7 tips for Podcast Promotion
In one of our previous articles we’ve shared tips for beginner podcasters. We have spoken with many podcasters, small to big, and discovered that once you’ve set up everything to start the podcast and have content to deliver, the next big problem to solve is - promotion.
In this blog we have collected 7 most important questions that, if addressed properly, will give your podcast a boost in a short time. But keep in mind that not all of these pieces of advice are one-time actions - some of them should be treated as processes and you should automate as many steps as you can. If you’re ready, let’s discuss these 7 tips for promoting your podcast quickly.
- Podcast Distribution.
When you start your podcast, you should choose a podcast hosting platform. Usually your main podcasting host provides you with services like storing your podcast on their servers, making it available for users to listen to, gives you RSS feed and, in some cases, creates a Home Web Page for you podcast - a public web page which contains your podcast logo, description, and episodes.
But your host is not the only platform that your potential audience is using when listening to podcasts. And you should be available everywhere, because you have to follow your listeners in their habits, because you want to become part of their normal routine and not force them to change their habits - this won’t work anyway. And the solution for these is easy thanks to the RSS feed that your host provides you. The best practice is to use one hosting with one RSS feed as your single point of uploading and updating all of your episodes, and provide the link to the same RSS feed to all the other platforms: Spotify, Google, Apple, Podbean, Stitcher etc. You will need to register at each of these platforms, there are plenty of instructions on the internet for any platform - you just have to search for the interface for podcast owners, not listeners. For example, on Spotify it’s podcasters Spotify dot com, for Google - it’s podcast manager google dot com, etc.
You need to set up each platform only once, and they will start collecting updates from your main hosting service provider on a regular basis, usually a few times a week. So, if you don’t see your podcast on these platforms right away, or it doesn’t update your most recent episode - don’t panic, fetching updates can take up to 3-4 days, sometimes longer, so just don’t expect immediate updates. Also, while setting up your podcast on every platform, make sure to select the right age restriction for explicit content and understand their rules for copyrighted content, such as audio effects and music, as this may prevent your podcast distribution in future. So, if you’ve chosen that your podcast is for all age groups, make sure that your future episodes will follow this rule strictly. Otherwise, pick an explicit content checkbox right from the beginning.
- Home website for the podcast.
Even though your podcasting host might provide you with a public version of your podcast’s home page, consider creating your own website with your podcast’s unique domain name. This will benefit you by giving you a chance to post other content, such as blogs, video and photo materials, transcriptions of your podcasts in a text format and so on. Moreover, having your own website with content that is updated regularly will help you gain traction via search engine results - so make sure that you follow SEO best practices while writing your text content. Try to provide something unique on your website and refer to it in your podcasts often. For example, you can tell in your episode that you’ll provide some valuable piece of info on your website, something like checklists or pdfs. On the other hand, use your site’s organic traffic to grow your podcast audience by directing them to the episode that they are likely to listen to.
- Social media - be present where your audience lives.
It’s easy just to mention that for any promotion everyone needs to be active on social media, but to be more precise - you have to understand where your listeners live and how to communicate with them properly. Given that your podcast is the main medium for communication, try not to replace it with social media communication - you’d rather want them to get some value on the social media as a teaser, and get intrigued by how much more value they can get by listening to your podcast. So, the better approach would be to use social media and podcasts in combination, so that they add value to each other. Keep in mind that different media mean different formats of communication and have different internal promotion algorithms, so avoid using “one fits all” approach. And the behavior of your audience also depends on where they find you. For example, you can leverage text posts on career related topics on LinkedIn to reach one part of your audience, and on Instagram you can post a reel video that can go viral. The former and the latter can be seen by the same person twice, but the formality, emotional side and messaging should be completely different, fitting the context of the given social media. This approach will not only help you represent your podcasting brand from different perspectives, without repetition, but also would trigger recommendation algorithms.To sum up, just be mindful of the differences and find the format of communication that fits all social media that you are using to promote your podcasting show.
- Trailer for your podcast.
Talking about algorithms, Spotify is one of the most innovative, audio-first tech platforms out there. They understand the big problem of podcast promotion and now are experimenting with Podcast Trailers format for podcast recommendation algorithms. They use what’s called ‘BART’ algorithm for music recommendation, but the problem is that a song or music track can be measured by machine learning algorithm - it’s a sequence of frequencies, amplitudes and rhythms - and computer, or AI, can find patterns that are common for specific genres and it can sort the music without the need to understand the meaning of the song. And this is being used to recommend common style music and learn which recommendation users like, and which don’t work. So, this is how the algorithm is learning for music. But for podcasts you really need to understand what the podcasting show as a whole is about, not only any single episode. And to solve this problem, Spotify, Anchor and some other platforms provide what’s called a podcast trailer - a short, usually under 60 seconds, elevator pitch to tell your potential future listeners what this podcast is about. Try to sum up your personality and interest that you want to discuss in your podcast in under 60 seconds - the shorter, the better. And Spotify will take this trailer audio and try to recommend it as they do with music - if your potential listeners like the trailer, they might visit your podcast and become your new listener. So, be emotional, clear and concise in your trailer. Try to catch people’s attention and intrigue them, so that they feel that they might be missing something if they don’t check your full podcast.
- Search engine optimized texts in all the description fields available.
Just like with your website, make sure that you fill in all the possible fields on your podcast hosting provider and all the platforms where your podcast is being distributed. Many of them, such as google and apple podcasts, are being indexed by search engines, so it is important to have your unique, not copy-pasted text in all the fields. And make sure that you don’t put the same info in all the fields - really put your time into it and don’t copy yourself. These fields include podcast title, description, links to social media and website, episode description and titles - each field matters. Try finding what’s called a semantic core, or simply your own keywords that you want to associate with, and stick to these keywords in every episode's title and description. The more you mention the same semantic core, the more visible your podcast will become for all the search engines and podcasting platform search algorithms.
- Intriguing titles
Titles of each episode should be not only descriptive, but also intriguing. They should make listeners curious to click and listen to it, with hopes of finding something that will entertain them, help them learn or find some other value. Keep in mind that you can’t use clickbait names like many YouTube videos have because your titles will also help people navigate in your previous content - in audio format, unlike in videos, it’s hard to see what’s “inside” the episode. So, please be honest with your audience in choosing titles for episodes, but it’s totally fine if you are naming your episode in a form of provoking question or as a hook to grab their attention.
- Regular updates.
When registering your podcast on different platforms, you may be asked how often you plan to post new episodes. It’s not mandatory to follow the schedule, this information could be used by a platform to allocate enough resources for checking for your new episodes (everyday, weekly, biweekly etc.). Nevertheless, having a predictable and regular schedule will help you and your audience to manage time. For you as a podcast producer it will help in allocation enough time for scripting, recording and editing your podcast materials. For your audience - it will help to find a time and a place to listen to new episodes. So, be predictable and follow the schedule. Very soon you’ll notice that releasing new podcast episodes at a certain time will become a normal part of your routine, and you won’t have any problems with sticking to a schedule once you’ve developed a habit. But before it becomes a natural part of you, remember to update your podcast in a timely manner.
To sum up, there is no “one fits all” solution when it comes to Podcast Promotion, but rather a combination of small steps that provide minimal gains. But combined together, those minimal gains work in synergy and can quadruple your audience. Some tips about podcast promotion in this blog trigger your end user’s psychology, like Intriguing Episode Titles, others focus primarily on technical aspects of various algorithms, such as SEO, frequency of posting, and podcast trailers. But it’s highly recommended to read through these tips and implement each of them, because we’ve only included tips that are essential for any podcasting show. We’ve discovered these small lifehacks while working on our podcast and talking to many podcasters in the field, and these were the tips that we heard very often. So please save your time on hesitation and help your podcasting platforms distribute your podcast to a broader audience by implementing these simple tricks. Meanwhile, we at Castofly Technologies will keep working with experts in the podcasting field, honing our own expertise, and sharing it with you - so stay tuned!