The most frequently asked question about making podcasts is: How do you find listeners? Just sharing a link on social media to your latest episode, of course, is not very effective. To get people to actually listen to your podcast and even subscribe, you will have to do more. This blog will tell you what.
We’ll start right off with what the tricky thing about podcast marketing is. It’s not an article you quickly scroll through, like a blog. A podcast lasts, say, half an hour to an hour, and you have to take your time with that as a listener. The moment someone is in the loo briefly scrolling through their socials is not the time to also listen to a podcast for an hour.
So when is it? People mostly listen to podcasts while doing other things. Travelling by car or by public transport or at home while doing the dishes or vacuuming. Moments when you don’t stare at a screen for a while, but can listen properly. The trick is to get people to listen to your podcast during those moments.
Let’s talk about Netflix. Because this is also a challenge for them. For example, they don’t share direct links to their TV shows or movies on social media. The fleeting moment you scroll through your timeline is obviously not the moment you are going to watch the first episode of Stranger Things. Of course, the same applies: when you plop down on the sofa after a long day, you don’t want to search for what’s a great series first. At Netflix, they generate exposure in other ways. During Gay Pride in Amsterdam, for instance, a Netflix boat sailed along, entirely in the style of the bus from the series Orange is The New Black. The result? It was frequently talked about on social media.
— Tessa Rietveld (@TessaRietveld) August 4, 2018
Netflix is the king of playful marketing campaigns. But don’t forget that a rock-solid trailer and word-of-mouth can also be very powerful. If a friend tells you that a new series is really worth watching, chances are you will watch it too.
The same goes for podcasts. And even if you don’t have a huge marketing budget, anyone can help out in creating engaging artwork to share. Create teasers of an episode or as much content about your podcast as possible. Do whatever it takes to get people in touch with what you’ve created.
Of course, as you probably expect from us, let’s also dive into the deep with some practical tips.
1. Find a media partner
One thing that can help with promoting your podcast is to find a media partner. And then of course one that has similarities with your target audience or discusses the same subject as your podcast. They can share your podcast through their channels, such as newsletters, website and social media. But it can go much further. In Adformatie, for instance, you will see interviews about upcoming talks in CMO Talks, which we produce with Energize, by the way. By writing an article based on an interview in your podcast, your media partner has free content and you can get extra attention for your podcast within your target audience. It’s a win-win situation, without having to talk about money.
2. Read up on Apple Podcasts
To get high up the ranks on Apple podcasts, you need reviews. So ask your listeners if they would like to leave a review for you. If you do it really well then maybe even link a contest to it. You can give something away in each podcast to motivate more inspiring reviews. For example, an interesting book you have written, or you can give away an hour of coaching.
3. Share short snippets
Sharing short snippets on social media can also be very effective in attracting attention. Some sites where you can host your podcast, such as Anchor and Simplecast already offer teasers by default. And otherwise there are services like Wavve, which allow you to put a face to your audio in an engaging way. The master of sharing short clips is Joe Rogan. Watch our video here to see exactly how he does it.
4. A picture says more than…
If you prefer to go for still images, create an image for Instagram, for example, with a quote from your podcast. Make sure the style is in line with the branding of your podcast, so that it’s immediately recognisable as your production. Of course, the challenge then lies in choosing just that bit that grabs your target audience’s attention and leaves them wanting more. Just like Netflix does in the example below, as we discussed in a previous blog.
5. But a video says even more
Combine the previous tips and think visually. If you want to get likes on social media, you really need to do something with video. That’s why we have a number of cameras in our studio, which we run when we make podcasts. That way, we always have footage that we can combine with the podcast audio. If you are going to cut the audio, make sure you have multiple camera positions, so it is more engaging and you have the flexibility of different angles. An added advantage is that advertising the podcast this way can also be done on YouTube, which is a great podcast strategy! Like Lance Armstrong is doing with THEMOVE.
7. Dare to use your network
Don’t underestimate the power of personal networks. A new podcast may not have any fans at the start, but the host or guests naturally have people around them. Who in your network has valuable connections to your target audience? Ask them to put you in touch with two people about your podcast.
8. Take what you can get
By this I actually mean: dare to promote your podcast on your own channels. Netflix does that too, by the way. With push notifications, e-mails and even the home screen where they promote their own TV shows. If you don’t dare to share your podcast, ask yourself: why not? Do you think the podcast is not good enough? Are you afraid of what people will think of it? Is there enough support within the organisation, including management? Especially if you work for large organisations, there are many existing channels you can use. Amazingly, there are still large organisations that do not share their podcast in their newsletter. My advice is: don’t be afraid to go public. If in doubt, just try it once and see what the reactions are. Be confident of your work.
Even if your podcast has only a few listeners in the beginning, there is no reason to panic. You will have to first invest heavily to build the relationship with your listeners. In doing so, also dare to use different tools than you are used to initially. It may take some time, but the investments you make in time and money will eventually pay off. Your first loyal fans will help you ensure your podcast becomes a hit in time.
And remember… Podcasting is radio. And radio is media…Media is entertainment….And so the same applies to podcasting: invest time. Success can rarely be counted in days. It takes months, sometimes more than a year before a podcast really becomes a hit. As I also said in our previous blog: show business is a slow business.