by Noni Limar
I am sharing 10 marketing tips I learned, from social media to email marketing, to get more people to listen to your podcast. Thanks to the WOC Podcasters website, I had the wonderful opportunity to apply for and receive scholarships to both Podcast Movement (Orlando, FL) and Werk It (Los Angeles, CA). I am so grateful for all the incredible opportunities to be inspired, network, and seriously improve my podcast game. I went to both conferences with one clear intention: GET MORE LISTENERS!
I am absolutely in love with podcasting and the impact it has on our All Heart podcast listening community. For the last year, I have heard over and over how much value and healing our podcast is bringing to the lives of women from all over the world. The more positive feedback we receive, the more focused I am on figuring out how to reach more people.
Both Podcast Movement and Werk It recognized that marketing and growing an audience is a pain point for many podcasters, from newbies to veterans. Thankfully, both conferences provided an abundance of information on how to solve this problem.
10 Podcast Marketing Tips
1. Create incredible content and be consistent
The most successful podcasts have compelling, innovative and entertaining content. Before implementing any marketing tricks, you must focus on creating the best possible podcast. Setting a clear intention for your podcast, making a long list of possible episode topics and guests, making sure you have stellar sound and designing beautiful cover art are all very important elements to have in place. Making sure your podcast stays on a consistent schedule creates trust between yourself and your community of listeners.
2. Identify your avatar
Before I went to Podcast Movement I had no idea what an avatar was in the context of podcasting. Yet everywhere I went, people kept asking about my avatar. In podcasting, an avatar is a very specific description of your ideal listener. In order to know your audience, it is imperative to identify exactly who is listening. What is the primary identity of your avatar? Race? Age? Gender? Where are they located? Where do they hang out online? In real life? Do they have children? What are they watching, reading and listening to?
Patrice Washington, the keynote speaker of Podcast Movement and host of Redefining Wealth, suggested that once you know your avatar intimately, you should speak solely to her. Being willing to alienate other listeners in order to serve your avatar allows you to meet the avatar’s needs and solve her problems.
3. Deliver something that solves a problem
Both Gregg Clunis of Tiny Leaps, Big Changes and Jalesa Ann of My Money Mogul emphasized that growing your podcast audience is all about figuring out what problems your audience has and solving them. They suggested taking polls via Instagram, asking questions in Facebook groups, sending DMs and emails asking listeners for constructive feedback on episodes and even setting up phone calls with people to talk directly about problems and solutions.
It blew my mind to find out that podcasters were setting up calls with their listeners to actually LISTEN to them. Figuring out who is listening, how they are listening, in what context they are listening, and why they are listening are all key to providing the most useful content to your audience.
4. Build a home for your podcast
Every single marketing session I went to stressed how important it is for a podcast to have its own website. A great website not only creates a hub for current listeners, it also uses SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to attract new listeners. As podcasting grows, new listeners are using search engines to find podcasts that align with their interests. A website allows for a podcaster to directly host a show notes page or blog section for each individual episode, allowing for organic search discovery.
A great website should feature a gateway or “can’t miss” episode to reel listeners in, a bio, photos and/or video, listener testimonials, relevant press mentions, clear instructions on where and how to listen to the podcast and a blog page with original content that expands on each episode or introduces new content that would be relevant to the podcast’s listeners.
5. Create an email list
Imagine every social media and podcast hosting site crashed and burned overnight. How would you reach your audience? How would you share your podcast? After building a website, creating an email list was always the next step on every marketing-savvy podcaster’s list. An email list allows podcasters to communicate directly with their audiences. Exclusive content can be offered as an incentive to join your email list.
Email lists were also referenced as a way to begin to monetize your show. Ideas included selling e-books, sharing a newly-launched Patreon or inviting your audience to live events. Utilizing both audio and video in an email campaign was also encouraged. Marketing genius Michelle Jackson of Michelle is Money Hungry told podcasters to use their email list much more frequently. Successful relationships require frequent and meaningful communication.
6. Ask for reviews, ratings, and subscriptions
Although it happens on most podcasts we listen to, it was emphasized to build asking for support into the structure of the BEGINNING of your show. Just as important as music or a great intro, asking listeners to review, rate and subscribe to your podcast on every episode allows for the show to continue to grow and be shared far and wide. Often times, successful podcasters try fun or innovative approaches to asking for listener support. Some turn the ask into a song, a game or even a gift giveaway. These are all different approaches to building more traction in the podcast space.
7. Build both virtual and IRL community
Podcasting gives us an opportunity to turn a great idea we have into a thriving connected community. So many listeners are hungry for more connection once the episode ends. Platforms like Patreon allow your community to come together online while financially supporting their favorite podcasts. Other virtual spaces like Facebook groups, IG comment sections, or Twitter live chats create a free space where listeners can discuss their opinions on each episode. As well as begin new conversations, expanding the landscape of your offering.
As much as we all love connecting online, planning podcast pop up events, live recordings and regional meetups are all also great ideas. Connecting in real life allows relationships to grow stronger and deeper, giving your avatar a safe space and community she can grow with.
8. Optimize social media
We all know how important social media is but running multiple social media accounts daily can feel like a part-time job in itself. Knowing how to effectively and efficiently use social to build your audience is key. Andréa Jones of Savvy Social Podcast suggested using an app like Canva to create branded templates for daily shares of questions, polls, quotes, transcripts, episode teasers, audiograms and more.
Once these templates are created, planning your week’s social media strategy should only take an hour, using the episode as the seed and repurposing content from there. Other ideas included using IG and FB Live often (it increases your chances of showing up in people’s feeds) and saving those live videos for content at a later date.
After creating your content it is important to engage with current followers and their content as well as investigate who your avatar is following. Who is commenting on the podcasts in the same lane as yours? Spending 10-20 minutes per day engaging in comments, liking, and DMing will certainly create more relationships and listeners.
9. Do cross-promotion and become a guest
Growing a podcast is an issue for so many of us starting out. A great place to start thinking about how to mutually support one another is to find other podcasts in the same podcast category or with similar audience demographics. Reach out to another host and ask to do a promo swap where each host reads a heartfelt promo or plays a sample of the other’s pod or trailer.
Another way to introduce yourself to new listeners is to ask to be a guest on someone else’s podcast while offering a guest spot for them on yours. There is plenty of room for everyone to succeed in the podcast space. Extending support to one another can only be beneficial for all.
Read Next: How to Get Booked on Podcasts
10. Relationship is King (Queen!) and nothing replaces the word-of-mouth advertising
The biggest podcast marketing tip I learned from everyone is that nothing can replace old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. The more people there are connecting with you and your content, the more they are telling everyone who will listen all about your show. Connecting with your listeners in an honest, heartfelt way to grow your audience.
Get over 100+ sessions from Podcast Movement by getting the Podcast Movement 2019 Virtual pass here!
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Noni Limar is a true creative. With a decade long resume of work in film, television, theater, commercials, and music she is representative of the current generation’s commitment to creating by any means necessary. Whether she is developing television content for the industry’s biggest studios, being a creative visionary for cutting edge brands or touring and recording with Grammy award-winning musicians, she really does do it all. She is currently producing All Heart, a podcast centering joy and pleasure as a means to heal the culture.