Marketing and promotion has been a huge part of growing my podcast up until and past the initial 1,000 downloads. As much as I’d like to believe that people will just happen to land on my podcast, love it, and it will go skyrocketing in the iTunes charts, I know that’s not very likely to happen.
Therefore, I’ve devised a set of ways to promote my podcast, which can also be used by others! Check them out below.
1. Social Media Scheduling & Automation.
There are a slew of social media platforms and bookmarking websites out there including:
– Twitter: A great platform to broadcast messages to a large audience and reach out to journalists and network with companies or individuals in your niche.
– Facebook: Facebook can be a powerful tool to both stay in touch with your network and your followers. I personally do not like Facebook business pages because of the ranking algorithm which determines whether or not your post is seen by the number of people who have “liked” your page (unless you pay). In other words, engagement is getting more difficult, especially as our newsfeeds are becoming more cluttered. I usually ask people to follow my personal Facebook profile.
– LinkedIn: I’ve found LinkedIn to be an awesome promotional tool, particularly if you are blogging or podcasting about a serious topic that has business appeal. Many of my connections will keep up with my updates and LinkedIn groups are a great way to interact with your target audience.
– Google+: While in some ways, Google+ can seem like a ghost town, it’s still an important network that can send your podcast traffic and increase your search engine rankings. I liked Google+ communities, where you can discover others interested in your hobbies.
– Pinterest: Primarily used by women, Pinterest is a unique platform that can drive massive referral traffic to a website that is image-centric and centered on the DIY/crafts niche. If your podcast is in this industry, I’d recommend checking out some relevant boards. Even though my other blog is not in this niche, I still use pinterest to promote podcasts and posts on relevant boards.
– Instagram: Unless you’re part of a younger generation, it’s likely you may be less familiar with Instagram than you are with Facebook. Instagram is a way to share your brand’s story through images, quotes, and beautiful moments in your life.
– SnapChat: Increasingly, I’ve seen snapchat being used by brands to promote messages, upcoming events, and develop rapport with their target audience. Although it may be a little pre-mature, I think it’s worth thinking about how you could integrate snapchat into a marketing strategy (people can follow you).
All these social networks might seem like a headache to manage! That’s why I have used social media scheduling or automation tools in the past like Hootsuite.
In fact, I have all my social media posts scheduled a month in advance! However, I keep my interactions, whether that’s replying to tweets or retweeting, un-automated.
2. Email and Newsletters.
Despite the rise of social media, email is still the primary way that we receive and respond to information. My newsletter of nearly 6,000 people (my other blog) receives better click through rates and opens than any other marketing medium I use.
When random visitors come to your website who have discovered you on iTunes, social media, or through search engines, the only way that you will be able to form a long-lasting relationship with them is if you can contact them in some way.
Using an email list management tool like Aweber is a great way to begin building your email list in an organized way. These are people that you can notify about an upcoming podcast episode, or new products that you’re coming out with!
I also use the analytics from email marketing campaigns to see which links people are interested in and what articles or podcasts they are clicking on. This helps inform the content choices I’ll make in the future.
4. Get your own website and domain.
It’s 100% essential that you get your own website to accompany your podcast. I personally recommend:
1. Registering a domain first. You don’t want to pick a podcast that doesn’t have an available domain or that has a domain that is already in use by another company!
2. Getting a website host. I recommend Bluehost. They host all my websites.
3. Setting up the site with WordPress or Weebly. Weebly and wordpress are easy add-ons with Bluehost. WordPress will give you all the functionality to create a blog and website. There are a lot of free and premium templates out there. Weebly is drag-and-drop website software.
You can also use an all-in-one solution like SquareSpace, Wix, or Webs. This might be an easy temporary solution, but longterm I think it pays huge dividends to know how to set up your own wordpress website. There are a large number of plugins to extend the functionality of your website and you have complete control over the design.
Ultimately, you will be using your website to promote your podcast and also be using it to maintain a relationship with your podcast listeners.
5. Blogging or Content Marketing
I think that blogging is the ultimate companion to podcasting! Some people love learning through reading. Others prefer audio. Having a blog gives them two choices!
In addition, it’s no secret that blogging is the holy grail of gaining search engine traffic and building an audience. I recently detailed my experience building up my websites to over 1 million page views. I can tell you that if I didn’t have some kind of blog or other way to communicate to the world in text form, this wouldn’t have been possible.
Free content, whether that’s in the form of a well-written blog article or ebook is also a great incentive for your readers to connect with you in other ways outside of your podcast. If the transcript of your podcast or the show notes for a particular episode are on your website, then it’s likely they are going to take a second to check it out if they thought the episode was helpful.
Blog articles are also another form of content that you can schedule and promote on social media using Hootsuite, which will drive more people to your website (if the articles are helpful) and lead to more people checking out your podcast.
Lastly, if you have trouble coming up with blog article ideas, you can always re-purpose your audio content in the form of blog posts or re-purpose your blog posts in the form of a new podcast episode!
6. Go on Another Podcaster’s Show
One of the great things about iTunes is that they also have a “Listeners also subscribed to” section, as I’ve shown below.
This means that cross-promotion between yourself and other podcasters can be beneficial to each of you.
7. Have Influencers on Your Podcast
Finally, having individuals on your podcast who are experts or have a large social network are another way to grow your podcast. Each time you have a guest on your podcast, it will double the social reach of that episode (assuming they help promote it).
If you’re struggling to get some guests on your show, check out my other article with a few techniques that I’ve found to be helpful.
How have you been promoting your podcast?
Let me know in a comment below!