Starting a podcast may be relatively easy if you know the steps – but promoting your podcast is a different story. It would help if you had dedication and research, but the good news is that it should be easy for you to follow through once you go through the fundamental steps.
If you don’t know how to promote your podcast 2020, this guide should help you out. Remember that patience is a virtue here. This is why you should observe as your podcast marketing strategy begins showing results.
The Main Factors of Podcasting
Before diving into the actual podcast advertising strategies, you need to understand the main pillars of podcasting. You must grasp its foundation, ensuring that the content you are trying to promote is worth the effort. These two pillars are time and quality content – and once you go through them, you should see some real success.
If you are marketing the wrong product, you are throwing money down the drain. If you are going to promote a product, you might as well promote one that has a chance of success. Louie Ortiz, CEO of Monbi.com, has expressed some thought into why quality content is essential.
“Imagine that you are scrolling on social media, continuously coming across the same ad for a TV show. You dismiss it at first, but the more you see the ad, the more intrigued you become. You decide to give the show a shot, but halfway through the episode, you realize that it’s boring and nothing like you expected it to be – so you stop watching it. The show producer is getting no profit off of you. The same thing happens to podcasts. If the people are bored or don’t find your content relevant, you are practically sponsoring money down the drain.”
In the end, if you are going to pump money into something, you might want to invest in something worth anyone’s time. Here are three qualities that will ensure the podcast you are promoting is worthy:
From each episode of your podcast, you need to ensure that your listeners will gain something from you. The senior director of Genesis BCW has made some mentions on an article written for Business Insider.
“Have a clear message. You will be part of a global conversation. What will you contribute to it? Do you have powerful lessons on doing business amidst the lockdown? Focusing the first few episodes on how your industry is navigating the pandemic can be valuable content. And with executives searching for advice, it might be a sound SEO tactic to attract your initial audience. Keep the audience central to your messaging. What are they keen to learn about? What will be interesting for them? As with any marketing campaign, if your audience doesn’t care for your content, you’re wasting your time.” 
The content you provided may have satisfied their curiosity, entertained them, or allowed them to learn a new skill or information. Regardless, they need to feel that they benefitted from listening to your podcast.
A podcast needs to bring something new to the table. Uniqueness starts with you viewing the podcast as something special to your niche – as something that has not been replicated anywhere else. If your research brings you to too many similar podcasts, then you might want to try redefining your idea.
For your podcast to be successful, it needs to capture and keep the attention of your audience. In other words, it needs to “stick.” If you see that your viewers are not “devouring” all your episodes, then there’s undoubtedly something wrong with your content – and that is something you might want to give your full attention to.
Listen to other podcasts that seem to have a similar theme. See what they are doing that you are not. At the same time, you must remember to stick to the same type of content for your research. Forbes council member Eric Hardley expressed a few thoughts on the rules of creating good podcasts:
“I often find myself reminding clients that the same rules of the road that apply in other mediums apply to podcasting: just because it works on TV or social media, it doesn’t mean it will work on a podcast, which boasts a rare mixture of both scale and intimacy. In that regard, it’s a unique opportunity to nail your brand voice.” 
Think about how to incorporate podcast features so that you can provide value and uniqueness to the viewer. This way, you may receive a long-lasting relationship with the viewers that will give you profit.
Rome was not built in one day – so, you cannot expect your content to generate a highly captivated audience right off the bat. This is why you must keep the second pillar of podcasting in mind: time.
What you need to remember is that a host may create six months-worth of podcasts before they begin seeing any results. You may be promoting a top-notch piece – but it may get minimal engagement.
This does not mean that the piece is terrible. It just means that you have to keep doing your thing because every good plan takes time until it comes to fruition. You should not get discouraged if you do not see any results right away.
Finding the Right Strategy to Promote a Podcast
There are various podcast marketing services and strategies to pick from, which is why you need to determine exactly which strategy is perfect for your show. As you are mixing and matching, here are two factors that you have to keep in mind.
1.Determine the Audience
There are various podcast marketing services and strategies to pick from, which is why you need to determine precisely which method is perfect for your show. As you are mixing and matching, here are two factors that you have to keep in mind.
“Too many B2B podcasters become obsessed with subscribers and charts when they should be focusing on reaching the audience their products are geared toward — just like any other marketing activity. Of course, you should still promote your podcast to attract as many listeners as possible, but make sure that what you’re saying impresses and resonates with those listeners.” 
As time passes, you should be able to customize your marketing strategy to fit for a specific category of viewers. Gather up everything you know about the type of listener that you intend to attract. You can make a list and then refer to it as you are creating your marketing copy.
2.Measure and Experiment
No marketing strategy will work the same for two different podcasts. This is why a certain degree of experimenting and measuring is essential. So, run a couple of tests to see whether your tactic is efficient or not.
For example, let’s say that you’ve decided to use Quora questions to drive traffic to the website hosting your podcast. At that point, the smart decision would be to add tracking code in the links for your answer. This will tell you how many of those people are going back to your website. Without any measurement parameters, it will be difficult for people to know whether a specific marketing strategy is working or not.
However, if you have the data that has been generated by your measuring and experimenting phase, you should be able to get some insight into what your new subscribers are driven by. In marketing, you should focus more on the real numbers and less on your gut feeling.
Once you have the foundations set in place, you can apply a few strategies to promote your podcast.
Best Marketing Strategies for Podcasts
Promoting a podcast is not a one-size-fits-all type of activity. A strategy that will blow the ratings out the roof for one show may send another one plummeting into the ground.
Variety is one crucial thing to remember when you are looking for a good podcast marketing plan template. This may take a bit of trial and error at first – but once you get the hang of it, you will notice that results are starting to show. Here are some tactics that you may try out:
1.Release Multiple Episodes at Launch
Say that you just found an exciting show that seems to have good potential – but there is only one episode. You listen to it, find it interesting, and you already want the next episode. However, from just one episode, you did not manage to get hooked. You were intrigued – but you had nothing left to listen to.
So what do you do? You move on to another series. Since you did not get caught enough, you forgot all about the first series. So, by the time the next episode comes forth, the chances are that you will leave it aside, listening to a show with more episodes.
In most cases, three episodes should be enough. However, in an article for Income School, Internet entrepreneur Jim Harmer recommends that you have at least ten episodes available upon launch. This way, you’ll give the viewer the option of listening to more episodes – keeping them more entertained.
“I recommend putting together a 10-episode series that is available on the day you launch your podcast. This could be an audio course, audiobook broken up into chapters, etc. Then, in every subsequent podcast, you can invite listeners to download all episodes to get a free audio course on the topic. This can have a tremendous effect on the downloads you receive because it makes one listener download at least ten episodes.” 
Many viewers appreciate the option of having multiple episodes to listen to. It’s not mandatory to have 10 of them – but make sure there are at least 2-3 more available for download.
2.Submit to Directories
To promote your podcast, you should submit it to as many directories as possible – or as most people call them podcast aggregators. There are numerous options for you to go for, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, SoundCloud, and other similar directories. You should also look into how to promote your podcast on iTunes.
Log into your account and then add your RSS feed into every other podcast directory. This way, every episode will be automatically published upon the platform. It will expose the listener to your content as they are browsing for something to listen to.
3.Make Introductions Catchy
How many times have you dropped a podcast on the first few minutes only because it sounded boring to no end? You listen to a song, and from the very beginning, you know whether you will love it. The same thing applies to podcasts. You put on an episode, and you know from the first words whether you are likely to fall asleep or not. In an article for Forbes, Kate Harrison gives some advice on this.
“Your podcast needs a professional introduction. You should have a professional voice over actor or actress voice the intro, with (copyright-free) appropriate music in the background. The intro should sound like a radio show introduction. It should establish you as an expert in your field, sell listeners on why they should listen to the show, and give them a call to action that takes them beyond the podcast.” 
The catchier the introduction is, the likelier you will be to get subscribers. So, when you crop up the opening, make sure you won’t send your listeners straight into a nap.
4.Prompt Listeners to Subscribe
Have you ever watched a video on YouTube from an influencer? Have you noticed how they keep saying for us to like, share, and subscribe? They’re not doing that to be annoying – they are doing it for a very good reason. And that’s because, even if we enjoy the content, we forget to subscribe.
Most of the time, our main concern upon landing on the video is to get some new, valuable information from it. We only think about a particular need or piece of content, but we do not think about the content that they might post in the future.
The same thing can happen to the ones listening to your podcast: they might be interested, but they will forget about those buttons made for liking and subscribing. This is why you need to prompt them to subscribe, share, and review your content. This way, not only will you get new faithful subscribers, but you will also increase your reach.
Make sure that you sound authentic in your mention – and not pushy. Don’t make mentions every few seconds for them to subscribe. Briefly mention at the beginning and/or the end, and if your listeners have an interest in what you have to provide to them, they will hit that subscribe button in no time.
5.Publish at the Right Time
Publishing at a strategic time is critical if you want to be successful. The podcast will be available for a longer time, but it will only notify or appear on their feed at a particular time. If you post at 10 am, and your viewers have no time to listen to it, they will likely forget to check it in the future. This is why you should post it when you know for a fact most of the people are there to listen.
As a podcaster, you might want to invest in podcast analytics so that they can give you some insight. See the average time when your listeners tune in and post your content around that time. They might forget if the notification comes at the wrong time, but they’ll want to listen to it if it comes at the right time.
6.Use Back Catalog
Your previous posts are likely full of content and ideas that your new subscribers might appreciate. For example, if your most recent podcast mentions an idea that you approached in more detail before, you might want to steer your listeners into that episode’s direction. Make sure to tell them exactly which episode it is (and preferably link it) so that they don’t get lost in the directions. If they have the link readily available, then they will click right away.
7.Use Word of Mouth Recommendations
More often than not, people will listen to a podcast simply because they heard about it from somewhere else. It might have been a conference, a local event, or a social media platform. Events are the most efficient ways here, as you should be able to network your soul out. Mention your podcast, and the more popular you become, the easier it should be for you to spread the word about it.
8.Network with Fellow Podcasters
If you are creating the same type of content as other people, it doesn’t mean that you cannot collaborate with them. In this regard, the best way for you to promote your podcast is to stay up to speed with the new techniques and trends – and you can do so by joining podcast communities. There are various that you may join, and they may become some of your best resources.
9.Cross-Promote with Other Podcasters
Going back to the point above, if you have your podcast, it does not mean that you have to steer clear of each other and work on your own. You could help each other. After all, you have your followers; they have theirs – so, why not occasionally try some merging? You mention them, and they mention you; it’s as simple as that.
10.Be a Guest or Invite Guests
Pretty much on the same basis as cross-promoting, we have podcast guests. Here, you can either become a guest or invite someone over to be a guest in your podcast. When you are the guest, you have the chance to introduce your content and product to another audience – therefore, gaining more followers.
If you introduce other guests in your podcasts, you will be bringing value to your followers. They will gain a unique point of view from your guest. And if your listeners see that you continue to bring them value, they will keep coming to you for more.
11.Contact Those Mentioned on Podcasts
If you talk about a brand or a person on your show, even briefly, you might want to reach out to them and ask if they are willing to share your performance on their social media. This is only a good option if whatever you said about them is good.
Many hosts that do not have much time to invest in their promoting strategy prefer this option. This is because even if they do not share the podcast too often on their social media, there are still viewers coming from different sources.
The Internet has millions and millions of conversations online, inquiring about different topics. You see them on Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Twitter – a bunch of people asking various questions. So, they need answers – and if your podcast offers those answers, promote it there.
Look for threads and platforms that are related to your show. Go for the ones that have enough engagement, and offer your content as a source of value. Bear in mind that you need to make it seem natural when dropping the podcast in the conversation. Don’t make it seem like your only purpose there is to promote your product.
Instead, be there to help – like the podcast, it is just a bonus to the information you are giving. If the people see you as a human trying to help rather than a robot trying to spam everyone, you will get positive feedback.
13.Post Your Podcast on YouTube
Posting your podcast on YouTube gives you twice the exposure – maybe even more. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t watch videos on YouTube nowadays? If someone is watching a video on a similar topic, your podcast will likely appear as recommended.
Generally speaking, the simplest way to put your podcast on YouTube is to convert it from mp3 to mp4. Add a branded image so that viewers can see it throughout your podcast. This will increase your exposure and familiarize the people with your brand.
One more option is also to record video as you are recording the audio for your podcast. This way, your viewers will not be looking at just one image throughout the episode; they will be looking at you, the host, and any potential guests you may have with you.
14.Cut the YouTube Video
YouTube has two types of viewers: those who like watching very long YouTube videos, and those who get bored after three minutes of watching. This is why you may want to break your YouTube video into multiple 1-3 minute clips. So, people that do not have the patience to go through the whole thing can only watch what they need. On the other hand, those who like watching the entire thing can play everything they want.
Plus, thanks to YouTube’s algorithm, once they finish with your content, they will be recommended more of your podcasts and videos. You will get easy exposure and multiple followers, as long as you are patient with the viewers.
15.Customize Your Posts for Social Media
When you create content, you must keep in mind that not everything that works with Facebook will have the same effect on Twitter. Depending on the platform, people will expect different types of posts to introduce the podcast. For example, while Facebook makes it all right for you to post longer content, the same thing cannot happen with Twitter. On the latter, the content must be much smaller in dimension – typically, no longer than a sentence.
16.Add Value to Posts on Social Media
At this point, we agree that social media is one of the most efficient ways to advertise your content – but there is also a right and wrong way to do so. For example, the average content provider simply promotes his product and announces it without introducing it. This is something that Louie Ortiz of Monbi also touched upon.
“People like it more when the attention is put on them rather than on the product. They listen to your podcast because they are looking to solve a problem – not because they are dying to hear your voice. This is why you need to add value to your content – to give something away in the description. You don’t have to make the big reveal on the story, but you have to give your listeners something to pick their interest.”
If the listener gets value from listening to your content, they will automatically assume they will receive value from your full podcast. It’s like giving someone a potato chip – once they get a taste, they will want the entire bag.
17.Run a Giveaway
We know, who likes giving away things for free? But sometimes, this would work to your benefit. People like receiving free stuff, so you could organize a giveaway where people can receive something relating to your brand.
For instance, if your podcast is about habits and productivity, you might want to give away a certain amount of consulting time – whatever works for you. Refrain from offering generic items such as Amazon gift cards, as you will receive signups from people with no actual interest in your brand.
18.Optimize Your Website
To promote your podcast, you should make it so that Google and other search engines can find your website. Look into some SEO techniques and make sure that you use all the right strategies to pop your podcast all the way up on the results page.
19.Buy Paid Ads
Last but not least, paid podcast promotion is a traditional yet efficient way to get traffic to your website. These ads will drive your content to people that have an interest in what you have to offer.
There are two ways for you to go around this. You may either buy ads that can link to your podcast’s landing page or buy links for every episode. As this method is slightly more complicated, you could collaborate with a podcast marketing agency to help you set things going.
As you can see, promoting your podcast might take a bit of work and dedication, but if you use the right steps, you should see results. Find the right mix of strategies, be creative, and make use of whatever suits your purpose. Last but not least, be patient – because every new follower is another step forward.