As more podcasts continue to be released each day (now sitting at over two million), a podcast marketer must learn cotinue to grow their audience. We see many podcasters launch their show and sit back expecting to reach thousands of listeners solely through their biasedly amazing podcast. And many become disheartened when they learn that audio does not work this way (but what an industry it would be if it did).
So how do you reach those thousands of listeners? Podcast marketing. Podcast marketing is the act of creating a strategy and tactics all focused on growing your podcast audience or achieving whatever your desired goal is.
But podcast marketing isn’t like marketing any other medium out there. It can be a confusing world for many, but not to worry, we’ve listed 7 lessons for every novice and seasoned podcast marketer out there.
1. Get Creative
Our first piece of advice? Get creative.
In the grand scheme of things, podcasts are a relatively new medium, and learning how to market them effectively is even more new. No one podcast marketing strategy promises success for every show out there. It’s key that you get the creative juices flowing and brainstorm some unique tactics, creative design, or ad strategies that suit your show’s content.
2. Never Stop Testing
Because podcasting is so young, new forms of advertising and marketing are constantly emerging. As a podcast marketer, never stop testing (and learning) new tactics and strategies for your show. If you give one tactic a try and it doesn’t work for your show, move on to the next. Don’t create a rigid structure of tactics. If you do this, you run the risk of passing up marketing opportunities that could work wonders for your podcast.
3. Listen to Your Listeners
Podcasting is an intimate medium. Your audience is pressing play on your show and giving you their time for usually upwards of 30-minutes. This is unlike any other marketing medium out there. And as all podcast marketers know, word-of-mouth is the holy grail of marketing, especially for podcasts. You want your listeners to be the cheerleaders of your show, recommending it to those in their own networks.
But to get them to do that, you want to listen to them after they’re done listening to you. Take in their feedback, whether that comes in the form of reviews, through social media, or however you interact with your audience. You want your audience to know that you’re listening to them and actually using their feedback to make your show a better experience.
4. Be Patient
We always say that podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint, even in podcast marketing. Growing your audience can take time, so be patient. If a tactic isn’t working for you immediately, don’t give up on it just yet. If, after a couple of weeks, months, or whatever you believe is a sufficient amount of time, you’re not getting the results you desire, try moving on to another tactic. But just giving one tactic your all for a week will probably not get you your desired results.
This is why even with sponsored podcast ad slots, you’ll find that many hosts have a minimum number of episodes you have to sponsor (usually around three episodes). A big reason for this is that it can take some time to start seeing the results from sponsored ad slots.
5. Look at Your Competitors
Check out the competition. What are you fellow podcast marketers using, what’s working for them, and how can you execute it more effectively? There are multiple tools you can use to check out the competition.
- SEO tools for tracking website performance
- Reviewing social media channels
- And of course, a simple Google search of their podcast in incognito mode
6. Track Your Results
Effectively tracking the results of your marketing initiatives is going to be crucial. Without knowing what is actually garnering the results you desire, what’s the point? Although there aren’t nearly as many tracking tools available for podcasts as we see with other mediums, there are still ways that you can get creative when it comes to measuring your success.
Whatever medium you’re using to market your podcast, do a deep dive into how you can measure the success of your campaign. Although you may not be able to specifically look at click-to-download rates in non-podcast specific apps/platforms, you will usually be able to track clicks and impressions that you can then go back into your podcast hosting platform to measure whether or not you’ve seen an uplift in listeners while your marketing campaign has been running.
7. Slow Down
And our last piece of advice for every podcast marketer is to slow down. We often get overwhelmed with all of the shiny new tools and tactics for us to try out but remember to slow down and take it one step at a time. As we’ve said, podcasting is a long-term strategy. You don’t need to figure out the exact marketing strategies that work perfectly for your show within the first week of launching. Remember to enjoy the process of growing your podcast.
About the Author
Alison Osborne is the Head of Marketing at Quill Inc., a podcast production company that works with corporate brands on launching and growing their podcast. Previously the co-founder and CMO at Origins Media Haus (a production agency acquired by Quill Inc), Alison is an experienced marketer specializing in podcasting, content marketing, and data-driven results.