The challenge today thus lies not in creating your podcast but marketing and promoting it. The problem faced by all podcasters is no longer “How do I record my episodes?” but instead “How can I make my podcast stand out from other podcasts?” 🤔
At Ausha, we like to say that you can’t make a popular podcast without making it well known. Makes sense, wouldn’t you say! I know it’s easier said than done however, and that marketing your podcast and making it visible to the eyes (and especially the ears) of everyone can be a real headache. 😵💫
So the main way of getting a podcast known is still, of course, by word of mouth, and this is particularly effective if the episodes have excellent sound quality, deal with a topic of interest to an entire community, and are produced using very high-quality recording equipment. Unfortunately, however, this in no way guarantees thousands of listens. 😬
In this article, we’re going to take a look at all the various marketing levers you can use to market and promote your podcast effectively and turn it into a runaway hit! 🚀 ⭐
Learn more about your audience before marketing and promoting your podcast
The most important thing in marketing, no matter what the product or service you want to sell, is knowing your target well. Who’s going to buy your latest self-driving car? Who’s going to buy your 100% organic detox fruit juice? 🍏 And, returning to the case in hand, who’s going to listen to your podcast? 🎧 It always works the same way: For marketing to have a strong impact, you always have to begin with your core target.
In the world of marketing, this is referred to as a persona. 👧
Warning: Focusing on your target listener does not mean you should neglect the rest. Nor does it mean you’ll get fewer listens. Just the opposite in fact: Yt means you’re going to know your most loyal listeners so well that it will be easier for you to produce content they like and for which they’ll be likely to recommend you to others.
When it comes to properly identifying your core audience, at Ausha we advise constructing a listener persona. In other words, you should define a model of a typical listener, incorporating all the characteristics your audience has in common.
To do this, you need to ask yourself seven questions.
- Who is the listener I’m aiming at?
- What motivates them to want to listen to my podcast?
- What might prevent them from listening to my podcast?
- What other types of content does my listener consume?
- What’s a typical day like for my persona?
- How do they use the marketing channels?
- What are the possible points of contact therefore?
My advice for creating your listener persona: visually represent your listener persona in a file; this will help you in creating your marketing plan. I’ve prepared a template you can download for free and adapt for use with your own podcast.
You’ll quickly find that this file will become your guide. 🧭 When you want to launch a new marketing campaign, you’ll be able to refer to it to make sure you’re on the right track.
Think about the journey your listeners make
Now that you’ve defined your listener persona file and listed all the possible points of contact you can use to reach your core audience 🎯, you will have to decide which you want to use and how to use them, and then structure each of the actions you take over the course of what we refer to as the listener journey. 🔥
The listener journey is a methodology we’ve adopted at Ausha and which consists of converting a simple unknown person into a loyal listener in three stages:
1/ REPUTATION: How do you get your podcast known? 📣
2/ ACTIVATION: How do you get your future listeners to listen for the first time? ▶️
3/ RETENTION: How do you get them to carry on listening or return to your podcast? 🥰
My tip for your listener journey: Do not restrict yourself! This is the stage where you can brainstorm without limit. List any and all ideas you have for actions you can take to achieve these three objectives. And base it all on your listener persona file: on what a typical day is like for your most loyal audience. You’ll find that ideas will start to come in droves!
Make your podcast visible on all channels of communication
Make your podcast available on all listening platforms 🪐
This is the first step toward making a podcast discoverable. Bear in mind that not all your listeners listen to your program on the same listening platform. By making your podcast available on all podcasting apps, you improve your chances of increasing your number of listens. 📈
In fact, when putting together your listener persona file, you can survey the most loyal portion of your audience and ask them directly which platform or what type of smartphone they use when listening to your episodes. Because if you happen to have an iPhone 🍏, you’ll almost certainly listen to podcasts on the Apple Podcasts platform installed by default on your device. If you have an Androïd phone, on the other hand, you won’t have a standard default app.
It’s therefore very important to make your podcast available on all listening platforms. Ausha enables you to very quickly and easily distribute your program across all the apps. With just a few clicks, your friend in Canada will be able to listen to your episodes whenever she wants and wherever she happens to be! 🎧
My tip for distributing your podcast: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Making do with just a single listening platform equates to depriving yourself of part of your audience. 😟 And that’s the exact opposite of what we’re looking for here.
This is especially true when you bear in mind that you have no guarantee of the stability and reliability of listening platforms, as demonstrated by the issues Apple Podcasts experienced a few months ago. Podcasters who had been content to publish their episodes only on that app must certainly have been biting their nails.
Moreover, it doesn’t cost any more to make your podcast available everywhere. 😉
Get you podcast indexed on Google with SEO 💻
Making your podcast visible outside the podcast ecosystem is also very important in terms of boosting its discoverability. It’s one channel of communication you really shouldn’t underestimate. Search engine referencing enables you to attract potential listeners who did not set out with the primary intention of listening to a podcast.
Allow me to explain. 🤓
Let’s take the example of the Ausha Tips podcast. Some of the topics we cover (such as how to optimize the SEO for your podcast, for example) concern the types of SEO questions web users often type in search engines. This means that an episode could potentially answer their questions and provide the information they’re looking for. 🤝
If a web user types “podcast SEO”, therefore, they may potentially end up finding your podcast even though they originally intended to read an article or watch a video. This is all the more true given that Google is increasingly investing in podcasts by displaying episodes in position zero, i.e. at the top of the search results page. 😁
To optimize your podcast SEO, I recommend writing blog articles dedicated specifically to your podcast episodes. You can also create an entire blog or a website about your podcast.
And if you don’t have the time or the skills necessary to create a website from scratch yourself (which is my case for example), there are many tools available to help you achieve this task. Ausha, for example, gives podcasters the ability toautomatically display a 100% SEO optimized website dedicated to their podcast. 💜
My tip for the SEO for your podcast: With the TIps podcast at Ausha, we’ve adopted the habit of writing a dedicated article for each episode and publishing it on our blog. The Smartplayer (Ausha’s interactive audio player) associated with the podcast in question gives web users the choice of either listening to the podcast or reading a dedicated article on the same topic. And there you have it: Two things for the price of one.
Share your episodes on social networks 📱
If there’s one lever you absolutely should us to market and promote your podcast, it’s social networks. In fact, the most recent survey carried out by CSA and Havas Paris revealed that 35% of listeners discovered a new podcast via social networks in 2020. Thirty-five percent is enormous! This shows the extent to which having a strong presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn contributes to your discoverability. 🚀
Problem (however): Creating content on social networks takes time and effort. 🥱 In fact, you’re probably already asking yourself what you’re going to be able to publish in the way of content.
Here are some of my suggestions for things to use when marketing and promoting your podcast on social networks: 🤔
- An inspiring quote from your guest(s)
- A video extract from your podcast (via the Ausha video clip feature, for example)
- Photos illustrating the topic of your latest episode
- Guest profiles
- Supplementary cultural resources to accompany your episode
- A picture of yourself (it’s always good to do a bit of personal branding)
There are of course unlimited possibilities. 💫 It’s your originality and your imagination that are going to enable you to set yourself apart from other podcasts. The sky’s the limit therefore!
To start with, however, choose the social network or networks on which you want to be active. Here again, creating content takes time. It’s therefore all about not spreading yourself too thinly and not wasting time for no reason. Begin with your target audience and be present and visible wherever they are to be found.
Inform your audience about your latest news and developments via an emailed newsletter 💌
The newsletter: Another channel that can have a strong impact on your number of listens. 🚀
Most of the time, the people who subscribe to your podcast via Ausha or enter their email address on your website in order to receive your newsletters will be your most loyal and dedicated listeners. It’s therefore a very good idea to push the latest episode you’ve just published on all the listening platforms to your community via email. 💪
A podcast newsletter enables you to communicate directly with your core target – that all-important listener persona I talked to you about earlier in this article. 🎯 And it’s this core target that’s going to naturally spark the process of getting your podcast and your latest episode known through word of mouth.
And this is something you really can’t put a price on! 😍
My tip for sending out a newsletter about your podcast : Use this special channel of communication to provide your community with content that’s perhaps of a more premium type 😎.
For example, you could create written content that supplements your podcast episode, or even provide a glimpse behind the scenes of the recording of the episode. I recommend taking a look at Thomas Burbidge, who sends out fantastic newsletters to notify his community when new content is available online.
Publish your podcast automatically on YouTube 🎬
YouTube is the number two search engine ✌️ in the world after Google. If you ask those around you which platform they listen to their podcasts on, I’m willing to bet that some will say YouTube. I said earlier in the article that it’s very important to publish your podcast on all listening platforms.
YouTube is one of these. 😎
In addition to simply making your podcast available to watch/listen to, YouTube (which let’s not forget is a tool belonging to Google 😉) also plays a part in your program’s SEO. Your podcast could therefore end up ranked higher in the search results.
Have you ever had the experience of being sucked into the YouTube vortex 😵💫 and finding yourself clicking on one suggested video after another, and another, and another…? I certainly have. 🙈
Though this system does sometimes lead us to waste hours of our lives, it can also prove very useful for introducing your podcast to people who have perhaps not yet heard about you and are interested in the topic you specialize in. So who should we thank for this? Let’s say a big thank you to the YouTube algorithm! 😬
My tip for making your podcast available on YouTube: Don’t waste time creating your own video to make available on YouTube! Ausha gives you the ability to automatically publish your podcast on the platform. This saves a huge amount of time, thus leaving you free to concentrate more on your content. 🚀
Use a varied range of marketing media to reach a larger audience
Boost your audience engagement through the use of video 🎬
In 2020, Médiamétrie revealed that videos generate ten times more engagement than simple images do on Twitter. 🐦 You’ve no doubt noticed that all the social media platforms are making more and more use of this format. After developing its Stories feature, Instagram is now also offering its users the ability to create Reels (short videos). With its thousands and thousands of videos, TikTok rose to join the ranks of the world’s leading social media platforms during the 2020 lockdown. LinkedIn favors posts that people spend a lot of time viewing and reading.
In short, video is to a certain extent the Holy Grail of content creators. 🚀
Let’s return to a topic close to our hearts: How to market and promote your podcast. Video can be useful for giving your audience a taster of the new episode you’ve just released and encouraging them to listen to your content in its entirety.
One way you can do this is by creating a video clip directly from the Ausha platform. 💜 The clip will be based on an extract from your audio file chosen by yourself. Once it’s created, you’ll be able to customize the background image, the titles and the color of the audio waveform. And you’ll even be able to add a transcription of your audio extract if you want – a useful feature given that 70% of users watch videos without the sound on.
Share a single unique listening link with your community 🎧
If you’ve been following my advice so far, your podcast should now be available on all listening platforms. You will therefore have multiple links to your podcast: one for each listening platform. And as you’ve been carefully reading everything I have to say in my article so far, you’ll remember that not all listeners listen to your podcast on the same app. So how do you know which link to share with your community? 🤔
The answer is simple: you don’t need to decide! 🤔
Send your community one unique link combining all the listening platforms for your program. You’ll then be able to include it in your Instagram bio for example (as that’s the only place you can put a clickable link on that social network), or in your email signature.
By providing your community with a single unique link in this way (what we call a Smartlink at Ausha), you’ll be able to make it easier for them to listen, which will inevitably lead to a boost in your numbers! 🚀
Integrate an audio player into your website 💻
Another way of making your podcast more visible everywhere is tointegrate the audio player for your episode directly into your website. Not only will this broaden your distribution by sharing your program on a new channel, but it will also make it easier for your audience to listen, as all they will need to do is press or click the play button. The audio player essentially enables your audience to start listening immediately, without the need to go to a listening platform. 😁
With Ausha, the audio player (Smartplayer) available for each program and each episode is 100% responsive and adapts to fit the screen size of the device on which it’s being used. You can even add extra buttons to it (what we refer to as CTAs), such as a button to encourage your audience to visit your website for example.
Some podcasters even use them as marketing “assets” to send to their guests so they can include them on their own websites or in their own newsletters. This enables you to further boost the reputation of your podcast and, therefore, your numbers of listens.
This is what a Smartplayer looks like 👇
Send out a press release to specialist media 📰
The media are becoming more and more interested in podcasts. Isn’t the fact you hear them mentioned everywhere proof of this? 😁 So why not take advantage of this enthusiasm to further promote your podcast?
When you defined your listener persona, you must certainly have considered the media your listeners consume. With the right tagline and a well-designed press release, you should be able to attract their attention. 👀
To help you put together an effective press release, Clémentine Roux, our podcast marketing expert, has written an article containing all her tips and advice. Among the things she recommends are: Carefully structuring your press release, applying the five Ws rule when writing your piece (what, who, where, when and why), and sharing all your resources in an easily accessible way, etc.
Use cross-promotion to get your program known 🤝
If you’ve implemented everything I’ve described in this article, you’re well on your way to taking your podcast to the next level. 🏎️ If you still have a bit of time and energy left, you might also want to consider cross-promotion as a way of further boosting your number of listens.
Cross-promotion enables you to promote your program to a qualified audience, as it will be made up of people who are already in the habit of listening to podcasts. There are various different ways of cross-promoting, though it always involves genuine collaboration, and that’s in the strongest sense of the term: a win-win partnership. 🚀
You can cross promote by:
1️⃣ Running an audio ad at the beginning or end of the partner podcast.
2️⃣ Being interviewed by the host of a program you really like.
3️⃣ Slipping one of your episodes into a scheduled slot of a partner podcast that’s taking a break.
For cross-promotion to work, however, you need to find the right partner podcasts! 😁 And to do this, we recommend sending a random email to the 100 biggest podcasters in your country and crossing your fingers that one of them will respond. 🙄
Actually, it’s Just the opposite in fact! Meet other podcasters and discuss ideas with them via Facebook groups or the Ausha Club 🥰, which helps bring podcasters together and put them in contact with each other.
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