Before we delve into the second part of our Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Podcast, if you haven’t read Part 1, click here to go back and peruse the post. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. Why? Well in the first part of our ultimate guide, we touched upon some essential podcasting questions, which include tips and tricks about creating your own website and implementing the perfect marketing and social media strategy for your podcast.
In Part 2, we will focus more specifically on DISTRIBUTION. How can you distribute your podcast to the right people? Well, we’ve got you covered.
|Dive Deeper: The Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Podcast: Part 1|
Before we begin, as Hubspot eloquently iterates, the success of podcasting today is built upon the backs of hard-working creators who have strived to make amazing shows that develop loyal followings.
Podcasts have not become successful through growth hacking, news-jacking, or search engine optimization. Keyword stuffing a low-quality show that does not inspire listeners to subscribe is a recipe for failure.
Keyword stuffing a low-quality show that does not inspire listeners to subscribe is a recipe for failure. Click To Tweet
Above all else, remember that you make shows for the listener; which means that without quality content, your distribution efforts will inevitably fall flat. Now that we’ve got that PSA out of the way, let’s begin.
Distributing Your Podcast via Podcatchers
It goes without saying how fundamental good syndication is to a podcast’s success. The importance of good distribution is equally as important as creating excellent content. That is why it is imperative that podcasters distribute their content on various podcast aggregators. Also called podcatchers, these are simply apps that play podcasts.
The importance of good distribution is equally as important as creating excellent content. Click To Tweet
The most well-known podcatcher is Apple Podcasts, the default podcast app that comes with iOS. Beyond the iOS podcatcher, there are dozens of other apps that collect and play podcasts, and there are a host of websites that feature new podcasts and assist with discovery.
And with Apple Podcasts having reached over 50 billion downloads and Spotify gaining an increase in the share of the podcast listening market, your podcast needs to at least be on these key platforms.
It’s also worth noting that once a podcast is available on Apple Podcasts it automatically becomes available on other listening platforms such as Breaker, Pocket Casts, Overcast and more.
Before going forward, let’s answer a specific question: if I want to distribute my new podcast on Spotify, Deezer, Google Podcast, etc. do I need my own account on these platforms?
Generally speaking, you don’t need to create a new account. For some platforms (like Spotify and Google Podcasts) it’s good to have one if you want to claim the podcast and get the additional analytics (outside of what Spreaker provides) from these services. In any case, the first step is distributing it from the Spreaker’s CMS or Studio app with our one-click distribution feature.
|Dive Deeper: One-Click Distribution. Your New Weapon for Reaching Thousands of Listeners.|
Along with distributing your content on as many podcatchers as possible, you should simultaneously be also working on creating a strong listener base. In fact, a loyal following of listeners, even before you launch your podcast, can greatly help you increase the popularity of your show by amplifying the reach of your podcast.
How? Well an audience can download and listen to podcast episodes, but they can also:
- Share latest episodes with their friends and/or family
- Share your podcast on their own social media channels or via email and/or;
- Rate and review your podcast on a variety of different podcatchers
But how do you create an audience? Well, one thing you can consider is creating an email list.
Sharing your Podcast to your Email Subscribers
Email marketing has the best return on investment out of all the digital marketing channels: 4,400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent. It is a simple and intimate way to connect with your fans. An email list is also YOURS, unlike the audience that you create on social media channels like Instagram and/or Facebook.
|Quick Tip: If one day your social media channel gets hacked/shut down or if the algorithm changes, you might lose access to the community that you have created. A great example of this is Facebook which saw the sharp decrease of organic reach on Facebook in 2014/2015. Don’t let this happen to you.|
Whether you have a website, a podcast, or are in the process of launching, there are a variety of ways that you can implement email marketing strategies with the overall objective of increasing email sign-ups.
|Example: Pre-launch teaser campaign
Objective: Email sign-ups
Let’s suppose that you are planning to launch your podcast in three months’ time. You are planning to create a website, but at the moment you are focusing on the basics, like securing interviews, finalizing the cover art, and/or creating the intro and outro.
Instead of creating a website, you can opt to create a landing page, sometimes known as a “lead capture page.” This one-page landing page, which can be created for free with Mailchimp or for a fee with LeadPages or Unbounce, will serve as a teaser for your upcoming podcast.
It can include the topic, the name, and other interesting tidbits that you think that your potential audience would be interested in. In the end, there will be a call-to-action (CTA), “Sign up to receive an email once we launch. You can also follow us on [insert social media channel here].” You can add a count-down and even sweeten the deal with a free download, depending on your niche.
For example, if you’re launching a podcast about branding, you can include a free downloadable offer, such as a branding guide. If your podcast focuses on a niche, you can run targeted Facebook, Instagram, and/or Google Ads that drive potential subscribers to your landing page.
As mentioned in Part 1, if you already have a website for your podcast, you can add an exit pop-up on your website that prompts individuals to sign-up to your newsletter. And if you already have a podcast, you can collect the email addresses of your listeners on your website then send an email every time you publish a new episode. OptinMonster, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, HelloBar, and Thrive Leads are great apps to collect addresses on your site.
Once people start signing up for your newsletter, you need to figure out your email flow and preferably set up automated email sequences. As part of marketing automation, email marketing automation is the practice of creating triggered, relevant, personalized emails for individual contacts to be sent based on predefined time and user action.
Email marketing has the best return on investment out of all the digital marketing channels: 4,400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent. Click To Tweet
An example of this is when a user subscribes to your newsletter. The action of signing up triggers a welcome email sent to that specific user’s inbox. As this is a pre-set email automation, all you need to do is set it up once, and the sequence will be the same for every single new sign-up.
Before setting up an automated email sequence, you need to figure out what type of content you’d like to send your subscribers. Will you be teasing content or sharing your latest episode?
It also might be worth exploring soft promotional content. This is a type of content that can add value to your subscribers without directly promoting your podcast. This can include:
- Sharing behind the scenes footage, bloopers, or audio
- Sharing personal videos or photos
- Providing downloadable supplementary content, like templates or worksheets that might be relevant for your subscribers
- Asking for feedback or questions, which allows you to get to know your community
- Checking-in… just because
- Sharing information about you and your story, thus creating a personal connection
- Sharing interesting links or articles related to your niche
- Promoting other people’s content, including your guests’ content
The options are endless. Remember that your subscribers don’t want to be constantly “sold to” – they value authenticity. It is important that you create that connection with your subscribers, instead of just sending them promotional links. Ask yourself this: what value can I give my subscribers? Then go from there.
In the end, focus on distributing your content on as many podcatchers as possible, while also focusing heavily on creating a loyal audience following. Quality over quantity. What is the point of having thousands of subscribers if they don’t listen to your podcast?
Focus on distributing your content on as many podcatchers as possible, while also creating a loyal audience following. Click To Tweet
Email marketing jointly with social media channels, like Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, and/Facebook can also prove to be beneficial, as long as your target audience is actively interacting on those channels. This means that if your target audience is 50+-year-old bird watchers, maybe forget about creating an Instagram account.
We also have a bunch of tips in Part 1 of this guide on types of content you can create and share on social media.
Network & Collaborate with YOUR Community
If you want to promote your podcast, it can be as easy as just starting a conversation. At this very moment, there are thousands of conversations happening online that you can be part of – from Twitter, Reddit to Facebook, and Quora. So why don’t you join the conversation?
The key is to create connections. Provide value. Don’t join a sub-Reddit to spam the group with links to your latest podcast episode as it won’t work (and will probably get you banned). Can you imagine a Facebook Group just filled to the brim with self-promotion? What kind of value would that really bring to the people in the group? Don’t be that person.
Instead, we recommend that you nurture connections, create friendships, and develop real relationships with people within these communities. Once you provide enough value, then you can also start to promote yourself and your podcast. Also if one of your episodes can add value to the discussion, then share it as well.
|Quick Tip: Search Quora for questions that one of your episodes could potentially answer. Answer the question partially and then provide a link to your episode and invite users to learn more about that specific topic by listening to your podcast. Remember, in this day and age, people expect a lot of value before they can provide you with their buy-in, so make sure to go above and beyond.|
These types of relationships can not only help you gain loyal fans and followers, but they can help you solidify partnerships that can ultimately aid in the promotion and distribution of your podcast.
When thinking about partnerships, many people automatically assume that you can only leverage partnerships if your podcast has an interview format. This is not necessarily true. In fact, there are many different ways that you can reach out to individuals and companies who can help you promote and distribute your podcast.
The Podcast Host argues that if there are other podcasters out there covering similar topics to you, you don’t need to see these shows as your competition. Doing some work together can allow information to be shared with both of your collective audiences, and can ultimately benefit everyone involved in the partnership.
If there are other podcasters out there covering similar topics to you, you don't need to see these shows as your competition Click To Tweet
Other recommended partnership possibilities include playing other show’s promo trailer on an episode or two, collaborating on some content, such as co-hosting an episode together or creating a montage episode. You can also reach out to fellow podcasters and ask to be a guest on their shows. If you decide to go down this route, make sure that you go beyond just sending a short message asking them to interview you – they probably get hundreds of requests.
Instead, send them a thorough message outlining not only who you are, but what you can talk about and what kind of value you can bring to their podcast. It’s also recommended that you are at least familiar with the show before reaching out.
No matter the format, if you ever mention a brand or an individual in your podcast episode, you can reach out after the episode is published to inform them of their feature. Reaching out via email or Twitter in an authentic and real way can not only pave the way for a mention of your podcast on their social media channels but a possible future collaboration if both of your brands align.
|Example: Reach Out Message
Objective: Informing Individuals + Possible Share
Hi [insert name here] 😊
I wanted to send you a quick message to let you know that I love your [product/podcast].
I mentioned you in our recent article: [name of the article here].
Here is the link: [link].
If you found it interesting, I would also be honored if you can share it with your audience.
Thank you again and I hope you have a great day.
Finally, if your podcast has an interview format, you can ask your guests to share and promote their specific podcast episode. Buffer does a great job of informing their guests when their episode goes live.
As you can see below, they send an email on launch day while also including a series of shareable media: pull quotes, images, links, and prewritten tweets and status updates. All the guest really needs to do at this point is copy, paste, and tweet!
Do you have anything to add? How do you promote your podcast?