Podcasting is one of the most popular content delivery channels these days.
In fact, over the past few years, the audio phenomenon has been continuously on the rise. In 2018, more than12 million people listened to a podcast for the first time. This is a significant increase that tells us more than anything else about the type of content today’s users are consuming and the trends for the next few of years.
In fact, the U.S. podcasting audience has reached astaggering 44 percent, and this is only the beginning.
Considering there are half a million active Apple podcasts that feature almost 20 million episodes, the competition is fierce. Hence, if you are just starting to stream your own show, you might face serious issues and setbacks before getting on top and making your series popular.
You need a working podcast marketing plan, a lucrative podcast marketing strategy, to promote your show, and – at the same time – you need to do it the best you can in order to surpass your competitors.
How to promote a podcast:
Upload podcast on iTunes.
Leverage your guests' audience.
Share your podcast on social media.
Record lots of content.
Create a cohesive visual brand.
Leverage word-of-mouth advertising.
Transcribe the audio and publish the text
7 Podcast marketing strategies
With this article, I will try to list some of the best strategies you can use for podcast promotion in 2020.
According to Neiman Lab, 70 percent of all podcasts listening happen on iTunes. Therefore, if you want to get yourself up there and make the top of the lists, you should be there. Put your podcast series on iTunes and make it available via this channel.
How to publish a podcast on Apple Podcast
1. Sign up with iTunes Podcast Connect. You can sign in with your Apple ID orcreate one if you don’t have one yet.
2. Enter the iTunes Podcast Connect Dashboard and look for a “+” button at the top left of the page. Click it and enter your RSS feed into the provided text box.
3.Click on the “Validate” button. A preview window will open instantly. Check if everything is okay in this preview and modify anything that seems out of order. When you are done, click on the “Submit” button. You are done!
Podcasts submitted to Apple Podcast are going through a moderation process. Don’t panic if your Feed is not live instantly; it can take up to 10 days. This is the maximum span, some podcasts get through after only a few hours. Others take up to three days to go live.
2. Leverage your guests’ audience
Are you going to feature guests on your podcast? Are they popular/ or professional individuals with many fans and followers? Leverage this. Make their audience your own!
Chances are, once you feature an influencer on your podcast, other influencers will soon follow. At the same time, influencers have a huge audience they'll most likely share your podcast with once you publish an episode that features them. Influencer marketing will give you access to a larger audience, which will most likely bring you more listeners.
A good example, in this case, comes from the podcast “How do You Know?” by Andra Zaharia.Every episode comes with a new guest whose expertise may help the audience and, at the same time, whose popularity may attract new listeners.
3. Share your podcast on social media
Podcast marketing is quite easy these days, considering almost all listeners are on social media and you likely are too. You can leverage these channels and use their popularity to your own benefits.
It should be quite simple if you have a social media account (or several).
If you feel your audience isn’t big enough for a podcast promotion, you can follow the example set by, “The Uncensored Growth Podcast,” and promote your series on Facebook with a contest. The prizes are irrelevant as long as there are prizes to start with. People love freebies and will likely share your posts for one.
Instagram may prove a perfect channel for podcast marketing as well. The best example, in this case, comes fromGary Vee – one of the most successful podcasters today. He uses Instagram for podcast promotion, and he's doing it quite successfully.
On the other hand, you should take into account the new found popularity of Instagram Stories. As a channel for Instagram marketing, this one can deliver spectacular results with minimal effort.
4. Record lots of content
Before expecting a huge audience, make sure you have enough content to promote. To this end, you should start your podcast series only when you have at least two-to-three episodes ready to go live.
This is important – especially if you are going to feature guests. Not all your potential listeners will be interested in all your guests. Having at least three episodes ready allows you to expand this audience.
5. Create a cohesive visual brand
Artworks and other visuals should be also included in your podcast marketing plan. In fact, they should be considered right from the start.
The podcast image or logo will be the first identifying element of your show. The requirements for Apple Podcast are asfollows:
The minimum size of the image is 1400 x 1400 pixels (72 dpi)
The maximum size of the image is 3000 x 3000 pixels (72 dpi)
Other visual elements
There are several aspects to consider at this point. In terms of marketing, apart from the traditional logo, you can use visuals for social media promotion.
For instance, you can create animated banners and social media posts for Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with premium ad design software tools such as Bannersnack or Canva.
You can push it even further and create a simple video based on your audio waves and publish it on social media and YouTube. One of the many free video editing software tools can help new content creators put together their first video.
6. Leverage word-of-mouth advertising
If you have a great product to start with, your best approach to podcast marketing can quite well be the minimum approach. In other words, you can benefit a lot by doing nothing more than publishing great and valuable content.
Word-of-mouth (WOM) has been proven a great marketing strategy even from the time when it was the only option for promotion. In fact, the average quality of a WOM lead is4.28 on a five-point scale. Impressive, isn’t it?
In order for this strategy to be successful, you need to work on recording the best show possible. The topics should be attractive, the content should be valuable, the tone of voice should be optimal, and, of course, the recording should be professional in all its technical aspects.
TIP: Start with the gear; buy professional microphones and recording and audio editing software. If you are not a sound technician yourself, hire one. You will need guidance, especially in the beginning.
Remember what I said earlier about the WOM strategy? Professional tools and a professional sound technician will allow you to create a technically superior product. Finding a great topic or popular guest is important, but that part is yours alone to figure out. However, if you have some budget left over, you might consider investing in podcast promotion services to ensure effective advertising outcomes.
7. Transcribe the audio and publish the text
First, you will need a blog. That’s the easy part. The hard part will be to keep it alive and find the time to write valuable pieces of content.
You can also use it to promote your podcast and publish the audio versions and text transcriptions of your episodes.
Promoting your podcast this way allows you to kill two birds with one stone.
First, there are the SEO aspects of this strategy. Texts are easily indexable by search engines. If you take your time to adjust your transcript to fit the demands of the crawlers, there is a lot to gain from organic search. It’s an audience that otherwise would have been harder to reach.
Second, you can increase your audience by reaching out to people who prefer reading. I know that podcasts are trendy, but not everyone share the same interests in this type of content. Others might prefer to read a blog post – a transcript of your podcast episode.
Next steps in promoting your new podcast
There are a lot of podcast marketing tips that may have been left unsaid in this article. However, I have tried to list some of the best strategies for promoting an audio show.
These are all fail-proof methods to conduct marketing, and if you invest a little time designing and personalizing your own strategy, the results will be better than expected.
Robert Katai is the content marketing manager of Bannersnack, a professional banner creation app for designers and marketers. His work was featured on Adweek, Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Institute and other places. He is also blogging on his personal website: www.robertkatai.com.