For some people, having a podcast seems to be nothing more than a flex. So many shows are created simply so that Jill from the marketing department can turn to a business prospect over lunch and mention, “oh yeah, we’ve got a podcast now.” That’s it. The show quality doesn’t seem to matter, and neither does the subject matter.
But then there are those that do care about their show. People who want their podcast listener numbers to grow and reflect real engagement between followers. In other words, a podcast that is worth sharing with others. So if you’re putting more than the minimum into your show, how do you attract the right type of listener?
Now it’s time for me to share with you 4 podcast promotion tactics that work every time!
BE USEFUL TO A COMMUNITY
We have a new problem: we’re all locked up and separated from each other. We tend to hang out in the same corners of the internet we grew up in. We’re all wary of new tech platforms. We live in hope that others will notice our podcast, but we feel trapped by the limitations of location and obscurity, and are unwilling to engage with people we don’t already know on a social, non-marketing level.
Now is the time to go bravely into the unknown! Remote work is the new normal. People are content to stay home. So, begin adjusting to the concept of a digital tribe based not on your location or history, but on your values. It could be a Discord server, a Facebook group, a Subreddit, a Circle community or any podcast community. Whatever the place, it’s where you show up every day and high five a few like-minded colleagues. In this place, you interact with others in a positive, non-judgmental way and try to help them with their own issues.
Once you’ve earned your reputation as a contributing member, you have more people to help you share and grow your show in a real way. Believe it or not, a successful podcast promotion tactic is mostly just showing up every day and being awesome to others!
EDUCATE YOUR PODCAST LISTENERS
The first step in finding your listeners is to educate them clearly. Repeatedly remind them what the show is about. New listeners should quickly form expectations, and existing listeners should have theirs reinforced. You should be able to give a 10-word description of your show at any given moment. This is tougher than it sounds! Most of the time, podcast hosts are ready and able to speak at length just to fill the time.
A show “where we talk about climate change” isn’t specific enough to attract listeners. But “an NPR-style show where listeners can keep up to date on IPCC developments, hear reports from people in areas that are directly affected by climate change and call in to share their opinions on the previous week’s show.” Now that’s a three-segment podcast that generates interest! Nail down the wording of what exactly you’re trying to achieve with your show.
REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENT
For each episode of your show, you should also have at least one attractive promotional video, a full transcription and a website page or post with show notes and links. It’s no longer good enough to just publish a podcast to your podcast host and expect listener growth. The less stuff you have online, the lower your show ranks in SEO. A YouTube channel with the best clips of your show is a great way to generate interest and new followers.
Listeners want to see pictures of the stuff you’re talking about. They want to see videos of guests. They want something to engage with. Give it to them. Start thinking of each podcast episode as an event that requires more than a 30-minute audio file. And while they’re on your site, they can sign up for the email list or share the show more easily. Check out our audiogram and video editing services, we can repurpose your content.
KNOW WHO YOUR PODCAST IS FOR
Just asking people to listen to your podcast is a pretty short-sighted way to generate a listener base. This doesn’t seem like a good podcast promotion strategy. Regardless of how good the show is, we’re all overwhelmed by these types of direct-from-the-maker requests. The response is almost always a polite intention to “definitely give it a listen”. (Side note: when someone uses the word “definitely”, they often will not get around to it). And unless you’re already an Insta-guru, showing up on social media with all the right hashtags is not really a winning strategy either. Buying followers, while easy, isn’t a sustainable way either. In other words, everyone’s already too busy for the show you make. Why should anyone interrupt their day to listen to it?
The key is empathy. In order to be seen, you first need to see. You need to give your time and attention to others before they reciprocate. Your show needs to be FOR someone. There is no market. There are only people. People who have their own desires and ambitions. People who want their show to be noticed as desperately as you do yours. So learn their names, and interact with them one-on-one. Listen to their show. Ask them about what they hope to achieve. If you can, help them do that. The result isn’t just a single new weekly download. It’s a follower. Someone who will feel terrible if they ever stopped telling people about your awesome show. Don’t just impress people with your generosity. Use it to convert them.
That’s it. A few ways to grow your podcast that go beyond generic advice like “grow your email list” or “do cross-promos with other shows”. People always gravitate towards what is rare and special. And in an age when automated marketing is cheap and easy, what’s left? Real connection with other people, the emotional labour that goes into a show you care about, and a community of others who share those values. Now that’s podcast promotion that works every time. The Saw and Sine team is standing by to professionally produce your podcast. Go get ‘em!