Someone asked me to investigate what goes on behind a podcast and especially podcast marketing. I went down a rabbit hole. This is a summary of the various tips I came across.
Soft Stuff of Podcast marketing
There are a million podcasts, what sets you apart? Is your podcast sticky – what keeps people coming back?
Is your podcast valuable – what do people gain? Is it worth someone’s while listening to it? Can you get them to do podcast marketing for you?
Will your content change their lives in any way? I listen to Brian Cox. He won’t change my life but he’s interesting. I listen to Jim al Khalili. He’s a good communicator
Is your podcast unique? Do the broadcasters have distinctive voices? Do they have experience in the field and can elucidate their points?
Be patient. It can take 6 months to build an audience.
Have awesome guests. Then leverage your guest’s audience. That’s good podcast marketing.
Go on other podcasts (you have expertise, right?).
Collaborate with similar brands.
Solicit feedback. Most broadcast media let you have real-time comments. Later broadcasts still let you leave comments.
Have calls to action. Don’t let your podcast just be passive. Involve your audience. It doesn’t have to be The Great British Bird Watch. Something smaller, local and relevant.
Create a regular release schedule (and therefore a planned calendar of guests). Spam all the academics and figureheads in your area and get them to participate with their specialties. Build a calendar.
The show shouldn’t be explicit marketing for your products or services.
Whine about getting more subscribers in your podcast.
Make sure your podcast has a good strapline.
Have you got a good recording quality? Drape lots of blankets around or mattresses. A lot of the sciencey podcasts I watch or listen to have people in their attic rooms and the sound is really echoey. Don’t do that. Equally, have a decent microphone. The one on my PC laptop is pretty bad, the one on my Apple headphones is pretty good.
Put your unedited podcasts on Patreon (@robinince does this). You might want 30 minutes out into the public domain, but you might get 60 minutes of content from your guest. Let people pay for access.a
Got a decent editor for audio? I’ve seen Audacity recommended. Apparently it records too.
Do you want your podcast to be audio or video? If it’s video, convert video to YouTube. Do live broadcasts then upload to YouTube in perpetuity. Pro zoom is up to £480/year. There’s always Microsoft Teams.
Start with three episodes. (People hate finding only one). This popped up in a couple of listicles I read. Apparently, people hate finding a good podcast with only one episode.
Get an optimised web site. https://www.buzzsprout.com/ seems cool. $12 for 3hrs per month. I’m sure there are more out there. The site should be SEO optimised.
Promote on social media (@robinince is big on twitter). While we’re talking money, look at HootSuite for posting to many channels. The professional version for posting to up to 10 social accounts is £39 per month.
Edit: https://anchor.fm/ appears to be a decent place to host, is free and owned now by Spotify.
Obviously you should have an RSS feed but I’ve found that less than useful. For me, most useful is an email with a link to the podcast with a calendar gizmo so it goes in my diary, URL and all. Also, I hate secret podcasts that send me the URL shortly before they go live. Why are they trying to hide their podcast?
Put the podcast page URL in your email .sig. That way, any time you send an email, your podcast gets out there.
Create an email newsletter. (I think this is important). A lot of the museum podcasts I view/listen to prompt me from their mailing lists. Mailchimp is the gold standard but there are others. The classic original is mailman. Many of the podcasts I listen to, I listen to because I’m prompted by an email.
Sell merchandise maybe if you have a strong visual brand. Cafépress has worked well for us.
Look at analytics. These guys seem switched on: https://castos.com/understanding-podcast-analytics/ $190-$490 their service comes in at per year.
Got a photographer on the team? (Instagram can be a good channel).
It looks like that for me, the Apple podcasts app is the nexus for me, but there are lots of other PodCasts out there that don’t fit that format. Expecially scheduled ones.
Submit to podcast aggregators and directories:
- iTunes (allegedly drives 70% of podcast traffic)
- Google Play
- Podcast Addict
- PodcastLand (your podcast is automatically listed here if it’s in iTunes)
- Podcast Republic
- Podcasters’ Support Group
- Bello Collective
- Podcasting Technology Resource Group
- Podcast Hackers (this is our group – join us!)
- /r/podcasts on Reddit
- The New York Times Podcast Club
- Podcasting (Meetup)
- Producing Podcasts (Apple)
- Podcasters’ Hangout