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15 Proven Podcast Marketing Strategies To Promote Your Show

15 Proven Podcast Marketing Strategies To Promote Your Show

If you just started a podcast, you’re probably looking for marketing 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.

In this post, we’ll look at 15 proven podcast marketing strategies and actionable tactics to promote your show and build an audience organically, even if you’re starting without a huge following.


1. 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.

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:

  • What’s this person’s age? 
  • Where do they live?
  • What occupation do they have?
  • What are their interests?
  • Why do they listen to your podcast? 

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!

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. 

Take the time to fill in your bio, choose a profile picture, and add links to your show on your profile page. Then, follow these three rules to build up a social media audience:

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.   

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

And to keep your profile feeling real and human, you can also try sharing the occasional bit of behind-the-scenes info to help your audience feel connected to the people behind the mics. 

Don’t be Sales-y! 

Similarly, 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. 

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

3. Submit Your Show to Every 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?

By submitting your show’s RSS feed manually to as many podcast directories as possible. Make sure your show is listed on all the big ones, like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Then, try submitting your feed to every other directory you can find. 

Related article: How To Publish A Podcast (Beginner’s Guide 2021)

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 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
  • 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

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. 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.
  • 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 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

When you upload an episode, be sure to choose keywords to target for the title and description. 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).

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!

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