Contributor post from Harry Duran, Founder & CEO, FullCast
When it comes to marketing your podcast, there’s no shortage of tips, tricks, and best practices. Whether you’re in the idea stage, have published your first few episodes, or—like me—are 8+ years in, it’s an ongoing process that never ends.
In this article
- Treat Your Guests Like Gold
- Maintain High Quality Standards
- Don’t Forget SEO
- Create ‘Snackable’ Bites
- Engage Your Listeners
- Watering Hole
- Final Thoughts
I’m not saying that to discourage you, but to remind you that if you’re serious about improving your show in conjunction with learning how to become a better host, marketing is one of the skills you can, and should, improve over time.
One important resource I’ll recommend is Eric Nuzum’s fantastic book “Make Noise: A Creator’s Guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve both recommended this book and actually implemented insights that we use with our clients.
While many podcasters think marketing is all about what happens when an episode is published, it’s important to understand that there’s a lot you can do before publication to prepare your content so that it comes across as polished and professional.
Treat Your Guests Like Gold
Some of the best partners for marketing your episodes will be your guests and their efforts in sharing on their personal platforms. In order to ensure this goes as smoothly as possible, you need to rewind the clock and ensure they’ve had the best experience with you and your show from Day One, and that starts with the invite process.
Use a scheduling tool (we love SavvyCal) to make the process for booking time on your show as effortless as possible. Ideally, you’ll send them a short URL link like “yourpodcast.com/guestbook” that will allow your guest to book time on your calendar without the annoying back and forth. As a bonus, that makes you look super professional!
As part of your workflow, make sure you’re asking for all the necessary information at the time of booking so you don’t have to chase your guest down for this later. At a minimum, you want to be asking for all their social handles and a link to their most recent headshot. The former is important so that you’re able to tag them appropriately when the episode is live. The latter is important because you should be using an up-to-date image that they’ve approved.
Believe me, I’ve learned from experience that you don’t want to find out you’ve used the wrong image after publishing and promoting the episode on your socials!
Maintain High Quality Standards
Once the episode is scheduled, you’ll want to ensure you’re using a remote recording service that will provide a high-quality recording, with each side of the conversation captured as a separate WAV file.
You never want to leave anything to chance and, while a service like SquadCast will dramatically improve the quality of the recording, you can also improve the quality of the interview experience with a simple tool called TripMode. This app allows you to choose which apps are using the internet during your call.
Don’t Forget SEO
Once your episode is produced, you’ll want to give some thought to naming the episode. Don’t make this decision lightly, as it’s one of the best and most visible ways for a potential listener to discover your content. A favorite tool of mine is Headline Analyzer. Treat the name of your podcast episode the same way you would treat the title of a blog post you’re hoping will have a wide reach.
Stephan Spencer, Author of “The Art of SEO,” writes “It’s all in the title. The… ranking algorithm for podcasts places a heavy emphasis on the title of the podcast.”
Create ‘Snackable’ Bites
The consistent message here is to be thinking ahead. When it comes time to edit your episode, whether that’s done by you, your producer, or a podcast editing service, you always want to ensure that you pull out one or two 15-30 second sound bites from the episode. These are snippets that serve the purpose of getting the listener excited about the episode or curious enough to want to learn more.
If you listen to an episode of Podcast Junkies, you’ll hear that we use one of those snippets as a ‘cold open’. It’s the first thing you hear and (hopefully, if I’ve done it right) serves as a sneak peek (or is it sneak listen?) into the episode you’re about to enjoy.
Additionally, when writing show notes, it’s helpful to let your writing team know that you’d like 3-5 quotes pulled from the episode as well. Of course, if you’re just getting started, your team may consist of you and only you, so this may be a conversation you’re having with yourself.
You can then leverage these quotes and snippets to create engaging audiograms using a tool like Headliner. Put your captions front and center using the tool’s Karaoke formatter. With the majority of people engaging on mobile, it’s imperative that your promotion be not only eye-catching, but ear-catching as well!
Have a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the end of each episode. If done correctly, your show provides entertainment, education, and enlightenment for listeners, leading to an audience that’s interested in ways to further engage with you. Always give them that option.
Engage Your Listeners
One thing that I’ve been doing more consistently is asking for listeners to rate and review—every episode!
My script goes a little something like this: “If you’re enjoying this episode, I’d love it if you could leave a rating and a review at RATETHISPODCAST.COM/podcastjunkies. I’d love to read yours out in a future episode!”
Now here’s the thing. When those reviews start flowing in, track them in your podcast notebook (you do have someplace where you keep your episode notes, right?). Then, when it comes time to record your episode intros, reference that list and read them out enthusiastically! I know there are many podcasters who see no value in ratings and reviews because it “does nothing for your downloads.” But in my opinion, that is the absolute wrong way to think about this. Sign your show up today.
One thing you always want to ensure is that you have an easy way to add listeners to your email list. It’s been said many times but merits repeating: you never want to build your house on rented land! I’ve given you several ideas for increasing your presence on social media, but don’t let that be your only option. You always want to ensure you have a direct link to your followers, fans, listeners, and supporters that you own and won’t be impacted by platform crashes or hiccups.
When thinking about all this promotion, make sure you find the universal link in your podcast host. For my show, I’m grateful that my host Captivate makes this super easy. It’s important that you submit your show to every possible podcast directory, so this link is as robust as possible. There are many countries with huge populations rapidly opening up to the world of podcasting—platforms like JioSaavan and Ganna are but just two of the bigger ones.
Podchaser has become the IMDB of podcasting and, with their recent funding, are quickly becoming a high-ranking site for podcast discovery. You’ll want to ensure that not only is your podcast claimed and set up, but that for each guest you have on your show, you add them as a guest credit on the podcast there, as we’ve done with our guests.
As with all things, this will take time, but you want to start thinking about a place where listeners of the show can gather and discuss their favorite episodes. For most folks this will be something simple like a Facebook Group, but there are other services like Circle and Discord where you can create engaging communities and not be shy about promoting your episodes there.
After all, that’s what they’ve signed up for. Since starting the Vertical Farming Podcast, our LinkedIn Profile page has grown to over 3600 followers!
What I’ve covered here is just the tip of the iceberg and there are many other ways to think creatively about marketing when it comes to your podcast. I encourage you to try new ideas all the time, and never forget that connection with your listeners.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about creative services or just need some creative inspiration, Voices podcasts provide insights and interviews you won’t get anywhere else.