: preroll (before your audio plays), postroll (after your audio plays), and midroll (a set point during your content).
Preroll and postroll audio sort of run the same route, and tend to run 15-30 seconds on average. Midroll ads, on the other hand, run 30-90 seconds on average, and have the added benefit of letting control how the ad flows in your content. Not to imply that you can’t control the flow of your preroll or postroll ads, or that the flow is automatically there if you choose to to insert your ads at the midroll point, but there are unique opportunities that make the midroll ad a more desirable slot for advertisers and sponsors.
In fact, that spot is so desirable that the industry standard pay for a midroll slot is about $25-$50 per CPM, while the standard industry pay for preroll and postroll ads runs about $18-$25. Not solely because it’s longer, but because it has the chance to be more smoothly inserted in your content to explain its story and invite a call-to-action that’s less rushed than the preroll and postroll slots.
Quick sidenote: what’s CPM? CPM is basically advertising slang for 1000 downloads or impressions. So when a sponsor offers a 40-second midroll slot for $35 per CPM, that’s $35 paid to you for every 1000 downloads or plays of the content that the ad plays in. So if your podcast episode gets a solid 2000 plays and has just the one ad, that’s $70 for that ad for that episode.
This could also include if your content is downloaded and only partially played through. Studies show that the majority of people finish a podcast episode they start, so it might not be something to worry about, but if for any reason they episode only partially plays it still counts towards that CPM.
How to manage your ad campaign and insert your ads
Your advertisers will pay for campaigns that run a specific length – say, for eight episodes, or for all the episodes of a two-month period. There are different ways to insert your ads, but the two main ways to do it would either be dynamic insertion or host-read.
Host-read advertising is recorded inside the content at the same time as the podcast. It’s incorporated into the script to match the same tone and flow as the episode, and works in the same way as Mack Weldon’s ad in Comedy, Bang! Bang! The downfall is that the content is permanently part of the content, and can’t be switched out or removed as the episode ages. This could lead to confusion with listeners over deals, promos, or discount codes offered.
Dynamically-inserted ads can be read/recorded by the host, but they differ in that you can insert them after they’ve already been uploaded to your host website. You preset specific times for the ads to be inserted, or even insert the ads as you upload the episode. This allows you to change the ads as the episode ages, or even monetize your back episodes. This option works best for those who have their own sponsors found outside of the ad marketplaces within hosting sites, or for podcast networks that wish to cross-promote across multiple channels.
There is also a chance that your chosen hosting site might charge a fee for dynamically inserting the ads, but they’re usually minimal and take from the money per CPM the ad is paying. (Podbean, for example, only asks for $1 per CPM for the dynamic ad insertion.)
Preparing your podcast for ads
Even if you don’t plan on monetizing your podcast tomorrow, it bodes well to plan on doing it at some point in the future. Not only does it give you the chance to practice how you want to prepare for your episodes, it gives you the option to monetize your back episodes. You will already have done the footwork of making sure there’s a specific spot to insert the ad, so when the time comes all you have to do is opt it in for dynamic insertion, or manually insert the ad.
The best way to prepare your podcast for advertising is to keep in mind where the natural breaks of your content lie, and to make sure you’re not cutting your content in a way to make it sound disjointed upon playback with the podcast ads. By giving yourself that clear break, and making sure it’s clean and doesn’t cut off any speech in your audio, you make that episode a good candidate for monetization in the future.
Ten years ago, five years ago, even one year ago, podcast advertising was a mere shadow of what it is now. It’s ever-growing, ever-increasing in leaps and bounds. Willardson of Mack Weldon even said that this 25% they now spend each month on podcast advertising is 100 times what they spent this time last year. It’s changing the way people think of advertising and marketing, and how they tell the story behind their services and products. And it can change the way you think about your podcast.
With podcast advertising and monetization, you can turn your podcast into something that supports itself and in time, supports you – in more ways than one.
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):
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…
…but also where they get backlinks from (i.e. other websites that link to their site).
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.
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:
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.
“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.
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!):
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.