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💰100 podcast marketing tips 🙌
🤸♀️Podcast marketing: let's have some fun.🌈
People often say to me, “my show is great, why aren’t my numbers higher?” The answer is: having a good show isn’t enough. The first question I ask is about marketing, and most people don’t have a real marketing plan. (Other than posting to social media, which often does nothing.) If you have good numbers and haven’t done key marketing tactics, there is a lot of room to grow. Having a good show isn’t good enough. Marketing isn’t a “nice to have,” it’s a must-have. The good news is that there are so many free and cheap things you can do! But you have to do them.
I participated in #Tweet100 by tweeting a podcast marketing tip for 100 days. When I started, I wasn’t even sure I could do it. Now that I’m done, I know I could do 100 more. I’m sharing the 100 tips so you can return to this page often and easily come up with something to do to grow your show.
Matt Medeiros featured 8 of the tips on his podcast Audience. Listen to the episode to hear him flesh them out a bit. (I also added a bonus tip at the end.)
Ready? Let’s go.
Don't shoot the messenger, but you should spend just as much time marketing your podcast as you do making it.
Value your niche audiences. Those are your people! Find them, spend time getting to know them, engage with them. It's worth it, I swear.
Social media engages the audience you already have, it does not grow it.
To find good shows to partner with, explore the podcast universe with Rephonic.
Another way to find shows to partner with: search for your show in *all* podcast apps and then check out the "you might also like" suggestions. Once you find a good match, search for that show and do it again. Go down some rabbit holes. It’s fun.
Follow @arithisandthat on Twitter.
Use host-read promo swaps: "Targeted advertising can evoke the sinister world of pervasive survey.”
Put a link to your podcast in your email signature—but point to a favorite episode or specific moment. ("Hear my favorite episode..." "this moment made me cry...")
Let's talk paid media. @Castbox_fm has a great system—you set your spend and new subscriber goal ahead of time, and only pay when those goals are reached.
Advertising on Spotify is pretty affordable (minimum spend $250) and you can target and get analytics on your ad.
Should you buy pre-roll? Mid-roll? Post-roll? It depends! Pre-rolls are usually cheaper and more people might hear them, but they may also be less engaged.
When you are submitting your ad, the audio/visuals should be *great.* You should have dropped at least 3 episodes. Before you reach out make sure you know your budget and timing.
Podcasters, do not spend money on social media ads. Do not. Doooooo not! Donotdonot. (Begging you.)
Want to get that amazing guest for your own podcast? Then reach out yourself...as the host. If someone else does the ask (like an agency or one of your other employees), it simply doesn't work as well. (from Tristan Pelligrino.)
Depending on the category you choose, you can buy an ad on Overcast for a few hundred bucks, picking a category and getting estimates on taps and subscriptions. This is different than Castbox, which is goal-guaranteed, so your content/category selection must be spot on.
Smaller podcasts that monetize demand higher CPMs than the largest shows. (from Alban Brooke.)
Spending money in-app/on other podcasts is smart but also smart: spending money in newsletters. People are more likely to click on a newsletter link than a social one. Find super-niche audiences. Think not just podcast newsletters, think topical matches.
When writing your ad copy, make it pop and relevant to the audience you're reaching. Have two options available: A paragraph the host can read and a list of talking points for the host to put in their own words. When they read it in their own words, it often ends up sounding more natural.
Indie podcasters must know about dynamic ad insertion. It's becoming more important, and there are creative things you can do with it. (Listen to this.) (Tip 20.5 is listen/subscribe to Sounds Profitable and digest everything Bryan Barletta says.)
I can't believe I have to say this but I was asked it at a conference, so... You should not worry about losing audience partnering with a "competition" show. These are your friends. If you have a solid show, you will grow with every partnership. If this is a concern for you, you might be in the wrong industry! Podcasting is all about valuable partnerships!
Episode transcripts on your website? You simply must! They're crucial for accessibility. Podcast newsletter writers (ahem—me!)/reviewers/super fans love to see them. They are good for SEO. And remember…transcripts are not show notes!
Cross-promote episodes of your podcast ON your podcast. Story Worthy's Christine Blackburn always teases her previous episode. People will listen to more and discover an episode they might not have found on their own.
Put a media kit on your site for advertisers and writers. It can include: a) about section b) contact/social channels c) stats d) links/press release d) assets f) mission statement g) sponsorship guidelines. Be creative about it! Make it fun to read.
Think of each of your episodes as its own mini marketing campaign. Who you partner with, who you reach out to, your entire strategy, should be different with each partnership you try to make.
Start a podcast newsletter! People don't generally leave social media platforms, so they won’t click on a Twitter link. But they will click on a link in a newsletter! If you are thinking of starting a newsletter for your podcast, know this: you don't own your Apple Podcasts subscriber list, but you own your newsletter subscribers list. It's valuable.
Beef up your show notes. It's beneficial for your listeners (and people who want to write about your show) and will help your show's SEO. Include resources you mentioned/additional resources, guest info, time codes, CTAs, a great quote etc.
Take breaks. You need time away to come up with your most creative ideas.
Make your CTA specific and stand out a bit. Fine but boring: "listen and subscribe." Try: "text a friend right now if you liked," "screenshot the episode and tag us on social," "ask us a question in our Apple Podcast review section," etc.
Everyone wants a silver bullet, but there is isn’t one. Think about those mailers you receive about your neighborhood dentist. You ignore them...until you need a dentist. Be consistent. Repeat. Be consistent. Repeat. Be consistent. Repeat.
Engagement is more valuable than reach. It's better to connect with people who will become your superfans, the people who will champion you to their friends, than just...lots of people.
When you're thinking of audiences you want to target, don't just think about the kind of people you already have, think about the kind of people you don't have, but want.
Don't stress if you haven't planned anything for #InternationalPodcastDay. (Or any other holiday.) It's fun but not participating won't make or break you.
If you're asked what your favorite podcast is, please give an answer that's not your own podcast. (From Arielle Nissenblatt.)
Claim your podcast on Podchaser. There are a bunch of ways you can promote your show from there.
Sign up for the Bello Collective newsletter! (Become a subscriber/fan before you pitch them!)
If you want to take your promo-swap relationship to the next level, work with the host(s) of the other show to create a special collab-episode. The same episode can go in each of your feeds, but you can each add your own intro/outro.
If you find a show you want to partner with, make sure it's still running. If it hasn't published an episode in 8+ months, you can reach out and say, "Hey! I noticed you haven’t had an episode in while. Do you have one planned? What else do you have going on?!" Maybe there is an upcoming (or different!) opportunity for you. I booked a client on a panel by simply asking the podcast, “what projects are you working on?”
Don't miss @LWCstudios' weekly Twitter Spaces, Podcasting Seriously.
Juleyka Lantigua invites the top people in the industry to answer your questions about how to make your show better. And it's tons of fun!
On the topic of LWC Studios— let’s talk about their Podcasting, Seriously Awards Fund. They have raised money for BIPOC, queer, and trans audio creators to apply for podcast awards, and if you qualify you can apply to get some of that money.
Podchaser has a podcast database that'll help you find pods to partner with, qualify them through data, get contact info, search and sort.
Follow these podcasting leaders on Twitter: @twiladang, @JuleykaLantigua, @arithisandthat, @BryanBarletta, @cslwrites, @PodcastsInColor, @ashleyrcarman, @arlusk, @galenbeebe, @rachaelgking, @poddraland, @zaidiafatima, @JennaSpinelle.
Update the copy for your ad reads frequently. In fact, instead of a tip here's an exercise: spend 10 minutes today writing a fresh promo ad for your show. It will be 10 minutes well-spent.
Make sure your URL is everywhere, in all bios.
Show off the best episode of your podcast. Figure out what it is, recall it in other episodes, feature on your site/socials. (Inspired by Evo Terra.)
Yes, apply for in-app placement. But remember when you're submitting, to answer the question: why should they feature you now? Peg it to something newsy, timely, or HAWT.
I honestly don't think enough people ask themselves this question when making a podcast: What is my goal? Why am I doing this? Figure that out and focus on it with every move.
Hark Audio helps you discover new shows. But you can also create a playlist of your show's best moments. Highlight your best stuff and pull new listeners in, or remind fans why they love you. Here's an example from American Hysteria.
Fill out this form if you want to be considered for a promo swap with another show. I am trying to make some matches! And if I find a good match for you, I’ll shoot you an email and get the conversation going.
Do not advertise on Facebook.
Constructive criticism can make your show better if you read them. Bad reviews can lead to more listeners. (From Steph Fuccio.)
Obsessed with this piece from Nick Hilton. Podcast accounts are bad for podcast promotion. Self-promo is ineffective and humiliating. People search by specific interest, not the word “podcast.” Plus people usually only share their own podcast.
Reach out to one podcast to partner with right now, let's all do it together. If you need help connecting, respond with a link to your show. I can help match you up or you can help each other.
PodSpike offers super affordable services that can help your show in specific ways. I haven't tried it but am intrigued.
Pitch letters should be very specific and conversational. (Ask yourself: how does a human talk?) Highlight something a bit weird. A quote. The most interesting line from the episode. No more of the phrase "disrupt the industry." No caps.
Another reason you should use Link Tree or Pod.link: Other podcasting platforms will want to work with you if you aren’t favoring Apple!
Help people. Offer advice, give to the vulnerable, promote without expecting things in return. It will come back to you.
You almost certainly do not need a microphone or headphones on your podcast show art. It's a podcast...they get it.
Pitch yourself as a guest to one podcast. Right now. (I’ll wait.)
Re: guesting, don't underestimate the value of being a guest on tiny shows. Say a podcast episode has only 100 listens. That's 100 NEW people for you.
If you are pitching yourself to be a guest on another show, a good pitch letter takes at least 15-20 minutes. Listen the show, research the host, check grammar in note, check the tone. Investing in this step of the process will pay off.
When you're thinking of shows to work with, don't just look at how big the show is. Look at how engaged they are with their audience. (Via their content, social media presence, reviews, etc.)
Think of each as your episodes as its own mini-marketing campaign. Depending on the subject or who is in it, you should reach out to different people. (Reach out to a guest's alma mater, they might want to include the epidose in a newsletter, etc.)
The best pitch letters are personal, short, exciting, relevant, and really nice.
Fill out this form for a chance to be featured in an interview for Podcast the Newsletter.
I say pitch short, but how short? In a survey, Muckrack found that 50% of podcasters like the email length to be 100-200 words. About 20% prefer shorter, and another 20% prefer the length of 201-300 words. Don't go more than 300 if you can.
Most people don't care which day you pitch them. But for the ones who do, pitch earlier in the week rather than later.
Dan Misener explains why your secondary category on Apple Podcasts is important by "helping your show appear in select category pages, in editorially curated collections, and in search."
Cheers to whoever thought of framing this collab between Endless Thread & 20 Thousand Hertz. (Check the title then listen to the episode.)
Start a mini-series using voice memos from your listeners and other podcasters. People will tune in to hear themselves and you can use your guest spot as collateral to be on other people's shows. How to Do the Pot does this well.
I'm seeing more and more people want to bring their audio content to YouTube. Just announced: you can auto-post your podcast to Youtube using Headliner.
Do a quick google search for “newsletters on _____.” Reach out to them. Ask if they might be interested in a written ad for a host-read ad swap! (From Arielle Nissenblatt.)
Overheard on Buzzsprout's Buzzcast...46% of people surveyed said they discovered a new podcast by hearing about it on another show. Promo swaps work!
Get attention by changing the format of your show for a series. If you do interviews, do some storytelling etc. Share the news. You'll be able to reach out to new people to partner with and new listeners who you might not have attracted otherwise
Switch up your content. It's newsworthy. City of Women is running a series of beautiful minis. You'll also catch a new batch of listeners who enjoy the different kind of content.
Your pitch needs to have a direct ask. I get pitches that are just like "here you go!" Tell the person exactly what you want them to do with the information you are giving them.
Here’s everything you need to know about pitching newsletters.
Be specific when asking for reviews. "When podcasters tell listeners to ‘rate & review on Apple,’ those instructions are often lost in translation. Clarifying that call to action may help you keep the credit you’ve earned." (From Alex Hobby.)
Listen to your own podcast and pretend that you’re a brand new listener to the show. What do you notice? (From Alex Hobby.)
Join the @bellocollective community. This is a group of the best, smartest, most supportive people in audio. And one of my favorite places on the internet
If you were thinking of pitching yourself as a guest on a show with 2+ hosts, pitch yourself NOW as a guest-host. Over the holidays surely there will be days with one host out. In comes you!
Join the Bello Collective community. This is a group of the best, smartest, most supportive people in audio. And one of my favorite places on the internet.
You can't be a gross marketer on Reddit, but you can set up email alerts for specific key words. So when someone is talking about something that truly vibes with your show (or maybe they are looking for a podcast like yours) you can jump in. (I stole this tip from Adela of Podcast Brunch Club.)
Add your show to all directories. (Here’s how.)
Pitch me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your best podcast pitch letter. I will feature the best ones in this newsletter!
What's your show's collateral? Structure your podcast for great partnerships. Here’s how.
Create a cool video trailer. Two that stick in my mind are from
Tweeting about your podcast is not marketing. It’s playing around on Twitter.
If you're pitching a newsletter, don't just send them a cold pitch. RESPOND to the last newsletter they sent (after reading it) with a personal note.
If you've enjoyed these tips and still have questions, sign up for a podcast therapy session with me and Arielle Nissenblatt! We'll answer your burning questions about podcast marketing and can offer specific advice. Email email@example.com.
That’s it! (For now.) Save the thread, I’ll be adding more. And let me know how it goes!