Starting any new business or creative venture is one thing, but learning how to promote and grow it effectively is a completely different beast. The realm of podcasting is no different. The tactics you use to grow your podcast are undoubtedly going to vary from the methods you used when you were first starting out and only needed to make sure your podcast’s messaging and sound quality were just right. When looking to grow your podcast, you’ll have to consider factors such as your target audience’s primary demographics, how to market on a number of different social media channels, and how to implement SEO strategies.
Thankfully, there are tons of ways you can choose to promote and grow your podcast today. I have tried a number of these different strategies myself, to varying degrees of success, in growing my own podcast and brand. Though some strategies may require more time and effort than others, I’ve discovered that finding the right one is as simple as recognizing which growth tactics do or don’t work specifically for you and your podcast.
In order to help you get started, here are a few of the simplest and easiest ways any entrepreneur can use to begin growing their podcast.
Your podcast is a brand: treat and promote it accordingly
What do social media posts from other brands and your podcast episodes have in common? Simple: both are considered forms of digital content. This means that when creating audio content for your podcast, there are a number of factors to consider when looking to promote and grow it, including focusing on the quality over quantity of your podcast content, ensuring that your podcast’s content addresses (and, preferably, helps to solve) a unique problem for your audience of listeners and working as hard to promote your podcast as you do to create its content.
By focusing on creating quality content for a niche audience of listeners, your podcast is already ahead of the curve. Many entrepreneurs start a podcast for their brand or venture as a means to cast a wider marketing net, but it is often more helpful to utilize your podcast as a tool to pinpoint specific user demographics and build greater engagement and loyalty.
The greater the niche your podcast’s content can target, the greater your chances of landing guest speakers who fall within that niche of your podcast. Similarly, the success of your niche-focused podcast increases your odds of landing as a guest speaker on other podcasts in your niche area — Both of these are valuable opportunities to promote your podcast and gain additional listeners, growing your podcast’s following.
Never overlook the value of social media marketing
Today’s podcasting industry and social media go hand-in-hand, with so many different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others at your fingertips, each of these providing a unique opportunity to promote and grow your podcast in ways as creative as they are numerous.
For example, if you’re ready to release your latest podcast episode, try teasing it to your followers and listeners on Twitter and Facebook with a unique image to capture their immediate attention, and include a brief 15-30 second sound clip to grant a glimpse of what the episode is about. That same post can be repurposed for your podcast’s Instagram story, and even reposted for several days across your other social media accounts before the episode itself goes live.
If you also record your podcast episodes with video, this poses another opportunity for promotion and growth. Because Google’s search engine tends to value video content more than 50 times that of text or audio, recording video of your episodes, especially guest interviews, and uploading them to YouTube can provide a great boost to your podcast’s SEO and overall marketing success.
If your next episode primarily consists of you interviewing a key figure in your niche market or industry, you can simply label the video “Interview with X” in order to get more hits on YouTube and draw a greater number of listeners to your podcast on iTunes or Spotify. Annotating YouTube videos of your podcast with accurate transcripts is another way to improve your podcast’s SEO and grow your show’s inbound listener traffic.
Whenever possible, give your listeners extra benefits for free
The allure of receiving something for free, even if it’s not something a consumer necessarily needs, is a huge motivator for consumers to come to your brand. For entrepreneurs looking to grow their podcast through a larger number of five-star reviews, a free offering is a unique strategy. If you have the budget for merchandise, you can announce a merch giveaway on your podcast for listeners who leave a 5-star review within a certain timeframe. Even if you don’t have the budget to offer your listeners free merchandise, offering them discounts on future offers or even a shout-out at the end of your next episode can be all the motivation they need to help you promote and grow your podcast.
This is another area of your podcast’s growth strategy where social media can come heavily into play. Announcing your upcoming giveaway on an Instagram post can be a fantastic way for your followers to tag friends — thus adding more potential listeners to your podcast — while generating essentially free PR for your podcast and its brand. Likewise, if your podcast is looking to partner with other brands for sponsorships, these kinds of giveaways and promotions can provide an opportunity to mention the specific brands you wish to partner with for future promotions, further unlocking potential ways for your podcast to continue growing.
Whatever strategy you ultimately decide to choose in growing your podcast, remember that growth is not linear; it is cyclical. The more evergreen value, or recurring value, you can bring to your audience, the greater your chances are of maintaining consistent growth.