Promote Your Podcast – 11 More Tips And Tricks

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.

Promote Your Podcast - 11 Tips And Tricks

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

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!)  

Advertising

There’s a phrase in business that “it pays to advertise.”  “Yes, we know about the advertising,” you say. “We’ve talked about this in the monetization webinar and in your Podbean 101 – Learning The Tools Of Podbean webinar, why would we include it here?”  Because it’s a way that’ readily available for podcasters like you to run ads for your shows!

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 

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.

The Many Phases and Faces of Fans: The Gravity Beard Podcast on Community

Listen to The Many Phases and Faces of Fans: The Gravity Beard Podcast on Community

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.

Podcast Advertising – How It Works In 2019

Mack Weldon, a company that specializes in men’s socks, underwear, and shirts, spends 25% of their monthly ad budget on podcast advertising.  Why?

Because they doubled their sales with a singular ad on the comedy podcast Comedy, Bang! Bang!  

That’s right.  Doubled.

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.

Podcast advertising adspend and share of audio, US millions, current prices

(source)

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.  

Podcast Marketing Plan: 5 Tips to Grow Your Podcast

marketing-plan

Rise Above the Noise With These 5 Techniques

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

It’s not entirely your fault.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Boom, now that’s podcast SEO.

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

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

What’s that? It’s defined as:

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

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

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

Win-win.

Tip 2: Get Social

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip 3: Slide Into Your Listener’s Inbox

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

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

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

image-listen to episdoe

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

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

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

image-man-blog

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

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

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

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Tip 4: Don’t Forget About Youtube

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

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

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

image-edit-episode

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

Tip 5: Add Your Podcast to Directories

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

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

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

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

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Conclusion

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

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

Guest Author Byline

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

You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

How to Promote Your Podcast

There are a million ways to promote your podcast. Some are effective, while others might be a waste of time (and money). Join us as we give you eight ways on how you can promote your podcast.

How to Promote Your Podcast

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

Podcast platforms

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

2. Create a website for your podcast.

podcast website Podbean

You should have a podcast website, whether one provided by your podcast host or one you create on your own. This serves as the hub for your podcast and you can provide additional information and ways to connect with listeners. By building content here, you can practice search engine optimization to be found easily to promote your podcast If you decide to create a website from scratch, make sure your web host is the best in the market and ensures the highest quality.

3. Make good episode descriptions.

keyword

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

4. Promote/share on social media.

social-media-

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

5. Convert to video to share on YouTube.

Youtube

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

6. Leverage the influence of guests.

guest

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

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

7. Advertise on popular podcast apps.

purchase

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

8. Cross-promote.

Podads

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

Get New Listeners And Engage Them Everyday With Alexa Flash Briefings

alexa Podbean

Podcasts are on fire!

Everybody’s talking about podcasts these days. But along with that excitement comes a lot of competition. There are now over 500,000 podcasts on iTunes. Think about that…over a half-million other podcasts are competing with you for new listeners.

So how are you going to stand out from the crowd? How do you make sure your podcast is the one they listen to and then click the “Subscribe” button in their app?

One way might be Alexa Flash Briefings.

What the heck is an Alexa Flash Briefing?

A Flash Briefing is like a “mini-podcast.” It’s a daily, 1-minute informative “briefing” for owners of Alexa devices, like the Amazon Echo. Listeners hear Flash Briefings whenever they say, “Alexa, give me the news.” or “Alexa, give me my Flash Briefings.”

When prompted, Alexa will provide a 1-minute package from Reuters of the top headlines and local weather. She will then begin introducing each Flash Briefing, such as:

“From Pete Blank, this is Pete’s Points – Leadership Strategies”

Then that day’s episode will play. Here’s an example of what one of the episodes from Pete’s Points sounds like:

Listen to Pete’s Points

In my experience working with my clients, we’ve found the formula for the perfect Alexa Flash Briefing to be:

  • Minute long,
  • Time per day,
  • Valuable piece of content,
  • Call to action,
  • Person asked each day for a review.

Why should this matter to a podcaster?

There are four reasons every podcaster should add an Alexa Flash Briefing to their existing production schedule.

So Many Listeners

As of September 2018, there are over 50 million Alexa devices in homes. It’s the fastest any device has ever reached an installed base of over 50 million…even faster than the iPhone. Imagine how much that number will jump by Christmas 2018. Many analysts over 10 million new Echoes will be under the Christmas tree this year.

Very Little Competition

While there is a huge audience out there, as of the time of this writing, there are only about 6,000 Flash Briefings. That imbalance can create a flood of new listeners for each new Flash Briefing.

The averages I see with my clients’ Flash Briefing launches are about 100-200 downloads the first few days and about 1,000 the first month, although one client saw over 10,000 downloads his first month!

Less Friction & Easier Subscribing

Last week, I was talking to a podcaster who’s had a popular show for about 4 years. He said, “Getting a new listener has become a huge challenge. Then it’s just as much of challenge to get them to subscribe or listen again if they like the show.”

Flash Briefings make that easier for your listener because must subscribe to your Flash Briefing before they can listen. But that’s not perceived as a huge requirement because you’re only asking for a minute of their time, instead of an hour. Then instead of needing to take action to subscriber after listening to your show, they have to take action to stop hearing you. The fact that Alexa turns that subscription/listen dynamic around is a much bigger deal than it might seem.

And remember the “call to action” I mentioned in the formula for a perfect Flash Briefing? This is the time you would direct your listeners to your long-form podcast. They’ve heard you, they like you and they might want to hear more. But you now have the opportunity to engage them daily and ease them into giving you an hour of their time.

Easy To Add To Your Existing Production Workflow

You record Flash Briefings with the same equipment you currently use, and store the files on Podbean, just like you do now. Flash Briefings also work on iTunes, Google, Spotify, and the rest, giving you additional audience opportunities.

But since they’re only a minute long, you can batch record and schedule them in Podbean for publication. It only takes about 2-3 hours to record, upload and schedule 30 episodes. Then you don’t have to worry about it again for a month.

How to add a Flash Briefing via Podbean

So, if you’d like to try this, you’ll need to set up a new account with Podbean (or a new channel, if you’re on the Unlimited Plus plan) so that you have an additional RSS feed. You can use this link to sign up and get 30 days free. You can also see all Podbean’s plans on the pricing page. Just as with iTunes, the RSS feed is what makes all the magic happen.

Once you have an RSS feed, creating a Flash Briefing requires an Amazon Developers’ Account and a time commitment of a few hours to a few days to learn to set it up and configure it (depending on your level of tech skills). You can also hire someone to build it for you and spend your time focused on your business. My company, Alexa Guy, does this type of work full-time and there are other companies out there that do the same.

Whether you prefer the DIY route or hire someone to create your Flash Briefing for you, it’s an amazing new tool to build and engage a new audience while also driving new traffic to your existing podcast.

Podbean also offers the ability to record directly from their app, so you can easily produce your daily briefings right from your phone.

About the author

author logo

Jeff Smith is the Alexa Guy. His company helps podcasters, companies, entrepreneurs and speakers build and engage large audiences quickly through Alexa Flash Briefings. He’s offering 15% off his services with the promo code PODBEAN. You can connect with him at:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Email

How Can Podcast Advertising Help Small, Local Businesses?

Podcast Advertising Help Small, Local Businesses

Local media can play an important role in promoting small, local businesses. It can be a great way to target a narrow market with relevant messages. Many small businesses put advertising dollars toward local radio and newspapers. They may try billboards, flyers, local community boards or websites.

Small business owners need to be smart about their marketing and advertising efforts. Typically, they’ll be looking for effective, low-cost solutions but it can be hard to find that perfect combination. Sometimes local media exceeds the budget of a new or growing business. And, many businesses are finding that what’s worked in the past is no longer so effective. In recent years, many have turned to online advertising that allows targeting and provides delivery analytics. Another benefit is the simplicity and ease of getting campaigns running quickly.

Few local business owners will have considered podcast advertising. But now, some platforms are offering programmatic podcast advertising that targets only listeners in certain areas. So, podcasts can be a new form of local media for your small business to tap into. Fortunately, podcast advertising also has the potential to deliver more for less cost too. A small company can “sound big” without spending a lot. It’s a lot like what websites have done for small businesses in leveling the playing field.

Your Potential Customers Are Listening to Podcasts

According to a report from Edison Research, 21 percent of Americans (age 12+) will have listened to a podcast in the last month. To put that into perspective, that’s the same number of Americans who use Twitter and 8% more than use Spotify.

Podcasts tend to have affluent, educated audiences. 85% of podcast listeners have a college education and 36% make more than $75K/year.

Podcast Advertising Effectiveness

Research shows 62% of podcast listeners report making a purchase as a result of an ad they heard on a podcast. A study on NPR podcasts showed even higher results, with 75% of listeners taking action on a sponsored message. Podcast listeners are highly engaged, with 88% of them subscribing and listening to most or all episodes. Because podcasts are not heavily saturated with ads, listeners have high brand recall (over 70%).

New Technologies Increase Targeting and Ease

Programmatic ad buying now makes the process of purchasing podcast advertising much easier. A small business can buy ads directly, without a lengthy process or large ad budget necessary to work with an agency. The process is similar to setting up Google or Facebook ads (maybe even easier).

And, the technology now supports more targeting. So, for example, you can run ads to be served up only to listeners in your state or metro area. This effectively makes podcast advertising a new form of local media, but available on a smaller budget. For example, one recent campaign run via Podbean’s Ads system resulted in 100,000 targeted impressions for the business for $300.

To learn more about podcast advertising for your local business, read more. You can set up a campaign in minutes and give it a try! You set budget caps, and can modify or stop a campaign any time so it’s low risk with potential for high reward.

Get a high return on investment for your small business: get started with Ads today

The Best Way to Promote Your Podcast

The Best Way to Promote Your Podcast

There are a million ways to promote your podcast. Some are effective, while others might be a waste of time (and money). And, of course, what works is dependent on “where your audience is”. This is why promoting on other podcasts might just be the best way to grow your audience.

Why is podcast cross-promotion one of the most effective podcast marketing strategies?

  • Podcast listeners already know how to listen to podcasts, which removes one big hurdle you may encounter when you promote elsewhere.
  • Listeners love content suggestions. This type of marketing comes across as helpful information and listeners pay attention.
  • You can target listeners who already like similar categories of shows. This solution brings you right to where your potential audience is.
  • They can subscribe/download your show right away. They’re in the midst of listening, so it’s not something they have to remember to do later.

Why use Podbean’s ads marketplace to promote a podcast?

Cross-promotion is effective. A lot of podcasters are already doing it. We see many discussions about it in Facebook groups and hear the promo spots often. However, it takes a lot of time to set this up (networking, contacting podcasters, sending your promo, discussing details..and typically, arranging and running the other podcaster’s promo on your show). With Podbean’s ads marketplace, you can have promo spots running within minutes. Yes, you’ll need to spend some money. But, you’ll save valuable time. You can also reach a broader range of listeners than it might be possible to get via personal connections.

Fortunately, you can set a daily budget cap so you don’t have to spend a lot. You can view your analytics to see just how your ads are delivering. And, you can modify, pause or stop your campaigns at any time.

If you’re spending any money on Facebook ads or other promotions (or considering it), take a look at Podbean’s ads marketplace first. Podcasters tend to get a much higher return on investment (ROI) from these campaigns.

How to Use Podbean’s Ads Marketplace: Three Simple Steps

  • Sign up as an advertiser: https://sponsorship.podbean.com/. If you’re already signed up to receive ads on your podcast, you’ll need to create an account with a different email address.
  • Create your campaign. Provide basic information (contact info, website, description, copy), set your budget and start date. Select categories (and geographies, if desired). Pick ad slots and set pricing. Upload your audio file. Add your payment method.
  • Run and manage your campaign. Once approved, your ads till begin running within 24 hours of your start date. You can review the list of podcasts and remove any of them at any time. Check your campaign’s results as it progresses: see impressions and amount spent. Pause or cancel campaigns whenever you want.

Sign up for ads marketplace today and give it a try! You can set a daily budget cap of as little as $10 (that’s the cap, often the actual spending will be less depending on your specs). Check out our Advertiser FAQs here or contact us if you have questions.

You can also sign up your podcast to receive ad revenue. Learn more here.

What Podbean’s Listener Community Means to You, the Podcaster

Podbean app

In addition to providing innovative podcast hosting services, Podbean has a strong listener community. With over one million active users, the Podbean app is increasingly where podcast fans go for their podcasts.

The Podbean app offers many listener-friendly features. It’s also beneficial for podcasters, who can interact with listeners and get exposure. (You can also record and publish using the app!) To improve podcast discovery, the app organizes podcasts in categories and unique topics (like “Scary Stories” for Halloween). Podbean also prominently displays featured and recommended podcasts. The system analyzes users’ behavior to suggest podcasts they might like as well.

The Secret Room Podcast Case Study

Being Featured in the Podbean App=An Explosion of Downloads and Subscribers

We always hear from podcasts about their growth in downloads and subscribers after being featured. Today, we’re going to share a case study with specific numbers. The Secret Room podcast was featured in the Podbean app recommended banner for a little over a week. Here is what Ben Hamm, co-host of The Secret Room, had to say:

Podcast discovery is an issue that’s been vexing our nascent industry since day one.  Aside from word of mouth, which is perhaps the most accessible and powerful marketing tool podcasters have, getting the attention of media is a powerful audience driver.  The Secret Room has enjoyed its greatest subscriber bumps when we were featured on iTunes and the Canadian Broadcasting Company….and the Podbean app. 

I’ve been so lucky to receive advice and support from other podcasters.  In return to the community I’m delighted to pull back the curtain on the impact being featured on the Podbean app had on Secret Room downloads.  People should note that while being featured is a key part of the puzzle, you also have to have compelling artwork to get those click throughs to your show, and great content to retain ears.

Statistics after Podbean app feature:

Average release day downloads: increased 80%

Average daily downloads: increased 200%

Podbean subscribers: growth of almost 400%

Podbean plays: 130% increase

*based on the higher #s of the range before and during the Podbean feature

The Secret Room: a podcast about the stories no one ever tells, can be found on Podbean and on the Podbean app.

Want to get extended exposure to Podbean’s listener community? Sign up to promote your podcast with a banner in Podbean’s app.