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Podcast Marketing: 20 Proven Strategies for Podcast Promotion

Podcast Marketing: 20 Proven Strategies for Podcast Promotion

If you just started a podcast, you’re probably looking for marketing and promotion strategies to get your show noticed. After all, there are about as many podcasts out there as grains of sand on the beach—so how can you make your show stand out?

We’re glad you asked.

Promoting and marketing your show is essential to the success of your podcast, and you should be making a promotion strategy even before your first episode is published. In this post, we’ll look at 15 proven podcast marketing strategies to promote your show and build an audience organically, even if you’re starting without a huge following. 

Watch the video and read on for our podcast promotion ideas and marketing strategies:


What is podcast marketing and promotion?

Once you’ve set on the journey of creating and then publishing a podcast, you’re left with the task of marketing and promoting your podcast. But what does this actually mean?

Podcast marketing and promotion refers to any sort of strategies or plans you can act on to grow your podcast audience and increase its visibility. There are many ways you can do this and while certain strategies are often used, it doesn’t mean you can’t think out of the box and market your podcast differently. 

To get the ball rolling, we’ve given you some podcast marketing strategies that you can try and use to start promoting your podcast. 

Read on for our podcast promotion ideas and podcast marketing strategies:

1. Consider your target audience: Create an Audience Persona

First, any marketer worth their salt will tell you that you won’t get far without a clear understanding of your target audience. 

You may think it makes sense to try getting seen by everyone—after all, the more eyes on your show, the bigger the prospective audience, right? 

But the truth is, your podcast isn’t suitable for everyone. You may be able to throw a ton of money and time at podcast promotion and earn a lot of new listeners or downloads, but is your goal to create a temporary spike in listens, or is it to attract listeners who become long-term subscribers because they like what they hear?

Probably the second option, right? In that case, figure out who those people are before you start promoting your podcast. 

Creating a listener persona for your podcast can help you define your target listener’s needs, wants, and preferences so that you can actually provide episodes your audience will be clamoring to download. 

Of course, the best way to create a listener persona is with market research and real data about your actual listeners. But if you don’t have many subscribers yet and have no idea how to conduct market research, that’s okay. 

Take a few minutes to jot down an in-depth description of a fictional person who is the ultimate fan of your podcast. Answer questions like:

  • Age: What’s this person’s age? 
  • Geography: Where do they live?
  • Occupation: What occupation do they have?
  • Hobbies and Interests: What are their interests or what hobbies do they partake in?
  • Why do they listen to your podcast? 
  • Where do they listen to podcasts?

Then, create your episodes and build your brand identity around that imaginary listener persona’s interests and values. 

2. Get Active on Social Media

If you don’t live under a rock, you probably know that social media is a requirement for almost anyone who wants to gain a public following or market their product. 

That includes you, new podcaster! Social media is one of the best ways to promote a podcast.

But never fear. You don’t need to be a social media expert or be able to generate pages’ worth of witty tweets to do social media well. All you need to do is create profiles for your podcast or brand on a few select social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. You don’t need to be on every platform, just the ones where your target audience hangs out. In fact, we actually recommend you stick to one or two platforms so you can focus on creating suitable and relevant content.

Take the time to fill in your bio, choose a profile picture, and add links to your show on your profile page. It’s important that you do a lot more than just podcast promoting on your social media channels and this is why we recommend you follow these tips to build up a social media audience:

Tip 1: Be Authentic and Human

Nobody wants to follow a social media account that sounds like its posts are generated by a robot. For the most part, people will connect and engage with brand accounts that feel like they’re run by real people.  

Post about the human element of your show. Share photos or videos of what it’s like behind the scenes in your recording studio. Your fans will also appreciate being clued into a bit of your personal life, too, like birth or wedding announcements. 

When you post to announce new podcast episodes, do it with an authentic air. Dax Shepherd of Armchair Expert has mastered this effortless enthusiasm and excitement in his Twitter feed:

armchair expert podcast tweet for podcast promotion and marketing

And to keep your profile feeling real and human, you can make timely posts for holidays and cultural events—with bonus points if you can capitalize on an inside joke from your show or tie it back to your show’s topic like the fandom podcast Binge Mode does masterfully:

Binge Mode podcast marketing on social media

Tip 2: Engage with your community

Social media users want to connect with others and get a sense of community around the brands they follow, which means you’ll need to do some community-building yourself.

One easy way to cultivate community engagement online is to ask your audience to tag or @ you on your active social media platforms. They can ask you questions for a mailbag episode, leave feedback, or participate in an audience poll. 

Then, mention each participant by name (or username) on your show when you interact with their question or feedback. 

This strategy encourages a higher rate of dialogue online, which increases your visibility. Your listeners’ friends will probably have similar interests, so seeing your show mentioned on their friend’s timelines may encourage them to check out your show for themselves.

Tip 3: Don’t be Sales-y! 

The average social media user knows that brands create profiles for one purpose: to market their brand. Your followers will have a very low tolerance for sales pitches, so use them sparingly. 

It’s best to follow the 80/20 rule: only 20% of your posts should be promotional. ‍

Tip 4: Add Value to Your Audience

That other 80% of your social media posts should be of some sort of value to your followers. If you need ideas for the type of social media content to post, here are a few ideas:

  • Give helpful information
  • Solve people’s problems
  • Provide a laugh
  • Start a conversation
  • Ask or answer questions
  • Promote other accounts or brands you think your audience will appreciate

Tip 5: Create visual social media posts

When promoting your show on social media, keep in mind that posting audio clips of your new episodes probably won’t be enough to build a following. Audio isn’t the best medium for attracting attention on social media platforms since every platform is optimized for visual content like written captions, images, and videos. 

It’s very important that you keep the platform you’re posting on in mind. You need to think about the type of content audiences expect to see on this platform and how you can post accordingly.

“Find out what each of these centralized platforms is looking for and actually start creating content for that platform… Don't imagine the exact same audio from your podcast episode or the exact same video from a YouTube video is going to translate one to one into TikToks.” - Buzzsprout Head of Marketing, Alban Brooke (Hit Publish)

So, for visual platforms think of ways you can post using text and images/video. For instance, try turning pull quotes from your episodes into an image. Or take a video of your podcast recording session and post clips to your social channels, as seen here on the Office Ladies Instagram page:

Office ladies instagram post for podcast marketing and promotion
Try Riverside Clips to create short shareable teasers of your podcast in a few simple clicks.

3. Submit Your Show to Every Podcast Aggregator & Directory that You Possibly Can

One extremely simple way to get as many eyes as possible on your show is to make sure it’s showing up everywhere people listen to podcasts.

How do you do this?

Submit your show’s RSS feed manually to as many podcast directories as possible. 

Listeners use podcast aggregators and directories, like Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Spotify, and Google Podcasts to search for, discover, and listen to podcasts. By submitting your podcast RSS feed to as many podcast aggregators as you can, you ensure that as many listeners as possible will find your show when they search for topics that interest them. 

Apple podcasts aggregator and directory
(Image source: Apple Podcasts
 Related articles: How To Publish A Podcast (Beginner’s Guide 2021) & Ultimate Podcast Directories Guide

4. Publish Your Podcast on YouTube 

Another great way to promote your podcast is to take advantage of the popularity of video. YouTube gets more than two billion monthly users, which is a lot of potential eyes on your podcast.

So starting a podcast on YouTube is a solid strategy for growing your audience. If you’re just starting out, you can keep things simple by uploading a static image to go along with your episode audio.

But if you want to capture more subscribers, consider quality podcast recording software that lets you record video as well. That way, you’re already primed to use a video podcasting format. The popular political podcast Pod Save America is a great example of using YouTube videos to promote their episode interviews:

pod save america podcast episode with barack obama

 5. Repurpose Your Podcast Content 

Part of your podcast promotional strategy should be to diversify the format and channels for your content. That way, you can get your brand in front of as many potential listeners and viewers as possible. Repurposing is also an easy way to create more content without having to go back to the drawing board every single time. 

Consider the following strategies for repurposing your content:

  • Transcribe your podcast audio and turn it into blog posts (this is great for SEO visibility and tapping into new audiences)
  • Upload short clips of your episodes to Soundcloud, then share them on Twitter
  • Use graphic design tools like Canva to create quote graphics or infographics for social media
  • If you already have any other existing assets like a website, newsletter, or blog, post a link to your podcast on those channels.

Don’t underestimate the power of crossover content to attract new people to your podcast. Those already reading your blog or visiting your homepage might not be aware of your podcast if you don’t post about it there.

6. Calls to Action (CTAs)

One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the marketing power of your existing audience. When you’re writing your episode scripts, don’t forget to include a short CTA at the end of each one. Ask your listeners to subscribe and review, share your podcast on social media, or tell a friend about the show.

Be careful not to sound desperate, of course—but there’s no harm in candidly asking your audience to take a simple action if they enjoy your podcast.

7. Experiment with the Best Time to Publish

Sometimes, a simple tweak can help grow your audience. 

Check your podcast host’s analytics page to see what day and time your show sees the most downloads. If you see that you get the most downloads on Mondays, but not as many on the weekends, consider publishing your episodes on Monday mornings and refrain from publishing on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have that many downloads to analyze yet, there’s no reason why you can’t do a bit of experimentation. The most popular days to publish podcasts are Tuesday and Wednesday, so feel free to start there.

8. Mention your Previous Episodes 

To get more traffic to your older podcast episodes, don’t be afraid to refer back to them when you can.

For instance, you might say something like, “We talked about [topic] back in episode 84, so be sure to go back and listen if you want to learn more!”

9. Build Your Network

One great way to promote your show is to get involved in your industry network. Find ways to meet and support other podcasters, especially ones in your niche—and you’ll be surprised how much support and brand exposure you’ll receive in return. Try the following:

  • Join groups for podcasters. Find a place (or several) where other podcasters hang out, like Facebook’s Podcast Support Group, Reddit’s /r/podcasts, or LinkedIn’s Podcasting Technology Resource Group, just to name a few.
  • Cross-promote. Reach out to similar podcasts and suggest mentioning each other on your own shows. You can also host each other as guests. That way, you can each get exposure to a new set of listeners. Check out the iTunes listing page to find other podcasts in your niche, or use tools like Matchmaker.fm and SpeakOnPodcasts.com that help connect podcast hosts with potential interviewees.
  • Invite guests and offer to come on their shows. Once you’ve joined a few groups of like-minded podcasters, consider reaching out to a few of them and inviting them to come on your show. Be ready to return the favor, too!  
  • Ask for shares. If you mention someone or their brand on your show (in a positive way, of course), contact them and ask if they’d be willing to share it on social media. After all, it’s a bit of free publicity for them, too!

10. Invest in Podcast SEO  

If you want your podcast to get noticed, you need to optimize it for search results. This means using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices for your website as well as for the podcast itself.

One of the most important SEO basics to implement for your podcast is to use targeted keywords so that your podcast shows up when potential listeners search for a topic. For instance, here are the search results in Apple Podcasts for the search term “small business”:

audio seo for discoverability

Each episode title is an opportunity to demonstrate what your show is about and land on your target audience’s radar. Be sure to use your target keyword prominently in each episode title—best practices suggest that you place the keyword or keyphrase as close to the beginning of the title as you can.

But don’t stop at the keyword or phrase. Be sure to be as descriptive as possible about what the episode is about, as well. The clearer you can be about the contents of your show, the better your chances are that the people interested in that topic will check it out.

Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s keyword explorer to find terms your audience is already searching for (this is a great way to come up with new episode topics, too).

And if you have an interview podcast, don’t forget to include your guest’s name in your episode title. Something simple like “Interview with X” or “X interview” is a great choice for SEO purposes.

11. Start a Newsletter

Newsletters might feel like an outdated marketing technique, but they’re still very much relevant. A regular newsletter delivered straight to your audience’s inbox can help you build a community, keep your fans engaged, and notify your audience of everything from new episodes to brand announcements.

 

For instance, Dan Harris’s popular Podcast Ten Percent Happier publishes a weekly newsletter that includes both essays and updates.

ten percent weekly

12. Include Links in Your Email Signature

This one is simple but powerful. Add links to your show and website in your email signature so that everyone you communicate with has an easy way to access your podcast. 

add podcast link to email signature

13. Leverage Your Existing Network

If you’re struggling to get your podcast off the ground, don’t be afraid to reach out to all of your friends and family to let them know about your new endeavor. Invite them to subscribe and share the news with any of their friends who they think might be interested.

And encourage everyone on your podcast team to post about the podcast on their personal social media pages. Announce the show, share the podcast’s latest posts, and invite your followers to follow along on your podcasting journey. 

You’d be surprised how far the news can spread just by asking your social media network to share it!

14. Run Giveaways

You don’t need to be a multi-million-dollar brand to be able to host marketing giveaways. With a bit of creativity, you can run an exciting promotional event for your audience that generates a ton of buzz. 

Announce that you’re holding a contest or drawing—and participants must leave an iTunes review to be entered! Consider offering affordable prizes, like:

  • Product discounts
  • Branded merch
  • A shoutout in your next episode
  • A mention in your next episode’s show notes
  • A guest spot in your next episode
the comics collective podcast

15. Tease Upcoming Episodes 24 Hours Ahead of Their Release

If you have an interview with an exciting guest, hype your audience with teasers on social media the day before the episode drops.

Something as simple as this can help build awareness and encourage social shares (especially if you tag the guest in your post—they’re likely to retweet or share it from their account).

16. Leverage Your Existing Audience to Attract More Listeners

Your current listeners can help you grow your audience, so don’t forget to ask your current listeners to subscribe. Gaining new subscribers boosts your Apple Podcasts rankings. The higher your ranking, the more visible your show is to potential listeners searching for new podcasts.

Then, encourage your listeners to post a review or testimonial on Apple Podcasts. 

Incentivize them by running giveaways or giving shoutouts to new reviewers (“We’d like to thank Sally Smith, who left us a 5-star review that said…”). People love to get shout-outs and free stuff, so this tactic will encourage more listeners to leave reviews. And just like your subscriber count, the more positive reviews you have, the better you’ll rank.

Podcast promotion rating and reviews

17. Start a Website

If you don’t already have a website, what are you waiting for?

There are many reasons you should have a dedicated website for your podcast, but one is for podcast promotion. Having a website, increases your visibility and helps you grow your podcast audience. 

(Image source: Growth Marketer)

Your website is like your show’s home base, the place where you have complete control of the look, feel, and content surrounding your show. A website lets you:

  • Post links to your back catalog of episodes, 
  • Sell merch, 
  • Make announcements, and 
  • Have a central location to link back to from social media. 

Your podcast website is also a great place to communicate directly to your subscriber base. Your listeners may already be subscribed to your RSS feed on their podcast listening apps, but you may want to ask them to sign up for your newsletter or join your mailing list as well. That way, you can send them updates directly to their email and have even more control over how you communicate with them.

18. Court Star Power: Invite High-Profile Guests

Another way to make your podcast grow is to feature exciting and famous guests

It can be intimidating to think about asking a celebrity to be a guest on your show. You may not feel “big enough” or ready to interview a famous person. But you’d be surprised how many celebrities are willing to be featured on multiple podcasts. They may have a new book, film,  cause, or product to promote. 

And, of course, a high-profile guest doesn’t just mean Tom Hanks. Who are the big names in your specific industry or field? Are there any subject matter experts that your audience would love to hear from?

If you host a podcast on running as Marathon Training Academy does, for instance, you might try reaching out to professional runners like Sara Hall or Dean Karnazes. Guests like these may not be household names for the average person. Still, running enthusiasts would probably be excited to hear from them—which is perfect since running enthusiasts are Marathon Training Academy’s target audience.

Marathon Training Academy inviting high profile guests as a podcast marketing strategy
(Image source: Marathon Training Academy on Apple Podcasts)

19. Use Podcast Promotion Services

If it makes you tired just thinking about handling all of your outreach, cross-promotion, and social media content creation on your own (and if you have the budget for it), you may want to consider enlisting a marketing agency’s help.

Podcast marketing agencies offer promotion services to help take some of the burdens off of your shoulders. Some of the most popular services include:

These companies have experience building audiences for podcasts, and they can help create a successful marketing strategy customized for your individual goals. 

20. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising

And if you have the budget for it, advertising your podcast is a great way to ensure you’re getting in front of a larger potential audience. 

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer targeted advertising, which only appears on the news feeds of your specified demographic. This method prevents you from wasting ads on people who probably won’t be interested in your show.

Another option is to use Google advertising to appear at the top of search engine results for a specific keyphrase, as you can see here with the search term “dog training”:

Paid advertising podcast promotion

A link to your podcast will appear when people search for key phrases related to your show’s topic with Google ads. 

You can also advertise directly to podcast listeners on listening apps like Spotify, Overcast, PlayerFM, Pocket Casts, and Podcast Addict.

When branching out into paid advertising, the main thing to remember is that you need a solid understanding of your target audience and where they hang out online. If you don’t know this, you risk spending a lot of money paying for ads that will appear on the wrong platforms entirely.

Want more ideas? Watch this video:

Conclusion

We hope these 15 simple podcast marketing strategies have given you a few good ideas for actionable ways to increase your show’s following and engagement. In the end, it all comes down to getting your show in front of as many eyes as possible—whether it be through social media, YouTube, podcast directories, podcaster support groups, or all of the above! 

Marketing your podcast takes work, but it’s worth it. After all, your show is awesome, so everyone should know about it!

Podcast Marketing and Promotion FAQs

Where can I promote my podcast?

You can start off by publishing your podcast on listening platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify. We also suggest you try to promote your podcas

How much does it cost to promote a podcast?

The cost of podcast promotion varies by your strategy and methods. Hiring an agency or using paid advertising can cost as much as your budget allows, while other methods like building a social media presence are entirely free. 

How much does it cost to put your podcast on Spotify?

It’s free to add your podcasts’ RSS feed to Spotify’s platform. Simply navigate to Spotify for Podcasters and click “Get Started.” Paste the link to your podcast's RSS feed. Then, add additional information about your podcast, including its category, language, and country, and submit.

What social media platform is best for podcasts?

The simple answer? It depends on your audience.

There is no single best social media platform that’s best for podcast promotion. The determining factor is where your target audience hangs out. If you’re trying to appeal to professionals, LinkedIn may be your best bet. But if your target audience is Gen Z gaming enthusiasts, you may have better luck focusing on TikTok and Twitch.

How do podcasts go viral?

You’ll go viral if people who listen to your podcast get excited about it and share it with other potential listeners, who in turn also become enthusiastic about it and share it with their friends. This virtuous cycle is difficult to attain with a podcast but not impossible. 

To create the best conditions for going viral, use effective branding and marketing techniques to make your show exciting and easy to share. 

How can I promote my podcast for free?

While you can pay to promote your podcast by hiring a marketing agency and investing in paid advertising, there are many strategies for promoting your podcast for free. You’ll need to create quality content, understand your audience well, leverage your existing assets, and collaborate with other creators in your space. And, of course, social media is a great content marketing tool to build an audience organically.

Do podcasts work for marketing?

Yes! Podcasts are great for marketing. With over 100 million Americans actively listening to podcasts, this is a great audience for marketers to tap into. Not only do podcast ads have a better brand recall, but they allow you to reach out to audiences in a more organic way. If you’re new to podcast marketing, you can start by checking out how podcast advertising works.

What type of marketing is podcast?

While marketing and promoting a podcast is a technique of its own, podcasts, themselves, can form part of a larger marketing strategy. Podcasts fall under content marketing, and many companies use podcasts to boost their brand awareness. It provides value to audiences and can build trust with them, encouraging them to purchase a product or service.

How do I start podcast marketing?

Before you even think about marketing your podcast we recommend you have at least a few episodes out. After all, you want your audience to have content they can actually listen to so they’ll be hooked in. Once you’ve sorted that and made sure your branding is all sorted, you can try one of our 10 strategies above.

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