Running an independent podcast isn’t easy. You have to be your own producer, editor, marketer, and webmaster. It’s a full-time job and then some. As a one (or two) person show, you’re building a brand from the ground up.
As a start-up, you need to bootstrap your promotion, which means getting creative.
Are You Ready for Your Audience?
Before promoting, make sure your podcast is of the highest quality.
When you’re starting, first impressions are everything. And as the saying goes, “you only get one.” If a potential listener stumbles upon your podcast and doesn’t like what they hear, there’s a good chance they’ll never come back.
So before you start promoting, take some time to make sure your show is ready for an audience. Here are some things to consider:
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating. If your podcast is of poor quality, people will not stick around to listen. Make sure your audio is clear, your editing is tight, and your content is engaging.
Using a platform like Boomcaster can help improve your sound quality and make your podcast more professional.
7 Ways to Promote Your Show
Now that you’re sure your show is ready for prime time, it’s time to start promoting.
One of the critical pieces to successfully promoting your podcast is to set yourself up to scale. Whether you plan to handle the entire promotion process by yourself or bring in outside help, having the right pieces in place will help.
1 – Create a website for your show
The first (and possibly most overlooked) tactic for promotion is creating a website.
In the age of social media, it’s easy to forget the importance of having a home base for your show. But if you want to build a sustainable audience, you need to own your platform.
Creating a website gives you a place to direct all your traffic, giving you control over the user experience. Plus, it helps establish you as a credible source (more on that later).
When you build a website, make sure to include the following:
- A player for your latest episode
- A way for people to subscribe to your show
- Links to all your social media profiles
- An “About” page that tells visitors what your show is about
- A blog
The first four items on that list are essential. A blog isn’t crucial to the success of your independent podcast. Still, it can help deepen the relationship with your audience. The SEO benefits of adding a blog to your website will drive more traffic to your website – and more subscribers to your show!
2 – Create transcripts or show notes
If you want people to listen to your podcast, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find and consume your content. That means creating transcripts or show notes for each episode.
Make sure to include critical topics, quotes, and takeaways from each episode so potential listeners can taste what your show is all about.
Creating these transcripts ahead of time will facilitate easier content production at scale. You can take quotes, key exchanges, or even the entire show and post them to your website.
Or better yet, repurpose show highlights to other platforms to expand your reach to new audiences.
3 – Leverage social media
Social media is a powerful tool that can help you reach new listeners and grow your audience.
Make sure to share each episode on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can even create shareable graphics to promote your show across social media.
To better scale content production, you need to know your audience. Depending on your niche, your audience may spend more time on one platform than another.
For example, LinkedIn would be a great platform to share your show if you have a business podcast. Alternatively, if you have a pop culture podcast, Twitter, Instagram, or even Tiktok might be a better bet.
No matter which platform(s) you use, make sure to:
- Regularly post about your episodes
- Engage with potential listeners
- Share other relevant content
- Leverage hashtags to reach new people
4 – Submit your show to directories
One of the best ways to reach new listeners is to get your podcast on popular directories like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.
The great thing about directories is that they’re designed for discovery. Millions of people use these platforms to find new content, and if you can get your show in front of them, you’re more likely to gain new listeners.
Submitting your podcast varies by directory, but it’s typically pretty straightforward. Just follow the instructions for each one, and you should be up and running in no time.
5 – Reach out to influencers
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool to help you reach new audiences and grow your podcast.
Successful influencer marketing is finding people relevant to your niche and having an engaged following. Once you’ve identified a few potential influencers, reach out to them and see if they’d be interested in promoting your show.
There are a few different ways you can do this. For example, you could:
- Ask them to share your podcast with their followers
- Interview them on your show
- Have them guest-host an episode
- Write a blog article for your site (if you’ve decided to go this route!)
The key is to offer something of value in exchange for their promotion. Most influencers are happy to help, but you need to ensure you’re providing them with something in return.
6 – Advertise your podcast
One of the best ways to reach new listeners is to invest in advertising. Advertising can be a great way to reach new audiences and grow your podcast.
This might not work for everyone. If your podcast isn’t generating any revenue, it can be challenging to justify the spending.
Start small. A few dollars here or there on boosted posts might be all you need to reach new listeners. If you’re generating some revenue from your podcast, you can increase your ad spend accordingly.
7 – Get involved in the online community surrounding your topic.
There are tons of online communities full of people interested in the same things you are. Find the ones relevant to your niche and get involved.
Engage with other members, share your podcast, and see if you can find new listeners. This is a great way to connect with potential listeners and build relationships with other like-minded people.
8 – Email newsletter marketing
The last strategy on our list ties into the first. Adding a newsletter opt-in on your podcast’s website is a great way to capture email addresses from potential listeners.
Once you have a few hundred (or thousand) email addresses, you can start emailing your list regularly. This is a great way to keep people up-to-date on new episodes, share relevant blog posts, and promote any other content you’re creating.
Email newsletter marketing can be a great way to grow your podcast and keep people engaged. Just make sure you’re providing value in every email you send.
Start Promoting Today
There’s no time like the present to start promoting your podcast. These seven strategies should help you reach new listeners and grow your show.
Remember, it takes time to build an audience. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results overnight. Just keep plugging away, and eventually, you’ll start to see some traction.