Looking for new ways to promote your podcast and gain new listeners? Check out these 9 expert tips from professional podcasters!
Podcasts didn’t even exist 20 years ago, and now there’s a show about almost anything for almost anyone. Marketing blogs are recommending podcasting left, right and centre as a way of promoting your products or boosting your business. They’re one of the most popular forms of audio entertainment. According to Semrush, 2021 holds the record for the number of hours people have spent listening to podcasts worldwide, with 15 billion hours – compared to 12 billion just two years ago. In addition, 28% of listeners prefer podcasts over any other audio content type, including YouTube, radio and even Spotify – which is great news for anyone considering launching a podcast.
So, if you want to know how to launch your own audio show, create engaging episodes and effectively promote your Podcast – you’ve come to the right place! We rounded up a range of professional podcasters to get their expert tips and advice on how to effectively develop, schedule and promote your podcast. Here’s what they had to say…
Eric Chow, host of The Eric Chow Empowers Podcast, is an expert when it comes to building a community of valued, loyal listeners. He says, “The best tip I can give from promoting a podcast is to build relationships. When I have a guest on my show, I spend time before and after the episode chatting with them. I want to make sure they have a good time, so they feel comfortable giving me a recommendation of another guest to interview, and promoting the episode to their following. The more genuinely the guest can say ‘I had a great time on Eric’s podcast and we got to talk about [something their audience cares about]’ the more of their followers will listen to the episode. I believe in the quality of my show and my ability to bring out the best in my guests, so when those new listeners tune in, I’ve either added value to them myself or allowed the guest to do so.”
Eric also advises, “If I find out there’s a listener who’s been enjoying my show for a while, I take the time to shoot them a message on Instagram or LinkedIn thanking them for their support. This makes them far more likely to recommend my podcast. When Spotify comes out with their Top Podcasts of the Year in December, and they share a screenshot of it on their Instagram story, I pay attention to that too. With loyal listeners, there’s no way to track how many people are sharing your podcast, but it’s happening. I was just talking to one of my podcast host friends recently: he thanked me for referring him to three guests, and I told him I’d shared his podcast with two new listeners as well. That’s what your loyal listeners are doing, even if you don’t know it.”
Ray Blakney, CEO and co-founder of the Live Lingua online language learning platform and host of the Learn Spanish with Live Lingua podcast, is no stranger to collaborating with other podcasters. And according to Ray, appearing as a guest on other podcasts is one of the most effective ways to promote your own. He explains, “A top way to promote your podcast is to appear as a guest on other popular podcasts in your industry. Every time you are interviewed on another podcast, you will be able to promote your own podcast show to new audiences and drive listeners back to your website or social media.
Put together a list of possible topics you can provide expertise on and reach out to the hosts of podcasts in your industry, letting them know that you would love to have an engaging discussion with them on one or more of the topics you sent over.”
Angie Trueblood of Go Pitch Yourself echoes this sentiment. She says that the key is to feature on podcasts that will reach your ideal listener.
“Reaching out to other hosts who speak to a similar listener, in a different, complementary way, and offering them a relevant conversation topic is the first step in making that connection. The beauty of podcast guesting is that you’re getting in front of people who already listen to podcasts, so you don’t need to convince or teach them to consume content in a new way. You simply need to make a compelling argument – by offering value during the podcast – on why they should listen to yours.”
Sean Douglas of the Create Launch Monetize Podcast said his number one tip for promotion is to advertise on other podcasts similar to your own. He says, “My number one tip is advertising on other podcasts. You could guest on the show, or create a 30 second commercial on the podcast as a pre-roll or mid-roll commercial. This has allowed my podcast to grow exponentially! I’ve had almost 7,000 downloads in 15 episodes.”
Wemimo Onikan of the My Lighthouse podcast is a big believer in social media marketing, and her top piece of advice is to promote your podcast on every social media platform you can think of. She also says, “make sure your profiles are set to public, because this is key to achieving reach. Include links everywhere you can, and create giveaways to encourage people to share and listen.”
Rax Suen of Chat With Nomads suggests taking it one step further by repurposing your podcast into additional content, rather than simply sharing a graphic and a link. He explains, “Split your full podcast conversation into multiple small pieces of content that can be deployed across various social media platforms. My podcast episodes are about an hour long, but these are broken down into 30 to 60 second snippets to be shared on TikTok, Instagram, etc. Larger segments of three to 10 minutes can also be turned into YouTube videos. It’s easier to capture the attention of new listeners with short-form content as it’s less commitment. Once they’re hooked, they’ll then check out the full podcast to find out more.”
Michelle Glogovac of My Simplified Life echoes this advice, explaining that each new episode can be repurposed into various forms of content. From turning show notes into a blog post on your website to turning audio into posts or social media videos, she says, “Don’t simply post your episode and hope someone finds it – share the episode on various platforms in various ways, and keep resharing it! You can even pull your own quotes and showcase yourself as a thought leader.”
While the tried and tested promo methods are popular for a reason, it can pay to explore some more creative tactics. For example, you can promote your show by doing giveaways on social media giveaways based on your latest episodes, deep diving into show subject matter in live Q&As, and even creating YouTube tutorials or explainer videos as a form of cross promotion.
If you want to get really creative, April Ebling of AprilSingsalot suggests looking for unconventional outlets to promote your show. She says, “I post relevant podcast episodes on the Insight Timer app. While this outlet won’t make sense for all niches, finding your own unconventional means of promotion will find you more listeners than with traditional streaming.”
Aimee Montgomery of A Call to Thrive also swears by getting creative. She explains. “I set up contests that require rating, commenting, and subscribing to my show.”
Cedric from the Awkward’T Podcast proclaims that promoting your podcast in close-knit communities such as Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and even IRL meetups can do wonders for your word-of-mouth marketing. He says, “I live by the rule of actively promoting your podcast in Facebook groups. I start off by finding niche groups relevant to my podcast category and topic. In some cases, I build conversations by engaging on current posts, and share links to my podcast episodes depending on the scenario.”
Isaac Mashman of the Chase the Vision Podcast suggests treating it as a guerilla marketing campaign. He says, “Don’t ask for listens. Instead, make it seem like if someone isn’t listening that they’re missing out on something great. This should be done frequently, but not in a spammy way. Promote your show to everyone you talk to – everyone you know should know you have a show, both on and offline.”
As a rule of thumb, make sure you get permission from Facebook Group Administrators before you start promoting your podcast. Some groups have rules that prohibit self-promotion, so it’s best to see if podcast links are allowed before promoting your show to someone else’s audience.
Optimizing your podcast or website for Google Search can be one of the most effective ways to increase your show’s visibility.
Rob Powell, host of the SEO Made Simple podcast says, “My number one tip for promoting my podcast to new listeners is to embed every new episode at the top of a blog post that deals with a related topic. Just over 40% of all my posts end up on Google’s first page for their target keyword, so this technique ensures that I get a constant stream of new listeners.”
Kent Lewis of Podcast for Closers says, “the best way to find new listeners without paying for advertising is to make sure your podcast episodes are optimized for search. Then, syndicate your podcast across channels like iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud to get the word out. After you start growing an audience, consider buying targeted ads on podcast networks, Google and social media.”
When it comes to effectively promoting your podcast, encouraging guests to share your show can be half the battle. But Robin Waite of the Fearless Business Podcast has a trick for making your show more shareable. “We create little ‘audiograms’ for our guests to share on social media when the podcast goes live,” he reveals. “These are short 30 to 60 second-long video snippets from the episode which we create using an app called Wavve.co. They take minutes to create. The video files are quite small, and most guests are happy to share them on their preferred social media channel.”
When putting your Podcast out into the world, you’ll want to submit it to every possible platform – such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and other popular directories. Podcast platform RSS.com Podcasting advises, “Simply type ‘How to submit your podcast to Spotify‘ into your favorite search engine, and you’ll find a plethora of tutorials on how to do it. There are dozens of directories out there, and more are popping up everyday. Each one gives you another opportunity to get found, and almost if not all of them allow you to submit your RSS feed for free!”
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to promote your podcast – and we’ve barely even scratched the surface! If you want even more ideas for getting the word out about your show, check out Envato’s Marketing Trends, Social Media Trends and Podcast Guide. Some take elbow grease, some time and resources, and some require patience, but all of them have the potential to catapult your podcast to success. Happy promoting!
Ashley Grant is a content creator for RSS.com Podcasting where she hosts her own podcast The Bloggy Friends Show. Ashley grew up in Tampa, and attended the University of South Florida. Go Bulls! When she isn’t writing and taking pictures, she loves trying new food and beverages, exploring the city she lives in, and traveling as much as possible.