Podcasting has gained popularity in recent years. Its global market size is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 31.1% to reach $94.88 billion by 2028. It is an excellent time to hop on the podcasting bandwagon for your business.
Not only are more people listening to podcasts worldwide, but podcasts have turned out to be an effective growth machine that is helping businesses – from all domains and of all sizes – acquire more listeners (potential customers or inclined leads) and drive brand awareness.
If you have decided to start podcasting or have been doing it for a while, you must also promote it well. Even the most popular podcasts did not get a huge following overnight, so do not sit and wait for people to discover your audio content.
Adding to that thought, here is a quick guide covering solid 18 marketing tips to promote your podcast and grow your audience:
1. Pick a catchy name for your podcast
First things first – your podcast title is the first impression you make on listeners. Therefore, it has to be short and catchy to register in the audience’s minds instantly. Your podcast title must help you stand out from similar podcasts in your industry niche.
Using an interesting play of words will get people interested right away. You can creatively include your brand name or a set of carefully selected keywords for the purpose of SEO. However, it is advisable not to compromise creativity for SEO as that can be addressed in episode titles later on.
Our other favorites include Phoebe Reads A Mystery. The podcast host reads a chapter from a mystery novel every day, and The Trend Reporter discusses the latest in wellness, beauty, style, and fitness. Gastropod is a weekly podcast ranking for food-related keywords.
2. Use keywords in the title and description
Your podcast may have amazing content. But someone searching for topics related to your subject or industry would not even know it exists if you do not optimize your podcast for search.
You must, therefore, know what your target audience is searching for, how they phrase it, and how often they search. This will help you develop interesting topics or questions you want to discuss or answer in each episode.
You must also research the related keywords to incorporate in the episode title or description to increase your chances of the podcast ranking higher on Google. If, for some reason, you cannot use the keyword in the title, use it in an explanatory subtitle for setting the context for Google when indexing the podcast.
Similarly, adding keywords to your podcast description is essential, as Google crawls the information to rank it. An important thing to consider is avoiding keyword stuffing as it is neither liked by humans nor Google.
You need not make it very elaborate. Instead, use the show notes section to summarize the topic. It is okay to have a 155 to 160 character length for your description as that is what most platforms usually display to your audience.
Detail clearly what your episode is about and who the podcast is for. Besides Google, optimized descriptions come in handy for getting ranked on Apple and Spotify.
3. Optimize your transcript and audio
Remember to put up your podcast transcript on every episode web page. Prepare a transcript of your podcast episodes using transcription services from Rev, Happy Scribe, or Wavve. Optimize the copy using your main keywords but do not go overboard.
Incorporate text-based SEO such as subheads (H2 and H3 headings, backlinks, and links to older podcasts). This is key from an SEO standpoint as a mere 30-minute podcast episode can easily touch 6,000 words! Even though Google scans written documents more easily than audio media, it is best to optimize your audio content.
Keyword recognition detects a short phrase or word within a stream of audible. This is also known as keyword spotting. If you speak clearly in your podcast and use keywords intended for your audience, the NLP features of Google will extract those keywords from the audio using the Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology.
The search engine will listen to your content to decide if it is the right fit for a specific search term. This functionality increases the chances of ranking in SERPs. Avoid stuffing keywords in the script but use synonyms for the keyword to achieve better results. You have to sound natural on your podcast, or you will put off listeners.
4. Get active (and creative on) social media
Research shows that 43% of podcast listeners discover new shows by asking around in their online communities or on social media. If you are not actively promoting your show, you are making a huge mistake.
Therefore, get creative on social media. Upload videos, GIFs, and simple textual graphics. You can pull quotes from the podcast episodes and convert them into quote-based images using tools like Canva or Pablo.
Use general hashtags that describe the content of your podcast or a specific episode, and create a branded hashtag for your podcast.
With the latter, you have the chance to build a community. Although no one may use it at first, your branded hashtag has the power to define your podcast over time. Be consistent with your schedule and time your social posts to match the topics being discussed in your podcast.
5. Start posting on social media communities
You can find your intended audience on social media by looking for groups or pages that discuss topics relevant to your show. Join relevant groups with a decent following. Post about your podcast and participate in discussions related to topics you cover.
Getting involved in trending conversations and sharing posts of others will also help widen your network. You must let people know where to connect with you, even during an episode. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You must sound humane and authentic on social media to make your content relatable to a broader audience.
- Refrain from over-promoting your podcast. It is advisable to stick with the 80-20 rule where only 20% of your content should be promotional.
- Remember to generate value for your audience through the remaining 80% of your posts. Make sure your information solves a problem or gives helpful information.
6. Opt for paid advertising
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn have made it easy to reach your target audience wherever they are. You can select the type of device and the audience persona to ensure people interested in the content of your podcast are being targeted.
Looking at the search volume on a social media platform for related keywords will help you estimate the number of listeners. You can use the information to design creative campaigns and run ads on several social media platforms.
In addition, run Google Ads, which could be in the guise of Dynamic Search Ads, standard text ads, and Video ads, so your target audience gets to learn about your podcast when they search for related terms on the search engine.
7. Promote older episodes
You may be focused more on marketing new episodes of your podcast, but do not forget about the older ones. Create a catalog of all previously-published episodes to attract prospective listeners. There will be topics that they might find interesting and may discover you through one of the episodes.
Mention topics covered in old episodes and add them to your show notes so that listeners can find them easily. If your old episodes are downloaded, it will also boost your listener statistics. The Dish Food Travel Show is an example of well-categorized episodes of their podcasts related to food and travel. Tagging improves episode discoverability.
Besides, you can make a weekly social media post regarding an older episode or convert the audio into a blog post by transcribing it. You can also include a link to the original podcast episode. List down the takeaways and add subheadings to create publishable content. Adding related images improves readability.
8. Build a landing page or microsite for your podcast
You should have a separate web page for your podcast on the company’s website or create a small site from scratch. Having a dedicated space to maintain a list of all podcast episodes will allow listeners to find them easily and increase the discoverability of your podcast.
Plus, your job will become much easier if you have to market each episode individually. It is easier to share your domain instead of a proprietary Apple or Spotify podcast link. Surprisingly, there is not always an overlap between your podcast and blog audiences.
So by having a separate landing page, you will reach more new people with your podcast content. You may also get the option to create a website when you sign up on some podcast hosting platforms such as Podbean and Buzzsprout.
It would be ideal to have an audio player embedded in your site. However, you can use it only to publish links and descriptions of each episode.
9. Create a variety of content
Repurposing content is a smart way of promoting your podcast. It multiplies the chances of your show being discovered via multiple channels. You can take the recordings of your podcast and use them to create content in different formats, such as:
The MP3 file of your podcast can be converted into a video for YouTube. Add stock footage to the audio and promote your brand by adding your logo to the video. You can also credit your guests by including their images in the video.
You can optimize the title and description of your YouTube video and enjoy SEO benefits. For a more personalized effect, record a video of yourself recording the podcast. Edit the clip and create a video for your YouTube channel or own website.
You can reuse your podcast content in your blog. Transcribe the audio and structure it into blog posts. Promote the blog post along with a link to your podcast. Enriching the post with keywords will allow your content to rank on SERPs.
You can also create visual content such as infographics and GIFs from your podcast if you like. Such posts can be shared over social media and even be included in blog posts.
10. Conduct giveaways and contests
The best way to get your podcast noticed is by conducting activities that will engage prospective listeners from far and wide. Organize a competition or a giveaway on social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter, and ask participants to subscribe to your podcast.
Press for Champagne Podcast creators talk weekly about the ups and downs of life – with a glass of champagne. They organized a quick comment gateway by raffling a $50 Sephora gift card when they wanted to drive more footfall to their podcast and Instagram.
Select a random winner from those who have met your requirements, like leaving a review or subscribing to your channel. Send a personalized gift or free merchandise to the winning entry. You can even give them a shoutout on your next episode.
11. Start a newsletter
Email marketing is a powerful way for connecting with your fans and delivers a great ROI. It can drive an ROI of $36 for each dollar you spend.
Creating an email newsletter for your podcast will help remind subscribers about new episodes or even earlier ones that might match their interests. In case you attend other podcasts, you can share links to those in your newsletter.
Some content ideas you can copy for your podcast email campaigns include:
- Behind-the-scenes footage of the production process
- A recap of the podcast show
- Personal or industry news
- Aftershow content (discussing topics that did not make it in the podcast)
- Celebrating milestones or special moments
- Listener responses
12. Collect reviews for social proof
Your ratings and reviews are the voice of your audience. Once you have a few loyal listeners, use the opportunity to ask them for reviews. Ask them to tag your business on social media and give their feedback about the episode they recently streamed or the podcast in general.
If you can, thank the people who have reviewed your show on a podcast episode. As vain as it sounds, people like having their names mentioned online. This will compel others to listen to your podcast and drop a review.
The feedback they give stays with you as social proof and boosts your confidence around what interests people. An engaged community will be willing to recommend your podcast and help you drive more subscribers. Ratings from the audience will push your podcast up the chart and help attract new listeners.
13. Leverage Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
You can use the HARO platform to contact journalists looking to get bytes on stories they are working on related to your domain or podcasting. You can establish your podcast as an authoritative source on the themes or subjects you run your show.
Media professionals usually put out their queries when they need quotes for articles, radio, or TV. They will add a link to your podcast or mention it if they use your pitch and information. This will help you get more exposure and promote your podcast.
You can set up notification or email alerts regarding the specific industry or topics you want to respond to queries. Even though it takes time and commitment, HARO is an underrated tool that can get you exposure in special publications or mediums.
14. Share the link to your podcast
There are many ways through which you can market your podcast to gain new followers. One way is by including a link in all the places where you have profiles, including social media and your official company website.
You can include the link to your podcast in the team’s author bios, personal social media accounts, presentation slides, and even email signatures. This exercise will help increase the visibility of your podcast, helping you attract more listeners.
15. List your podcast in directories
Another effective method to getting your show noticed is submitting it through as many podcast directories and listing portals as possible. It will help you get your show in front of a larger audience who may be interested in your content.
You can opt for popular platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Pandora, and Deezer. You can also explore lesser-known directories such as BeyondPod, AnyPod, Bullhorn, Audioburst, and Castbox.
16. Engage with your community
By getting involved in your domain-specific networks, you can find ways to meet and support other podcasters. This will help promote the show and give back something of value to the community. With time, you will start receiving a lot of support and brand exposure.
You can try the following methods to grow your network:
- Join groups for podcasters on Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn.
- Invite industry leaders and influencers to your show to widen your reach.
- Suggest related or similar podcasts to your audience in exchange for promoting your podcast on theirs.
- If you plan to talk about a brand on your podcast, you can ask them to share your episode link on their social media accounts.
17. Promote the podcast using an Apple Smart Banner
The Apple Smart Banner is a great way to increase your podcast’s visibility if you have a website. It only shows up when accessed on Safari through a mobile device. When people click “View,” it takes them directly to your show on Apple Podcasts. You have to add a single line of code to your podcast site, and it will allow your visitors to take them to your podcast directly. If they cross the notification, the only catch is that it will never pop up again.
18. Be consistent with your episode length
Believe it or not – understanding your audience’s listening habits is vital for a podcast to be successful. You have to be consistent in what you offer. To get the best response, you should publish at the right times and take advantage of the preferred slot.
Currently, the average podcast length is 43 minutes. Most podcasts fall into the 30 to 70 minutes-long bracket, which allows you to deep-dive into lengthier conversations or interviews with guests. Then, some podcasts do not cross more than 15 minutes.
It is hard to say which length is the best as podcasts come in different forms — interviews, narrative, conversational, and so on. In the initial stages, you may not have enough data, but you can study the trends of other podcasters in similar genres and take a call.
With time, you will have enough data to identify trends about when most people listen to your podcasts and at which timeframe of the episode they bounce off. Experimenting with publishing times helps you find the most preferred time.
Over to you
You can make or break your podcast with the right content strategy. Even though promoting your podcast is hard work, the effort you put into it should be well worth it. To make sure that more people listen to your podcast, you must talk about it through different mediums.
Besides digital, you can take the traditional route to create a lasting impact on your audience. Think of creative ideas depending on the topics you cover in your podcast. For instance, you can use business cards with QR codes or short links directing people to your podcast. Or, add details of your podcast to the flyers and leaflets of your business.
Hopefully, the 18 marketing strategies mentioned above will help you get a headstart on your podcasting journey. Irrespective of the type of show you conduct, systematic podcast promotions will help build your audience.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of Growfusely, a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO.