Starting a podcast can be a fun and exciting way to grow your brand, establish authority, gain a loyal following, and expand your business.
With podcast growth still on the rise, there is still an excellent opportunity for anyone to succeed in this space. In fact, experts predict that there will be 464.7 million podcast listeners worldwide by the end of 2023 and 504.9 million listeners by 2024. This is up from 383.7 million global listeners at the mid-year point of 2022.
To get your share of those listeners, you need to promote your podcast. But how?
Rather than focusing on generic marketing strategies that could be applied to any product or service, we researched the promotional methods that are specific to podcasts. These proven promotional strategies can help new podcasts start to succeed quickly and even help existing podcasts expand their research.
Publish Multiple Episodes When You First Launch
If you’re launching a brand new podcast, starting from zero can be a little intimidating. The first piece of advice I’m going to give you (unrelated to promotion) is that you need to take the leap and get some episodes recorded.
Don’t worry about being perfect. Like anything else, you’ll get better over time.
In terms of promotion, aim to publish three to five episodes at the same time when you first launch. Here’s why.
Getting someone to your podcast is a big first step. You want to make sure that anyone who lands on your show actually stays and listens—as this will set you up to get repeat listeners down the road.
But if you only have one episode, and someone is uninterested in that topic, they might move away from your show and never return. Having multiple episodes to choose from gives those listeners different options.
Furthermore, multiple episodes on your channel give you the opportunity to get people hooked from day one. More than half of daily podcast listeners are listening to podcasts more frequently and listening to more episodes per day.
Why is this important for your promotional strategy?
It means you can get a single subscriber to listen to more than one episode in a single day. You shouldn’t make listeners wait a week or more until your next episode comes out. Get them hooked early on by simply providing more content at their disposal.
Make it Easy For Guests to Share With Their Audiences
Having guests on your podcast is a great way to create content, especially when those guests can provide value to your audience. Aside from improving the quality of your episodes, your guests can also help promote your podcast.
By giving your guest marketing materials or simply asking them to plug your show, it instantly exposes your podcast to an entirely new audience. Many of these people may not even know who you are right now, so it’s a huge step in gaining awareness.
Here’s a really simple example to showcase how powerful this can be for podcast promotions.
Jay Shetty tweeted that he’s having Tony Robbins on his show and shared a clip to tease the episode.
Tony Robbins clicked a single button to retweet that video on his own page—instantly sharing it with his 3.1 million followers.
I understand that not all of you have the authority or brand recognition yet to get big names like Tony Robbins on your show. But that’s ok. Even if you’re bringing a guest on your show that just has 500 or 1,500 followers, that’s still 500 or 1,500 more people who knew about your show yesterday.
So every time you have a guest on your show, ask them if they’ll share that news with their audiences. Since lots of guests go on podcasts to promote books or promote their own agenda, it’s a pretty fair trade. Letting their audiences know about your show is easy, and they’ll be happy to do it.
Turn Podcasts Into YouTube Videos
YouTube is a powerhouse for video consumption.
More than 1.7 billion people use YouTube every month, and it’s second only to Google (its parent company) for the most popular website in the world. Additionally, 62% of YouTube users are active on the platform every day.
Here’s something else you need to consider. 19% of people discover new podcasts through YouTube.
This means that you have an excellent opportunity to reach new audiences simply by sharing your existing content on a new channel. There’s barely any extra work involved with this process. It’s just a matter of taking your recorded episodes and uploading them to YouTube.
There will be an extra step in your recording process, as you need to make sure that you’re recording the video portion of your show in addition to the audio. But investing in a couple of cameras and editing tools is a small price to pay for potentially massive returns.
Your videos can ultimately be repurposed on other channels as well, including your website, email, and social media. YouTube makes it really easy to share videos on other platforms, so getting your content on here first should be a top priority.
Add Real Value That Will Get People Talking
My favorite way to promote podcasts is by focusing on quality. It may sound strange, but podcasting is a unique industry in the sense that the quality of your final product can promote things for you.
For starters, 37% of people in the United States discover podcasts based on recommendations from family, friends, and coworkers.
This is the most popular way to find a podcast in the US, ahead of every other marketing channel. Podcasting is one of the few industries where word of mouth is the most popular promotional method.
But to get people talking, you need to put out quality content.
Don’t haphazardly approach your shows. Even if the show is only thirty minutes or an hour, you might need to spend five or ten hours getting ready for that show—making sure it’s the best that it could possibly be.
The content you share on your podcast may get other industry experts and influencers talking as well. People might organically share a quote or clip of your podcast, without looking for anything in return.
Be a Guest on Other Podcasts
You should never turn down an opportunity to be another podcast, so long as that podcast doesn’t conflict with your personal brand or beliefs.
In fact, you can actively look for guest opportunities on popular podcasts. This is a great option for those of you who have knowledge or experience in specific fields. If you can position yourself as an industry expert, there’s a good chance that people will want to have you on their show.
That’s because 74% of people say they listen to podcasts to learn new things.
Many podcast hosts are always looking for new guests to spice up the show and keep their audiences entertained. So as a guest, you’re actually doing them a favor.
But in return for your time on their show, you should be able to give a quick pitch or promo for your own show. It’s also common for podcast hosts to plug something for a guest during the introduction. They may even link to your website or podcast in the description of the episode.
This goes back to some of our other promotional methods related to leveraging existing audiences. Going on another podcast immediately gets your name out there to an entirely new group of people. Even better, those people are already active podcast listeners—increasing the chances that they’ll check out your station.
Transcribe Episodes to Share on Your Website
We’ve extensively covered the topic of SEO on our blog over the years. So I won’t go too deep on the subject right now.
But in short, audio transcriptions of your podcast can be used as a tool for SEO purposes. You can publish those transcriptions on your blog and use it as a way to organically gain site traffic for certain search keywords.
I use this strategy on my blog with my own podcasts.
In addition to getting people to land on my website, I’m also making it easy for them to listen to my podcast. They can easily subscribe to the podcast and follow me with a single click directly from the audio player.
The great part about this strategy is that it doesn’t take much time either, and it’s an excellent way to repurpose your existing content on multiple channels.
Ask Your Listeners to Rate, Review, Subscribe, and Tag
End every show with a genuine call to action for your audience. Ask them to do something specific in their own lives that relate to your show.
For example, maybe your podcast episode talked about tips for re-organizing desks and office spaces. Ask your audience to take photos of their newly organized desks and tag your show—again, exposing you to more people organically.
You can also candidly ask your listeners to rate the show, subscribe, and leave a review with their feedback.
One way to show that this ask is genuine is by reading other reviews during the show and incorporating any feedback into your episodes.
The more ratings and reviews you have, the more likely that podcasting platforms will promote and recommend your show to other listeners.
Final Thoughts on Podcast Promotions
Podcast promotional strategies are unique compared to other industries.
Yes, you can obviously use other marketing strategies as well to promote your podcast. Promote your episodes on social media, create dedicated landing pages, run paid ads, and blast out promos to your email subscribers.
But the strategies discussed in this guide take those basic marketing methods one step further—focusing strictly on data-backed methods that are proven for podcast promotions.
You don’t have to implement all of these overnight. But over time, you should use a mix of the tips in this guide to promote your podcast to the widest possible audience. You’ll eventually see that the results will be exponential.