20 Jan Podcasting Made Simple Episode 5. Promoting Your Podcast
Okay, you’ve made yourself an absolute corker of a podcast with special guests and a genius narrative. You’ve spent so many hours making this work of art, through thick and thin really feel like the world needs to hear it.
So you upload it to podbean or wherever and wait for the listeners to come rolling in.
“Great podcasts one way or another will find their way to the people that need them.”
I’ve heard this time and time again and it’s a load of crap. It’s just untrue. The same goes for most creative endeavours.
In a saturated market, the people whose podcasts are being listened to in droves are those with a large existing audience and a more than savvy marketing strategy.
I can’t promise this blog post will give you the tools to instantly propel your podcast into the rarefied stratosphere of one million downloads a month but I can definitely open you up to a few fairly simple methods that will start to expand those numbers and get your podcast to the people you want to listen.
And that brings me to my first point. Who do you want to listen to your podcast?
The concise answer and one you’re probably thinking reading right now is EVERYBODY.
Well, no. That’s the beauty of podcasting. Not everyone wants to listen to your podcast. Face it. Just like in music or film, we all have different tastes. I for example have no interest in hearing my partners podcast playlist about some couple who talk about their sex life. And she, in return would rather die than listen to my music production podcasts, (let me tell you how fire it is to be able to hear about how the records we love, were made in detail). She just doesn’t want to know what compressor they used to squash the drums on some Adele record) And I can understand that. Although she’s missing out big time 😉
My point is to accept it. Move on and figure out who your audience is. Are you a small creative business (often meaning just you) who specialises in yoga? Then your audience is people who care about health, self-improvement, exercise, maybe alternative medicine and therapy.
Are you a comedian who wants to find out about people’s struggles to success? Then your audience fits the niche style of your comedy in tandem with people who are interested in business, self-development, and maybe making some cash dollar money.
Think outside the box though. Write down a list. Who do you want to discover your message?
When you’ve thought about this, then we can move on to the juicy bits.
Keywords keywords keywords.
Here’s some sweet sweet information that you may or may not know about.
If my podcast is called ‘Sunny’s Splendid Day Out’, a podcast about me going out into the community to help the elderly by making sure they have a friend, are fed and, engaging with them to find out their amazing life’s stories, then how the hell are people going to find it?
Well if you’re searching for podcasts to listen to, realistically, who’s going to type ‘Sunny’s day out’. No one that’s who. Maybe someone who’s looking for a podcast about ‘it’s always Sunny in Philadelphia’. I don’t know if there is one or not. Let me know.
The key here is that the description is your best friend.
We want keywords in here that will match up to what people are searching for. My first thought would be ‘life stories’. And yes you can put certain terms and phrases in the descriptions but the best thing you could do is actually use transcription software like otter.ai to turn your podcast into a word doc. From there you can copy and paste in great sections or use it to create a new description that highlights as many things covered in the episode as possible.
Grandpa Jim talks about the war. Great! So anyone searching for stories of the war, our podcast now shows up. Definitely not getting that from ‘Sunny’s Day out’ alone.
If you have a website, this keyword stuff also translates to SEOs (search engine optimisation)
Facebook Instagram ads. Forget them. Don’t bother. Unless you know what you’re doing, then it won’t be worth the investment. They make it very easy for you to pop a quick ad up on your phone and you see a few likes and shares and think- fab, this is working. But unless you know how to use Facebook ads manager properly and understand advanced targeting features, it’s a waste of time. You need to be targeting the right people. So if you do have experience of using paid advertising, of havea nice friend or neighbour who can help you, then, by all means, utilise this marketing avenue because paid advertising as well as giving you the potential to reach new listeners, it gives you a lot more data about your potential audience which in turn fuels your marketing efforts…. if you are doing it right.
If you have a hairdressing salon and podcast about hairdressing based in London, I could get you half a million views on your video from people in Mexico for a few hundred quid but what’s the use. They can’t get there. They won’t consistently engage. They’re not part of the local pulse for your business that relies on local in-person clientele.
If you do want to go down this route independently, look at how you can target people who attend specific local events or funnelling traffic from your (or other peoples) websites. And make sure the content is great and are ideally videos optimised for online adverts.
Social media content.
Moving on to our socials. The best organic growth, in our experience, comes from cross tagging between us and our guests. That way we get seen in their networks and they get seen in ours. We should be aiming to be seen as a pillar of our social media community. Part of the bedrock.
Someone who adds value to our lives. Don’t forget to also use Instagram/ Facebook stories. They are your friend.
Let people into your life. They want to discover the humanity behind it all.
If you create great social media content, then people will come to your podcast. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t work the other way around. A great podcast isn’t enough. Think of it as the support act for the main event. What is your main event? What are you trying to achieve with it all?
It’s hard to steal people away from a stream of endless social media video content to get them to divert their attention to half an hour or more of audio.
A lot of people will have been following a podcaster for months until they take the dive into the series. Because of this, it’s extremely helpful to put snippets of your podcast in front of them in the form of audiograms. These are up to one-minute videos containing rich segments of content from your episode conversations along with imagery, text and if possible video too. These introduce people to what your podcast is about.
Ideally, you’ll be wanting them subtitled as statistically a whopping 80% of people scroll through social media with their sound off. Understandable when you’ve got a busy home life.
As we get wrapped up in trying to find new listeners and expand our audiences, it’s easy to forget about who we already have in our network.
Treat your current listeners well.
Interact with them on your socials. A lot of people are also discovering new podcasts through word of mouth. Keep them happy. Publish your episodes consistently. If I know my favourite podcasts new episode will be up every Monday morning, I can listen on my way to work. If you ruin people’s routines then you will eventually get forgotten about.
And last but not least on this, don’t worry about posting daily. Just make sure that the posts you do make are high quality and interesting and consistent, even if not frequent. Use high definition imagery and video. People have amazing phone cameras these days. The competition is fierce.
Also- don’t be thirsty. Don’t just put a gazillion hashtags all over the place.
Zero in on the necessities and keep them out the way of what you’re actually trying to say. People want great content. Not #followme #illfollowyouback
When it all boils down to it, the people who do best with their podcasts are adding genuine value to the lives of their audience. They are emotionally invested and want to be a part of their respected community. Once you figure out how to gain this respect, things will start to fall into place. It becomes so much easier to market yourself because people can see right through promotion for the sake of promotion. When you have a clear message and a clear goal, people will be ready to jump on board. Just make sure you’re aiming that message at the people who will value it the most.
Our next blog post will be about how, when and why to monetise your podcast including some tasty info about sponsorships.