How To Promote Your Podcast - Growth Tactics
Never forget that your content is the real growing power of your podcast. The quality, commitment and care for your content is the key component of a consistently growing podcast.
Here is a simple recipe for creating consistent podcast content:
- What’s interesting to you — what do you want to talk about, what inspired your podcast?
- What’s interesting to and valued by your audience.
- Go back to 1 and 2 and find where they intersect.
This allows you to create meaningful content that people look forward to and want to share with others, and keeps you engaged and passionate about your own work.
The main way to grow podcast audience is to always deliver great content that your audience can’t find anywhere else. Focusing on creating content that sparks your personal passion and addresses your audience’s needs is the perfect blend for signature material that only you can provide.
How To Start a Podcast with No Audience
Pretend you are at a party. Who do you want to talk to? Maybe not the guys discussing last night’s games, but those ones over there who just mentioned Basquiat or those over there discussing the real estate market.
You want to talk to people who are interested in the same things you are, especially if you have some expertise in the area to share.
Podcast listener demographics are similar.
When thinking about how to increase podcast listeners, consider what you might add to the conversation, what’s important to you, what’s important to your listeners, what new knowledge will they value?
But don’t just contribute, interact and welcome them to the conversation. This is the way your audience grows, one authentically enthused person at a time.
Also think about what tools your audience uses to find a new podcast. Are there particular publications, websites or podcast apps they read, visit or listen in? What online platforms do they tend to hang out in?
Most importantly, does your potential audience have a culture of listening, as in, are they used to consuming audio content, particularly voice content?
If not, in addition to telling them about your podcast, you’ll need to educate them about podcasting. Here is a great article that explains the importance of reaching “non-listeners”.
You can also check out current reports on podcast demographics across the U.S. and around the world, including not just demographics but interests and listening preferences.
How To Grow Your Podcast - Tactics
Once you understand your audience and have created a listener profile, you need to make some moves to capture that audience.
One of the most important places for podcast discovery is your website. Develop your website and how to better use it as a vehicle for podcast growth.
Spend some time with a free SEO tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner. This will help you select keywords to use on your site and in your blog, so when listeners search the terms they find you!.
Two important pages to have on your podcast website beyond your podcast episodes:
- An About Page for your podcast: podcast name, description, and how to follow and subscribe to your show on Podcast Apps and social media
- A Contact Page: a form or email address to reach the show, an audience feedback phone number (Google Voice) or an audio feedback service like Speakpipe.
Simple Tips To Promote Your Podcast:
- Social media (that kind of goes without saying). Your Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and Tik Tok accounts are all wonderful places to promote your podcast and any contests/giveaways, to share information, start dialogues, etc. Each time you record a new episode, be sure to announce it on all of your personal handles. (NOTE: you do not have to be on all platforms to start! Consider building one platform at a time.)
- Build an email newsletter for your podcast. You can use an email newsletter provider like Mailchimp or Aweber, set it up by using their opt-in pages or add a way for people to opt-in directly on your website. Whenever you publish a podcast episode send out a corresponding email letting your audience know and encouraging them to listen and share. Add a short paragraph at the bottom of your email with a simple explanation of how to subscribe to a podcast or follow your show on Podcast Apps to help transition passive listeners into active.
- Repurpose podcast content. Obviously, if you are already transcribing your podcast, you’ve got a readable form that listeners can reference back to, which is good. You can pull from your transcript for social media posts, use it to inform a blog article or even turn your audio into an audiogram that you can post on YouTube, Instagram or TikTok. Every time you record, you are adding depth to your podcast library.
- Use appropriate hashtags when posting on social media.
- Remember the importance of the infamous “Call To Action” when you are on-air or signing off on any post. Ask listeners to subscribe, share, comment, or engage in some meaningful way. NOTE: focus on one or two Calls To Action. Don’t overwhelm your audience with too many things to do because then, they most likely won’t do any of it.
- Create a podcast trailer. It’s like a movie trailer, generally between 30 seconds and 1 minute long— the shorter, the better. Your podcast trailer can be played on other podcasts, it’s easily shared on social channels, and turned into an audiogram for YouTube, etc. It’s a teaser designed to offer a taste of what listeners will get if they give it a try. Your goal? Build excitement, anticipation and introduce potential listeners to your fantastic podcast.
- Podcast advertising is all the rage. If you have the budget, you can advertise your show on other podcasts by using a company like Advertisecast, who can teach you how to advertise on podcasts and help target your ad to reach your demographics. If you are not quite ready for an agency to help you, you can do some research, find a show that has a listener profile like yours and offer podcast sponsorship for a month. See how it goes…if it works, do it again.
- Try promo swaps. A promo swap (or cross promotion) is an agreement between two podcasters to promote one another on their respective shows, which can be very mutually beneficial if the audiences are complimentary. This can be done by simply playing each other’s podcast trailers or creating a special mini-segment on each other’s shows that personally promotes the other show.
- Get featured on podcast newsletters. There are many amazing newsletters whose sole focus is helping podcast listeners find more podcasts to enjoy. The podcast newsletter authors are always looking for content. Pitch them your show. Consider writing for them (if they allow it.) Here are some of the most well-known ones: Earbuds Podcast Collective, Find That Pod and Bello Collective. There are many more.
- Podcast App promotional features. There are hundreds of podcast apps out there. Many of them are solely focused on building community. A great example is Goodpods. Use the app to curate content and engage with other podcasters. Other podcast apps have curated featured sections and/or offer options for paid podcast placement. Head to their websites to find contact information or how to advertise with them. Some great podcast apps to start with are Overcast, Castro and Castbox.
Start with one or two of the above podcasting growth tips to get the ball rolling. Consistently commit to executing. Once you feel like you’ve built a workflow on one or two tips, add another—or two.
Review Your Growth
Most importantly, schedule a review process for yourself. Honestly look at your level of commitment, how well you executed and the results that you got from implementing your podcast growth strategy. Keep doing what worked, remove what didn’t. Rinse and repeat.
Podcasting growth is a long game. There is no one thing that will magically get you a bigger audience.
Be an Interactive Podcast
One of the most overlooked strategies for growing your podcast is to take the time to engage with your audience in ways that make them feel really good about their loyalty to you.
Answer comments. Invite opinions and feedback. Let your audience feel “in the know” as they stay with you. What do they want to hear next? Encourage them to share with you.
This, of course, needs to come from a genuine place. Podcast audiences are the most passionate and loyal audiences out there. Not only can they be your biggest advocates, but can often end up transitioning from some of the most authentic online supporters to real life connections.