5 Effective Ways to Market Your Podcast
In 2020, podcasts are popular. It’s not just that 55% of people in the United States have listened to one. It’s that it’s increasingly seeping into the mainstream. Podcast listenership has more than tripled since 2013, and even if you don’t actively listen to podcasts, there’s a chance you’ve seen a TV show inspired by a popular podcast (see: Dirty John and Comedy Bang! Bang!). The truth is that young people are far more likely to listen to a podcast than talk radio, but because anyone can make a podcast of their own with some simple, at-home recording equipment, the market is becoming saturated. There are more than 500,000 podcasts on Spotify alone, and that’s just one streaming service. In other words: making your podcast stand out from the crowd isn’t easy — but it isn’t impossible either.
Marketing is essential to the success of a podcast. More subscribers mean more ad money, and according to Forbes, podcasts can generally command two or three times the ad rate of broadcast radio. While most of us default to social media, that’s just a piece of the puzzle. Here are some ways you can market your podcast outside of social networks.
Get on Apple Podcasts and Spotify
Okay, uploading your podcast to Apple Podcasts, the iOS Podcast app, isn’t exactly marketing, but can greatly increase accessibility. According to Nieman Labs, 70% of podcast listening happens through Apple Podcasts or iTunes. If you can garner enough listens to make it onto Apple’s charts, you’ll grab a new crop of listeners from that alone.
Still, Apple isn’t the only way. Though SoundCloud and YouTube don’t have nearly the same podcast listenership, Spotify is working vigorously to expand its podcast network. At the time of this writing, they have 299 million listeners across 92 different markets worldwide. The company claims that their podcast audience has doubled since the start of 2019.
Publish a Couple Episodes During Your Launch
You may have a weekly or bi-weekly upload schedule, but you don’t want to start with just a single episode. When you first launch, you should have around three episodes, which helps you build a solid audience. Think of it this way: if someone likes your podcast, they’re going to want to hear more. A single episode may be enjoyable, but it’s not enough to give listeners a clear view of what you’re about. On the other hand, three episodes are easily bingeable and leave enough of an impact that new viewers will know they want to subscribe.
Collaborate with Special Guests
Do you know the whole theory behind influencer marketing? Basically, companies pay prominent bloggers thousands to hawk their products to their online followers. These influencers have consumer trust, which makes their recommendations almost as sound as if they were coming from a friend. You can do the same thing with a podcast, except without the big budget.
One of the best ways to market your podcast is to invite guest speakers — and this is a true collaboration. They use the podcast to promote their latest projects, and you use them to promote your podcast. The more followers a person has, the more exposure your podcast will get. For this approach, it’s best to find collaborators that share a similar audience.
Convert Your Podcast into a YouTube Show
Visual content can take your podcast to the next level, and this does wonders for both marketing and brand loyalty. First, if people can see you, they start to feel like they know you. It’s the same science behind why we feel like we know celebrities despite having only ever seen them in the movies. Second, video is fantastic for SEO (or search engine optimization).
Odds are that you want your podcast to perform well in Google searches. It may seem old fashioned in the age of social media, but it’s still one of the most solid ways to get unique viewers. Well, Google values video a lot more than it does text. Some estimates claim video marketing is 53x more likely to rank than plain text content. So, convert your podcast into a video. Make sure you upload a snappy, eye-catching cover image, too.
Overall, video is a win-win because it’s more shareable than a traditional audio file and it will give you an improved SERP rank. You don’t need to do anything fancy, either. Just you and a microphone in a well-lit space will suffice.
Transcribe Your Audio
This is another method that’s great for SEO. Transcribing your audio doesn’t just help the hearing impaired — it can drum up brand new leads. Think of all the people searching for information about a topic who don’t have time to listen to a whole podcast. Transcribed audio allows them to skim through.
So, should you do selected excerpts or the entire episode? That’s up to you. Transcribing can be costly, but there are services like Rev and Fiverr, where you can hire someone to do it for you. An average rate is $1 a minute. There are also programs that automatically transcribe audio, but you’ll have to check it over after because they don’t have the best accuracy.
If you’re short on time and cash, you may want to just transcribe key portions of your podcast, which should still serve you well for SEO and lead generation. Give readers a taste, and leave them wanting more.
A solid marketing plan for your podcast, along with publishing quality content regularly can sky-rocket your reach and help you grow your audience. Using social media is a no-brainer for podcasters, as it’s free, accessible, and easy to use.
We always recommend to post links to your custom podcast website directly rather than the episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or the other platforms – you can gain much more from subscribers and website visitors.