Three Common Pitfalls of Podcasting

You put a lot of effort and time into your podcast, crafting it to be the best it can be.  However, sometimes you find that your engagement might not be where you want it to be, or that your audience is more stagnant than you would like.  We’ve identified three common pitfalls for the modern podcaster, and what you can do to avoid them so that your podcast can flourish.

Three Common Pitfalls of Podcasting

1. How Active Is Your Audience?

Challenge: While you are creating and publishing content, your audience is passive and doesn’t do much beyond just listen to the episode – no reviews, nothing on social media, etc.

Solution: Activate your community.

While your podcast exists to inform and entertain, you can also make it a conversation. Actively invite your listeners to answer questions or submit things they’d like to hear about on your podcast, and make a point of mentioning their questions or topics in your next shows.  By responding to them in your podcast, they’ll see that you’re really listening, and looking to make your podcast more collaborative.

Think about the “why” behind your podcast and how this relates to building a community. Create reasons why listeners would want to engage and be part of the community as active participants. Make it easy for them to do, for example taking comments various ways and even having a podcast voice mail where they can leave messages or occasional live streams where they can chat or call.

The same thing goes for your social media channels.  While having these accounts allows you to spread the word about your new episodes and content, they also allow you to connect with your listeners and fellow podcasters.  Post fun pictures, jokes, questions, or other pieces of content that invite interaction. Social media feeds in which you post nothing but updates about your latest episodes create the atmosphere of an account that’s strictly for updates and nothing more.  By posting content that asks questions or invites interactions from other users, you show that you are a podcaster that truly wants engagement and a good experience for the listeners.

We’ve spoken of this before in one of our articles giving tips on podcast promotion, but keep in mind that first impressions are crucial.  Your social media channels make you the public face for your podcast, so how you handle interactions and conversations on these platforms will color how potential listeners think of your content. 

2. Where Is Your Audience Located Online?

Challenge: You’re spending more time than you’d like on crafting posts for social media, which is detrimental to your content. You may not be spending enough time on your actual content: your podcast

Solution: Consider what your personal bandwidth is and where your listeners engage most online. This is different for different podcast audiences.  There comes a point in which you need to take a step back and take into consideration what social media accounts you prefer working with, which ones can be automated, and how you might need to adjust your posting schedule to balance efforts.

Previously, we’ve published content regarding the best times to publish on the top social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and the amount of times you should be posting per day.  While keeping these things in mind, we definitely recommend post-scheduling tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite for Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.  These tools allow you to schedule posts so you can prep your podcast’s social media for the week (or even the month) and not worry about having to go in and type out new posts every morning. Some will even automate repurposing content for you.

Podbean also has built-in social share tools that automatically push posts to various social media platforms, and other sites like WordPress offer similar automatic sharing tools.  Explore your chosen platforms, and investigate the settings to see where you can automatically cross-post and push to other platforms when you post to your main ones.

In cutting down your social media channels (or converting where you can to automatic posting), do ensure that you still take the time to check interactions on your main platforms. By focusing efforts, you can actually free up more time for meaningful interactions where you get the best results.  

3. How Do You Organize Your Content?

Challenge: Your audience varies; this week’s episode gets hundreds of views while last week’s only delivered a dozen or so.  You try to change topics to drive more people to your content, you’re not sure what method works the best.

Solution: Consistency can be what your listeners are looking for. This doesn’t mean that you need to rehash the same episode topic for the next batch of episodes, but it does mean that you need some sort of regularity within your show. It helps listeners know what to expect and to gain a sense of familiarity with your podcast.

Figure out your main areas that you cover, and turn them into segments that your listeners can come to depend on appearing in the show.  If you do a sports podcast, cover news in relation to the sports, then cover your opinions on what’s happening.  If you do a book podcast, cover new releases, industry news, and reviews. Some podcasters even name these segments (clever names that almost make listeners feel like they’re “inside your circle” can be fun) and use transitions to distinguish them and build a flow.

By segmenting your podcast episodes, you’re giving  your audience a roadmap by which they can navigate your content, and creating a level of dependability.  Your listeners will know that you’ll  have a segment on news and a segment on you and your cohosts’s opinions, for example. Some podcasters even name these segments (clever names that almost make listeners feel like they’re “inside your circle” can be fun) and use transitions to distinguish them and build a flow.

This will also help streamline your show when you record and edit it – it gives direction for you to write your shownotes, and keeps you on track if you happen to lose concentration while you’re recording.  Rather than being restrictive, episode uniformity can help you stay creative within a formula that works for you and your listeners.

Podcasting is a wild and varied form of media, with room for all sorts of podcasters and podcasting content.  What works for one podcaster might not work for another.  However, these pitfalls are something that any and every podcaster can be on the lookout for, and the solutions are methods that can be implemented by all content creators, regardless of experience or content genre.  By taking advantage of these solutions, you can ensure that your podcast takes as smooth a path as possible to your podcasting goals.

Click here to learn more about how you can engage and activate your audience in our Promote Your Podcast webinar!

When should you publish 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?

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.  

Every podcasting audience is unique, so it’s absolutely essential to use your The Downloads By Time Of Day (GMT) to discover the posting times that most benefit your podcast. That being said, here is an excerpt pulled from our Podbean’s Big, Fat 2019 Podcast Statistics and Trends Roundup article:

“The top five time slots that have the most downloads/streams on the Podbean app are:

  1. Wed 7 pm EST
  2. Mon 8 am EST
  3. Mon 9 am EST
  4. Tue 9 am EST
  5. 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:

Promote Your Podcast Webinar
Promote Your Podcast – 11 More Tips And Tricks
The Best Way To Promote Your Podcast

7 Limited Budget Tips to Invest In Your Podcast

Whether you’ve been running your podcast for a month or a year, there are always steps you can take to invest in your podcast. Sometimes our budgets don’t want to accommodate things like investing in new equipment. However, there are ways to grow your podcast without breaking the bank, whether or not these are financially based.

1. Explore A New Social Media Platform

You need to build platforms for marketing and promoting your podcast. Social media is extremely important for various reasons. They’re fantastic for promoting your podcast, and for building your audience into a community.  In our conversation with the Gravity Beard Podcast, they utilize Facebook as a way for fans to come in and interact with each other.

Also, take the time to explore different platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Livejournal, or Youtube.  See which one suits your desires and needs as a podcast the best. Work to incorporate that platform into your posting/interaction schedule.  By expanding where you post your content, you increase the ways that new listeners can find your shows.

There are also ways to automatically post your content to social media as you upload it to your host site, cutting down on what sites you need to personally visit and upload to.  Not only can you utilize scheduled posts (using platforms such as Tweetdeck or HootSuite), some hosting platforms feature an auto-share features that will post your content across multiple platforms.    

2. Increase The Amount of Time Spent on Each Episode

You might have your recording/editing process down to such a science that you can do it in your sleep.  Consider this to be an opportunity to tighten up your production. Pick a couple of your last published episodes and listen back to them. Is there a persisting issue that you might not have noticed before? Is your audio sound but missing something to crank it to eleven?  

Here are some ways to change your recording and production situation and make it more effective:

  • Dedicate a space just for recording, such as moving your desk setup so that your microphone/interface can sit out and not have to be put away because you’ve got other projects on your docket.
  • Declutter your workspace. However, you don’t have to go overboard. Empty space facilitates echoes in your recording. Having some items on your desk will break up the bouncing sound waves.
  • In that same vein: hang up towels, quilts, or some sort of soft wall-hanging to help curb echoes. You can invest in inexpensive soundproofing, such as acoustic foam wedges that can be mounted to your walls. Even if that’s a goal that you’d like to have in the future, hanging something will improve your sound immensely.
  • Set up your routine to give you plenty of time before your intended publish date to record and edit without feeling like you have to crunch.  For example, if you publish on Tuesdays, set up your schedule to record on Sunday or Saturday to ensure that you are giving yourself time to create amazing content, instead of recording Monday night.  (If you’re wondering if we’re speaking from personal experience . . . we are.)
  • Creating a template for your production can save loads of editing time. Have your intros, transitions, outros and ads preloaded into your session. Many DAWs like Logic Pro will allow you to even create and save custom templates.

3. Expand What Your Show Covers

How does your podcast cover your chosen topic?  Do you feature reviews, or interviews, or report on gossip within the topic’s industry? You can search within your podcast’s topic and expand your podcast to include new segments.  

Say that your podcast is a movie review show.  Expand your scope of coverage. Tell your listeners what’s happening in the industry, have a special segment that goes over classic movies or listeners’ choice in movies, or even expand into more interviews with industry professionals. This shows more passion for your topic, but also increases your podcast’s impact on your listeners.  They’ll see you as a source of news and other information, not just reviews.

4. Expand Your Posting Power

Touching on social media again: what social media platforms are you on?  Do you have a posting calendar? How do you utilize the tagging system of each one? Feel free to post about your content more than just at the time of launch. You can also re-tool your older content, or even create posts related to trending tags.

CoSchedule’s Nathan Ellering highlights a few helpful posting guidelines for the bigger social media platforms:

  • TWITTER: Algorithms tend to pick up accounts who post between 5-15 times a day, and work best when tagging with 2-5 tags.  Only insert one or two tags in the main text of the tweet to keep from keeping it illegible.
  • FACEBOOK: Algorithms tend to pick up accounts who post 1-3 times a day, and work fine with any amount of tag.  Facebook is a platform that loves video, so this is your chance to work in a new format for your content.
  • INSTAGRAM: Algorithms tend to pick up accounts who post 5-6 times a day, with a hard limit of 30 tags (although 5-10 are recommended).  Be wary of using software to schedule posts on Instagram. Some cases have shown Instagram to flag accounts using software as bots.

5. Upgrade Your Recording System

You might be soundproofing the room you record in and spending hours on editing your content. You’re wondering what you might need to put your sound over the top.  It’s at this point that you should consider what upgrades you can make to your recording and editing pipelines.

You don’t need to change out everything at once.  Decide what you’re using that could use an upgrade. Perhaps your recording and editing software, your interface, or even your XLR cables…start from there.  If you’re using a USB mic, maybe this is the time to step up and explore what you’d need for an XLR mic.  

As you change things in your setup, make sure to run recording tests to ensure that everything is hooked up properly.  Part of investing new equipment into your podcast is making sure that you know how each piece works, and that it meshes well with your podcasting style.

6. Set A Monthly Advertising Budget

There’s nothing stopping you from running your own ads for your podcast. You can easily set the ads to direct to your podcast landing page, specific directories or your own personal site.

When it comes to the cost of your ads, it can vary across the different platforms.  According to Falcon.Io, ad clicks can cost anywhere from $0.51 to $5.61.  These platforms have different costs for different reaches. They also have options to direct your audience to various actions (go to a specific website, etc). Choose the platform that works best for your podcast, and choose parameters that work best for your budget. Our examples are from Instagram, but your mileage may vary depending on the audience you market to.  

When it comes to what you want to advertise, ensure that it’s eye-catching and intriguing. Make viewers want to click the link to learn more.  We’ve found that making your ad something that can be interacted with – such as asking a question or a ‘this-or-that’ type of choice – increases your chances of interactions and link-clicking.  

7. Explore Your Options For Merchandising

The rule of 1000 (often found in the modern music industry) is that if you have a thousand fans all willing to spend $100 on you in one year, you’re able to make $100,000 for the year.  You can easily apply this attitude to your podcast and create the opportunity for people to spend money in the form of merch.  

You can go as low-tech as you want, from creating a text graphic from one of your most iconic podcast lines and posting it to a site like Redbubble, all the way to commissioning a design from an artist and getting it printed on shirts to sell from your own online storefront (or at conventions/in-person meetups). Ideally, you should start small – maybe with sticker designs on Redbubble, or purchased through Stickermule – to gauge interest and pave the way for further merch items you’d want to offer to your fans. If you still find yourself at ends of what you could use as a design, remember that you do have a podcast cover that could easily be turned into a sticker.  There’s also nothing stopping you from starting off with a commissioned sticker design – Twitter is a fantastic place to find professional-level artists that would gladly love to help you create a design. Just remember to keep your manners on and if you stiff an artist on payment, not even god will save you from me.

If you’re more artistically inclined, you could even create merch to sell yourself – we’ve seen everything from painted bookmarks, sewn coasters, and hand-carved stamps for podcasts.  

Investing into your podcast, whether it’s time or money, shows a new level of dedication that will shine through your content and draw more attention. Learn more about Podbean’s tips for further promotion here and check out more of our tips and tricks here!  

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.

Promote Your LiveStream – Tips and Tricks

Promote Your LiveStream

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:

  1. Utilize eye catching promotional images for social media
  2. Promote your livestream during you regularly scheduled episodes
  3. Use your email list and newsletters to promote your livestream
  4. Cross promote your podcast on similar podcasts
  5. Utilize audiograms
  6. Sponsors and advertisers (paid and unpaid)
  7. Develop a community around your podcast
  8. 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.  

You can also utilize your patron program (Podbean has built in seamless way for fans to support you directly from your podcast), you can also make patron-only perks for your livestreams.  You can have your patrons weigh in on topics you discuss, answer call-ins from patrons only, or set up a variety of livestream-based rewards. 

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.  

Podbean Live is available to any podcaster on any hosting company. Click here to start your livestream today!

Working Smart As Well As Hard: Dr. Scott Cooper on Local Sponsors, History as a Story, and His Experience with PodAds

When Dr. Scott Cooper sits to record his podcast, he’s surrounded by an eclectic collection of odds and ends in his office-turned-recording studio.  Such items include: a 1980s bathroom condom machine he restored, skeletons (though he assured us they’re not human), smoking memorabilia (including packs of cigarettes from the 1940s), and – one of the strangest things yet – a saw he almost cut his leg off with.

“It still has blood on it,” he says.  “I engraved it with the date and the time, and I hung it on the wall.”

Not every item in his office has such a morbid history to it, but that doesn’t mean they have no history altogether.  Quite the contrary. Every item has an era attached to it, a memory or a meaning that brings his collection to a new light.  You definitely don’t have to be a history buff like Scott to appreciate the antiquity on his shelves. But if there’s one thing that’ll get you on track to being one, it’s his podcast.

Every-Day History

Cooper records multiple episodes of his podcast History of Every Day at a time.  He has to, really – when he’s not working on his podcast, quite a bit of his time is devoted to teaching people about history.

“I actually work with several different schools.  I’m an adjunct professor for three different universities, and during the day I’m a full-time high school history teacher.  I’m a busy guy! I don’t sleep much, and I get a lot done. Let’s put it that way. And the nice thing about being able to record and not sleep is I can record an entire month’s worth of daily podcasts in one evening and then schedule them out.”

His podcast started small, in the same desire that sees him in all these teaching positions: to share his knowledge and love of history with the people around him.

“I’ve always wanted to do a podcast.  It just seemed second-nature to me, to get in and say, ‘You know what?  I talk about history every day, I teach history every day, and to be able to talk about what happened on this day in history?’  Because people always asked me before, “Hey, what’s the special date today? Is it National Frankfurter Day?”  And I was able to come up with that off the top of my head, so it just kinda fit hand-in-hand to be able to do that in a podcast format.”

Not only is he sharing his podcast around town, it’s been implemented by other schools and other teachers as a learning aid.  Classrooms coast-to-coast use his daily podcast as a way to introduce the day’s topic and kickstart their students’ ability to get into the subject.

“I get emails from time to time from schools around the country that listen to my podcast as a bellringer, so they start the day off with that in history class.  They say, ‘Let’s talk about what happened on this day in history,’ and since it’s so short, it really gives the students an overview. There’s a lot of schools out there that will use this as a two-minute ‘Let’s warm up, this is what I’m gonna play’, just to get you in the mode of ‘let’s talk about history now”.”  

The irony of it all?

“I hated history in high school!  Hated it, as most people did.  Just, truly disliked history.  I cannot stand the old-school history teachers (there’s still some out there!) that will talk for two hours, and then have you regurgitate exactly what they talked about.  I was actually in the corporate world for a while before I got into education. And just kinda fell in love with history when I started to realize that I have the gift for gab and I have a story-telling ability.  So when I talk about history . . . I tell all my classes this: history is not something you memorize, it’s a story.”

Advertising

With a big, wide-spread podcast like History of Every Day, there’s got to be some options for monetization – right?  

“I have received a few advertisements, some things from different organizations that recorded their own [ads] and threw them in there.  It’s not much money, but it’s interesting to see what people want to advertise. Some of them were pretty local. One of them was very local – they only wanted to pay if it was in like, a one square mile area of where they were at . . .  One of them was the university, which was kind of nice.”

The university being, of course, Indiana University, in his home town of Bloomington.  Cooper describes it as an oasis in the corn-filled state of Indiana, a place to slide on some Birkenstocks and those 80’s knit ponchos and just enjoy the scenery.  (This also happens to be a university famed for quite a few alumni, including the best-selling author Suzanne Collins, but that’s a whole different talk for another time.)  

As of the time of the interview Cooper currently runs his intro through PodAds, using the dynamic ad-insertion service as a way to introduce his episodes.  Not only does it give him more time to focus on teaching and recording, it also gives him an example of how he’d insert his ads to show future sponsors.

“What I do is I have an intro that I put in there that I use for my pre-podcast, a fifteen to twenty-second spot that I recorded.  I will use that also when I do go out and get some advertisements for people to listen to, I always point them to my intro, which is just where I talk about what I do and all that.  You gotta be creative.”

History of Every Day currently has 364 episodes (almost the full year!), with over a hundred-thousand downloads.  It exists as a reminder that every day has a chunk of history attached to it, and that there’s always a little time to learn something new.  So if you’re looking for some cool history to impress your family and friends, Dr. Cooper’s podcast is one of the best ways to go.

Check out The History Of Every Day on Social Media
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistoryHereNow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofeveryday

About The Author
By day, a marketing writer for Podbean. By night, surrounded by eclectic projects like stop-motion puppets, half-knit sweaters, and a violin that won’t learn to play itself. Certified Fresh(c) by both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in English.

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.  

Podbean Launches PodAds — The SaaS for Podcast Advertising

blog-podads-banner

Podbean makes dynamic ad insertion and an advanced advertising management system available to podcasters without cutting ads revenue

NEW YORK, NY (MAY 30, 2019) – Podbean, one of the leading podcast hosting sites, is excited to unveil PodAds, their new SaaS (Software as a Service) for podcast advertising. PodAds simplifies advertising management. Podcasters simply set the start and end date for their ad campaigns, select ad placements (setting which podcasts, episodes, slots and timestamps for ads to run), and upload their ads. PodAds will take care of the rest, saving podcasters time and increasing earning potential. PodAds can even be used to run geo-targeted ads.

PodAds disrupts the traditional podcast advertising service model by offering podcast advertising technology as a Software as a Service (SaaS). Instead of taking a cut of ad revenue, Podbean provides an advanced podcast advertising platform with a flat service fee for use. Podbean will only charge a flat $1 CPM rate for the use of the service, with no setup fees.  Podcasters simply pay as they go, letting them focus on creating great content while PodAds helps automate their ad campaigns.

PodAds is available to Podbean Unlimited Plus and Business plan users immediately, and Podbean plans to expand services to more podcasts in the future. It will be a boon for any podcasters in search of a way to step up their advertising.  To learn more about how the PodAds system works, check out the how-to guide.

Watch the video “how to create a dynamic ad insertion podcast advertising campaign in PodAds“.

Upgraded Podcast Matching System for Podcast Advertising Marketplace

Podcast Advertising Marketplace -Upgraded Podcast Matching System

Podbean’s podcast advertising marketplace has been given an upgrade to better meet the needs of advertisers and help podcasts bring in more revenue. Advertisers now have increased targeting options and a better review process for starting campaigns.

About Podbean’s Ads Marketplace

Podbean’s Ads Marketplace is a programmatic ads marketplace, where advertisers of all sizes can reach their ideal audience with the power of podcast advertising. By matching advertisers to listeners over a range of podcasts, Podbean’s Ads Marketplace makes podcast advertising more efficient and opens revenue opportunities to smaller podcasts. Podbean’s Ads Marketplace also allows advertisers to target appropriate listeners by geography, thus making podcast advertising more effective for regional and even local businesses.

The Simple Steps to Set Up a Podcast Advertising Campaign

podads workflow--latest

Podbean’s Ads Marketplace takes all the hassle and wasted time out of the podcast advertising process. Advertisers can have a campaign ready in minutes, and running within a day or two. Here are the simple steps with the recent upgrades:

1. Fill in the basic information for the campaign. Here, the advertiser can target their ideal listeners by setting preferred podcast categories, targeted geographies (down to the city level), and keywords (newly added, input 3-10 keywords). Advertisers can set a daily budget cap, CPM (cost per mille, i.e. advertising rate), and campaign start and end date (end date is optional, newly added in this upgrade; campaigns can also be paused or stopped at any time).

2. Next, the advertiser will select the podcasts for their campaign. Podcasts that best match to the keywords, category, and geo will be listed on the top and marked as “Recommended”. The list may contain additional podcasts for them to review and invite as well.

3. The advertiser then clicks on “Save and Continue” and the campaign will be created. They will need to authorize their payment method. After authorizing, the campaign will be “under review” by the Podbean team. Typically, your campaign will be up and running within 24 hours.

Advertisers can “manage campaigns” to add more podcasts, pause/stop the campaign, and view the detailed results of ad impressions served.

Learn more about Ads Marketplace and start running a campaign.