When it comes to launching a successful podcast, the key is to learn as much as you can about your audience so you can create content that resonates with them.
You want to not only keep a pulse on your market in terms of competing podcasts and the type of content they offer, but you should always make an effort to interact with your listeners so you can discover what they are most interested in.
Because above all else, your marketing begins long before you ac-tively advertise your content: it starts by creating the best, most engaging content possible based on what your market is looking for. It won’t matter how many marketing dollars you invest in promoting your podcast if you aren’t delivering highly engaging content that connects with your target audience.
Castos.com recommends creating an audience persona document that gives you a snapshot of your average listener. You can refer to that while creating both your podcast content and your marketing campaigns. Knowing your audience is a critical component in creat-ing a stand-out podcast that will attract listeners, so don’t overlook this important step.
In addition, you want to always know your metrics when promot-ing your podcast so that you know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to try new things and always record your results. Test several methods at once, but also split-test different elements of your podcast and see what gives you the most trac-tion.
One thing you can do is use tracking codes within your marketing campaigns, so you can see which method or source is generating the most traffic as well as providing the highest conversions.
These codes, made using a service like Google Analytics URL Build-er, send a source code along with the link, and tells you exactly where that specific customer came from.
Are you ready to start promoting your podcast? Here are a few strategies that will help you quickly launch, while giving you the best chance at building a loyal following of avid listeners.
Build Your Backlist
Try to offer 2-4 episodes on your launch day. The more content that is readily available, the easier it will be to encourage listeners to subscribe to your channel because the longer they’ll stick around.
Online business coach Pat Flynn has this to say about it: “I actually received negative reviews from people who had listened to the first episode and were upset that there was only one.”
So, keep in mind that the more episodes you have available, the more invested your listeners will become. They’ll better under-stand your style and what you are bringing to the table. And hope-fully, they’ll become addicted. 😉
So, one episode won’t cut it. Spend some time creating a few pod-casts before you sink any marketing dollars into your business.
You don’t have to create a ton of content – after all, you’ll want to base future podcasts on what is gaining the most traction and you won’t know that before launch, but try to offer enough content to give listeners a reason to stick around.
Take Advantage of Aggregators
Send your podcast to different podcast aggregators and directories. A podcast aggregator, also called a podcatcher, is the app that plays podcasts.
The most well-known podcatcher is Apple Play, which is the default podcast app that comes with iOS.
However, there are plenty of others, including Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and SoundCloud, just to name a few.
Create accounts with as many of these as you can, and submit your RSS feed so that your new episodes will be uploaded to each one.
This will also get your podcast before a larger audience as they scroll through their preferred app in the search for new podcasts.
Ask Listeners to Subscribe
Remind your listeners to subscribe, share, comment, and leave re-views. This goes back to focusing on creating high-quality content because you want every episode to be shareworthy.
At the beginning and end of each podcast, ask your audience to subscribe to your feed, share your podcast, comment and leave re-views of the podcast. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Use Strategic Timing
Release your podcasts at strategic times. This can mean time of day, but also day of the week or month.
To do this, take advantage of podcast analytics to figure out the best times to publish according to your audience. Pay attention to when they tune in and look at where they’re from, what device they’re using, and what platform they’re on.
If you’re just starting out, look at podcasts similar to yours and see when they publish as well. If you notice a trend, consider following it.
Leverage Older Content
Leverage your older episodes. This is a great way to hook new sub-scribers. If you mention a topic you’ve covered in a previous epi-sode, add a quick aside with the episode number so they can easily find that content.
Remember to include a link in the show notes to make it even easi-er for your followers to find.
Word of Mouth
Network with word-of-mouth recommendations. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective strategies out there.
Your first step is to find the right places to spread your message. Your audience will congregate in various platforms, and it’s your job is to find out where those places are and make sure you’re there as well.
Do some research. Find out about conferences, meet-ups, and local events in your area that pertain to your podcast.
Talk to the event’s attendees and speakers. Don’t be afraid to men-tion you’ve got a podcast related to the topic and that’s why you’re there.
Look for Networking Opportunities
Network with other podcasters. The best way to stay on top of new ideas, trends and podcast techniques is to join a community of fel-low podcasters.
Experienced creators are often willing to provide tips and if your content aligns with their marketing goals, you may even discover cross-promotion and other networking opportunities!
This gets both of you some extra exposure and benefits everyone involved. Start with shows whose audiences are about the same size as yours; they’re most likely to respond.
Be a Podcast Guest
Be a guest/invite a guest. Guest-starring on another podcast is a great way to introduce your content to a similar audience. And hosting interesting guests on your own podcast creates a better show for your audience.
Just make sure you ask fresh questions. Don’t re-use interview questions!
Try the following resources to locate podcast creators who might be willing to guest-star on your show (or have you on theirs):
•Reddit has a group just for podcast creators who are looking for guests
•Radio Guest List puts out a newsletter on Mondays and Wednesdays.
•Facebook groups like Podcast Movement or Podcasters’ Sup-port Group offer the chance to swap guest spots with other podcasters.
Contribute Value Outside of the Podcast Community
Contribute value to online communities. Search platforms like Fa-cebook, Quora, Reddit, and Twitter for threads and forums relating to the topic of your podcast.
Search for relevant groups that have good engagement with their followers and start adding value through discussion and posting high-quality, informative information. Then, link to your podcast or landing page.
However, remember to focus on engaging with the community. Don’t be a drive-by poster. Instead, focus on being part of the con-versation rather than simply promoting your podcast.
Convert Your Podcast into a YouTube Video
Convert your podcast into a YouTube video to maximize exposure. A lot of people watch replays on YouTube rather than subscribe to a traditional podcast platform, so you’ll want to connect with that audience as well.
The easiest way is to convert the MP3 audio file into an MP4 file. Include an image that will appear throughout the podcast and then upload.
Also, be sure to include show notes and links to your website and social channels in the description.
Customize Social Media Posts
Customize your social media posts based on each individual plat-form. With social media, one-size doesn’t fit all. What works on Fa-cebook won’t necessarily work on Twitter, for example. You need to switch things up when you switch social media platforms.
Study each platform to see what sorts of posts are popular, then tailor your posts to each one accordingly.
Add value on social media. Just like with online communities, you need to add to the conversations on social media instead of just peppering the audience with ad after ad. Instead, start a discussion about your topic, asking what they know or think about it. Put the focus on them instead of you
Seize the Power of Giveaways
Launch giveaways on social media. You don’t have to give away too much, but it should be something that relates to your brand.
Tip: Let your followers “earn” entries by following and sharing your podcast on social media.
For example, give one entry for a share, three for referring a friend, etc. Keep track of all this with an app like Wishpond, Woobox or KingSumo.