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Growing Your Podcast Audience: Marketing Tactics That Work

Introduction

Releasing remarkable podcast content represents just the first step – building an audience of engaged listeners comes next. While podcast platforms’ algorithms can help initially through placements on popular charts and in search, active marketing and promotion becomes essential for ongoing discovery and subscriptions. This guide explores proven podcast marketing tactics to cost-effectively maximize your show’s reach.

Podcast Marketing Goals

Key metrics to track:

  • Listeners
    Total download numbers.
  • Subscribers Followers actively notified about new episodes.
  • Reviews Highly-rated shows surface more prominently on podcast platforms.
  • Sharing and Word of Mouth Cultivate loyal evangelists spreading buzz.
  • Email List Sign Ups Get contact info to communicate directly.
  • Website Traffic Grow visibility and connection.

Holistically grow awareness, listening and engagement through cross-channel efforts.

Optimizing Your Podcast Listing

Maximize organic platform discoverability:

  • Compelling Show Description Summarize topics and highlights.
  • Engaging Artwork
    Eye-catching cover matching description.
  • Defined Categories and Subgenres Helps matching right listeners looking for related podcasts.
  • Keyword Optimization Relevant terms throughout title, description and episodes.
  • Trailer Preview hooking interest.
  • Initially Available Back Catalog More content to binge helps hook new listeners.

Great metadata makes it easier for ideal listeners to find your show.

Driving Website Traffic

Your site as podcast hub:

  • Podcast Homepage Introduce concept, highlight episodes, embed player.
  • Individual Episode Pages Fully profile each new episode.
  • “Subscribe on iTunes/Spotify” Buttons Make it easy to follow from site.
  • Transcripts
    Text format aids SEO.
  • Show Notes and Links
    Further context and resources.
  • Blog Articles Expanding Topics Deeper dives on themes from episodes.

The website Experience surrounds and amplifies the podcast.

Email Marketing and Newsletters

Direct subscriber communication:

  • New Episode Announcements Share release details and provide links.
  • Recap Best Moments Draw focus to key quotes.
  • Guest Information Background on interviewees featured.
  • Transcripts Full text interview summaries.
  • Related Blog Posts Expanded articles on topics covered.
  • Playlists Grouping similar episodes.
  • Polls and Surveys Solicit listener opinions.

Email sustains awareness between releases while deepening engagement.

Social Media Marketing

Promoting episodes:

  • Excerpts and Clips Hook interest with funny or intriguing moments.
  • Guest Announcements Spotlight upcoming high-profile interviews.
  • Cross-Posting Episodes
    Share links natively on all your social profiles.
  • Utilize Stories
    Add value recapping episodes through ephemeral content.
  • Interview Teasers Preview clips building anticipation for releases.
  • Trailers Video promos make the podcast visual and shareable.
  • Hashtags Tag for easy discovery within communities.

Social amplification strategies share your content through followers inherently interested in your niche.

Facebook Groups

Engage your niche community:

  • Official Show Group Central hub for listeners to interact, suggest topics and spread word.
  • Industry/Topic Groups Joint interest communities to promote new episodes conversationally.
  • Location-Based Groups If local podcast, connect with city/region listeners.
  • Fan Groups Tap into fervent brand-specific communities.

Active yet thoughtful participation builds grassroots followings organically.

Influencer Marketing

Leverage leaders in your space:

  • Write Reviews Request niche influencers review and highlight your show.
  • Cross-Promote Episodes
    Jointly announce and share episodes featuring influencers.
  • Request Sharing Relevant followers amplify each other’s work.
  • Guest Appearances Being featured expands your profile among their following.
  • Sponsorships
    Offer affiliate codes or free products/services for honest reviews.

These mutually beneficial partnerships tap into existing audiences.

Giveaways and Contests

Incentivize subscriptions, reviews and shares:

Subscription Giveaways

  • Prize offered to email list sign ups or platform subscribers.

Review Contests

  • Prize awarded to randomly selected new reviewer.

Share Coupons

  • Discount codes for sharing episodes social media.

Superfan Awards

  • Prizes for top fans commenting and posting.

Collaboration Drawings

  • Co-host contest winners on a special crossover episode.

Building in rewards boosts specific metrics you aim to expand.

Live Events

In-person occasions offering exclusive experiences:

  • Host Listening Parties Gather local fans to preview episodes.
  • Appear at Niche Conferences Connect with industry enthusiasts.
  • Organize Meetups Casual opportunities to meet hosts.
  • Plan Pop-up Shops Sell show merch to fans.
  • Stage Live Recordings Unique tickets to be part of studio audience.
  • Partner Local Businesses Sponsor venues to integrate brands.

Nothing substitutes for face-to-face community connection.

Hashtag Campaigns

Drive social engagements:

  • Ask Questions Prompt responses like #MyTakeOnTopic
  • Encourage Suggestions #SubmitGuestIdeas
  • Share Listen Moments #WhereIListen
  • Fan Quotes #MyFavoriteEpisode
  • Theme Playlists #WorkoutSongs #RoadTripPlaylist

Well-executed hashtags arouse conversation while highlighting your show.

Podcast Directories

Submit to essential databases beyond main platforms:

  • Listen Notes
  • Castos
  • Player FM
  • Hubhopper
  • Podbay
  • Podchaser
  • Podcast Addict
  • TuneIn

Casting a wide net across directories maximizes opportunities to be found. Just maintain consistent title, description and cover art across each.

Podcast Apps

Given fragmentation, be present across top podcast listening apps:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Spotify
  • Pocket Casts
  • Overcast
  • Stitcher
  • Google Podcasts
  • TuneIn
  • iHeartRadio
  • Audible
  • Podbean

While most listen on their main platform of choice, availability across apps ensures accessibility.

Cross-Promotions

Mutually beneficial partnerships with shows in similar niches give exposure to each other’s audiences:

Examples

  • Shoutouts and guest appearances on complementary shows
  • Exclusive sponsorships
  • Co-marketing episode launches through combined social promotion
  • Shared giveaways requiring following multiple shows
  • Crossover episodes on special shared themes

Look for podcasts with overlapping appeal but distinct-enough content.

Podcast Business Listings

Third-party podcast directories specialized for promotion and monetization:

  • Podchaser
  • Podcoin
  • PodParadise

Benefits include:

  • Increased visibility
  • Backlink opportunities
  • Networking contacts
  • Prospective guest connections
  • Sponsorship leads

Take advantage of podcast-specific marketing platforms.

Highlighting Your Team

Putting hosts and contributors front and center builds affinity:

  • Host Backstories Listeners care about getting to know personalities.
  • Photos
    Fun host pictures on your site and social profiles.
  • Personal Anecdotes Relatable reveals shared on mic.
  • Public Appearances Seeing hosts live forges connections.
  • Virtual Live Events Stream get-to-know chats and listener Q&As.
  • “Behind the Scenes” Provide brief sneak peeks at show prep.

Remind audiences there are real fascinating people behind each episode.

Optimizing Homepage Real Estate

Visually promote your show from the moment people visit your website:

  • Show Artwork Feature
    Bold “iTunes Top 100” style artwork as site header.
  • Trailer Auto-Play Preview the show experience.
  • Reviews Showcase Spotlight top reviews and ratings.
  • Scannable Bullet Point Show Description
  • Simple Subscribe Calls-to-Action
  • Briefly Feature Guest Appearances Photos and bios communicating calibre of interviews.
  • Strong Visual Branding Throughout Reinforce show identity on all pages.

First impressions from your homepage should instantly convey your show’s strengths.

Repurposing Episodes into Marketing Content

Extract additional assets from show recordings:

  • Video Clips Funny excerpt compilations and shareable moments.
  • Series Recaps Cover key themes, ideas and guest highlights from season in digestible blog posts.
  • Transcripts Written record of interviews searchable for keywords.
  • Audio Compilations Themed “Best of” episodes around specific topics or guest responses.
  • Quote Graphics Impactful or provocative pull-quote images for social media.
  • Guest Interview Summaries Top insights condensed into easily shared articles.

Finding new applications for existing content maximizes its mileage.

Guest Promotion Partnerships

Maximize attention when featuring high-profile interviews:

  • Coordinate Announcements Time guest’s social media post about appearance to coincide with yours.
  • Provide Shareable Clips Well-edited segments appropriate to post driving listenership.
  • Joint Giveaways Reward those who follow, subscribe and review both shows.
  • Crossover Appearances
    Extend exposure by guesting on their show in return.
  • Amplify Show Assets
    Share guest’s books, events, causes etc. with your audience.
  • Reciprocal Shoutouts Show appreciation announcing appearances during episodes.

Work together before, during and after a guest spot for mutual benefit.

YouTube Channel Potential

Additional hosting and marketing opportunities through video:

  • Post Full Audio Upload entire episodes timed to audio for secondary channel.
  • Share Short Clips Exciting snippets previewing show hook interest.
  • Publish Video Trailers Preview value proposition and vibe.
  • Include Animated Art Display static artwork dynamically.
  • Host Video Series or Vlogs Bonus original visual content expanding audience.
  • Curate Topic Playlists Group relevant past episodes.

The leading video site offers engaging new content possibilities.

SEO Site Structure for Discoverability

Site architecture and metadata supporting search:

  • Transcribe Full Episodes Text content aids search engine indexing.
  • Optimize Page Titles and Meta Descriptions Page themes summarized concisely with keywords.
  • Include Guest Names and Topics in URLs Like example.com/ep35-john-smith-fitness.
  • Tag Posts Extensively Link related categories and concepts.
  • Interlink Site Content
    Reference associated articles and episodes across site.
  • Publish Episode Notes Detailed outlines with links to resources.
  • Prioritize Site Speed Fast load times improve search rankings.

Thoughtful SEO expands organic discovery by searchers exploring your topics.

Community Building Tactics

Foster loyal audiences who amplify your content:

  • Ask for Call-in Comments Voicemails make listeners part of the show.
  • Share User-Generated Content Spotlight photos, stories and creations from fans.
  • Send Small Gifts Surprise super fans with swag for being highly engaged.
  • Moderate Social Media Thank and like comments, answer questions to stimulate interaction.
  • Address Listeners Personally Record audio messages responding to emails.
  • Host Meetups Organize informal local listener gatherings and events.

Active involvement keeps audiences feeling appreciated and bonded to the show.

Repurposing Content For Maximum Exposure

Find diverse avenues to maximize content value:

  • Turn Episodes Into Video Summaries
    YouTube greatly expands potential reach.
  • Extract Quote Images For Social Design graphics highlighting provocative snippets.
  • Compile Key Segments Into Compilations Present best moments thematically.
  • Offer Audio Excerpts to Guests Sharable segments summarizing their contributions.
  • License Audio to Aggregators Gets snippets on streaming ad-supported channels.
  • Guest Post Articles Contribute or syndicate to blogs aligned by topic.

Seek and capitalize on supplementary channels beyond just your main podcast feed.

Optimizing Ongoing Efforts

Continuously refine based on data:

  • Analyze Performance Trends Grow efforts generating strong response. Reduce ineffective tactics.
  • Research Audience Needs Surveys, interviews and social media comments reveal content desires.
  • Solicit Constructive Feedback Cell phone interviews and focus groups provide candid thoughts.
  • Examine Referral Sources Understand highest-converting discovery channels.
  • Monitor Social Metrics
    Note engagement levels across platforms to guide priorities.
  • A/B Test Episode Formats
    Compare variables like length, structure, topics.
  • Track ROI
    Review cost and time invested in tactics vs. results.

Let real listener behaviors guide marketing choices rather than assumptions.

Conclusion

Spreading the word about your show requires expanding beyond passive tactics of merely creating solid content and listing it on podcast platforms. Proactively cross-promote through social media, email, collaborations and real world events. Continuously analyze performance indicators to double down on tactics showing positive traction. Building a large engaged audience around a passion project requires hustle. But putting in the work allows your podcast to better reach listeners and achieve its highest potential impact.

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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