With the growth of media networks like Spotify and platforms like YouTube, long-form talk radio has transformed into podcasts. This form of media has grown exponentially over the years and will probably grow to 424 million listeners next year. If you want to cash in on this potentially lucrative field, you’ll need a podcast marketing strategy.
Podcast Marketing Stats You Should Know
Before you plan a podcast, you need to know the industry and the audience. Here is a helpful infographic we cobbled together that answers a few questions:
- Popular topics for podcasts and target audiences.
- How many listeners does a podcast have to be considered successful?
- Most popular platforms.
Podcast Marketing Template
Here’s a proper podcast marketing plan template for how to plan a podcast and its marketing:
- Decide on a Name, Premise, and Description
Depending on the subject matter of your podcast, pick a catchy name and an elevator pitch (preferably one sentence and snappy). If the function of your podcast is to promote your company to regular consumers, you may end up alienating them if you’re too business-heavy (this will attract only industry insiders and competitors), so it’s best to have a name and function that is inviting to the laymen as well.
- Audience Segmentation
Decide who your audiences are and get a feel for their sensibilities: are they serious, funny, or energetic? Build a buyer persona.
- Style & Branding
From the previous step, build brand guidelines around what you’re customers may want. This goes further than graphic design and text because now you also need a sonic identity. Will you be an energetic presenter with rock music accompaniment or a smooth jazz radio, NPR voice etc.?
- Website & Socials
Prepare a website HQ and the appropriate social media. Decide if you want to post a video on YouTube or snippets on Instagram. Identify channels and then follow your audience.
- Format & Production Cadence
Decide on the number of hosts, their availability, weekly, bi-weekly, or daily schedule, etc. This will also depend on your producer.
Based on all of the above, decide the optimal budget.
- Syndication plan
Decide what networks you will upload on and which are worth the effort of managing in-depth. Many are free but it can be an issue of time investment vs reward.
How to Start a Podcast With No Audience
Structure Can be very Important
Let’s start with having good content, the core of any entertainment product. If you’re making a podcast about a topic that has been covered many times, you might need a change of format to make it fresh. While there are many science podcasts, Infinite Monkey Cage found its groove by inviting comedians and experts to talk about expert subjects, mixing informative and light-hearted tones.
So, what makes a good podcast? In terms of how to structure a podcast, you can try out many things including (not limited to) these elements:
- Have an intro and intro theme: this helps distinguish your podcast and build an identity. On a practical level, it also helps distinguish where pre-roll ads end and the real show begins.
- Write a podcast script: Scripting and structure are important. While most podcasts feel like an effortless conversation, they also require a lot of planning. Here’s a handy primer.
- Plan for ad breaks: When you have advertisers you need natural breaks and calls to action.
- Freeform vs Concrete structure: Some podcasts are very free-form with a loose structure. Others, however, use specific segments which can be advantageous in building recognisable patterns that viewers can get attached to. These can also help create running gags on your show.
Podcast Marketing & Distribution Channels
Spotify is the largest podcast-listening platform by most estimates and is entirely free to upload so it’s always a good option. Deezer and Pandora are also free. While Tidal does have podcasts, the selection is fairly small and entirely unavailable in specific regions.
Remember to make use of podcatchers (apps that play different podcasts), since these can build awareness of your company and podcast. Apps like Podbay or Podcast Addict have distinct audiences that you can post on (usually for free). These apps, when used correctly, can introduce new podcasts to the audience when you fill out the description and category while using the correct keywords.
For Spotify and any similar platform, remember to add category and sub-category tags so that it is easier for your audience to find you. Spotify allows 12 different categories/sub-categories to make the process more accurate.
If you join a podcast network, they can cross-promote you across their other content. Similarly, find sources of promotion based on the interests of your users or the subject you target in your podcast. For example, if you have a business news podcast put out your ads in business blogs or crypto spaces or in finance advice groups.
Here’s how you can see who listens to your podcast on Spotify:
- Once signed up, click your username at the top left of the dashboard to Add/Claim your podcast.
- Click the Get Started button.
- Paste your Captivate RSS feed URL into the Link to RSS feed box.
- Log in and then click on your podcast cover art. Now, you can access analytics.
- You now have four metrics in the dashboard:
The process is quite straightforward for Apple podcasts:
- Sign in with your Apple ID (make sure you used the same one when you submitted your podcast).
- Next, select Podcast Analytics from the dropdown menu in the top-left corner.
- Now you can dive into your listener data.
Podcast Tips & Marketing Tricks
Before you start, you’ll need the right equipment:
- Mics made for voices are necessary. Try to get ones that have decent compression.
- There are audio interfaces and recorders made specifically for podcasting.
- Podcasters wear headphones with good sound isolation to stop bleedthrough to the mic.
- Have a soundboard to make your editing and sound cues easier.
To promote your podcast on Spotify or other platforms with similar capabilities, you can embed a Spotify player on your website, and create and share playlists with your podcast episodes in them. For Spotify, it’s only possible to do this on the Spotify mobile app. You should always add links to your episode description, put in affiliate links, and use the right keywords.
Try out podcast cross-promotion. You can streamline promotion with podcast promotion services that often come with networks like iHeartRadio or BBC Radio, which will actively cross-promote your show. These platforms also tend to host podcast awards which can be a great marketing opportunity if you submit your work for consideration.
When you get big enough, you can try to approach advertisers. The best way to do this is to present your analytics, your target audience, engagement, etc. while showing off how you would be a good fit for their company. Once you have a good series of advertisers, you’ll be stable in the business in no time.
If you’re looking for a podcast marketing service, perhaps we can be of help. Promoguy provides omnichannel promotion and content services to get eyes on your work.