You’ve submitted your podcast to iTunes and thousands of listeners come pouring in, right? Does the whole “If you build it, they will come” saying apply to podcasts? If only it were that easy.
In some ways, making content for your podcast is easier than promoting it. It’s fun to think of new ideas, interview interesting people, and talk about a subject you’re passionate about. The real challenge comes when an episode is ready to go live. How do you motivate people who have never heard about you to give up 30 minutes of their day to listen to what you have to say?
It’s not easy, but it definitely can be done. You have to have a well-defined strategy for promoting your podcast, interacting with potential listeners, and building your credibility and reputation.
Here are five free ways to promote your podcast:
Leverage Influencers: Find important people to interview and give them the tools to share your content. Your goal is to leverage their social following to attract more listeners. This strategy taps into our innate desire to talk about ourselves and make ourselves look important. Here’s an example: you interview a well-known blogger named Joe and make him look really smart. Joe now has third-party recognition of his expertise, and wants to share this interview to build up his own brand. He shares the podcast on all his social media networks and posts it on his own blog. With just one 20-minute interview with the right person, you’ve reached thousands of new listeners.
Use Social Media to Reach Your Niche: Quora, LinkedIn Groups, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Groups, forums – it has never been easier to identify and interact with people you know are interested in a certain topic. Start commenting, asking questions, and providing answers on these social networks. You first need to build relationships and provide value to the community before sharing your podcast. In fact, you may not need to actively promote your podcast at all. You can get new listeners just by building relationships with people in these communities.
Repurpose Your Content for YouTube: YouTube is the second largest search engine, and content gets shared and discovered very easily. You could repackage your entire podcast as a video and upload it to your channel (this is great for people who prefer video rather than audio). You could also create a preview or a teaser for your podcast, enticing people to actually listen and subscribe to the original, audio version.
Make Guest Appearances: We talked about the value of guest blogging when promoting your own blog, and the same idea works for your podcast. Secure some guest appearances on other people’s podcasts to reach a new audience and plug your own show. Find podcasts in your space, reach out to the host, and pitch your idea. You have to think about how you would add value as a contributor/guest – maybe you’re an expert on a certain topic or you can provide new information/data on an upcoming story. Podcast creators are always looking for fresh ideas and content, so they are likely to welcome a new guest.
Get Out From Behind the Computer Screen: Have you noticed a trend in these strategies? They’re all about building relationships. You can submit your podcast to a podcast directory and get some listeners, but they won’t be nearly as invested in your show as someone who has a relationship with you. That’s why it’s so important to get out and interact with potential listeners in person. Attend networking events, industry talks, Meetups, trade shows or conferences. Not only will you get a chance to mention your podcast, you also get the opportunity to talk directly to your listeners, allowing you to find out more about your audience and what they’d like to hear.
These strategies won’t immediately bring in hundreds of new listeners. It will take some time and energy to build the momentum. But, these tips work together to build you up as an expert and thought leader. Sure, you’re promoting your podcast, but you’re also interacting with people in your field and providing valuable, helpful information to others.
We’ve been talking about about how podcasts can help grow your agency. Have you started your podcast project yet? If not, be sure to check out our 5-Minute Guide: Getting Started in Podcasting. What has been the most inspiring (or terrifying) part of podcasting for your business? Leave your comments below.