“Make it and they will come” is a common phrase. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like this. Sure, making great content and putting it out there is a good investment for your brand, but meanwhile, you should not forget about marketing your podcast.
People can surely find your episodes from search engines, they are always searching for something interesting in them, but you can accelerate your podcast’s growth by being methodical about it. A little effort, on your part, can yield great results. You are creating high-quality episodes after all, why hinder their visibility?
Now, I’m not implying that you should become a marketing expert. I realize, this isn’t your job. It isn’t something you want to achieve in your lifetime. You can’t ignore though that having some basic marketing skills is important in whatever you do.
In this article, we will learn about some podcast marketing tactics that are easy to use in order to accelerate the growth of your podcast, without going deep down in details and all the hacks experts do.
Some of these tactics are easy and you already have the skills to implement that. But I must warn you about something. You have to be patient and persistent. It takes time to see results, and that’s totally expected. You can’t use some of these tactics today and wake up tomorrow with your analytics skyrocketing. Especially at the beginning be patient and make small steps. Then, with time, it will start compounding.
- What is podcast marketing?
- Why market your podcast?
- 1. Who is your listener?
- 2. Ask people to subscribe
- 3. Submit to directories
- 4. Make eye-catching titles
- 5. Create a podcast website
- 6. Release on a schedule
- 7. Post on social media
- 8. Be a guest or have guests on your show
- 9. Create a brand
- 10. Build an email list
- 11. Join online groups
- 12. Create a group
- 13. Share Reviews
- 14. Paid Advertisement
- 15. Repurpose your content
- 16. Transcribe your episodes
- 17. Add a CTA on the end
- 18. Hire a team to help you
- 19. Be human
- 20. Create great content
- In conclusion
What is podcast marketing?
Podcast marketing is the act of consciously implementing marketing tactics with the end goal of growing your podcast.
It is a steady effort, and you must progress slowly toward the end goal of increasing the visibility of your show and episodes.
After a while, some of these tactics will become second nature to you, like posting on social media, but for some others, you have to act specifically.
I would advise you, before keeping reading this article, to grab a pen and paper, or open a document on your computer (I suggest Notion) to distill the information that is more applicable to you, in a way you can refer back to it and remember.
Why market your podcast?
As we talked about, consciously making some effort to apply some tactics can greatly accelerate your podcast’s growth.
I don’t expect you to occupy yourself 3 hours a day planning your next big marketing move. No, I wouldn’t even do this myself. We’re talking about small steps, daily or once a week or more. Even 10 minutes a day is much better than nothing.
With podcast marketing, you will make it easier for people to discover your content. No matter if you make the most unique and informative episodes out there. If you are completely overlooking marketing you decrease the audience they will reach.
You have, in one way or another, to remind people about your podcast and everything you are doing. Not running in circles around them screaming, but discreetly nudging them and informing them that you have some value that you offer.
1. Who is your listener?
Firstly, you should have an idea about who your listeners are. You can’t market to everyone at the same time.
Think of a bank and its marketing. Most banks want to appear more enterprise-y, a big corporation-like, and faceless. So, they adjust their marketing according to that. Now think about a local coffee shop that you like visiting. The staff is friendly and nice, the colors are warm, and the coffee is hot. Yes, this is part of their “marketing”. They are more friendly and approachable because they know who their customers are and what they want.
Similarly, with a podcast, you should identify some of the key traits about your listeners, or the ones you want to reach, to direct your efforts.
Create a persona
It is common, in these cases, to make one, or more, listeners’ personas and imagine you are creating specifically for them.
- Age: Think about an age range you imagine your listeners to have and adjust your “language” for them. You wouldn’t talk to an 18-year-old in the same way as a 60-year-old. In the first case you could be loose and use some slung, but generally on an older person that wouldn’t sound so nice. Chances are you don’t want to target both of these age groups at the same time, but if you do so it’s okay. Just act accordingly.
- Location: What’s the location of your potential audience? For example, if you are making a podcast about traveling in Europe, it’s more likely for Europeans to be searching for it. You have to adjust your marketing efforts towards this.
- Job: What are the jobs that most of your listeners have? If you are making a podcast about photography chances are that most listeners will be photographers. So you can assume they know the basics and are looking for more in-depth content. If you are a developer making a podcast about programming you can choose if you want to talk to beginners, want to find a job or professionals.
- Hobbies / Interests: What are the hobbies your listeners have? If you are planning on making a podcast about a specific niche it’s more likely that your listeners will already be interested in it and have some basic knowledge. But beginners may be searching for it too. Who are you targeting?
- Why are they interested in your podcast? More generally, why the persona that you are creating will be interested in the content you are creating? What’s the value that you will provide and how will they react to it? You should be specific about this or else you are risking making content that won’t be helpful to a big chunk of your potential listeners!
Creating a persona is about identifying who would be interested in what you are making and coming up with ways to appeal to them. Don’t try to appeal to everyone, niche down!
2. Ask people to subscribe
Don’t hesitate to ask people to subscribe to your podcast.
Chances are you already know some people who are interested in what you are putting out. You are creating value for them. So why be shy? They will be happy to hear your thoughts, discover new insights, and help you create value.
When you put out a new episode they will get a notification on their phones and be glad to listen to the new episode.
By having people subscribe this way, you are making it more likely to rank higher in podcast directories and get discovered by even more people.
3. Submit to directories
It is possible to create a podcast and only embed the episodes on your personal website, for your visitors to listen to.
That’s not common though. Most people are listening to podcasts on podcasting apps, on their phones. So you have to make sure your episodes exist in them.
To submit your podcast to directories, you have to make some initial effort, but after that new episodes will be automatically listed to them and you can completely forget about that. By submitting your podcast to key directories, such as Apple Podcasts, you are making it more likely to be automatically discovered by smaller directories too.
Don’t be worried though, it is easier than it appears to be and you can get done with it in no time!
4. Make eye-catching titles
The titles of your podcast and episodes are likely the first thing someone will see.
They should describe what your podcast and episodes are about and intrigue the listener to click on them, so make them interesting!
Don’t use titles like “Episode #01” as they are saying nothing about what the episode’s content will be. Be descriptive.
I have seen podcasts listing their episodes with titles like “Episode #05: A pro barista shares their tips”, but in directories, longer titles are getting truncated, so this one can appear as “Episode #05: A pro barista sh…”. You don’t have to put unnecessary information in the title.
For your podcast’s title, you have to come up with a good idea from the get-go as it is difficult to change it later. We have written another article about this called "How to name a podcast? (17 tips)”.
5. Create a podcast website
Don’t limit your podcast’s discoverability only to podcast apps. It’s a good idea, and common, for podcasts to have their own website.
This way your episodes will be discoverable by people searching on Google and other search engines.
Search Engine Optimization is specific techniques to make it more likely for search engines to list your website higher on the results.
A professional developer, familiar with SEO, should optimize your site to add meta tags, make sure it loads fast, be responsive so it works correctly on mobile devices, and more.
Hopefully, some podcast hosts make it easy to create a website for your podcast through their dashboards and have taken care of these technicalities.
People prefer listening on different platforms
You can’t ignore the fact that some people prefer listening to a specific podcast app, but some others wouldn’t care to download one and prefer browsing websites and discovering quality content like this.
Your website can have more content, like blog posts but you can still embed your episodes so people can listen to them without navigating to a different site.
If someone found your episode interested, they can simply copy the site’s link and share it via email and/or social media. This way you will get more listeners that are really interested in what you’re making. People tend to know other people with similar interests.
If they listened to your episode through a podcast app, they could choose to copy its link and share that, but other people would have to download that specific app. And, as you imagine, chances are low they will do so. In contrast, everybody has a web browser and is using the web!
How to create a podcast website
There are many ways to create a website for your podcast, and you can choose the most appropriate one for what you are doing.
Hosting providers’ website creator
This is the easiest and quickest way to get a website for your podcast.
Some podcast hosting companies will give you the ability to create a free website for your podcast, with many features you will need like listing your episodes, making an about page, creating a host page, having podcast app subscription links, and more.
In most cases, that’s more than enough and you will be sure that the company has taken care of everything SEO-wise.
Hire a website developer
If you have a high budget for your podcast and you want to invest more in your branding you can hire a web developer.
Prices vary but generally, developers cost much.
Of course, an experienced developer can make you the most customized and beautiful site for your podcast and implement all the SEO tactics in the book.
You don’t have to hire someone to create you a custom website when you are beginning. Focus on your content and you can do so in the future!
Create a site with website builders
You can get far using a platform like this, and if you want to, you can hire a developer with experience on these platforms to help you with any problem you stumble upon.
6. Release on a schedule
I have written this many times in other articles, but it’s important.
You have to release your episodes on a steady schedule and your listeners should know about it and when they can expect your next episode.
By ignoring this you are risking losing even your existing audience, as they will forget about your show!
I won’t go into more detail about this here but you can read more on "Starting a successful podcast in 2023 (16 tips)”.
7. Post on social media
Hey, I personally don’t like social media but the fact that they can help with marketing can’t be ignored.
Create social media posts
It’s a good idea to have accounts for your podcast on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
People who use these platforms can follow you and see your podcasts, with information and news about your show.
It’s a good idea to release on a schedule and post something new at least 2 times a week.
You can post about a new episode that’s coming, a quote from the latest episode, some insights, milestones, and more.
In many apps, like Facebook and Instagram you can post stories, that are available for 24 hours.
In these, you can post more often about anything related to your podcast or your niche.
You probably know that people check their stories feeds many times a day and if they stumble upon something you uploaded they will be reminded about your podcast.
In stories, you can tease new episodes by creating small soundbites of key portions, so people will be intrigued to find out more.
Use apps to create teasers
You don’t have to have video editing skills as they offer an easy interface to create such clips.
Stay tuned as we are planning on releasing a similar tool soon!
8. Be a guest or have guests on your show
People having guests on their podcast episodes is really common.
You want to find interesting people in your niche, make connections, and invite them to give their insights. Of course, you can do the opposite. You have experience in a particular niche and you can be a guest on other shows.
Don’t be afraid of emailing other people and discussing about how you can make more value for others by collaborating. Interested people are searching and would be glad to discover something you created with another knowledgeable person in the field.
In every case, the other person’s audience will learn about you and they will check what you have put out so far!
Some guests are not too tech-savvy so you have to remind them to share their episodes on their social media. It’s common for them to forget.
Give them marketing material
With the apps we talked about above, you can create material for your guests to use on their website/social media pages to help promote the episode.
Such material can be:
- Quotes from the show
- Links from the show
- Images for the show
- For social media
- For stories
- Audio bites
- Video clips
9. Create a brand
You immediately recognize well-known brands. You remember their characteristics, colors, products, and more.
Creating a brand is important and you have to think a little bit about how to present your podcast in a cohesive way.
You can read more on “Create a brand”.
10. Build an email list
Many creative people nowadays are starting emailing lists, in addition to having a podcast.
An emailing list is a collection of names and email addresses that your listeners have chosen to give you, in order to send them more information, summaries of your episodes, news, and additional content. Be careful though, it’s illegal to add anyone without their permission!
By having an emailing list, you “own” your audience, in contrast with other social media that can unexpectedly terminate your account for some reason. It has happened to me before and I have lost the followers I accumulated over the years. This wouldn’t happen if I had built an email list.
You can create an emailing list easily with a tool like Buttondown and ask people to subscribe to it in the outro of your episodes. Just don’t forget to add a link to the subscription page.
11. Join online groups
Chances are there are online groups on social media and/or forums about your niche. People will be constantly talking about it and posting their insights. You are interested in the subject so you can participate in the discussions yourself.
Many forums allow you to add a link to your signature, so you can add one to your podcast for people to find out. This way you can focus on adding value to these communities and people will be interested in finding out more about what you have to offer.
Of course, there are podcasting-related groups too, that you can join to discuss with other podcasters and help each other out.
12. Create a group
Social media sites give you the option to create a private group that you can use to build a community for your podcast.
You will be able to engage with your listeners more directly and they will feel like being part of your show.
A group will give you inspiration for new episodes and you can ask people what questions they might have so you can answer them on a future episode.
13. Share Reviews
Some apps like Apple Podcasts give listeners the ability to post reviews for your show.
In a feature episode, you can mention these reviews and prompt people who enjoy your show to create their own and spread the word.
14. Paid Advertisement
There are a few ways to promote your podcast using paid advertisement.
Advertise on platforms
Some platforms like Facebook and Google Ads allow you to put a paid advertisement, that is targeted, so people interested in something can find you easier.
Prices can vary according to your budget. You can start by spending a small amount of money and adjusting along the way.
On other shows
Have you noticed listening ads for a show on a different podcast?
Podcasters can collaborate and promote podcasts they find interesting, both in their episodes and on social media.
Reach out to hosts that you find their podcasts interesting and discuss a collaboration.
What influencers exist in your niche? For example, if you are making a podcast about fashion there are dozens of people on Instagram interested in that and having accumulated a following.
You can message them and see if they are interested in forming a partnership and promoting each other. You are making content that their followers can find interesting!
15. Repurpose your content
Some people prefer consuming written content, some prefer video content and some of them don’t know what a podcast is.
You can repurpose your content in other forms, like articles on your website. People will stumble upon it and will discover that they can consume similar content through a thing called “a podcast”.
This way you can market your podcast to people who don’t even know what a podcast is!
16. Transcribe your episodes
By transcribing your podcasts, and adding the transcriptions to your website, you greatly improve the SEO and make it easier for people to find you.
People are searching for what they are interested in and they can find your episode by searching for a phrase that has been said and is in transcribed, written form, and discover your podcast.
17. Add a CTA on the end
A CTA is a call-to-action that you can add to ask people on what they can do to help.
For example, you ask the listeners at the end of an episode to subscribe to your podcast, as they can have totally forgotten.
Some people can have stumbled on one of your episodes randomly by searching on a search engine, and they may are listening through the embedded player.
You can remind them that they can subscribe to any podcast app they may have on their phone or to your emailing list for more content.
It’s not that people don’t want to subscribe, it’s that they usually forget. Have you listened to YouTubers saying that most of their viewers have not subscribed?!
18. Hire a team to help you
As your podcast is growing, you can choose to hire more team members to help you in your marketing efforts.
A podcast producer can handle everything marketing related, so you can focus on your content. An article about what a podcast producer is and what their responsibilities are is coming soon!
If you are running a podcast for your company, you can ask the marketing department for help. Even if they don’t know what a podcast is yet, it’s their job to, well, market things.
Another option is to hire a company that specializes in podcast marketing to help you by creating the marketing material themselves and guiding you with actionable tips.
19. Be human
Always remember that you are trying to market your podcast to other humans. It is easy to forget while trying to come up with ways to increase your audience.
Don’t be pushy or annoying, as other people will get mad.
Be authentic, get personal, and try to make other people resonate with you.
When creating a brand, and thinking about marketing, remember that people won’t be more likely to follow your podcast if you aren’t trying to be faceless and place walls between you and them.
20. Create great content
Finally, the most important marketing tactic and the one that will help you get more listeners is creating great content. There’s no shortcut for this.
No matter how much effort you’re putting into marketing your podcast, if you don’t have anything interesting to say, people will ignore it.
You don’t have to appear as the most professional podcaster and have the highest quality audio, you just have to add value and help the audience progress in whatever they’re interested in or be entertained.
I’ll say it again, content is the most important thing and that’s why people will keep coming back. If you put quality things out there people will refer you to others and your podcast will organically keep growing. Betting on word of mouth, even if you can’t easily measure it, is one of the best podcast marketing tactics.
In this article, we talked about the best podcast marketing tactics, and how you can apply them to grow your podcast.
I hope you have noted some of them down and started thinking about how you can implement them!