You’ve now started your podcast. You want to get it into as many ears as possible. Now how do you promote your podcast? How do you rise amongst the top podcasts with millions of downloads? These eleven tips and tricks will help get you get more eyes and ears on your podcast.
Remember that first impressions matter
Creating a podcast means that you are now effectively the CEO of your podcast – as well as the COO, the secretary, the mailroom clerk, and the support team. Like it or not, being the public face of your podcast – such as attending events in your podcast’s name, reaching out to guests/interviewees, and interacting on social media – means that you have to act like it. Any interactions a potential listener will have with you will color their feelings towards your content.
Consider how you phrase things and how you come off in your interactions with listeners, fellow podcasters, and other industry professionals. If people see that you’re someone they’re comfortable around, they’re more likely to check out your content and collaborate with you.
Audiograms are a when you convert a chunk of your podcast to video, usually with a static background of your podcast cover or your chosen image, created with the intention of posting to social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. Platforms such as these benefit from shorter-form videos, which is perfect to highlight a clip of your latest episode, your favorite chunk of livestream, or even a past episode that’s relevant to a trending hashtag or seasonal event.
With this, your audiogram will function as a podcasting sampler for people who haven’t heard that particular episode, or your podcast in general. By utilizing the video player native to the platform, you give them a chance to see what your podcast is like before they click the link to check out the full episode. It also breaks up your feed to create a more diverse and interesting first look for anyone who comes to your social media page (if you’re wondering where to go, we’ve been using Headliner with spectacular results!). The following is an audiogram example from the Gravity Beard podcast.
Create a Podcast-Specific Hashtag for You and Your Users
Please don’t tag any buildings, but hashtags are a quick and functional way to introduce your podcast to someone. Create a unique hashtag that’s intriguing and specific to your podcast. As examples, it can be the title of your podcast. It can be phrase you or your hosts have coined.
With it, the only limit is your imagination and the law! Interact with the tag on social media when people use it. Feature it across your social media channels. You can use it it as a tag on all your posts or just utilize it in an image.
Understanding Social Media Outlets
When we spoke with Gabriel Urbina of Wolf 359, his surprise came when realized what conversations were happening on other platforms he wasn’t present on, like Tumblr.
You never know what medium will suit you, your content, and your posting style best. Experiment with different platforms, and figure out the different ways that your media fit into their native landscapes. Check to see if your host offers automatic sharing for your chosen platforms. Set up your accounts to have episodes automatically post when you upload your new content.
This is not to say that you should adopt a “spray-and-pray” technique to your social media marketing. Take into consideration your style of posting and the social media platform. Create a steady stream of content (episode clips/audiograms, pictures, and the like). See what platform is most suited to that style. For example, users can click a link in a Tweet, but cannot click on a link in an Instagram post description.
Join podcasting-specific groups and events
The internet is a whole made up of millions of smaller communities. No matter how niche your podcasting topic is, there is a group for you. Seek out these groups on platforms like Reddit, Livejournal, or even in physical meet-ups at local libraries and tech centers. Introduce yourself and your podcast to the groups’ members.
Also keep an eye out for themed events on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They could be questions themed around an event or month (such as Podbean’s Podtober event), or themed around a month of creation (in the same vein as the ever-popular NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month). These events unite users everywhere around the same goal of participation and interacting with others who are also participating. Your name and podcast will be seen by others who are participating in the event.
There are a myriad of online communities for you to traverse through to promote your podcast on. The r/podcasts and r/podcasting subreddits offer amazing advice, chances to talk shop, and a place to talk about what it means to podcast.
Cross promotion with similar podcasts
When we say “cross promotion,” we don’t just mean promote yourself across your multiple platforms (because let’s face it, you’re probably already doing that). We’re talking about reaching out to your friends in the podcasting industry. Offer to promote their show on yours as a trade for them to promote your podcast on theirs. You can feature other guests on your podcast and vice. versa. This can extend your voice to a wider audience than just your own.
If both podcasts are in the same genre, of course there might be some audience overlap. However, a good portion of their audience might not be aware of your content. However, they are familiar with the podcast you’re a guest on, or featuring a host from. They will want to tune in to check out the content. By doing so, they’ll be introduced to your podcast and become part of your audience.
Making friends and connections in the podcasting industry is important. But as with point no. 1, be genuine! Don’t do so with the sole intent of being a guest on their show to grow your own audience.
Email list and newsletters
As we advance further and further with our social media platforms and technology, we start to find more and more people who wish to pull back from it. That’s where email lists and newsletters come in. This content gets delivered directly to your subscribers’ mailboxes. You can bring more information to their attention without putting the onus on them to go hunting for it.
Also, with the ever changing landscape of social media’s algorithms, your posts often have a chance to be buried to a wide majority of your audience. Your email list is comprised of fans who manually subscribed to it. You now have a direct line to your most loyal fans. With mailing lists, you can ensure that they’ll always see your notifications.
Your newsletters also allow you to introduce exclusive content. Maybe extra material cut from your scripts, or behind-the-scenes pics of your recording space. Maybe even tips and tricks you can offer to those starting their own podcasts. We’ve seen folks use MailerLite with great success!
Attend local podcasting conferences and meet local podcasters for get-togethers
Whether you’re planning on hitting up every podcast convention across the country, or just hitting up a local group of podcasters that met on Facebook first before going for drinks, there’s nothing like sitting together with a group of people in the same industry as you. They can offer advice on common podcasting issues, get the same in-jokes about microphones, and understand and celebrate your podcasting achievements.
For these get-togethers and conference runs, always keep a steady supply of business cards on hand, and be ready with some storage ideas for the business cards you receive. If you’ve got the effort and the budget, you also can’t go wrong with things like stickers or buttons. (Our marketing writer loves collecting podcasters’ stickers, so if you’re going that route and making your way to some podcasting conferences, be sure to stop by the Podbean booth!)
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 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.