Starting a podcast is hard, and the work doesn’t stop after the first few episodes are produced. After spending the time and energy on planning episodes and ensuring the quality of each one, the next step is to start building an audience that does the podcast justice. Read on to find some tips for how to get started.
1. Set Concrete Goals
Growing your podcast audience won’t happen overnight, so it’s best to start with the marketing basics. Take the time to both evaluate who the podcast’s typical listener is now and define goals for how to expand its audience. Answering three essential questions before developing a marketing plan can help to ensure that all of the time and money put into growing an audience will be well spent.
- Who is listening to the podcast right now?
How many listeners should it reach?
What’s the timeframe for reaching that goal?
Setting concrete goals gives podcasters something to work towards. It also makes it easier to break up large goals into smaller task lists to stay on track.
2. Create a Trailer
It doesn’t matter how new a podcast is. Every one of them needs a trailer episode that will pin to the top of the feed. The trailer should introduce what the podcast is about, who’s hosting it, and what guests will be interviewed. It’s also a good idea to add snippets from one or more episodes that might convince casual or first-time listeners to subscribe.
3. Promote the Podcast on Social Media
One of the reasons it’s so important to identify the kinds of people who are listening to the podcast already is that every target demographic has different preferences when it comes to social media use. There’s little sense in promoting a podcast on Instagram if it targets older adults who are more likely to use Facebook exclusively, though there’s also nothing wrong with promoting new episodes on multiple platforms.
It’s important to keep promotional content fresh. Try including quotes from episodes to use alongside links, adding pictures or images that are relevant to the episode, or even asking someone to film a short video of the recording process to share as a behind-the-scenes extra. No matter what types of promotional posts podcasters opt to use, consistency is key, so offer frequent updates and encourage follower participation.
4. Optimize Content
Search engines like Google tend to prioritize written content over audio, so it’s important to include episode descriptions that contain plenty of relevant keywords to help potential listeners find them. Podcasters often make excellent bloggers and should not be scared to write blog posts specifically about their podcasts. Transcribing each episode can help a lot, as well.
5. Network With Guests and Other Podcasters
Inviting guests onto the show helps to introduce the show to new audiences, as can networking with other podcasters in the same or similar niches. Guests, especially other podcasters with experience working with this unique medium, also offer a fresh perspective and valuable content, so don’t look at it exclusively as a promotional opportunity.
Don’t Be Afraid to Enlist Some Help
Podcasters don’t have to be professional web designers, content creators, or search engine optimization experts. There’s no shame in investing in meetings with consultants or even paying someone with more experience to transcribe episodes, create written content, optimize pages, or interact with fans on social media. It’s often a worthwhile investment.