Promoting a Podcast
Welcome to Part 3 in our Podcasting Series: Promoting a Podcast
You’re still with us! Thanks so much for sticking around! This must mean that the idea of creating your own podcast really hit home with you and now you’re finally ready to start promoting the heck out of it. Great – you’re in the right place, yay!
Part 3: Podcast Promotional Strategies
*Rolls up sleeves and rubs hands together* Ok now let’s talk about promoting a Podcast! This part is my favourite part! In order to have a successful show you need to take the time to ensure a successful launch and a consistent marketing and PR strategy. Before you start posting podcast episode it’s important to remember that when it comes to podcasting, just because you build it, it doesn’t mean that anyone will come. After all, there are over 800,000 podcasts on Apple Podcasts now so you’ll have to take steps to break through all the noise.
There are lots of things that you need to have in place in order to upload your finished podcast to the internet. These include: A podcast show title, a finished file in mp3 format, a hosting service, and a show description including length. An image is also required in order to list your podcast in directories like iTunes, Stitcher, and Blubrry:
There are 3 main things to remember about podcast images:
- Dimensions – image must be 1400 x 1400 pixels at minimum
- Format of Image must be either .jpg or .png format (.jpg preferred)
- Image should look good—and be readable—at 300 x 300 pixels
There is an art to designing episode graphics and podcast cover art. You want your show graphics to pop and be attractive even in thumbnail form. Consider using bright colours, simple shapes and keep text to a minimum. If you are not a whizz with Photoshop don’t worry. There are plenty of free options available like canva.com or Adobe Spark that will help you create top quality graphics on the cheap.
Take the time to create branded promo art for each episode. Post those images along with quotes from your guests, sponsor links, and fun relevant info on all social media. Pay attention to Facebook which is still a top traffic driver and Instagram where images are the whole point.
Get some press for your new podcast
Craft and distribute a simple press release announcing your new podcast. Briefly explain what it is, what you’ll be talking about and who your guests will be. Send this press release to local media like daily papers, community magazines or use a professional dissemination service. Do not create an email blast, instead identify a couple dozen journalists who have covered similar topics recently and target them.
Do not discount local media, sometimes getting local coverage leads to national stories and in your aim for the local news, you have a better chance at getting a bigger story published.
If you use a service like Mailchimp to send your email to writers you can check to see which writers opened your email. This helps you save time and energy on following up with those writers most interested. Send your press release a couple of weeks in advance to give the writer time to write the story but if possible include link to a landing page with info or if you wait until your first episodes are uploaded to Apple Podcasts, be sure to include the link to where the episodes can be heard. Don’t make journalists work for the information … On that note, remember to keep your press release short and succinct. Stay on topic and avoid too much “fluff” or “filler” Try to pitch a story rather than a press release.
Promoting a Podcast – How To:
When promoting a podcast, obviously social media is your friend; Create social media handles for your podcast. Facebook to drive traffic, Instagram to drive engagement. Choose any other platforms that your audience is likely to be on. For example: Pinterest for an audience made up of primarily women, moms, aged 34-65.
Email can really help in promoting a podcast, you need to start an email list and actively collect email addresses. You can send your subscribers alerts when each episode drops. If you ever sell products or merchandise you can send sale emails and if your podcast is a marketing tool to sell whatever it is you sell you can engage this new segment of your list. Begin collecting email addresses before you launch so that you can use your list to spread the word about your new show going live.
Plan and publish several weeks of podcast-themed blog content if you are also a blogger. Push traffic to the Apple Podcasts link with every post.
Switch out the email signatures on your personal email and on your team’s support emails. Get everyone on board, your teammates and company executives should post and tweet about the show to help spread the word.
Create 15-second soundbite clips. Upload to Soundcloud. Then share on Twitter. Twitter gives users the ability to listen to Soundcloud audio while still in the Twitter app. People can play the audio right from their Twitter stream. You can do this easily with the editing software you chose (see part two for a refresher).
Convert to Video
If your podcast includes video you can also upload it to YouTube – if your podcast doesn’t include video you can convert the audio file to a video file and pair it with a static image (logo or guest head shot) or a video loop, which you can purchase on many stock image sites or find for free with a creative commons license and then upload the whole thing to YouTube. This gives your listeners another opportunity to access your show.
Become a guest on another show. If you don’t know where to start when looking for shows to guest on, you can find a listing of podcasts in your niche when you visit the iTunes listing page and view podcasts according to categories. In the “Business” category alone, there are nearly 240 shows so there are lots to choose from.
Submit your show’s RSS feed to stitcher, Google Play, Soundcloud and Apple Podcasts. Make sure people can find it wherever they listen to podcasts.
Create a pdf or an email template that you can share with guests to help promote their episodes. After all, they want as many people as possible to hear their interviews so they’ll be likely to help promote the show. Lay out a simple bullet point strategy that includes copy examples, graphics and links to where your podcast can be found. Keep the instructions simple so that on the day its really easy for your guest to copy and paste and post a beautifully branded image.
iTunes is by far the most important place for your podcast to be made available. iTunes is said to account for as much as 70% of all podcast downloads so you do not want to discount this platform. With iTunes, the goal is to get your new show onto the New and Noteworthy section. This you can achieve by encouraging downloads, subscriptions, ratings and reviews.
Straight up ask for reviews, email your friends, post on Facebook, share links on Twitter and Instagram. Podcasts featured here are curated by Apple Podcasts staff and can see hundreds and thousands of downloads. My biggest tip here: Publish at east three episodes at the beginning. That way, your listeners have the option to binge listen a little bit which increases activity. If they like the episodes they are more likely to subscribe. And if you are also asking for reviews, they may just come through there too. All of those things will help propel you into the New and Noteworthy section which in turn will help expose your show to more listeners.
Go forth and podcast and be sure to let us know when your show is live so we can go and listen!
This concludes our 3-Part Podcasting Series on the blog. We hope you’ve enjoyed this in depth look into this popular marketing trend!
If you missed the first part of this series, take a boo now – Part 1: Should You Create A Podcast.
If you missed the second part of this series, catch up now – Part 2: Podcast Tech.
Thanks for reading!