The internet has given us a brand new way to reach and entertain people with a new fad called the Podcast. You can share your brilliant ideas on topics you’re passionate about with very little cost to you, except for time and effort. If you want to take advantage of the many opportunities of Podcasts, it’s going to take a lot of work! You will need to work hard on your product. Keep it focused, entertaining, and unique. Once you have a product you’re proud of, you may wonder how to promote your Podcast.
After all, your Podcast isn’t going to do much if you don’t get it out there. Here is everything you need to know about Podcasts and, most importantly, how to promote them.
What is a Podcast?
It seems like everyone is talking about their favorite Podcast nowadays, but what exactly is a Podcast? Well, think of it as talk radio for the internet. People can record themselves and friends talking about just about any topic under the sun. A Podcast is generally a regular series hosted by a regular cast. They can have guests on the air or guests calling in. The Podcast can be live or uploaded after the fact.
The great thing about Podcasts is that absolutely anyone can make one! Of course, the bad thing about Podcasts is that anyone can make one. That means that there are a lot of Podcasts out there. Some of them are extremely good, and some of them probably aren’t worth the time. After a Podcast is made, it’s made available online.
Most Podcasts are available for free, but some can cost money. Unlike radio, you can listen to a Podcast at your convenience. Think of it like OnDemand internet talk radio. Most people listen through an app on their smartphone. Once a Podcast episode is uploaded, anyone can listen to it at any time. You can even listen to old Podcasts you might have missed. This makes it possible for someone to binge listen to a Podcast like a television show on Netflix.
There are many reasons why someone would create a Podcast. Many people simply want to express themselves to other people. Generally speaking, a Podcast will focus on a single topic. It helps reach people with similar views (or opposing views), and it helps to spark conversation. Podcasts are generally low-cost to create, they offer a lot of freedom, and it can take your public persona to the next level.
A very successful Podcast can encourage companies to advertise with your show. Of course, it takes a lot of time to get to that level, so don’t quit your day job quite yet. With all the Podcasts out there, you have to do a lot to market your Podcast. You need to create a plan for how to promote your Podcast. The first thing you’ll need to do is establish your target audience.
Is a Target Audience Important for Podcasting?
Your target audience is the demographics of people who are most likely to listen to your Podcast. This will be mostly based on the topic of discussion. If your Podcast is about Kung-Fu movies, you will have a different target audience than a Podcast about dating over 55. Knowing your target audience is extremely important for a Podcast and promoting it to people that will actually listen, so take the time to do some research on who really cares about your topic.
At this point, you will know where to direct your energy. There are a lot of things to consider once you settle on your target audience.
Keeping Your Audience
Many well-established entertainers have found themselves losing fans because of a stupid comment or joke. Be careful that you don’t do this, especially when you’re starting out. If you like being controversial and getting attention that way, just make sure that your jokes or comments land with a lot of people to keep your Podcast afloat.
You should create and market your Podcast based on your target audience. However, there are plenty of people not in the target audience to think of, too. A Kung Fu Podcast may generally attract young boys, but don’t forget to throw in some humor for the women, older males, or gay males who might also be listening. It’s best to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Plus, a woman on the panel never hurt rating for young men, either. After you’ve addressed your target audience, think of creative ways to expand your audience so that you don’t lose potential listeners.
Finding Your Audience
How do you learn about your audience and who you should be reaching out to? Do your research! Study up on the topic to learn who it traditional drew to your subject matter. You can also take the time to poll your audience on social media to see who is listening to your show. This information is not only important to you, but it’s important to future advertisers. If you have a firm grip on who you’re talking to, you can sell your Podcast to the right advertisers.
If your audience is generally young, putting an ad for your Podcast in the newspaper might not be the most intelligent use of your resources. Think about how to reach your audience. You also want to consider the information they want to learn or people they want to hear from. You can also decide a tone for the Podcast by considering your audience. Do they want something strictly informative, or do they want some humor? What type of humor will they like the best? Is any humor possibly offensive to listeners?
How to Promote Your Podcast
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it still make a noise? If you create a Podcast, but no one is around to listen, is there really a Podcast? Well, the answer is yes. You put the time and effort into creating this Podcast. You need to learn how to promote your Podcast so other people can enjoy it as well. This is the only way to get yourself out there and hopefully get advertisers. Here are ways to help promote your Podcast.
The most important part of creating a Podcast is creating high-quality content that people will want to hear. Before you even worry about promoting, you need to spend a lot of time and effort on the actual Podcast itself. Consider these questions:
People will not listen to your Podcast if they can’t hear it properly, so you need the proper equipment and environment to record your Podcast. You also don’t want your mom coming in the middle of the Podcast to ask if you finished doing the laundry, so be sure you have privacy. You also have to remember that everyone and their mother has a Podcast out there, so you need to make yours special. You need to reach a market that hasn’t really been touched yet, or you need to have a unique perspective on a popular topic.
Study other Podcasts to see what you can do to make yours stand out. Yours should not be comparable- it should be better! Consider the personalities on the Podcast, because the right voice and the right personality can take a dull conversation to an exciting one. Finally, have a clear goal for your Podcast. Is it simply informational and a way to gather people from one community, or do you want to make money from your Podcast? Have a goal and have a plan set up for your future Podcasts. Once you have a good product, more people will listen.
Stay consistent when releasing a Podcast. If you promise a weekly Podcast, be sure to put one out every single week. Listeners don’t appreciate inconsistency, and they might not listen if you skip multiple episodes or put them out late. It’s a good idea to start with a bi-weekly or monthly Podcast until you have demand for more episodes.
Work Together and Have a Plan
Most successful Podcasts consist of several people working together. As a team, you must decide how to promote your Podcast in the most effective way. Everyone should agree to promote the Podcast on their own, but you can divvy up other responsibilities. Make these responsibilities clear, and choose your team wisely. You want to work with reliable people who will show up to work and do the things they say they will do. While this may be fun, creating a Podcast is a job, and everyone on the team should treat it as such. Do not be afraid to talk to someone who is not pulling their weight.
Utilize Social Media
Not only is everyone already on social media, but it is free to use! Start promoting your Podcast to your friends, family, and anyone else who will listen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media you are a part of. Join groups for related topics and plug your Podcast there, too. Tell people when to expect your latest Podcast and why it will be awesome. Be very clear on the date, time, and how to tune in.
Be vocal and respectful on social media, especially when it comes to the topics you cover on your Podcast. Taking the time to talk to others on social media might convince them to tune in. Always be respectful during debates and avoid unproductive debates. You don’t want to attract negative attention. However, positive dialogue can actually be a great way to plug your show. Invite anyone to continue the conversation on your show if it’s possible!
Now, it’s important not to promote your Podcast too much. People will unfollow you if your social media pages become overly promotional. Be sure to continue to post funny memes and updates on person things as well. Finally, be sure to be kind to others on social media to prevent other people from bashing you or your Podcast.
Put Your Podcast Everywhere You Can
People can listen to Podcasts from a variety of different sources. You don’t want to isolate potential fans because you’re not broadcasting on their favorite platform. Put your Podcast on every platform you can. Some of the most popular ones include:
Learn how to promote your Podcast by emphasizing the fact that you are available on all of these platforms. You should, however, focus on the most popular platforms to keep you in touch with most people.
Learn from Others
It’s important to learn from others who are doing the exact same thing as you. Find successful Podcasters to learn their secrets. Specifically look for people who started from the bottom, instead of getting advice from someone who started a Podcast while they were already famous. Ask them how they built up their fanbase. You can ask if they have time to evaluate your Podcast or even be a guest. You can find other Podcasters on social media, by listening to other Podcasts, and by looking for a social event in your area for people in the industry.
You can even learn by reading books on the subject or reading articles just like this. Knowledge is power, so the more you know, the better chance you have to succeed.
Create a Website
Your Podcast deserves a website to help people find you online and keep fans updated on new shows and any other things you want them to know. While you may think posting updates on social media is enough, a website with constant updates can really help increase your online presence. Update it with regular content and new shows. If you don’t have shows too often, publish articles or interviews to keep yourself relevant. Be sure to link people to your social media.
Use Your Audience to Promote You
You have plenty of marketing opportunities with the people already listening to your Podcast. They can help by sharing information about your Podcast on their social media. Tell your listeners to share your content. You can even spark debate they can take to other people. When they tell them where the debate came from, you may get more listeners. After you start to establish some success, consider selling your own merchandise. If people buy tee-shirts with your Podcast’s name on it, they are a walking billboard!
People do read reviews for buying a product. People do the same with Podcasts. Encourage loyal followers to leave good reviews on whatever platform they use to listen to you by mentioning it at the end of your show and reminding people on social media. These positive reviews can convince others to listen to you as well. Plus, it will give you the boost you need to keep working hard on your project. Remember to focus on the positive reviews.
You will likely get negative reviews from time to time as well. Listen to those with constructive criticism to see if there are any comment threads. If you find any common problems several listeners mention, it might be worth looking into that. However, most reviews simply attack. Ignore the really nasty reviews and move on.
Have an E-mail Newsletter
Some people forget about newsletters when thinking about how to promote their Podcast. Allow people to sign up for your newsletter to reach them another way- via e-mail. Be careful to put out the newsletter about a day before the next show to remind them to listen. Since not everyone wants too many e-mails, keep the e-mails scarce if possible. Use them mostly for major reminders.
Many Podcasts miss a big market by failing to produce video Podcasts or at least small videos talking about the subject on YouTube. Utilize this resource you might be missing! You have the option to record all of your Podcasts on video and put them on YouTube. If you’re not confident being on camera, use video in the background while you talk. At the end of every video, you should mention your Podcast and encourage people to follow you and listen.
Stick to It
People may think it’s easy to get a large Podcast following, but it’s not. If you don’t get the following you want right away, it’s important for you and your team to stick with it while you build your brand. It takes time to build a following. Give it time while still focusing on quality content and promoting your Podcast every chance you can.
If it’s still not building steam after a couple of months, it might be time to look at what you could be doing wrong. Talk to your team to try new methods of making a great show for people and getting the message out there. If you maintain focus and energy into your project, you may eventually succeed.
You do not have to end with just a Podcast. A successful Podcast is great (and start with that), but you can also think about stepping out into merchandise or larger platforms. You are only stifled by your own lack of imagination. The bigger you think, the more likely you are to turn your small Podcast into a large brand. Other people have done it, and you can, too. When you consider how to promote your Podcast, you are considering how to promote you and your brand in general.
You need to be your biggest cheerleader. Even if it’s uncomfortable to promote yourself and your products, you need to suck it up and get comfortable with it. Start telling people at social gatherings about your new Podcast. Create a business card with information about your Podcast and contact information for you to help get the word out when you’re (gasp!) forced to talk to people face-to-face.
Remember that how you portray yourself will not be a representation of your product. Always stay in control at social events and keep a smile on your face. If you’re sloppy or negative while promoting yourself and your Podcast, people won’t respond the way you want. Be confident and stay classy.
You have something to say, so you created a Podcast to tell people what you have to say. Be excited about your new venture! When you put so much effort into something, you need to put it out there for people to see it! Being shy will only prevent you from getting to the level you need. Now that you know how to promote your Podcast, it’s time to get out there and do it! Having a Podcast only starts with making the Podcast.
The rest of the job is promoting the Podcast, so get to work! You know the people who want to hear what you have to say. Let them know that you have a Podcast just for them, and they must hear it! Once you get the people to listen, your fantastic content will keep them coming back for more. Just remember to stay professional.
Featured Image via Pixabay