Starting a podcast? Glad to hear it! Here’s a hard truth: you can’t launch and scale a successful show without understanding how to promote a podcast. It’s a key element in your strategy and one that will help you immensely as you acquire podcast sponsors. If you’re planning to start a podcast (or you already have one that struggles to gain traction), you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to take you through the essential strategies for promoting your podcast, increasing your listener base, and making a real impact in your niche.
If you’re looking for a more basic overview of how to start a podcast, we have a step-by-step guide for that right here. We recommend getting those essentials straight before you dive into podcast promotion specifically.
Here are the 10 most important steps to promote your podcast:
- Create compelling content
- Utilize podcast directories
- Engage with your target audience
- Invite high-level guests
- Collaborate with influences
- Optimize your podcast website
- Tap into your email list or social media audience
- Diversify your podcast with video content
- Ask your audience to leave ratings and reviews
How to Promote a Podcast: Initial Launch Strategy
How you launch your podcast matters to your long-term promotional strategy. (If you’ve already published a few episodes, don’t worry–the rest of this piece will still apply).
To effectively reach your target audience and meet their expectations, create promotional strategies for your podcast as part of your initial launch strategy. A well-planned promotional campaign can drive higher audience engagement levels than simply releasing episode after episode without any forethought or plan.
Creating Compelling Content
So, you’ve got your podcast idea, and you’re ready to hit ‘record’. But what makes a podcast episode stand out? The basis for any successful podcast promotional strategy is great content. You simply can’t win at promoting a podcast that doesn’t captivate listeners with incredible and engaging content.
Later on, we’ll go into more detail about getting to know your target audience. This is an ongoing process–if you waited to launch before you fully understood your target audience, you’d never launch your podcast! But before you shoot the breeze on air, make sure you know enough about your potential listeners that your content is geared toward grabbing their attention.
Utilizing Podcast Directories
You can’t promote a podcast if nobody knows where to find it. Most podcasters submit their shows to multiple podcast directories including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Any good podcast hosting platform will streamline this process–we go over those here.
The trick lies not just in getting on these platforms but making yourself easy to find. Write a description that’s actually interesting and employ keywords (more on that later) to make yourself more discoverable on these directories.
Getting off to a Running Start
So you’ve recorded your first episode…don’t press “go” yet!
Launching multiple podcast episodes on the first day your podcast goes live is actually a promotional strategy in itself. It may be tempting to publish your first episode immediately upon recording and editing. But by giving listeners more to dive into right away, you will pique their interest so they stick around for future releases.
Starting with 3-5 episodes gives new audiences more to chew on right off the bat. Like having multiple pages on a speaker’s website giving visitors ample information about their expertise or services offered – these initial episodes are crucial for hooking first-time listeners.
Perfection is the enemy of the good here–you can always improve your quality with each episode. Don’t stress if the first few aren’t perfect.
How to Promote a Podcast: Engaging With Your Target Audience
Before we move on to specific promotional strategies, let’s get one thing straight. The needs and preferences of your target audience must always inform how you promote. If you use all the trendiest podcast marketing hacks to get in with the wrong people, your podcast will flop.
Engaging is about establishing genuine connections with listeners and offering value in more ways than one. Get to know who your audience is – their likes, the challenges they face, and what they aspire to achieve. Then, craft content that speaks directly to them.
Wondering how to promote a podcast through engagement? Start by personalizing other parts of your platform beyond your show content. Share bits of your life or sneak peeks into how podcasts are created on your website and social media channels. Most importantly, be the same person on and off the podcast.
Authenticity draws listeners closer because it’s relatable. The connection between podcaster and listener isn’t unidirectional! Rather, it’s a conversation that fosters loyalty and community.
This dynamic interaction not only keeps listeners hooked but also amplifies the chances of them promoting your podcast through word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth is by far the most effective marketing tool in any industry. Podcast marketing is no exception.
How to Promote a Podcast: Inviting Guests
Featuring expert guests on your podcast, whether regularly or occasionally, enriches your content. Diverse perspectives keep every episode unique and interesting. Maintain listener engagement levels by using a conversational Q&A format rather than alternating long soliloquies.
The Advantage Guests Bring your Show
Your guest’s audience can become part of yours too. Think about it–if you invite a famous guest speaker to headline your event, chances are a few of their fans will show up when they see a familiar name on the program. In the same way, inviting a guest on your podcast (and promoting it appropriately) can bring on a whole slew of new listeners. Similarly, appearing as a guest on other podcasts can introduce you to new audience sectors.
The value of guest appearances on podcasts doesn’t end with broadening listenership. Esteemed guests also add weight to the credibility of your content. Getting recognizable guests or “influencers” in your niche on your podcast should be an essential part of how to promote a podcast.
Collaborating with Influencers
While it’s great if you know potential podcast guests in person, you can connect with many others on social media. It shouldn’t take you long to figure out who the biggest influencers are within your niche. If your podcast contributes to the same conversations they’re leading–whether from the stage, in books, on LinkedIn, or on other podcasts, they probably want to talk to you.
You can’t just tag influencers in a post and expect them to star in your next episode, but it’s a good start. Talk about what you learn from other voices in the same space and comment, share, and react to their thought leadership. Building a relationship in this way will organically lead to opportunities to initiate personalized communication.
Very few people charge for guest appearances on a podcast, so don’t be bashful about issuing an invitation. If you can demonstrate that your audiences overlap and you’re working toward similar goals, you’ll probably get an enthusiastic “yes!” After all, they stand to gain new listeners as well.
How to Promote a Podcast: Optimizing Your Podcast Website
Your podcast website isn’t just an informational platform. It’s the digital touchpoint for your listeners. Optimizing this space is all about enhancing visibility and accessibility for potential listeners. No fancy buzzwords or jargon need apply!
The Role of SEO in Podcast Promotion
Having a fancy podcast website doesn’t mean much if people can’t find it. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a big role in how to promote a podcast effectively. With proper use of relevant keywords, you increase the chances of your podcast being discovered by eager ears. Research keywords for your topics with free tools and integrate them into your podcast descriptions. This will help you appear at the top of Google search and within podcasting directories.
On your website, you can also create pages of show notes and transcribed podcast audio to improve your SEO optimization. While by no means a requirement, such notes improve accessibility and offer algorithms more text to crawl through. Free software programs like Otter AI and Descript can streamline these processes by creating outlines and transcripts automatically.
How to Promote a Podcast: Email and Social Media Promotion
Because podcasting is by nature in the digital space, we have to say a few words on two of the most important digital marketing tools: email and social media.
Let’s talk about the power of building an email list for how to promote a podcast. An email list allows you to directly reach your existing audience and welcome new listeners into the community.
Email lists are one of the most undervalued promotional strategies. No expensive tech or huge expenditures required – you’re just connecting with loyal followers who already enjoy your work. Here, you can share the first look at exclusive content, sneak peeks of upcoming episodes, and thought leadership.
Beyond promotion, email lists provide another invaluable opportunity: feedback collection. Who better to ask for opinions than those who trust you enough to sign up for your emails? Tap into your audience’s needs with regular surveys and let the responses shape future content. If you plan to diversify your income streams with other projects, such as products your listeners will buy, collecting feedback through email will save you a lot of failed product launches.
93% of regular podcast listeners actively use at least one social media channel. Social media presence is no longer a choice, it’s an expectation. Making your presence felt that is a challenge. but one that will set you apart from other podcasts once successfully mastered.
Your goal: get people to stop scrolling and start listening. Teasers from upcoming episodes, shout-outs to guest speakers, thought-provoking questions, and submitted Q&As all help accomplish this. Don’t overestimate your ability–consistency is more important than variety. This applies to the types of posts and to how many platforms you post them on.
Whether you’re dropping breadcrumbs for an upcoming episode or sharing highlights from previous ones, stick to a regular schedule. Consistent branding across all channels also builds familiarity among users. Familiarity and anticipation in turn lead to increased engagement rates. If you aren’t used to managing multiple social media channels at once, start with the one or two where your target audience hangs out the most.
As a final note, on social media SEO isn’t only for websites anymore. Optimizing descriptions in each of your social media posts with relevant keywords and hashtags gives you more visibility within search algorithms of these platforms.
How to Promote a Podcast: The Impact of Video Content
As podcasters, it’s critical to think of creative solutions for standing out from the crowd. One surefire way is channeling some (if not all) of your podcast audio content into YouTube videos. Trust us—it can be a game-changer.
This conversion doesn’t just add visual appeal; it lets you tap into the power of social media platforms. Now you can split up your video into a variety of stills and clips for myriad posts. Animated diagrams, bloopers, and reaction videos are all possibilities.
Diversifying Your Audience with Video Content
We know that dynamic and interactive elements draw digital audiences. Switching up your podcast format can reel in new listeners who lean towards visuals over sounds—a win-win situation.
Furthermore, Google algorithms love multimedia-rich pages. This means, as you add your videos to your website, you’ll gain higher SEO rankings and increased visibility for your work. Even if it’s not in the cards right now, add converting those podcasts into YouTube videos to your long-term podcast strategy today.
How to Promote a Podcast: Reviews and Ratings
We can’t finish without mentioning one of the most self-evident built-in promotional strategies available to podcasters: reviews. For good or ill, listeners will leave ratings and reviews on your podcast that will be readily visible to anyone who finds you in a podcast directory. This is another reason it’s key to engage with your target audience–you want people who already have a good chance of enjoying your content to listen and leave a review.
Just as every speaker has their style, each review tells a different story about your podcast. When potential listeners read these testimonials, they get an authentic taste of what you offer. It’s not just praise—it’s evidence that you deliver quality content.
You can incentivize your fanbase to leave positive reviews through the other channels we’ve mentioned–even offering giveaways or raffles to new reviewers via email or social media. A satisfied listener will be more than happy to leave a positive review, but often they won’t think of it unless you tell them how much it helps your podcast.
Just decided to launch a podcast? You’re in for an exciting ride. But, just like any new venture, you’ve got some important steps ahead. Integrating a promotional plan into your initial launch strategy is a step that will reap great benefits further down the line.
By engaging with your audience, you will understand how to most effectively promote your podcast via big name guest appearances, optimal web presence, and positive ratings and reviews. All of these strategies work together to create momentum for your podcast to keep gaining new listeners.
Just like motivational speakers become old news if they don’t pivot with the needs of their audience, you have to maintain ongoing podcast marketing efforts to promote effectively after the initial buzz fades away. With the strategies we’ve outlined today, you’re well on your way to do just that!
How do I promote a podcast?
Scroll back up to the top of this article and read it again! By following these strategies for how to promote a podcast, you can increase your podcast’s visibility, grow your listener base, and multiply your impact.
How do I use social media to promote a podcast?
Choose platforms based on where your target audience hangs out and cross-post updates, clips, and sneak peeks. Encourage your followers to share your episodes with their networks, expanding your reach even further.
How do I Optimize my Podcast Website?
Your website is a valuable asset for promoting your podcast. Optimize it for search engines by using relevant keywords in your podcast titles, descriptions, and blog posts. Additionally, make sure your website is user-friendly and mobile-responsive.
How do I Engage with my Podcast Audience?
The key to forging a solid bond with your audience is authenticity. Even if you’re figuring out how to promote a podcast with no money, time, or bandwidth, you can be authentic. Be the same person on your podcast, on social media, and when you meet fans in person. Ask for feedback via your email list and social media and actually listen to your listeners. It’s really that simple.