So you’ve finished your first podcast episode and now you’re ready to release it to the world. The problem—listeners aren’t going to stumble along and find your podcast like it’s 2007. The solution is to create a robust digital marketing strategy for your podcast release.
Here at Foundr we’ve launched and grown 2 successful podcasts that garner 100,000+ downloads. How’d we do it? Read our podcast marketing advice and get your show in the ears of your future fans.
5 Strategies for Podcast Marketing
Getting the word out about your new podcast can take many forms, but the best place to start with podcast marketing is to look for where your current customers, followers, and audience are spending their time.
Don’t have an active following yet? Start with your friends, family, or industry colleagues. Think about your target audience and why they should listen to your podcast.
Here are some questions to ask to make your podcast marketing strategy effective:
- Does my podcast align with my business or personal brand?
- Do I have marketing channels (social media, email lists, website) set up to promote my podcast?
- Do my podcast’s topics have a specific target market?
- What value (education, inspiration, entertainment, access, community) do I expect my listeners to gain from my podcast?
Now that you’ve thought about where your business, brand, and platforms stand, it’s time to market your podcast to potential listeners.
#1: Promote Your Podcast with Video
The lines between audio and video mediums have blurred due to the acceptance of video conferencing and remote software tools. Fortunately, this evolution has made it easier than ever to promote a podcast using the power of video.
Video is one of the strongest ways to engage an audience on social media, making it essential to incorporate in your podcast marketing. Start simple by pulling a 30-second snippet of an episode with subtitles and graphics that you can promote on Instagram or TikTok.
If you want to upgrade your podcast marketing with video, record your episodes simultaneously on video and upload them as clips or full episodes to YouTube (like this podcast episode from Tifo). Some podcasts simulcast live on platforms like Twitch or Facebook Live.
Thankfully you don’t need to hire a full production team to promote your podcast using video. Here are tools to incorporate video into your podcast marketing strategy:
We record all our interviews for the Foundr Podcast and From Zero to Foundr Podcast. Then we pull short clips and share them across our social channels. We’ve seen so much success from these videos that we started a new channel called Foundr Stories dedicated to sharing full-length video versions of the podcasts.
Adding the technical challenges of video may seem like unnecessary work to your podcast production—you might have even started a podcast to avoid investing in video—but new tools are making it easier than ever to market your podcast using video. Start small, test, learn, and grow your video promos alongside your podcast.
#2: Get a Podcast Guest, Be a Podcast Guest
If your podcast has guests or interviews, you’re already building marketing into the show’s strategy. Landing a popular guest can instantly bring your podcast recognition and status. Heck, that strategy kicked off foundr in the first place (watch the full story below). Guests also bring their followers to your show, gaining exposure in a reciprocity relationship.
But you don’t have to land Richard Bronson for your first interview to be successful. There may be a guest in your niche industry described as the “Bronson of [insert your industry].” Your podcast’s reach will grow when you have consistent guests that provide value to your audience and bring in new listeners.
Make it easy for your guests to share their appearance on the podcast by providing promo assets, social handles, and social copy templates. Below is a template we use when following up with guests:
Hi [insert name talent or talent contact], thank you for appearing as a guest on our podcast. I wanted to let you know that the episode is now live on our channels.
In order to expand the reach and impact of the content, can you share the link(s) below on your social channels and tag us?
Podcast episode: [Insert Link]
[Insert social media handles]
Not sure how to promote the content you’re featured in? [Try our posting templates].
Thanks again for partnering with us on the podcast!
Booking guests aren’t the only way to boost your podcast marketing—why not be a guest yourself?
Matchmaker.fm is like a dating app for podcasters. You can find guests or be a guest on a podcast and include the topics relevant to your podcast/expertise for a quality match. And just like a dating app, you have to optimize your profile to put your best self forward; otherwise, you’ll be stuck on a metaphorical “bad date,” except this time, it will be recorded.
By booking quality guests and being a quality guest, you’ll start building a podcast community that will expand your audience, reach, and attract new markets. You might even make a friend or two.
#3: Establish a Consistent Social Presence
Starting a podcast isn’t a one-medium project. You’re establishing a new product, so treat it with equivalent care. Marketing the release of your podcast will be exciting for your brand and audience, but don’t lose momentum. Like any channel, you need to consistently promote the podcast and episodes because not every single person that follows your brand will subscribe (or listen) to your podcast.
For most of you, marketing your podcast will take place across your already established brand or business channels. Make sure each podcast episode is posted on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter TikTok, etc. Build this into your social media strategy and experiment with social ads if you’re looking to reach new listeners.
In some cases, it might be easier to separately create social accounts (or even a website) for your podcast. This move can be risky because it might compete with your personal brand or business. Here are some reasons to establish your podcast’s own social channels:
- Your podcast isn’t associated with your business or personal brand
- Your content from the podcast is exclusive to the channel
- You want to differentiate your podcast audience from your business audience
- Your podcast audience size is large enough to have a separate platform for info, news, and discussion
- You want to put your podcast behind a paywall
Podcast marketing on social media takes as much effort and discipline as producing a podcast. But don’t be discouraged. Make a plan, create templates, schedule content, and work ahead. You’ll be surprised how your podcast and social media growth can complement each other.
#4: Start an Email Newsletter for Your Listeners
Email newsletters are coming back (or did they ever leave) as an effective and free way to reach customers. Incorporate your podcast marketing in your next email newsletter. Create an icon promoting each episode or a quote from a recent interview.
If you already have an established email list (or don’t have one yet), give your audience an opportunity to opt-in to a podcast-specific newsletter that includes the following:
- New episode alerts
- Merchandise links
- Content “from the archives”
- Episode notes and links to visuals
- Teaser about the next guest or episode
- Transcriptions from the interviews
- Promotion of social channels
- Ways listeners can get involved
Email newsletters are a powerful (and invasive) channel to market your podcast. Ensure you’re providing visual value to your audio fans and not just adding to their unread inbox.
#5: Build an Interactive Network
Podcast marketing is all about creating a network of listeners that do more than just press play. Building a two-way relationship takes a podcast from a platform to a valued property.
Once you’ve built up a solid cadence of episodes and listeners, reach out to get them involved. Here are ways to make your podcast an interactive network of fans:
- Put Your Audience in the Show: Ask your listeners to share stories, ideas, or feedback for future episodes. Create a call-in line using tools like Speakpipe or create an email inbox specifically for listeners. People love to be heard, and it can create loyal listeners for years. Plus, a mailbag or call-in episode is perfect for generating more content when you’re running low on ideas or need to take a week off.
- Incentivize Ratings and Reviews: Every podcast has to plead with its listeners to rate and review the show on their preferred podcast app. But why not make it worth their while? Enter each reviewer into sweepstakes or read the reviews on your show to encourage feedback.
- Claim Your Show: More and more podcast aggregators and apps pop up like Podchaser. Make sure that you claim your show across apps and emerging audio apps.
- Build a Community Platform: One of the challenges of podcasting is that you can’t actively interact with fans like YouTube or Twitch. Making a Discord, Facebook Group, or Patreon for your podcast can help organize your ambiguous listeners into a community of followers.
- Add Regular Contributors: If you have a popular regular guest, why not make them a contributor to the podcast? For example, The Jurassic Park Podcast, Small Beans, and The Total Soccer Show are podcasts where different contributors fill episode slots on specific topics. Essentially you’re making a mini-network within one podcast feed. By adding contributors, you can increase your content output, expand your audience, and share ownership of your podcast.
- Start a Spinoff Podcast: We don’t advise this until you’ve established a consistent and popular podcast. Starting a spinoff podcast will be the result of your podcast marketing success. At this point, your show has a strong enough following that wants more content and/or looking for a different theme, style, or host. We started the From Zero to Foundr Podcast to share stories of up-and-coming founders with our audience so they can learn real-time advice from their peers.
Expand Your Podcast Marketing Skills
Like the medium itself, podcast marketing is still in its infancy with room for experimentation, growth, and creativity.
Visit our catalog of free marketing courses that can teach you different ways to expand your podcast’s reach. From Instagram to YouTube ads, our instructors will share their proven marketing strategies to reach audiences and grow your businesses.