Anyone can make a podcast.
You can record a podcast with your smartphone and upload it from anywhere with a internet connection, so there aren’t any real technical limitations to starting. That’s great for creative people who want to express themselves, but it also means that the marketplace is flooded with a torrent of podcasts.
How do you set yourself apart from all the other podcasts?
People who are serious about podcasting will cover the basics, such as listing their podcast in online directories like iTunes, Google Play Music, and Spotify to help new fans discover them. But to really make an impact, you’ll want to try these 10 marketing ideas to promote your podcast:
1. Be Consistent with Social Media and Blog Posts
You probably know the value of promoting podcast episodes ahead of time through social media. This gives fans a heads up and some of them may end up sending a link to their friends to let them know you’ll be talking with a guest they like or covering a topic they want to learn more about.
You can also promote the podcast with a corresponding blog post. If you or your guests mention products, services, or websites, provide links to them as resources in the blog post you publish for each episode.
2. Form Partnerships with Other Podcasters for Cross-promotion
Make a list of podcasts that would appeal to your audience and contact these podcasters with an invitation to promote one another’s episodes. Each of you may wind up adding new listeners to your shows.
To get started, invite one of the podcasters to be on your show with the idea that you will also appear on their show. Maybe feature a short segment from their show — it worked for Serial when they appeared on This American Life.
3. Invite Companies to Sponsor You
You don’t need to have thousands of listeners to reach out to companies to sponsor you.
We’ve met podcasters who have sold ads before they even launched their shows!
If you mention a product or service in a podcast, reach out to the company that sells it. Ask them if they could sponsor your show with a small contribution, a free promotional give-away, or by mentioning your podcast on their social media accounts.
You’ll be surprised by how many of them will say yes.
4. Make a Video Version of Your Audio Podcast
It’s no secret that audio podcasts provide comfort, entertainment, and useful information to people as they commute to work, exercise, or do chores.
While some listeners only have time to listen to episodes, others would welcome the opportunity to finally see you and your guests in action. Make a video version of your next podcast and start a YouTube channel or post it on Vimeo. You’ll expose your podcast to a broader audience — including people who might not even be listening to podcasts yet.
5. Piggyback on the Marketing Campaigns of the Creative People You Interview
When you invite a guest to your podcast to promote something — such as a new product, book, or movie—they likely have a full marketing campaign in the works.
Even if you guest doesn’t have thousands of follows, encourage him or her to mention your episode on social media and in other marketing channels. Piggybacking on their promotional campaigns will give you access to a new set of listeners.
6. Bribe Your Audience (with giveaways)
When it comes to marketing, you can kill two birds with one stone by developing t-shirts, mugs, hats and other souvenirs that are branded with your podcast’s logo. (Don’t have a logo yet? Learn more about creating artwork for your podcast.)
These items help advertise your podcast, but they also serve as handy bribes. Set up a contest to give them away to fans, such as the first 10 listeners who email you or share your podcast on social media.
7. Organize Meet-ups so Fans can Get Together in Person
Even if your podcast is locally oriented, the audience may very well be fragmented, with listeners living and working all across the country. But your most ardent fans would probably enjoy gathering with fellow enthusiasts and like-minded individuals.
As more people discover your podcast, organize a meet-up in your community so you can meet your listeners and start networking. Then ask your listeners if they have any ideas for future episode topics.
8. Publish a Greatest Hits Episode
You can start this project as soon as you publish your first episode. Take notes about interesting moments in each episode and save excerpts from those episodes. As these clips accumulate over the year edit them into a compilation episode where you provide introductions and commentary for each highlight.
By listening to a greatest hits episode, new listeners can quickly get a better idea of what your podcast is all about, and may head into your archives to listen to the full episodes.
9. Take Your Podcast on the Road in Front of Live Audiences
If you’re starting to get a following take your show on the road. Record an episode at a restaurant or speak at a conference (we’re partial to Podcast Movement and Florida Podfest). You’ll meet new listeners and learn more about what your podcasters are into.
10. Write an eBook Based on Your Most Popular Episodes
Some people get their ideas out better by speaking rather than typing, which is why turning podcast details into a book can be appealing.
Use analytics to see which episodes reached the widest audience. Listen to the podcasts and transcribe them yourself. (You can also use speech recognition software, or hire somebody to transcribe your episode for you).
Use the transcripts as the basis of an ebook that you can sell or give away online. Now listeners can download it to their smartphone, tablet, or ebook reader. Remember to link back to your podcast in your ebook.
Growing your fan base by promoting your podcast more effectively can lead to new sponsorship opportunities. What’s more, as your audience increases, you will get more attention from potential guests who want to talk with you and the community that has gathered around your podcast.