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Podcast Marketing Strategy: 11 Steps to Grow Your Audience

Justin McGill
Wednesday, 1st Mar 2023
podcast marketing strategy

Looking to grow your podcast? Building an audience takes time. Even the biggest shows started off small at one point. The sooner you start promoting your show, the sooner you’ll have a popular, well-loved, and revenue-generating podcast that makes you proud. 

In this article, we lay out a simple and effective podcast marketing strategy that uses actionable techniques and multimedia to grow your show. 

Step 1: Make Your Show Available Everywhere

The first step in any podcast marketing strategy is to make your show accessible wherever listeners expect to find it. Fortunately, this is simple. Your job is to submit your show to every podcast listening app and directory you can find. Don’t settle for just Apple podcast, Google podcast, and spotify. There are dozens of popular listening apps.

This is a good time to make sure that you have a compelling podcast description. It’s important to take this bit of text seriously because it’s one of the first pieces of information potential listeners use to decide whether to try your show. Tell potential listeners why it’s specifically for them. Make sure to weave in some keywords. 

Step 2: Build a Podcast Website

It’s important to set up a podcast website around the time your show goes live. This is your home base: The place potential listeners will visit to learn more about your show. And unlike the listening apps, it’s the one place you control completely. 

Your podcast website should showcase your episodes (including an audio player so they can listen here), information about the show and hosts, and ways to contact you for guest appearances, cross-promotions, and sponsorship opportunities. 

Step 3: Get Active on Social Media

Social media is a powerful way to speak to potential listeners and drive traffic to your show. Open social profiles and post multiple days per day about your episodes. Don’t be shy about posting lots of content. 

Just make sure you’re posting to the platforms your audience uses, otherwise, you’ll just waste your time. Here are some content ideas to publish:

  • Tease upcoming episodes. 
  • Post snippets of your show.
  • Post images of your guests. 
  • Create videos and audiograms. 
  • Use a branded hashtag so fans can join your conversation. 
  • Include hashtags that relate to the topics of your episodes.
  • Post in relevant Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit groups.
  • Tag organizations, artists, leaders, politicians, films or anyone or anything else you mention in your episodes. 
  • Tag your guests in your posts. 
  • Post non-episode content, such as behind-the-scenes peaks, interviews that never made it to the show, or your own personal comments. 
  • Reply to the comments!

This American Life is great about promoting their episodes. Check out this engaging audiogram that gives you a little peek into the episode.

https://twitter.com/ThisAmerLife/status/1624400359988039680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Step 4: Produce Lots of Written Content

One of the major challenges of starting a podcast is discoverability. The algorithms on podcast listening apps won’t recommend you because you don’t have many listens, reviews, or episodes. Search engines won’t recommend you in search results because they can’t understand and categorize audio content. 

Written content is a great way to boost your discoverability. By posting written content to your podcast website, you’ll give search engines a reason to display your site to searchers. This gives you a chance to convert readers into podcast listeners. 

Publish each podcast episode as its own page on your blog. Include show notes and a complete episode transcription. These help with SEO, accessibility, and discoverability. It should look something like this:

Furthermore, you can increase your brand’s exposure on the web with a comprehensive blogging strategy. Publishing written content is key to helping search engines find, categorize, and rank your website. Start blogging about topics that relate to your podcast’s niche in order to draw people to your site and convert them into listeners. 

But producing blog content is hard, right? Not with the help of artificial intelligence. AI writers can produce tremendous amounts of content with little effort. In fact, Content at Scale’s AI can create a month’s worth of long-from SEO content in a single day, and it’s so natural that it bypasses AI detection software. All you have to do is supply some topics that your audiences want to know more about and Content at Scale will create everything you need.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0OXxs0kJd0&feature=youtu.be

 

Step 5: Use Smart Podcast SEO

When you publish a new episode, be sure to use smart SEO tactics to make your show as discoverable as possible. Write episode titles and descriptions that include the names of guests, topics, events, or keywords that your listeners might search for. Be descriptive and interesting, but avoid clickbait. Don’t use generic titles like “Episode 34.”

Notice how My First Million puts tons of valuable keywords in their episode titles. These are terms people actively search for. 

If you craft compelling titles, you can also use them as the titles for posts on your podcast website and social media content. All of the major platforms use algorithms that reward keywords.

Step 6: Leverage Your Guests and Influencers

If you interview guests on your show, they can be a big part of your podcast marketing strategy. Each guest has their own audience that overlaps with your own (at least to some degree). So it’s important to make sure that your guests promote their appearance on your show to their fans. This is simple and free marketing for you.

Make this easy by giving your guests everything they need to promote the episode. Supply each guest with a package of marketing assets, such as images and video for social media, your podcast artwork, interesting quotes or clips from the episode, any hashtags you want them to use, and a trackable link to your podcast website (so you can see how much traffic they sent). 

Influencers are another great way to leverage other people’s audiences. Share your content with them and ask them to share it with their followers. You may have to offer something in return, such as sharing their content with your audience. 

Step 7: Build an Email List

Email is a direct line of communication with your biggest fans. It’s a powerful part of your podcast marketing strategy to keep your audience engaged and drive them to new episodes. 

Once your website is built, add sign up boxes throughout your site to collect email addresses. Prompt your listeners to sign up to stay notified about your show. Check out how Wellness Mama uses a high-converting popup overlay on her episode pages to capture email subscribers. 

Next, send emails to your subscribers to tease new episodes and notify them of new ones. Nurture them with valuable and entertaining content to keep them engaged. Don’t be afraid to send content that’s beyond the scope of your show. For instance, a true crime podcast might tell listeners about a great new Netflix crime drama.

Unfortunately, you can’t send these kinds of emails through your Gmail inbox. You’ll need to use an email marketing platform, such as MailChimp, Drip, or ConvertKit

Step 8: Appear as a Guest on Other Shows

A great way to expose your show to new listeners is to visit other shows as a guest. Let the other host interview you about your expertise and experience. If you’re a good conversationalist, this is some of the easiest marketing you’ll ever do. 

Make sure to target shows that have audiences that are similar to your own. It’s important to spend time talking to the right people who might become your listeners. 

If invitations don’t come to you organically, consider using a placement service, such as Podchaser Connect, Podcast Guests, Podmatch, or MatchMaker. You’ll need to create a basic pitch about your show and why you would be a good guest. 

When you make it to someone’s show, don’t forget to promote yourself! Tell the host’s audience what your show is about and where they can find you. 

Step 9: Add Video to Your Podcast

Some people prefer video. Some consume all of their content through YouTube, Facebook, and other video-friendly platforms. But that doesn’t mean these people are out of reach. You can open yourself to a wider audience by adding a video component to your show. There are basically three ways to do this:

  • Add a static image to your audio file, thereby turning it into a video.
  • Film yourself recording the podcast with your guests and/or co-hosts. 
  • Create custom video content with graphics and unique footage. 

Once you have a video element, simply post it to your website (with the other podcast content) and to YouTube or Vimeo. The What’s Good Podcast is a great example of this. They use a pleasant, but inexpensive set for their conversation. 

Step 10: Encourage Your Listeners to Rate and Review

Ratings and reviews are social proof that potential listeners use to decide whether they will listen to a new show. If you have a lot of positive reviews, you’ll attract listeners faster. Plus, the listing apps use ratings and reviews to rank shows in their feeds. 

However, people don’t think to rate and review new shows. They need to be prompted. In each episode, ask your listeners to leave a rating and review for the show. Explain that positive feedback helps you produce more of the content they love. 

Step 11: Invest in Podcast Sponsorships

Many of the tips in this podcast marketing strategy take time to work. But if you have the money to invest in advertising, you could buy listeners right now.

Purchase ad space on other podcasts whose audiences overlap with your own. Find similar shows by searching your category on the big podcast listening apps and directories. Give the host some bullet points about your show and why their listeners will like it. Then let the host craft a message they think will resonate with their audience. 

Listeners need to hear about your show multiple times before they decide to check it out. (This is called the mere exposure effect) so buy ads for at least four episodes.

Furthermore, consider purchasing Google ads or Facebook ads. Both platforms offer targeting features so you can put your show in front of people who are most likely to listen. 

Build Your Own Podcast Marketing Strategy

This basic podcast marketing strategy is a great way to get started promoting your show. Attack your podcast marketing from multiple angles: social media, email, blogging, and partnerships. A multimedia approach is truly the best way to be successful. 

As your brand grows and you learn more about your audience, it’s important to find your own ways to grow your audience. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with new marketing techniques. 

Haven’t started your show yet? Don’t worry! It’s easier than you think. Check out our full guide on starting your own podcast. It teaches you everything you need to know about building a unique and successful show. 

 

Craig Hewitt.

craig hewitt headshotCraig is the founder of Castos. When he’s not busy podcasting, talking about podcasting, or helping others get started in this awesome medium he’s hanging out with his wife, two children, and likely planning their next travel adventure.

Written by Justin McGill

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