Promoting your podcast is not an easy task. Especially when you are just launching it. In order to get the most value from your podcast, your audience has to invest their time in listening to it. But how do you convince them to give a few minutes of their time when they don’t know you in the first place?
Promoting an image or a video is still easier since it is a visual. And the audience can judge if they want to engage with it or not by looking at it. The investment of time and attention required for a visual is comparatively shorter.
But how do you promote your podcast in a way so that your audience would want to invest their time consistently?
Understand The 4 Stages of Podcast Audience
When promoting your podcast, there are 4 stages your audience will go through :
- Discovery : Audience that comes across your podcast for the first time
- First Listeners : Audience that decides to give your podcast a shot
- Repeat Listeners : Audience that loves you and wants to keep coming back
- Advocates : Audience that loves you so much they share your work with their friends
With every piece of podcast you create, your audience is going to be at any one of these stages. So when you are producing any piece, make sure you cater to each of the above needs.
Set A Practical Goal
Remember, considering that you are starting from scratch your first goal is to get the first 100 listeners.
Also, in the podcasting game, consistency is the key. This strategy is only going to save a lot of figuring out for you. But it all comes down to how consistently are you willing to show up?
Get Your Content Right
Like any good promotion strategy, the work begins with content. Good content = audience that invests in you and sticks with you.
Let’s breakdown, what part of your podcasts cater to which stage of your audience.
(A) What Do Discovery Audience Care About?
- The name of your podcast show
- You podcast cover
- Your show description
- Who are you
- Show intro at the beginning of each episode
(B) What Do First Time Listeners Care About?
- Episode title
- Episode description
- Episode intro
(C) What Do Repeat Listeners Care About?
- Hooks for the upcoming episode
- Recap of previous episode (if relevant)
- A summary or conclusion of current episode at the end of the episode
(D) What Do Advocates Care About?
- Call To Action
The Main Content Of Your Podcast
What I have not included in the above list is the main piece of your content. The body or flesh of the content.
Because that is important for every single listener, regardless of what stage they are at. That’s basic.
But how do you make sure that your main content delivery is up to mark?
It all starts at the beginning. (no pun intended) What I mean is what is your audience noticing in the first few seconds when they come across your podcast? Those first few seconds is what is going to set their expectations. And then it is time to deliver on it.
For the Discovery stage audience, it is about what is the name of your show? Does it convey a clear message about what your podcast is about?
For First Time Listeners, what is the episode about? Is it something that they care about?
For Repeat Listeners, do they have more to gain if they keep listening to your podcast in the future? Do you care about adding value to them or do you only care about selling?
For Advocates, will their social equity improve if they share your podcast? Are you helping them express ideas which they would have not been able to do by themselves? Are you helping them signal what their values and thoughts are?
But how do you deliver all of this in your podcast?
Get The Audience Right : Cracking The Content Code
Get your audience right. It is easy to say and difficult to execute.
Yes and No. It is easy, if you know exactly who your audience is. Otherwise, you are on a tough path.
If you know exactly who you are talking to, it is easy to know their problems, the lingo they use, the words that trigger them, the problems they have and the solutions they are looking for.
But how do you know who your audience is?
Let’s take a step back here. Knowing your audience is a big task. It can confuse you. And if you find yourself saying that “everyone” is your audience. You are falling into a trap.
Your Intent Attracts Your Audience
Here is an easy hack to know who your audience is. Ask yourself the following question.
>> What is your intention of doing this podcast?
Not the goal. Not the outcome. I mean your “intention”. “Your” intent.
If your intention is to offer your services who like your point of view, your audience narrows down to people who can afford to pay you for what you are offering.
If it is to promote your product, your audience will narrow down to people who have the problem your product is trying to solve & who want to buy your product.
You get the drift. Keep this question in mind while deciding your audience. It will save you a lot of pitfalls down the road.
Once you have identified your intention, you have automatically narrowed your audience to a large extent.
Not The Personas, Focus On Their Goals
The next step is to define who your audience is. Forget about the traditional personas and user profiles for now. Creating personas without real world data is another trap you should avoid falling into. Here is an easier way I have found.
Simply ask yourself,
>> What is the goal that you are helping your audience achieve?
For example, here at Recast Studio, we want to help podcasters expand their audience on multiple platforms by helping them repurpose their existing podcast content with minimum efforts.
A result of that goal is also this blog post.
Giving Your Audience A Sense Of Progress
Any goal that you choose for your audience should mean progress to them. It should lead them to a better life situation. The more ambitious a goal and the better you get at helping them, the better your show will start performing.
For example, with Recast Studio’s users, podcasters make progress by starting to build their audience on multiple platforms by repurposing their existing content. They become less dependent on a single platform for traffic. And they are not at the mercy of algorithms of a single platform. Their source of traffic multiplies. And each platform starts feeding the other one.
This sense of progress is one of the most crucial aspects of getting your audience to keep listening to your podcasts. And this sense of progress is what the majority of podcasters miss out on.
But how do you create this sense of progress with your content?
Progress happens when you go from where you are right now to a place where you want to be. As simple as that.
Once you establish the goal your audience is trying to achieve, the next task is to figure out the current situation your audience is in. What is stopping them from reaching the goal? And how can you help them achieve that goal?
The answer to these questions are your podcast topics.
How to come up with good podcast topics & titles deserves its own blog post. So we will stick to figuring out how to promote a podcast in this one.
Launching & Promoting Your Podcast
Considering you have your podcast produced. At least the first episode. How do you go about promoting it?
Step 1 : Audience
Define who your audience is. Assuming you have read on how to choose your audience above. I won’t repeat it here.
Step 2 : Channels
Identify all the distribution channels your audience hangs out at,
There are 4 major types of distribution channels,
1. Inbox Channels (email list, chat bots & push notifications)
2. Organic Channels (SEO on your blogs & landing pages, communities & forums)
3. Influencer Channels (Social influencers, bloggers, youtubers etc.)
4. Paid Channels (Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube Ads)
Eat What You Can Chew
Begin with what is the easiest to execute for you and slowly start building from there. You don’t need to use every single type of channel in your initial days.
Step 3 : Placements
Identify the different placements available on each of the platforms
Placements are simply places on the platform where you can publish your content.
On Instagram you have 4 placements like : Feed, Stories, IGTV and Reels.
On Facebook you have the Feed, Groups & Stories.
On Twitter you have Tweets & Fleets.
In organic channels you have blog posts and landing pages on your own website. Or blogs on platforms like Medium.
Then there is a Reddit post in relevant communities that you can create.
You get the drift.
You don’t have to fill up every single placement if it does not fit your bandwidth. Decide which placements will give you the best results and work with it. Check your data, change if required and work with placements that work best for you.
Once you have shortlisted your placements, the real work begins. Creating so much content for every episode is overwhelming. Doing that quickly and efficiently is what we are going to talk about next.
Repurpose your original podcast into small sharable bytes based on the placements available for each of the platforms.
These sharable bytes can come in the form of text, audio, images & videos.
There are tools to quickly repurpose your main episode into short sharable pieces of content in the form of text, images, audio and video depending on the placements you are publishing to.
For example, if you want to quickly convert your podcasts to shareable social videos, you can use Recast Studio.
Here is a tutorial on how you can use a template and quickly convert your podcast into a video to share on social media.
Apart from videos, you can also pick up insightful quotes from your podcast and convert it into images. Use Canva to create good looking quote images like these.
Besides, you can also transcribe your podcast as a blog post and post it on your website. You can then create a short summary of it and send an email to your list and bring them on your website.
Another important aspect of your repurposing is how you can break up your long form podcast into multiple topical pieces that your audience would find value in on it’s own. This will also serve your SEO and help you increase the consistency with which you post your content.
Step 5 : Schedule & Publish
Schedule each piece of content as planned.
Once you have repurposed your podcast into different sharable content pieces, it is time to start posting on your pre-decided channels & placements based on your schedule.
The most important anchor here is to decide the release date of your original long form podcast first. Whether it is weekly, fortnightly or monthly, make sure the cycle of your release is consistent. If it is every Monday, make sure it is every Monday at a specific time.
The best practice is to first release your original long form podcast and then release your repurpose content in the sequence that you have decided. Create a checklist to help you keep track of things.
There are many scheduling automation tools available out there like Hootsuite, Buffer and the likes. Use them to help get some time off your plate.
Now, repeat this process & see the results.
Over to you.