Every podcast has its audience - it’s just a matter of finding it. And while word of mouth is always helpful and more than welcome, it’s easier to find your audience and engage with them if they can find your podcast first. And the easiest way to do so is to promote your podcast.
Thanks to a wide variety of tools, platforms, and services , podcast promotion is accessible to every level of podcaster. But where do you start?
As a podcaster, you never know where your audience chooses to get their podcasts. While Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts are some of the biggest podcast directories available, listeners may choose to stream and download their podcasts from other platforms. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to ensure that, to promote a podcast, your podcast is listed in as many directories as possible to give it the best chance of being found by your potential listeners.
We have a list of directories to start with here, which also includes both written and visual instructions on submitting your RSS feed to their directories. And remember, you only have to submit to a directory once (and submitting to directories is free). So once you’ve submitted to and been accepted by the directories, you don’t have to go back and resubmit anything!
Ensuring that your podcast can be found in as many places as possible makes sure that there are as few barriers between your listeners and your content as possible. This, in turn, makes promoting your podcast that much easier; if your audience only has to go to their podcast app to find you your podcast, they’re more likely to give it a listen, as opposed to having to download a whole separate podcast app. Think of submitting your podcast to the directories as the groundwork for all the other podcast promotion paths you take.
One of the biggest places that both podcasters and podcast listeners congregate is social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and the like. Thanks to the ease of posting and sharing links as well as images and video, platforms like these are one of the best places to promote your podcast and find your audience.
There are many ways to promote your podcast on social media, but the key here is choosing the best platforms for you and your audience and focusing on them. We’ve spoken before about audience avatars and posting on the platforms that you’d want your audience interacting with you on. Promoting your podcast on social media rests on the same principals. Choose one or two platforms that you think suit you, your podcast, and audience the best and focus your posting on these platforms. Not only does this help you maintain your personal bandwidth, it also allows you to craft better content for your audience.
It’s also important to create content tailored to the platform you’re going to post it on. Essentially, you want to craft content for the platform it’s going to be posted on. Catering the content to the platform you’re posting it on optimizes it for that platform, and ensures that it doesn’t get negatively affected by the platform’s algorithm.
So choose a couple of platforms to promote your podcast on, and focus on making content catered to each platform; this will garner a higher rate of engagement for your podcast content!
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. Using email lists to promote your podcast gets your podcast content directly in front of your audience, without putting the onus of hunting the information down on your audience.
Also, with the ever changing landscape of social media’s algorithms, posts that promote your podcast often have a chance to be buried to a wide majority of your audience. Your email list is composed of fans who manually subscribed to it, and gives you a direct line to your most loyal listeners. With mailing lists, you can ensure that they’ll always see your latest episodes and posts.
Email lists are also a great way to reward your loyal listeners with extra content, such as behind-the-scenes or cut content, podcast tips and tricks, and more!
Why are websites important to have when it comes to promoting a podcast? Your website is going to be the best place to bring everything from your directory links to your social media handles to your email-list sign-ups together. Your podcast website can function as a landing page for your podcast, meaning that this is the number one site to link to when promoting your podcast.
Having your website act as a landing page for your podcast also means that anyone who stumbles upon it will automatically have access to all the platforms and places that you’re available online. Going to your website means that they’ll quickly be able to find you on social media, sign up for your email list, and check out your episodes with just a few simple clicks.
Finally, your website means that when you’re promoting your podcast to podcast advertisers and sponsors, you have a quick way to link them to all of your podcast content. We’ve spoken before about having a media kit for your podcast available, and your podcast website is the ideal place to have this available for anyone looking to advertise on your podcast.
Now that we’ve talked about where to promote your podcast, let’s talk about the methods you can use to promote your podcast across those platforms.
As stated before, you want to remove as many barriers between your listeners and your content as possible. This is where the embeddable players come in! By utilizing these for your website, you’re once again placing your content right at the fingertips of listeners visiting your podcast website, increasing their likelihood of listening.
Podbean offers two different embeddable players, along with the option to customize the player and the playlist listed in the embeddable player itself.
One thing that makes podcasting so great is the wide variety of podcasters out in the world. From professionals to hobbyists and everyone in between, they’re all united by their love of podcasting and crafting content for others who also love podcasting. There are many online groups and forums for podcasters to join and connect on, which does more than allow you to grow a podcast community. It also gives you a place where you can talk about your podcast, and find promotion opportunities.
For example, Podbean’s Facebook group offers self-promotion events, as does Reddit’s r/podcasting subreddit. Here, you can promote your content to other podcasters while checking out what other podcasts are out there. Learning about other podcasts and podcasters will make things like advertising your podcast and looking for cross-promotion opportunities much easier!
Inversely, you can also leverage platforms that allow you to create groups (like Facebook or Discord) to create your own group centered around your podcast. Groups like these can make your audience feel like they’re part of an exclusive club, which entices others to check it out, which then leads them to listening to your podcast.
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 other podcasters in the industry who are also looking for ways to promote their podcast. The cross-promotion would entail promoting their content on your podcast while they do the same for you. This will 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 remember to be genuine! Don’t reach out to other podcasts with the sole intent of being a guest on their show to grow your own audience - as we’ll discuss later, first impressions matter. You don’t want to burn connections between your fellow podcasters.
Another option regarding other podcasts is to pay to run advertisements on podcasts. There’s a phrase in business that “it pays to advertise,” and it rings true for everyone, from corporations to podcasters. We’ve spoken of advertising before in our monetization webinar, and we bring it up here as well due to the malleability of the advertising tools available.
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.
Oftentimes, your friends and family are the first people you promote your podcast to. They’re the perfect group to help you workshop your elevator pitch/one-sentence description of your podcast, and can either offer criticism or support as you go on your podcasting journey.
Promoting your podcast to family and friends also helps you kickstart a word-of-mouth promotion strategy that can begin before you start your promotion campaigns elsewhere. Studies show that people tend to take podcast recs more seriously from friends and family than they do anyone else!
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!)
While we’re not condoning graffiti or the destruction of public property, there’s nothing wrong with getting some sidewalk chalk and hitting up areas with high foot traffic to get the word out. There’s also sticker tagging (or for the truly daring crafters out there, yarn bombing!), flyers, and more!
This method of promoting your podcast usually involved what the industry refers to as a “street team,” to help you cover as much ground as possible. This method works great if you have a specific hashtag for your podcast, or some phrase that’s iconic enough for your fans to recognize while inspiring others to check your podcast out.
Choosing this sort of method to promote your podcast lets you really reach out in your local community, or even have fans participate to allow them to help grow your podcast’s community.
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.
Utilizing multiple forms of media to promote your podcast will widen the accessibility to your audience. Using video platforms like Youtube also help you grow the amount of places your podcast can be discovered, much like with podcast directories.
Audiograms are 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!).
SEO means “search engine optimization.” Regardless of what methods you choose to promote your podcast, it’s important to keep SEO in mind. Utilizing keywords is important, as is making sure that your podcast is easily searchable. If you type your podcast name into a search engine and your podcast isn’t one of the first things to appear in the search results, that becomes detrimental to you and your content. Be sure to search your podcast name and note how quickly it pops up in the search results. By ensuring that your podcast can be easily found, you make promoting your podcast much easier on yourself!
It’s important to remember that while you’re working to promote your podcast, you’ll also want to keep making the best content you can! As long as you’re crafting great content, you will be able to find your podcast audience.
For more tips and tricks from the Podbean team on how to promote your podcast, check out our free webinar!
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