Whether you’re brand new to the world of podcasting or a verified expert, podcast marketing is an ever-changing art form, which means there’s always more to learn. Even if you’ve been around the proverbial podcasting block (or, pod?) a few times, the landscape is continually evolving, so keeping your finger on the pulse at all times is key to your brand’s success.
While it would be impossible to compile every single marketing tip, trick and tactic into one blog post, we’ve done our best to cover at least the fundamentals. Consider this your comprehensive guide to promoting your company or brand’s podcast, but also don’t be afraid to dive deeper into any of the topics below because the possibilities are endless.
Organic Podcast Marketing
First things first, congratulations on being a part of your company’s podcasting journey. Whether you’re the face behind the podcast, a writer, producer or admin support, you’re an essential part of the team helping to reach your company’s overarching goals and establish the brand through this exciting and quickly evolving channel.
While every organization will have slightly different goals associated with the platform, it’s important to view the podcast as an extension of your brand but also a sort of mini brand in itself. Your podcast will ultimately serve to add value to the company as a whole, but it’s also a single entity in itself with its own audience base, topics, themes and goals.
When building a brand for your company’s podcast, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Who will be the face of the podcast? Depending on the structure of your organization, you’ll likely want to choose a member of your team who is well-versed in the subject matter, well-spoken and willing to engage in lively discussions that just so happen to be recorded. The person you end up choosing as your host will ultimately serve as the face of the podcast, so they should also be willing and available to devote time to things like photo shoots, press interviews and more.
- How branded will the podcast be? While your company’s podcast is obviously meant to serve as an extension of your brand and ultimately drive back to your business goals, you may want to consider just *how* branded the show will be. For example, will you be mentioning your company’s name every five minutes and consistently lattering back to your own products and services, or will the company be more of a silent supporter in the background? Whatever path you choose, make sure you and your team are making a conscious decision together.
- Will the podcast be marketed as a separate entity or along with the rest of the company’s products and services? When it comes time to begin promoting the podcast, it will be important to consider whether your team will market it as a separate brand with a completely separate social media presence, website, blog, etc., or simply as a new addition to the content you’re already creating? There are benefits to doing it both ways, but again, making this decision consciously is key.
Now that you’ve done some initial branding exercises, let’s get social. It’s pretty clear that social media is one of the dominant modes of disseminating information in 2021, so you’re likely already well-versed on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.
Anyone can create an account, gather some imagery and draft regular social media posts, but the question is—are you really connecting with your audience on a deep, emotional level? It may seem trivial, but every post you share on social media has the power to build the public’s awareness of your brand, which is why a thoughtful yet authentic strategy is key.
Basically before you post anything ask yourself:
- Would you want to see this content?
- Would it be valuable to you?
- Would you want to engage with it?
A lot of the time, this can save you from posting content that will perform poorly or just not hold any substance for your followers.
Even if you’re creating a social media plan for a company that’s selling something that could be considered mundane or everyday like insurance, dish soap, or toilet paper, there are ways to connect with your audience on a human level that will help your brand stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips to keep in mind when drafting your social media plan and daily posts:
Stick to a regular posting cadence.
Posting frequency isn’t everything, but it definitely helps with overall engagement and follower retention. In general, try to stick to a cadence of one to five posts per day (depending on the platform) to keep your brand top of mind with your followers without annoying them with too much spam throughout the day. According to research from the team at Hootsuite, this is how often you should be posting on each platform per week:
- Instagram: 3-7 posts per week
- Facebook: 1-2 posts per day
- Twitter: 1-5 tweets per day
- LinkedIn: 1-5 posts per day
Of course, use this as a rough guideline but always use your discretion because you know your audience best.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: remember to stay authentic to your brand’s overall voice, tone and subject matter. Try to develop a unique voice for your company’s social media channels so your followers will come to expect a certain kind of content from your accounts and forge an emotional connection with your brand.
Leverage collaborations and other key audiences in your space.
If you have a guest on your podcast, be sure to ask them to share the episode on their channels and tag your account to gain exposure and potential new listeners. To make it as easy as possible, send your guests a media kit after the episode has been published. This can include items like:
- Episode links
- Quote graphics
- Sample social media posts
Create stunning visuals.
Stunning visuals (especially on platforms like Instagram) will help draw in new followers and build your brand. According to the AdEspresso blog, images with a single dominant color, a background, higher light exposure and a more textured appearance tend to perform best on Instagram.
While you likely have a graphic designer on your team to help you create beautiful graphics and imagery to entice your audience, here are some additional resources to check out to take it up a notch:
Incorporate humor into your posts.
When it comes to social media, some of the most popular handles are solely meme accounts and for good reason—they make people laugh and brighten their day, which is a valuable characteristic. If you can make your followers laugh or smile while boosting your brand’s profile, you’re definitely doing something right.
Infusing humor into your social media schedule is a great way to bring your brand back down to earth and connect with followers on a human-to-human level. Here are some examples of big-name brands doing this well, and engaging with other brands in some friendly banter:
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
As we’ve mentioned, social media is ever-evolving, and no one really knows which emerging platforms will eventually become the new Facebook or Instagram. Being an early adopter is always beneficial because you can build a large following before others hop on the bandwagon. Try to stay on top of up-and-coming platforms like Clubhouse or Caffeine because you never know what’s going to blow up.
Make use of free templates to stay organized.
Many online brands and services offer free templates to make social media a breeze for your team. Here are some examples:
- SproutSocial social media calendar
- Crello social media templates for podcasters
- Adobe podcast cover art templates
Contests and giveaways
Planning a social media giveaway is a great way to boost your following, spark engagement and get your community invested in your content. Choose a prize that relates to your subject matter and watch the new followers roll in.
Building a Community
A big component of social media marketing is building a sense of community around your show and networking with other like-minded industry creatives. Forging connections with other people who are operating within your subject matter realm will help to foster collaborations, grow your network and ultimately spread the word organically.
Although the world of marketing is mainly online today, we’re all still human at the end of the day, and there’s inherent value in fostering real-world relationships. Here are some ideas for building key connections in your space and rallying a greater sense of community around your company’s podcast:
- Virtual events like webinars and livestreams
- Engaging with other accounts on social media through likes and comments
- Sharing and supporting the work of others who are operating in your company’s space
- Responding to messages and comments from your followers
In addition to social media, there are plenty of other forms of content to test out to continue building your community, engaging your followers and positioning your brand as an expert in the space. Here are some ideas to experiment with as you continue expanding your podcasting platform:
While the podcast is an audio-only medium, more and more, podcasters are getting creative with video production tools to add a visual layer to their show. You can try experimenting by creating snippets from each episode using Audiogram as a start, and if you find that the medium works well with your content, eventually expand into filming full episodes and uploading them to YouTube.
Behind the scenes (BTS) content
People generally love to see what’s going on behind the curtain in a given industry or creative space, and BTS footage can make for some really engaging social media fodder. If you work in a visual space like art or even fitness, try filming some BTS scenes and sharing them with your followers for a sneak peek into your world.
E-books, whitepapers and guides
Amp up your online presence and position your brand as one of the leaders in your space by offering free content like blog posts, e-books, whitepapers and guides on a consistent basis. This will help establish your company as one of the expert voices in your area and give your community another chance to engage with your brand. Content like e-books and guides can also come in handy as you can offer them for free as an incentive for people to join your mailing list or rate and review the podcast.
Speaking engagements can serve as a fun way for your team to connect with the community and spread your company’s message. Look into upcoming conferences or panel discussions happening in your area or online and see if you can join in.
In the same vein, contributing regularly to a magazine, blog or publication with an established reader base can help your company gain exposure to the community and continue establishing you as a thought leader.
Paid Podcast Marketing
Now that we’ve covered all things related to organic (read: free) marketing, let’s move on to paid strategies. There are plenty of paid tactics you can try without breaking the bank, but if you have the budget to go big, then we say YOPO—you only podcast once—and it’s always worth investing a little more to make a big splash.
Here are some of the fundamentals of paid podcast marketing and how to get started with each:
Social Media Ads
Paid social media ads are campaigns you’d generally see on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. This tactic is great for raising awareness and getting the word out there about your brand’s podcast because it can help to increase your exposure, depending on your ad spend.
Some of the pros of this tactic are that social media ads are more cost effective and beneficial in terms of raising your podcast’s profile. It’s also not an overly saturated market for podcast ads so you’d have a chance to potentially get a leg up on the competition. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to play with more extensive targeting parameters to ensure you’re reaching the right potential listeners.
However, you won’t see many conversions from social media ads to podcasts listeners. This is because apps like Facebook and Instagram are not audio-first platforms, so for people to click through to your podcast, they would have to leave the app they’re currently on.
Google Ads are similar to social ads, except they’re on the Google platform and they’re slightly more effective for raising awareness about your podcast. With Google Ads, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and benefit from their specific targeting parameters.
This tactic is also cost effective, and you’ll gain access to data on the kind of searches people are conducting when they click on your ads, which can provide great insight for your overall marketing strategy.
Podcast Advertising Platforms
The podcasting world is home to a plethora of advertising platforms specifically geared towards podcasters and other audio-first mediums. Here are some of our favorites:
- As the podcast app specifically tailored for Androids, Podcast Addict is not offered for Apple users
- With each campaign lasting one month in total, podcasters have two options for ads: A homepage ad (around $2,000) or a category-specific ad (ranges from $150 to 450)
- Podcast Addict uses banner-style ads, which pull information from your RSS feed (i.e., your podcast’s name, icon and description) so you won’t have to create or provide assets for the ad
- One downside to this platform is that it doesn’t offer any targeting parameters other than category ads
- Castbox is a popular podcast listening, discovery and advertising tool that will work with you directly to run ads
- The base rate for a campaign is $2,000
- With Castbox, you’ll have the opportunity to specify your campaign by location, but other than that, there are no other specific targeting parameters available
- Similar to Podcast Addict, each campaign lasts one month and uses banner-style ads so you won’t have to provide the team with any assets
- Overcast is an Apple-specific ad platform, which prevents Android users from joining
- With Overcast, podcasters also have two options for ads: A homepage ad (around $2,000) or episode-specific ads ($250 to $1,200)
- Ad prices range based on popularity of the category, so the hotter the topic, the higher the cost
- Other than category campaigns, Overcast doesn’t provide any targeting parameters, but similar to the other platforms, they will pull information from your RSS feed so you won’t need to provide them with extra materials
- Using spotify’s ad studio, you can create an audio ad that’s up to 30 seconds in length
- The minimum spend to advertise with Spotify Advertising is $250
- Unlike the other platforms, Spotify offers a more robust set of targeting parameters including:
5. Real-time context
- The duration of the campaign is up to you, but you’ll need to provide the visuals to go along with the ad, which can simply be your cover art or episode-specific artwork
The main goal of a contest or giveaway is to encourage the participants to rate and review your podcast on Apple and ultimately increase your chances of landing a spot in the top charts. While there are still question marks surrounding Apple’s specific criteria for the new and noteworthy or category-specific lists, we do know ratings and reviews are taken into account in the final analysis.
Some ideas for potential prizes include:
- Company products/services
- Consumer products (AirPods, Apple Watch, etc.)
- Subscriptions (MasterClass)
- Gift Cards
When developing your marketing strategy, don’t forget to include some good old fashioned public relations tactics. If you have the budget, it can be helpful to hire a PR agency to target certain geographical areas where you may not have as many organic connections to help secure media coverage.
Another key area of the PR landscape to consider is paid or sponsored content. If there are any outlets or publications you think would be interested in running a weekly or monthly column about your topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and pitch the idea.
When it’s all said and done, how will you know if all these fancy marketing tactics are doing the trick? This is where measurement and analytics come in clutch.
Here are some measurement tools to keep in mind when tracking your marketing progress:
Listening App Analytics
Whether you use Apple or Spotify as your listening app, you will have access to some analytics data through this platform including episode performance, engagement levels and ratings and reviews.
Hosting Platform Analytics
You can also use your hosting platform as a way to track your podcast’s progress and bridge any gaps in the data provided by the listening app. Hosting platforms can provide additional metrics and information that listening apps may not have access to like X.