More than a third of Americans listen to podcasts regularly — today, there are fewer Netflix accounts than podcast listeners.
So, how do you make people choose your podcast over Stranger Things?
Marketing is key, but not everybody knows how to promote a podcast. And, contrary to popular belief, there is such thing as bad publicity.
If you don’t want to do more harm than good to your podcast marketing, here are a few pointers on how to advertise your podcast the right way!
P.S. You can always hire a digital marketing agency to get your podcast on the radar!
Table of Contents
- How To Promote a Podcast: The Basics
- Develop an Audience on Social Media
- Optimize Your Podcast for Search Engines
- Pitch To Other Podcasters for Cross-promotion
- Put Together a Media Kit
- Share Your Podcast With Influencers in Your Niche
- Create a Website for Your Podcast & Optimize It for SEO
- Leverage the Power of Email Marketing
- How To Promote a Podcast: Additional Tips
- How To Promote a Podcast: Key Takeaways
How To Promote a Podcast: The Basics
It all starts and ends with content.
The first step to promoting a podcast is to make sure it is high quality. No matter how well you market your show, it won't be successful if the content isn't good — listeners will quickly lose interest and unsubscribe.
Once you've created a podcast that you're proud of, it's time to submit it to different podcast aggregators and directories and spread the word.
Through podcast directories, you’ll increase your visibility and make it easier for potential listeners to find your show. There are a few things to keep in mind when submitting your podcast:
- Make sure that you have a high-quality RSS feed. This is the file that podcast aggregators and directories will use to pull in your episodes.
- Take the time to fill out all the fields in the submission form, including a brief description of your show.
- Finally, be patient – it can take a few weeks for your podcast to be approved and appear in directory listings. But once it does, you'll be well on your way to building a loyal audience.
There are several online directories where people can find podcasts, such as:
Make sure your podcast is listed in as many directories as possible so that people can easily find and subscribe to it.
Now that we covered the basics, let’s get to seven actionable tips on how to market a podcast that will take your program from unknown to trending!
1. Develop an Audience on Social Media
If you don’t know how to promote your podcast, the most convenient way is through social media. You can post on your own accounts, share with influencers in your niche, and use social media advertising to reach a wider audience.
Let’s talk statistics: 59% of the world population uses social media, while the average daily time spent using social media is 2h 29m, according to DataReportal.
Use these numbers in your favor and leverage the power of social media by:
- Posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – The best way to get people interested in listening to your podcast is by posting about it on these channels. However, you’ll need at least 500 likes on each channel before you can start promoting the show there, so be prepared for some work.
- Sharing with influencers – If influencers have an audience similar to your target audience, consider reaching out to them. They can help spread word-of-mouth around their followers about this new show from someone else — it’s how most successful campaigns start (learn more below).
- Using hashtags — Hashtags are basically keywords that users add to their tweet or post to reach a larger audience. Using them correctly can help make sure more people find out about what you're up to.
Use Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to share links to your episodes and let people know when new ones are dropping — it's a great way to reach potential listeners who might not find your podcast otherwise.
Note that social media should not be your only form of promotion if you’re serious about marketing your podcast.
2. Optimize Your Podcast for Search Engines
When learning how to promote a podcast (or anything for that matter), optimization is an inseparable part.
You should ensure all of your podcast's metadata is filled out and accurate. This includes everything from the title and description to the explicit rating and category. This information helps people find your show in directories, so it's essential to get it right.
Follow these tips:
- Include a description of your podcast in your RSS feed. The description should include keywords relevant to what you do on the show, as well as any other information that would help people find it.
- In each episode title, include one or more keywords related to the content of that episode. You can also include these same keywords at the beginning of each podcast episode description so they appear on all platforms where you publish it.
- Use these same strategies when creating artwork, such as headlines and images associated with those headlines. They should also contain keywords related both directly to their contents and indirectly via related subjects.
3. Pitch To Other Podcasters for Cross-promotion
Another way to build your audience is by cross-promoting with other podcasters who likely have an audience overlapping with yours. This is a great way to get free exposure for your show and build relationships with other creators in the industry.
You can do this by:
- Finding other podcasts similar to yours in terms of topic, audience, and style.
- Reaching out to the hosts of these podcasts and introducing yourself and your show.
- Offering to be a guest on their podcast or proposing a cross-promotional arrangement where you promote their show on your show and vice versa.
Once you arrange a cross-promotion, make sure that you deliver value when you are a guest on their program or promote their show in a way that will benefit their audience.
If you have guest-podcasted on a popular podcast, rinse and repeat with other popular podcasts in your niche. The more guest podcasts you have, the more exposure you will get.
Of course, you can get creative and try to guest podcasts on podcasts with different audiences so that you can reach new listeners.
Don’t forget to follow up after the cross-promotion or guest podcasting to ensure that it was successful, and thank the other podcast host for their help.
4. Put Together a Media Kit
A press kit or media kit is a collection of materials you send to journalists, bloggers, and other media outlets to promote your podcast. Its purpose is to give reporters and other potential content creators an idea of what makes your show unique and interesting.
A good press kit should contain:
- An overview of the show. What does it cover? Will you be hosting alone or with another person? How often will they come back? How long will each episode last? Try to go in-depth as much as possible and leave no stone unturned. You should also briefly describe your target audience and why they would be interested in your podcast.
- Complete transcripts from every recent and upcoming episode. For each episode, you should include a brief description, the length of the episode, and the release date. If you have any particularly popular or notable episodes, you should highlight those as well.
- Information about each host if your podcast has multiple. This should include a brief biography for each host, as well as a headshot or photo. If any of your hosts are particularly well-known or have a large social media following, that information should be included as well.
- Information about your podcast's social media presence and website. This should include the number of followers or subscribers you have on each platform, as well as links to your website and social media profiles. In addition, it is helpful to include any relevant statistics about your website traffic or downloads.
- Your contact information. This way, potential sponsors and advertisers can get in touch with you. Include your email address, phone number, and social media handles. You should also include a link to your press page or any other relevant websites.
5. Share Your Podcast With Influencers in Your Niche
Influencer marketing is becoming widely popular in recent years — it is set to grow to $16.4 billion in 2022.
As such, influencer marketing is a predominant answer when it comes to how to promote a podcast, and here’s how you can leverage its power:
Step #1: Identify the Influencers Who Align With Your Podcast
The first step is to identify the influencers who align with your podcast. This means finding people who share similar interests and values as your podcast.
You can find these people by searching for relevant hashtags on social media, or by using Google to search for relevant blogs and websites.
Step #2: Reach Out to the Influencers and Introduce Yourself
Once you have identified the influencers you want to reach out to, the next step is to introduce yourself. You can do this by sending them an email, or by reaching out to them on social media.
When you introduce yourself, be sure to mention your podcast and why you think they would be interested in it.
Step #3: Offer the Influencer Something of Value
When you reach out to an influencer, offer them something of value in return for their promotion of your podcast.
This could be a free month of your premium content or a discount code for their listeners. Whatever you offer, be sure that it is something that the influencer will actually find valuable.
Step #4: Follow Up With the Influencer After They Promote Your Podcast
Once an influencer has promoted your podcast, be sure to follow up with them afterward. Thank them for their promotion, and let them know how many new listeners they helped you reach.
This will help build a relationship with the influencer and make them more likely to promote your podcast again in the future.
6. Create a Website for Your Podcast & Optimize It for SEO
A website is a central hub for people to learn more about your show, listen to episodes, and connect with you online. Having a website makes it easy for people to find and share your podcast, and it gives you a professional platform to build your brand.
Creating a Website
Creating a website for your podcast is easy and doesn't have to be expensive.
There are a number of affordable web hosting and design services that let you create a professional-looking website quickly and easily. They come with all kinds of bells and whistles (like social media integration), so they're easy to use right away!
Remember to make it mobile-friendly as more and more people are using their smartphones to access the Internet.
Once you have your website set up, be sure to add information about your podcast, such as a description, episode list, and contact information, and start promoting it.
Include prominently placed links to your podcast episodes so that visitors can easily find and listen to them. Also, add an RSS feed of your podcast so that people can subscribe to it and receive new episodes automatically.
Optimizing a Website
Optimize your website for search engines so that people can easily find your podcast when they’re looking for something new to listen to. You can do this by adding keywords in your website’s title and description and ensuring each episode has its own page with a unique URL.
For example, if people search for "content marketing for startups" or "content marketing agency tips," and you made a podcast on these topics, inserting these keywords is a must so Google can display your podcast as one of the results.
Your website is also a great platform for building brand recognition.
Be sure to use consistent branding across all of your marketing materials, including your website, social media accounts, and email newsletter. Use strong visuals, such as images and videos, to make your brand more memorable.
And finally, the content on your website should be high-quality and informative so that people will come back again and again.
Think of your website as the home to all of your episodes. Create an inviting space where your audience will feel welcomed.
7. Leverage the Power of Email Marketing
Building an email list is a great way to grow your audience, and it's one of the most important things you can do for your podcast.
To build a solid email list, offer something in exchange for subscribing (freebies, discounts on products or services).
You can also run surveys. If someone submits their email address and fills out a survey about what kind of content they'd like to see from you, then give them access to special offers or discounts on those things.
It’s crucial you understand who you’re talking to and what they expect from you before you even start sending emails. You can do this by researching your audience using tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel or by using your own intuition and experience.
Once you've got a good idea of who your audience is and what they're looking for, it's time to give them something that they can use right away and will hopefully keep them subscribed to future episodes.
In each email, include some useful content or links so that listeners don't feel like they just got bombarded with emails.
You can send out a weekly email newsletter with links to the latest episodes. You can also use email marketing as an opportunity to share behind-the-scenes info about what goes into creating episodes, like how long they take or how much time went into producing each episode's particular plotline.
We’re all curious to see what happens behind closed doors, so satisfying your audience’s curiosity will grant you engagement and respect.
No matter how you decide to approach email marketing, you want to make sure that your emails are relevant to your audience.
How To Promote a Podcast: Additional Tips
When it comes to promoting a podcast, there are no rules set in stone. You can get creative and:
Get Involved in the Podcasting Community
The podcasting community is filled with passionate and friendly people, so get involved!
Attend meetups, listen to other shows, and participate in online forums. This will help you make connections, learn from others, and promote your own show in the process.
Host Live Events
Hosting live events is yet another great way to promote your podcast while also building relationships with your listeners. You can host live events such as meetups, webinars, or even just Q&A sessions where people can ask you questions about your show or topic.
Throw Contests and Giveaways
People love contests and giveaways.
Running one related to your podcast is a great way to promote it and get more people to listen. For example, you could give away a free month of your premium content or a branded t-shirt for people who subscribe to your show.
How To Promote a Podcast: Key Takeaways
Building an audience for your podcast takes time, so don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately.
Keep putting out great content and promoting your show in all the ways we've outlined here, and you'll eventually start to see some traction.
Consistency is key and you’re guaranteed to reap the rewards of your hard work as long as you’re willing to do what it takes.
Now that you know the answers to how to market a podcast, start building your presence!