How to Promote a Podcast: 11 Effective Strategies to Grow Your Audience

How to Promote a Podcast: 11 Effective Strategies to Grow Your Audience

Podcasts are a great way to share your thoughts and connect with your audience. However, creating a podcast is only half the battle. Promoting your podcast is equally important if you want to reach a wider audience and grow your audience.

You will need a proper strategy to promote podcasts but there are very few people or firms who know the process properly and even fewer of them share it on the web.

So, we need a plan to promote the podcast. But before having a plan we need to understand the podcast properly.

Podcasts growth

A podcast is a digital audio file that is made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device. Podcasts are usually released as a series of episodes that can be downloaded and listened to at the listener’s convenience.

Podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their convenience and accessibility. They allow listeners to consume content on the go and at their own pace. Podcasts also offer a wide range of topics and genres, making it easy for listeners to find something that interests them.

According to a survey conducted by Edison Research, 78% of Americans are familiar with podcasts and 57% of them have listened to at least one podcast. The survey also found that the average podcast listener listens to 7 different shows per week.

Now after knowing about podcasts and their growth rate, let’s talk about the main goal of all the steps we are going to reveal in this article.

So the main goal is to Do Really Great on iTunes!

So you may ask why iTunes when there are many podcast platforms?

You would be able to find the answer yourself with the below stats and quotes:

  1. iTunes accounts for up to 70% of podcast listens and downloads.
  2. According to Nieman Lab, “70% of podcast listening occurs via iTunes or the native iOS Podcasts app.”
  3. According to artist Scott Britton, “listens on SoundCloud and YouTube are pretty insignificant compared to iTunes.”
  4. According to Erik Diehn, “There’s basically Apple and then everybody else.”

Now that we know about podcasts and the goal clearly, let’s now look at the proper way of marketing podcasts.

11 Strategies to Promote a Podcast

There are a few but thank you to everyone and every brand who has shared their podcasting promotion tips online. Some of the finest advice I found dates back to 2012, demonstrating how long some people have been excelling in the podcast business. I’ll also include links to some of my favourite resources at the end of this article.

Here is a list of podcast promotion tactics to consider:

1. Utilize your guest’s audience

Create snippets and quote images to make it easy for guests to share.

Buffer podcast features an interview style, which allows them to speak with incredible people like Rand Fishkin of Moz and Meghan Keaney Anderson of HubSpot.

  • These people have a large following.
  • Rand has almost 335,000 followers on Twitter.
  • HubSpot has nearly one million Facebook followers.

They make it simple for our guests to share and promote their podcast episodes. So we can learn from Buffer, that on the day their podcast goes live, send a note with a series of shareable media including pull quotes, banners, links, prewritten, tweets and status updates

A Growth Hackers post contains some interesting recommendations to treat podcast promotion similarly to content promotion, an area in which we have a bit more experience. The specifics from the Growth Hackers discussion are as follows:

  • Quality trumps quantity.
  • Fix an issue
  • Provide useful information
  • Work as hard to disseminate as you did to produce.
  • Make use of your guest’s reach.

2. On opening day, at least three episodes should be released.

Pat Flynn, the founder of Smart Passive Income has said “I actually received negative reviews from people who had listened to the first episode and were upset that there was only one”. And his guidance on launch quantity is consistent with the best advice from others.

When you first launch, publish three to five episodes.

According to our research, the absolute minimum number of episodes to have at launch is three. In general, more is better. We had seven completed interviews before launching our podcast, with three episodes planned for launch day and two each for the next two weeks.

This multi-launch technique is a significant component of Jason Zook’s strategy for reaching the New and Noteworthy section of iTunes, which, as previously stated, is a huge source of traffic.

Jason’s strategy is based on two ideas:

  • On launch day, record and release many (3-5) podcasts.
  • If possible, build your audience before releasing.

3. Get in the New & Noteworthy of iTunes for more visibility

The New & Noteworthy part of iTunes is one of the most visible areas of the iTunes podcast section. You have two months (eight weeks) until your podcast is merged back into the podcast listings.

Though iTunes does not disclose how podcasts are picked for New & Noteworthy, it appears that the following characteristics are significantly weighted: the number of subscriptions, downloads, and reviews in the first eight weeks.

There’s a lot of wonderful advice available from folks who have achieved the New & Noteworthy status. Much of it has already been covered in this post. Here’s a basic rundown:

  • Create an email list or outreach list before launching your podcast. This includes blog readers, product consumers, social media followers, and so on.
  • Before you debut, record 3-5 podcast episodes.
  • Choose a launch date. It may take up to 2-4 days for iTunes to display your podcast after you’ve uploaded it.
  • Create assets such as photographs, videos, and shareable quotes.
  • Today is a big day!
  • Send a message to your list asking them to listen and review.
  • Continue to release new episodes on a regular basis.

4. Promote via social media… in a variety of ways

Share rich media, soundbites, videos, photos, teasers, evergreen — whatever comes to mind.

We are quite fortunate to have such a long experience in marketing on various social networks. A Podcast Marketing Services on social media allows for so much creativity and pleasure.

To begin, provide an update when the episode first becomes available.

Then continue to share.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Include the iTunes URL in your episode tweet or Facebook post.
  • Use Canva or Pablo to create quotation images. Share these as separate social updates, along with a link to iTunes.
  •  Record 15-second sound bites. Put it on Soundcloud.
  • Then tweet about it. Twitter, in particular, has a really great usage of Soundcloud audio. People can listen to the audio directly from their Twitter feed. Tease the following episode 24 hours in advance.
  • Several times share the podcast episode. Many people tweet three times on the first day and twice on the first week on Facebook.
  • Share behind-the-scenes information on Instagram.

5. Make a YouTube video out of the audio.

For potential SEO, title your video “Interview with…”

We’d love to be able to repurpose the podcast in as many different ways as possible. Some businesses do interesting things, such as combining live video (through Facebook and Periscope) with a live podcast interview. We’re delighted to take a different path. We intend to upload every episode of the podcast on our YouTube account.

There are several advantages to using a YouTube version:

  • Sharing the video on social media
  • Automatic closed captioning and transcripts from YouTube (excellent for accessibility if you aren’t going to transcribe)
  • SEO Advantages

So, while we’re hoping that our show notes will help us rank a little higher for long-tail terms in Google, we’re also happy that having a YouTube version may help us rank higher as well.

Scott Britton employed this method effectively with his interview podcast, selecting a special ranking strategy for “[Guest Name] Interview.” So, for us, this may be:

  • Interview with Rand Fishkin
  • Rand Fishkin Interview

Hopefully, by adding this to the YouTube title, we’ll see some positive outcomes!

You can use a variety of different software to convert audio (.mp3) to video (.mov). For Mac users, Google’s support centre recommends iMovie, and for PC users, Windows Live Movie Maker. I instantly launched Screenflow to create a quick video version of our podcast.

For best viewing at 2K resolution, choose a canvas that is 2,560 pixels wide by 1,440 pixels height (there are a few additional perfect measurements here if you aren’t interested in 2K).

Use Video or Pexels to get free stock video footage. The ideal type of video is one that loops; look up “loop.”

Include a thumbnail of either your show’s logo or your guest’s (or both). If you want to be extra proactive, you can annotate the video with links, cards, and other elements from within the YouTube creator studio.

6. Utilize the reach of other podcatchers and aggregators

Submit your podcast to podcast aggregators and podcatchers. Podcatchers (platforms) are simply apps that allow you to listen to podcasts. The most popular is the main podcast app on iOS, which has a purple symbol and a picture of a microphone.

Aside from the iOS podcatcher, there are hundreds of other apps that collect and play podcasts, as well as a slew of websites that highlight new podcasts and aid in discovery.

Looking for a platform to launch your Podcast? Check the list of 10 best podcatchers:

  • iTunes
  • Overcast
  • Stitcher
  • Podcast Addict
  • Podcast subreddit
  • PodcastLand (automatically sync with iTunes)
  • TuneIn
  • Bello Collective
  • Castro
  • Podcast Republic

7. Transcribe the audio

Many popular podcasts provide a full transcript of the whole broadcast. We’re going to take a somewhat different approach here, extracting highlighted sections of the transcript and presenting them in the show notes.

Would you like the entire transcript? Or just a few excerpts?

The transcript is excellent for SEO purposes as well as for lead generation (you can include lead capture forms and links to your show notes page). We expect to retain some of these benefits while saving time and money on full transcribing.

8. Throw a two-week rating party

The rate at which you collect downloads and positive ratings in the first several weeks is one of the most important variables in propelling a podcast up the iTunes charts (and into the New & Noteworthy section).

You have eight weeks from the time your podcast is live to get to New and Notable. The first two weeks of these are critical.

Here are a few party-planning elements that might help make the first few weeks following the podcast debut feel more like an event:

  • Run giveaways (see down for additional information).
  • On launch day, have a real party, either in person or remotely via Facebook Live.
  • Create two weeks of podcast-related blog content. This article is an example!
  • Change the email signatures on your personal email and the support emails for your team.
  • Encourage your coworkers and company executives to publish and tweet about it.
  • Every day, send 10 emails to 10 different people.

9. Participate as a guest on other people’s podcasts.

You can go on a podcast tour and make guest appearances on podcasts in your specialty, just like movie stars visit the talk show circuit to promote a new picture or politicians travel the country before an election.

It can be difficult to get guests for regular, weekly podcast programmes. As we fill out the interview calendar for the Buffer podcast, we realize how time-consuming this forward planning can be.

Many podcasts will undoubtedly appreciate the proactive outreach. Those that accept your offer will provide excellent exposure for your new show.

10. Run a giveaway contest

The attraction of freebies and discounts can be a great motivator for increasing the number of people who listen to your podcast. And now for the clincher: As part of the entry requirements for your contest, request an iTunes review. This should result in more reviews, which will increase the social proof of your podcast and cause iTunes to take notice.

If you have the funds, the following items could make excellent giveaways:

  • T-shirts
  • Stickers
  • Product discounts 

And if you don’t have nearly the budget:

  • Mentioned in show notes
  • A special mention at the end of the show
  • A 5-minute guest appearance on the podcast

11. Find partners who will mention you.

Include brand mentions on your podcast. They might just give you back the credit!

This method has its roots in content marketing, where mentioning a company in a blog article typically has a reciprocal effect. Often, the firm will then mention your message on their social platforms.

It can work similarly with podcasts. If you mention any businesses or brands in your episode, you have the chance to contact those businesses later to inform them that they have been featured. If you detect a connection between your podcast and another brand, a simple email may suffice.

Start Promoting your Podcasts

We at OTT SEO like to continue scrolling with you too. So if you have any advice or wisdom to give regarding what has worked for you and your podcast, please share it in the comments.

Alternatively, if you’d like to offer your ideas on promotion tactics (which ones seem good to you, which ones feel overly aggressive), that’d be fantastic!

Excited to keep the conversation going!