Welcome to the third instalment of our deep dive into podcasting! Previously, I looked at choosing the format of your podcast and how to choose topics. However, once you have your podcast recorded and live – how do you spread the word and get new listeners?
This can feel scary, but a lot of the time you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The key is making sure that your podcast is everywhere – allowing it to reach the widest audience possible. I shall be sharing some simple and organic tips which should help you without eating up hours of your time.
The first step is adding your podcast to all the available directories – you can do this through your hosting platforms. These directories are like the online ‘Yellow Pages’ for podcasts – the more obvious ones being Spotify or iTunes. Different people find their podcasts in different places, so ensure you have your podcast listed in as many directories as possible.
When you upload your audio file to your hosting platform, there will be a place for you to write a description for the episode. I recommend that, in addition to this episode description, you have a standard blurb that is the same every week.
In this succinct and clear blurb, tell people how they can interact with you more. This might be links to your other content – books, blogs, social media, mailing lists and so on – or how they can get in contact with you if they so wish. Having ready access in each episode ensures that they will be able to follow-up on this easily if they want.
Good cover art for your show is important, but several factors need to be considered. It needs to fit the show and your overall brand while attracting your target audience. It also needs to stand out against other cover art and on a listing – Spotify listings have a black background, while iTunes ones have white for example.
SEO and keywords
Last week, I offered three tools for analysing the SEO and keywords associated with episode topics. Optimised SEO and keywords are important for people’s ability to find you online. Make sure that your episode titles are optimised – this is the same logic as for a blog: a good mix of power and emotive words which match the actual content of the show. Working keywords that surround your topic into the episodes is also helpful.
Being aware of what people are actively searching for right now and discussing it can dramatically alter the success of each episode. If you read my advice last week, you’ll know that planning episodes around this can boost downloads, subscribers, and the quality of the reviews you get!
Share on your communication channels – whatever they might be
I see some people suddenly promote their podcast intensively because they are releasing an episode the next day, then say nothing else until the next episode. Don’t do this – communicate about your podcast consistently, and consider mixing this into your regular content.
The less you talk about it, the more you risk your audience missing out on your updates. Think about where your audience is located online and make sure that your podcast is visible there as consistently as possible. This includes your social media platforms, website, newsletters and mailing lists.
If your website has your podcast available, in addition to the rest of your content, then your audience does not have to leave your site to listen. They can also easily access any transcripts or show notes from a central location.
A podcast section of your newsletter – whether you release it monthly or quarterly – allows you to grow interest by sharing updates on the latest shows. You can discuss certain highlights, potentially drawing in new listeners.
Having a podcast-specific mailing list provides several unique and powerful opportunities. It means that you have the ability to market and target specifically those people who listen and have expressed interest in your podcast, rather than the message getting lost in a more general update.
This includes communicating about special offers mentioned in an episode, or potentially updates about an exciting guest speaker in an upcoming episode.
Get other people to share
When marketing your podcast, an easy way to reach a wider audience is through having others share it – not just sharing it yourself.
If you have a team, have them help promote it. It should be in their email signature, they ought to be proactively recommending it to clients – your sales team might offer a relevant episode when asked for a specific example or case study for instance.
Another way to encourage others to share was discussed in an earlier blog post on format – guest speakers. This represents promotional opportunities for both sides by bringing both audiences together and doubling the reach of your message. Ensure that they promote their appearance, and make sure you share and promote theirs with your audience. Personally, I send out an email link which only needs to be clicked to allow them to share an update to their social media advertising their appearance.
You need to think of ways to make it easy for your audience to share throughout the week on an ongoing basis. If people listen regularly, then they are enjoying your content and finding value in it. It shouldn’t take too much encouragement to click a button and share that value with their network as well!
Reviews are really important – people don’t do much without reading reviews thoroughly these days. Encouraging listeners to leave reviews really helps others to find you. Leveraging review platforms helps you to optimise your podcast as well – more people leaving reviews gives you data providing a realistic insight into who is reviewing your content.
Make sure that you are continually reminding your audience to review you and that you are monitoring these reviews.
Be aware of your download stats
Keeping an eye on your download statistics is important. A podcast is a regular commitment – whether weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. You don’t want to feel like the effort you put in was pointless. You need to measure and analyse the data in order to understand how well things are working.
Most people won’t visibly engage with you, they’ll just listen because that’s what a podcast is. Most people will listen between meetings, during their morning commute, or while out exercising. They won’t all be writing you messages or leaving reviews.
Tracking the data through your hosting platform – subscribers and downloads – lets you measure the results. Typically downloads will be most useful – it shows how often an episode has been listened to. This allows you to see, month on month, if certain topics get more traction than others and focus your content accordingly.
I know that there has been a lot in here! It is unlikely that every person reading this will use every single one of these strategies. Think of this post as a reference – you can check back to remind yourself of these principles as needed.
The important thing to remember is that podcasts (and blogs) don’t give instant results. It takes months, at least three months minimum. Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and putting your content out there regularly.
A client of mine once told me a story about the strangest sales call he ever had. Someone called him, and after only a brief chat, immediately signed up to his most expensive programme – £36,000 a year! My client was bemused – most people might require a few conversations or other such input first before signing up to that programme.
When asked, his new customer told him: “You don’t know me, but I know you very well. I´ve been listening to your podcast for years! I’m confident I know exactly what you’re about, the way you coach people, and your business philosophy. That’s why I’ve just decided it’s time for me to sign up.”
I hope this has been useful to you! Keep going and trying new things. If you would like some help or support with your content – be it podcast, book, or blog – Write Business Results is here to give a helping hand!
Why not book a clarity call if you’d like to learn more about how to build your personal brand using content like podcasts and get your message out to the world.